The fuel distribution sector has agreed industry-wide enhanced training and assessment standards for tanker drivers that it hopes will be used from September.
The voluntary training package, approved at a recent meeting of the UK Downstream Oil Distribution Forum(DODF), will require tanker drivers to undertake up to half a days’ extra training on top of the existing ADR statutory requirements, with their skills being assessed through a written and practical test.
Currently, hazardous goods drivers must do an ADR refresher course every five years. The 10-module course takes around 1.5 days to complete. The DODF plan is for the new fuel tanker driver qualification to be added onto the ADR course to make a maximum of two days’ training overall.
DODF is in talks with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), which administers the ADR system for the DfT, to get the plans approved and for SQA to accredit the new tanker driver qualification.
Brian Worrall, independent chair of DODF, said: “We’re still at the early stages in discussing how this will work, but we’re trying to put training standards in place with minimum disruption to the industry.
“If we can tie it in with ADR training then that would make it easier to deliver. Many ADR courses finish at lunchtime on day two so this training would take place in the afternoon. We don’t want [courses] to run over into an extra days’ training.”
The new DODF training package will be made up of two modules – one on general fuel tanker operations not already covered in ADR courses; and the other looking at the requirements of the different fuels carried and how they are used. It will be delivered by third-party trainers or in-house.
Made up of representatives from trade bodies, unions, government departments, training organisations and tanker hauliers, the DODF was set up in July 2012 to develop a sector-wide approach to health and safety in light of the narrowly averted national tanker drivers’ strike last year.