A senior Transport for London (TfL) official has criticised the loophole in the Driver CPC regulations that effectively allows people to sit the same course, over consecutive days, and legally achieve their qualification.
Leon Daniels, MD, surface transport at TfL, was giving evidence at a Transport Committee hearing last week about the reform of the UK’s motoring agencies into theDVSA.
Having obtained his Driver CPC qualification by taking different modules at four separate operators around the UK, he believes varied modules should be taken by drivers, and that these should also be relevant to the role they perform in their jobs.
For example, Daniels said all drivers bringing an HGV into London should be made to undertake a safer urban driver module, so as to improve their skills when negotiating busy streets and increasing numbers of cyclists in the capital.
He urged the DVSA to amend the scheme to make the training more specific.
“It is important to have more rigour over the types of courses. Driver CPC should be sharpened up so it is more appropriate to the work drivers are undertaking, and that the record is easily accessible for the employer to see,” he said.
Daniels added that despite the training loophole, he felt standards had improved since the roll-out of the Driver CPC, and that it was a good opportunity for drivers to learn about and discuss issues at a dedicated session.
He said: “In general, members of staff taking Driver CPC courses were delighted that, just for once, one whole day had been reserved for them to learn some things about the industry they had been employed in.”
Senior traffic commissioner Beverley Bell agreed that standards were “definitely improving”, however, she reiterated Daniels’ point that the quality of some courses was a concern, as was the ability to be able to send a driver on the same course repeatedly.
She said: “Just because someone has done a course does not mean someone has learnt from it. I have seen examples in PIs where drivers have been on a course, indeed the previous day, and had retained little knowledge of what they supposedly learnt.”
Bell added: “It’s about investing in the staff, and the drivers through the courses, but then making sure they have learnt from these courses.”
At the same session Bell called for the DVSA to keep a focus on physical enforcement activities and not rely solely on technology such as OCRS.