December 2023

What difference does Driver CPC make?

It’s now well over a decade since compulsory Driver CPC training was introduced in the UK for vocational drivers. Training for drivers of passenger carrying vehicles (PCV) came first in 2008 and the following year saw those behind the wheel of a large goods vehicle included in the scheme. So, has the Driver CPC really made a difference?

The Driver CPC was introduced with a number of aims which broadly seek to make driving for a living a safer, more cost-effective activity and acknowledge the need for specialist knowledge to achieve this.

Better vehicle use

From the rules of the road to good practice for loading understanding how to get the best out your vehicle should extend its useful life. The Driver CPC picks up on quite a number of different training requirements in this, but correct vehicle loading stands out and with good reason. Loads falling from vehicles after shifting in transit is one of the key hazards associated with the industry as identified by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It can result in injuries and deaths not only of other workers in the sector by also members of the public. A driver who is properly trained in all aspects of their work is a safer driver even when they’re not behind the wheel.

Reduction of accidents

Nobody wants more accidents! A decrease in accidents potentially means fewer injuries, a reduction in traffic delays due to road or lane closures and a corresponding drop in business interruptions.

Road deaths began to reduce from 2008. They dropped from 3136 in 2007 to 1713 in 2013. However, one in three accidents on the road involves someone who is driving for work so ongoing action to change this can make a difference. The other benefit of reducing the number of accidents is the impact on insurance. Fewer accidents mean less claims are made, and the premiums are lower.

Reduction in the fuel consumption

The price of fuel is always a talking point and as it’s a significant overhead being able to reduce your use can make a difference. Putting into practice eco driving techniques such as route optimisation, good vehicle maintenance and smooth driving as exactly what you might expect a professional driver to be knowledgeable about in both theory and practice. Smarter driving also reduces carbon emissions.

Becoming professional

The introduction of the Driver CPC made coach, bus and lorry drivers into professionals. It’s taken the skills and knowledge that drivers had previously had to gather through informal means and given it a more formal acknowledgement. Feedback from training sessions of any kind often includes comments that it’s great to meet others in the same area of work, discuss common issues and share solutions. Regular attendance of training courses provides a space for these discussions and helps to build professional networks.

As with other professions, such as teaching, accountancy of practicing law, drivers acknowledge the need to adhere to high standards and to continue developing throughout your career. Even in the past few years there have been a number of changes to legislations and technology that they need to be aware of.

And whether it is to reduce accidents, on or off the road, improve fuel economy or to keep the driver legal, this training now gives the driver the information they need. A driver has many responsibilities and the more informed they are the better they can perform their work, protect the operator’s licence and keep themselves and other road users safe.

Check out our Driver CPC training courses here.

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