Transport and industry training specialist C&G Services has won Government approval to provide training under the new Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) scheme.
C&G Services (Europe) Ltd, based in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, is an industrial skills and health & safety training provider training more than 7000 people each year across the country in a comprehensive range of skills, from driving and mechanical handling to excavation and streetworks. C&G works with manufacturing, utilities and construction companies, setting up partnering schemes with the aim of designing and delivering specific training programmes for their equipment and their working environment.
The Driver CPC was introduced last September for passenger vehicles and comes into force this coming September 10 for goods vehicles. Designed to raise driving standards, it is administered by the Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT) and requires all new commercial drivers to pass 3½ hours of theory exams in two modules, plus a 90-minute practical test and a 30-minute assessment. Within five years they must then complete a minimum 35 hours of ‘periodic’ training, after which they will be entitled to a Driver Qualification Card.
Drivers who already hold a full licence will have what is known as ‘acquired rights’, which means they will be allowed to go on driving for now - but they too will have to complete the 35 hours of ‘periodic’ training within five years, or forfeit their licence. New LGV drivers applying for a licence after September 10 will not be able to take the wheel until they have completed the theory and practical tests in addition to obtaining the appropriate LGV licence.
The JAUPT inspector reported that C&G was running a “very high standard centre that should be approved without delay”. The company is now preparing to run the first courses.
C&G Managing Director Bob Oldmeadow fears that low awareness of the scheme among drivers may lead to some people being caught out by the new legislation. He said:
“If at September 10 you don’t already hold an LGV vocational licence, you will have to complete 5½ hours of tests before you can get a licence and drive professionally. This is likely to catch quite a few people unawares. We’re doing our best to let our clients and contacts in the industry know and arrange facilities to meet the demand.”