Let me know how this strikes you:
A recent survey uncovered that 76% of HGV drivers have not completed 35 hours of Driver CPC in the run-up to the 2019 deadline.
The research disclosed something else, too. 49% of lorry drivers remain at least 14 hours short of their total.
What's more, the study, conducted by Fleet Source, revealed some surprising industry opinions regarding the CPC.
Contrary to popular belief, drivers were not as dismissive of single-day. classroom-based training as many of us assumed.
In fact, 40% of respondents preferred this method to:
- Toolbox talks,
- Online training, and
- Half-day courses.
Despite the mixed feelings around the CPC, 52% of those questioned said they were in favour of training. Education, they asserted, made them better professionals.
Similarly, over half of respondents said they'd welcome the introduction of new courses.
The CPC: it's not going away
Nick Caesari, Fleet Source M.D., commented on the findings. He said:
"Commercial drivers are required to do 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to keep their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
"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.”
83% of the drivers surveyed had been in the profession for a decade or more.
As for the most important training topic, 'Vehicle Road Worthiness' got the majority vote. Conversely, however, the most attended course was 'Vulnerable Road Users'. In fact, a huge 96% of respondents said they were concerned about how their vehicles interact with pedestrians and cyclists.
Caesari highlighted the growing danger posed by vulnerable road users, and the necessity of training drivers to mitigate potential hazards. He said:
“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.
"There are various training courses that can help with this and also count towards drivers’ required CPC hours."
Worryingly, the survey also found that HGV drivers are often shaky when it comes to recognising authorities. A mere 11% admitted to being able to correctly spot undercover police identifiers. This is especially concerning, given the recent news of the expansion of the police's unmarked fleet of supercabs.
As for recognising highway officers, only 28% of drivers claimed they could do so confidently.
Caesari called for more industry training to ensure drivers are able to properly identify those who pull them over. The Fleet Source M.D. summarized by saying:
"The research suggests that more can be done to support and protect commercial drivers...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."
If 2014 taught us anything, it's that dealing with the CPC situation at the last minute is not good for anyone - particularly drivers who are sitting on each other's laps in overcrowded (and potentially makeshift) training rooms.
Don't worry, for our part - all our rooms our properly-appointed, and will never be filled beyond legal capacity, no matter how many are queuing up at the door.
Of course, it behoves the modern professional trucker to undertake his due diligence. You want to get as much information as possible before you pull the trigger. So, here's a solid place to start: