Is your driver training up to standard?
by BMF Transport Plus service
16 April 2019
is difficult to believe that Driver Certificate of Professional
Competence (DCPC) has been with us close to 10 years. In an age where we
are experiencing dramatic changes in technology within trucks, truck
maintenance, operational and cost control, it is disappointing that
little change has been seen in terms of mandatory change to DCPC and
driver professional development. Perhaps Earned Recognition and
accreditation schemes such as FORS will influence change.
industry experienced a “pinch point” in 2014 with many drivers and
operators leaving the 35 hours within 5 years (2009 to 2014) to the last
minute. Training providers were under pressure, operators, including builders merchants, were under even
more pressure as many older drivers did not wish to be trained after a
lifetime in the business. This compounded the already serious driver
BMF Apprenticeships Plus
service has introduced a new LGV Driver Level 2
Apprenticeship to help merchants overcome this shortage. While this
will undoubtedly help merchants to future-proof this area of their
operation, they must continue to support their existing drivers and
ensure their training, and DCPC, is up to date.
Despite the warning signal in 2014, the 5 year
cycle for current card-holders to complete their next round of DCPC
training ending in September 2019 is already showing the same symptoms
indicating there will be another last minute rush to achieve the
required 35 hours training.This
suggests that some operators have either lost faith in DCPC or
alternatively are not interested in investing in their major assets –
can be heard of DCPC including - “you can take the same modules five
times, or you can sit there for seven hours, stay awake with no
involvement and qualify for the hours”. These arguments can be easily
answered by planning and completing annual training, recording the
module subject / content completed by driver and following up DCPC the
following week by some form of internal competence tests. User friendly
IT based / app solutions to assist with this process are available from
Prompt Training, who provide the BMF’s Transport Plus service.
frequently heard “observation” from both drivers and operators relates
to the volume and type of legislation, rules, codes of practice and red
tape. It is probably no different in real terms in any industry be it
accountancy, manufacturing or the food industry. Again, this can be
partially answered by comparing UK statistics for fatal and serious
injuries with other countries suggesting our road safety record is good.
The counter argument is that an average of 5 deaths, 68 serious
injuries & 395 slight injuries on our roads every day points out
that we have room for improvement.
it to be effective, driver training needs to become more user friendly.
Seven hours in a classroom may seem too long, particularly when compared
with the average university lecture. However, despite all the lobbying
and posturing the existing legislation is likely to remain unchanged for
a considerable time, so we need to make the best of it by using it as a
platform to develop our drivers and make the profession attractive.
asking a driver to listen to a tool box talk at the end of a shift or
on a Friday afternoon is hardly going to generate enthusiasm and achieve
the desired information intake and retention. Just as obtaining a
signature on a method statement or site rules won’t be effective without
a supporting explanation or knowledge test.
Operators expect a lot from drivers, in fact most spend a relatively small proportion of their time actually driving.
So much so that perhaps “LGV Driver” as a job title should be reviewed,
which may also encourage greater interest amongst younger people in the
the meantime, planned training for existing drivers, coupled with
competency checks / audits should be a regular feature of a professional
operation with a positive desire to protect their workforce, the general public and their business.
This article was produced with assistance from Prompt Services, who provide BMF’s Transport Plus
you would like to find out more about driver training, and how BMF Transport Plus
could benefit your business, please contact Prompt
Training at email@example.com
or 01773 850428, quoting your BMF membership number.
For information on the BMF LGV Driver Apprenticeship
, contact Carmen Daly on 0333 057 657 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about joining the BMF here
or email email@example.com
This article first appeared in the March 2019 edition of Builders Merchants Journal