Only 24% of drivers have completed the full 35 hours CPC training required of them by 2019, with nearly half of drivers (49%) still at least 14 hours short.
The research of commercial drivers and operators unveiled that over 52% of the respondents welcome training as they feel it helps them to be a better driver, and over half would like to see new industry courses introduced. And despite the reputation of one-day, classroom based training, this is the preferred way of delivering CPC training over half day courses, online modules, videos and Toolbox Talks, with 40% of drivers agreeing with this method.
The survey was carried out by a leading training provider for the road transport industry and TFL’s primary DCPC training contractor, Fleet Source. It revealed that 83% of the drivers surveyed have been driving professionally for ten years or more.
“Commercial drivers are required to do 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to keep their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC),” said Nick Caesari, Managing Director at Fleet Source. ‟Driver CPC is the standard applied to initial driver training and career-long continuing education. If drivers fail to complete their 35 hours CPC training and they are driving professionally, then they can be fined up to £1,000,” Caesari continued.
96% of respondents are concerned for vulnerable road users around their vehicles and ‘Vulnerable Road User’ is the most attended training course by drivers. However, drivers voted ‘Vehicle road worthiness’ as the most important training topic in their opinion.
“With the ever-increasing number of cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists on our roads, it is essential that HGV, PCV and PSV drivers are able to operate safely and reduce the risks of driving in today’s busy environments,” Caesari commented. There are various training courses that can help with this and also count towards drivers’ required CPC hours,” said Caesari. “When choosing driver training, we should consider the roles, responsibilities and opinions of drivers to ensure they are receiving the most relevant driver training that is important to them, to make sure drivers continue to see value in the training they are attending” Caesari continued.
The survey also revealed that drivers are not always confident in recognising relevant agencies or bodies. With only one in ten (11%) drivers being totally confident that they know what identification undercover police should carry. And only 28% being totally confident of being able to recognise a legit highways officer.
“It is a concern that drivers are not totally confident in recognising professional bodies relating to the transport industry. It is clear that training is needed that will assist drivers to be one hundred per cent confident in ensuring that the person they are being approached by is in fact who they say they are. Being educated on this subject can help protect drivers and the public from everyday risks,” Caesari concluded.
The research also showed that not all drivers are sure if they have certain policy and procedures in place for key risk factors when being on the road. 1 in 3 drivers said they didn’t or didn’t know if they had policies and procedures in place when it comes to ‘where to’ and ‘where not’ to park, and 31% say they didn’t or didn’t know if they had policies and procedures in place for the security of keys.
“The research suggests that more can be done to support and protect commercial drivers,” Caesari added. “It also reveals that drivers want to be trained and would welcome new courses. Fleet Source’s driver courses are interactively designed to engage delegates and ensure the experience is interesting, thought-provoking and enjoyable, whilst achieving the training objectives. We believe that employees who are trained and are able to demonstrate their competency will be an asset to any company. To sum it up – better drivers mean better business,” Caesari concluded.