The deadline to complete training for the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) is less than three months away, yet reports have highlighted 75 per cent of drivers still need to complete their mandatory training. Encore Personnel is warning drivers to check how many hours they have completed now – before it’s too late, by Andrew Fletcher, Encore Personnel.
The Driver CPC qualification was first introduced in 2009 for professional truck, bus and coach drivers, with the aim of improving road safety and maintaining high standards of driving.
It states 35 hours of periodic training must be completed every five years.
Drivers with acquired rights – those with vocational licences pre-September 2009 – have a deadline of September 9, 2019 to complete the next phase of their training.
At Encore Personnel, we place high- quality drivers in work across multiple industries.
Yet we have also found 75 per cent of our drivers still need to complete their DCPC training before September – and many of those are still unaware of how many hours they have completed.
This may be for several reasons. Firstly, a number of drivers had relied on previous employers to organise training and, after leaving their place of work, this was not continued.
Secondly, with Brexit on the horizon, some drivers have felt the European requirement would no longer imply, so have simply chosen not to spend the money on sufficient training.
However, these excuses will just not cut it. If they do not complete the training, come October, it will be illegal for them to continue working as a driver.
They could face a fine of £1000, or worse still lose their job. As a result, businesses will suffer, with a significantly reduced workforce.
To combat this problem, Encore offers free training to drivers under its Approved Driver Scheme, and to date has invested £14,000 in ensuring 250 of its drivers complete their 35 hours of DCPC training.
The £400 cost to complete 35 hours of training can be a hindrance to some. So by offering free training, Encore is helping drivers and businesses benefit, without being out of pocket.
Through this support, our clients will see better worker retention and a high level of quality drivers through their doors.
However, as the evidence would suggest, the lack of drivers completing their DCPC training is an industry-wide problem, so it is not only our drivers who need support.
We also provide training for the drivers of our clients across the Midlands, including workers at a national supermarket chain; giving drivers easy access to training in a professional environment.
But as the deadline looms, the number of people looking for training is increasing – and it will soon become a case of first come, first served as we can’t facilitate everyone.
Moving forward, businesses can support their own drivers by advising them how to complete the qualification, and they can work with expert agencies like Encore Personnel to gain advice and support where needed.
However, it is ultimately the driver’s responsibility to ensure they are taking every action required.
It is important drivers make a note of the deadline and take every opportunity to find training near them.
They can also find out how many hours they have completed by visiting: www.gov.uk/check-your-driver- cpc-periodic-training-hours