VOSA widens Driver CPC net
By: Dave Robbins
25 February 2013
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VOSA is continuing to raise the profile of Driver CPC. Last year, Traffic Commissioner Beverley Bell, warned employers and employees that they would have questions to answer if drivers haven’t completed their 35 hours of training by September 2014. Drivers with grandfather rights who haven’t met the deadline will be called to a driver misconduct hearing where their licence will be suspended until they do so.
And now they’re widening the net by announcing that the qualification is required for all drivers who take large goods vehicles to VOSA testing stations or designated premises or ATFs for roadworthiness tests.
This could cause problems for many transport operators who have their own maintenance section. It’s normal practice to have a designated driver to do this; indeed at smaller operations it can be the workshop manager themselves. Whilst staff taking vehicles to testing stations will have the appropriate licence it’s highly unlikely that they will have undertaken any Driver CPC training. This is because other tasks related to vehicle maintenance such as fault finding and testing are exempted by law. With less than two years to go to the Driver CPC deadline, this is going to put staff affected by this measure under pressure to complete the required 35-hours of training.
VOSA have also taken the opportunity to clear confusion regarding Driver CPC training and its impact on Drivers’ Hours. If the driver is being paid to attend by his or her employer, then training should be recorded as ‘other work’ for Drivers’ Hours purposes. However if the driver is attending voluntarily and not being paid then it will be treated as part of the driver’s rest period.
To ensure drivers and employers understand the importance of Driver CPC, VOSA inspectors are now handing out Driver CPC leaflets at roadside checks.