A Road Haulage Association (RHA) survey has revealed that 96% of members believe that the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) should be either reformed or abolished completely.
The findings reveal a system that is widely disliked with a third of drivers and operators saying they favour the abolition of the CPC system.
However, 62% of the RHA members questioned said they wanted to reform the system, which fits in with the RHA’s view of not abolishing the CPC.
Instead, the RHA believes the CPC is in the interests of road safety, and it is important for drivers and operators that an effective and high-quality Driver CPC is retained.
In order to keep their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), drivers must complete 35 hours of periodic training every five years to continue driving a lorry, bus or coach.
Members believe that the CPC courses are too long
The RHA survey also highlights that 67% of its members believe that the CPC courses are too long and that shorter sessions should be allowed – as well as practical elements.
Also, members say that tests should form part of the assessment, replacing one or two modules.
Sally Gilson, the RHA’s policy lead on skills, said: “Creating a DCPC that drivers have bought into is crucial for retaining an experienced workforce.
“DCPC can prompt early retirements with drivers that could have continued to work part-time, giving businesses valuable access to a temporary workforce during seasonal peaks.”
CPC should be for ‘new drivers only’
One consistent line that many of the drivers who commented on the CPC as part of the survey said it should be for ‘new drivers only’ and there should be more practical than classroom-based elements.
One driver said: “It’s a great tool for newly qualified drivers‚ but I think drivers who have had their licence over five years should be able to do one day every three years – to brush up on any new rules and regulations.”
Another driver said: “The whole system needs a complete revamp or preferably abolished. With regards to drivers’ hours and new legislation, it should be down to the employer to ensure drivers are kept up to date.”
RHA press the Welsh Government over commercial vehicle sector
Meanwhile, the RHA has met with Vaughan Gething, the Welsh minister for the economy, on key issues affecting the commercial vehicle sector.
The haulier’s organisation was invited by Mr Gething to discuss the Welsh economy.
Rhys Williams, the RHA’s regional operations manager, raised issues over the longevity and viability of the land bridge, issues at ports, and support for the coach industry.
He said: “There is an impact of the direct crossings to Europe from Ireland, which have seen an increase of around 380% – or more than 100,000 more trucks using the direct routes. This is rather than using the traditional land bridge.”