Friday, December 5, 2014

Driver CPC Standard of Excellence Backed by Multimodal Freight Forwarders and Logistics Trainers

As Formal Instruction Takes a More Important Role So Standards Must Rise Accordingly says SfL
Shipping News Feature

UK – Skills for Logistics (SfL), which is designed to direct more and better people into employment in the transport and supply chain fields, has come up with a way to hopefully raise the standard of training for those chosen to instruct HGV drivers in their Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) courses. Two companies which are amongst the first to receive the endorsement are freight forwarder and road multimodal transport group Norbert Dentressangle and training provider, AIM Commercial Services.

The Standard’s aim is to recognise and celebrate providers who consistently deliver high quality training and provide a mechanism to help employers locate and access excellent training provision. It has been developed by Skills for Logistics following extensive consultation with key logistics employers. They identified five key metrics based on high quality training and business benefit: trainer quality; course preparation and delivery; learning resources and environment; pre-and post-training delivery and a commitment to excellence.

Supply chain management specialist Norbert Dentressangle employs 14,700 staff, has 195 sites covering 3,500,000 square metres and operates 1,700 vehicles in the UK, so training to a good standard right across the workforce is essential. The company’s training operation has been JAUPT accredited since 2010 with all of its training programmes delivered in house and, with drivers across the length and breadth of the UK, it uses facilities at the company’s different sites.

The major logistics operator employs about 2,500 drivers within the area of responsibility of Eddie Simcox, National Operations Training Manager at Norbert Dentressangle Logistics, who is tasked with delivering Driver CPC to all his drivers. Simcox commented:

“We have more stringent criteria than the standard. We bespoke our training to the needs of our business, so rather than take an ‘off-the-shelf’ training package, we engage with our transport managers across the business and with our compliance managers to understand the root of any issues that we may have. We then provide the training to ensure that we can tackle those areas.

“It is important to us to get external recognition of the quality of our training. Any feedback that we get from our drivers will not be independent. We want external verification of what we do for feedback on whether our training is good, bad, indifferent or excellent. We are, of course, audited by JAUPT to ensure that we meet the Driver CPC standards set out by the EU. The focus of the JAUPT audit, however, is on compliance with requirements rather than whether or not our training is delivered to an excellent quality.

“[The Standard of Excellence] was a straight forward process. The auditors simply arrived at one of our courses to carry out the audit. We will use the endorsement to differentiate ourselves from other third party logistics providers [and as] we provide in-house training, so we do not require the endorsement to generate more revenue from a training perspective.”

AIM Commercial Services is based in Ripley, Derbyshire and offers a range of services in addition to driver CPC training including tachograph analysis, digital tachograph training, compliance systems and procurement audits and dangerous goods safety advice. Allison Kemp, Managing Director of AIM and a third generation Class One driver, started the business just over 10 years ago when she was first asked to analyse tachographs. When Driver CPC was introduced, many of Allison’s existing customers asked if AIM could provide the training. She said:

“We were approved by JAUPT as a Driver CPC training centre quite early on and started delivering our Driver CPC training in 2009 to a company that has returned on the same day annually for the last five years. Companies ask us why we are up to £35 more expensive than another nearby trainers. I play an active role in the transport sector, chairing the Freight Transport Association’s East Midlands Freight Council and a representative at the FTA’s National Council. The huge amount of effort we put into Driver CPC via meetings on subjects such as vulnerable road users and sleep apnoea with organisations including the FTA, RHA and DVSA means that we are as up to date as possible.

“Our customers like the fact that we are ‘on the ball’. I believe the Standard of Excellence can give Driver CPC a good name [and] is a great idea. The Standard is not issued to anybody and everybody. There are still trainers out there delivering whatever they want to deliver but AIM can now show that we are not only working to Driver CPC legislative standards but we have gone one step further. I would encourage others to apply. Depending on what you do with it, the Standard of Excellence can offer a massive marketing opportunity.”