FTA, the business group representing the logistics industry, has reacted positively to the changes to the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) by government. As James Firth, FTA’s Head of Road Freight Regulation says, it is now important that any changes made to the laws governing what is already a highly regulated industry should acknowledge that no two drivers are the same, and provide capacity for tailoring training to meet individuals’ needs:

“During the negotiating process, FTA ensured that any changes did not make the DCPC overly prescriptive,” he said, “and we are pleased that the ability to identify what training a professional commercial vehicle driver needs remains with industry – be that employer or driver themselves – rather than with politicians.”

The changes to the certification, which cover amendments to minimum qualifications, training standards and the delivery of periodic training, as well as exemptions for drivers in specific industries came into force in the UK on 22 July 2020. The new directive has not imposed training rigidly – as it was feared it might – but now emphasises the importance of adapting and tailoring training to the individual’s own role, including relevant legal and technological developments, and remedial training as appropriate – mirroring the way the Directive has historically been implemented in the UK.

The most noticeable change will be the inclusion of a new flexibility around e-learning. Courses will be able to be designed to allow delegates to take up to two hours of a seven-hour course as e-learning content the day before a classroom session.

“This is the biggest change in delivery of Driver CPC since its inception in 2008,” continues Firth. “We will see how the training industry takes the option up, but we are pleased to see DVSA is looking for new ways of allowing delivery within the constraints of the Directive.

FTA has stressed that the term “e-learning” should not be confused with “distance learning” or “remote learning” which has been deployed as part of the emergency response to the Coronavirus outbreak. DVSA has indicated that it will next examine the continued use of distance learning in Driver CPC in September.