I'm a big fan of Driver CPC, and here's why.
If the mandatory requirement for periodic training didn't exist, how much would companies really invest in the professional development of their truck or bus driver? Would the subjects be performance-related rather than safety? Would it constitute a chat at the end of debrief? Would it be recorded somewhere?
In some cases, yes. In most cases, probably not.
And yet, the legal framework is a double-edged sword. By making it mandatory and the UK choosing the 'free market with no exam' option, periodic training has become hugely commercial.
Sometimes it's a race to the bottom for training providers; a 30 quid special for 7 hours. Apathy can be evidenced by the fact that they know there's a constant supply of customers who need 5 days' training every 5 years, with no real demand to provide a different method or experience; just another topic ticked off the mandatory list.
For truck and bus firms there's a provider down the road who can deliver what's needed, and it's easy to go back each year rather than look for something new, so there's less pressure on the training company to find new business.
In my opinion this is why we're stuck in the central reservation of learning rather than aiming for the horizon.
We rarely think about the impact on the driver. They're told to attend a course because they have to, which is usually held in a classroom with the all-conquering PowerPoint presentation the centre of attention.
If you speak to the average driver about their experience they'll probably tell you that the subjects are nothing new, they enjoyed the interaction with other drivers, they learnt one or two new things but at the end of the day it got the job done. If you ask them how much they remember about the course, it's usually very little.
So, course recall is poor and habits don't change. They get back to the day job and just wait until next year when they're called up to do another 7 hours.
What if the approach was different? Asking drivers what they need. Using different tools for the learning experience. Less PowerPoint. Less classroom. More focus on the structure of the session. Less focus on numbers through the door. Immersive experiences. Practical demonstrations. Shorter 3.5 hour blocks rather than a marathon 7 hours. Follow up, weeks or months later, to find out how drivers have used what they learnt.
If this was the approach then drivers would be likely to remember more about the course and apply what they've learnt in their daily activity. They become better drivers who are more aware of hazards, defensive technique, risks and standards. This means less risk to other road users, higher standards of road safety and improved performance.
But perhaps most importantly, drivers will feel empowered, engaged and more valued because the company they work for invested in their development rather than just ticked a box on the to-do list. Considering the current UK driver crisis, it's perhaps time for a reset on how we do Driver CPC.
With our new immersive Driver CPC consortium (https://www.transformotion.co.uk/next-gen-driver-cpc) we want to help providers achieve change, and to reinforce the connection between high quality safety training and safer roads we're delighted to support the aims of Safe Roads for All (https://www.saferoadsforall.org/) which is a collaboration by leading UK road safety and mobility experts and organisations.
Safe Roads for All calls for UK Government to direct a Safe and Healthy Mobility Strategy and Action Plan for Roads, 2021-30, to deliver safety, health, sustainability and prosperity for people, the economy, the nation and the planet.
It proposes a Government leadership structure, headlining a safety performance framework and prioritising actions that will progress the UK towards the ultimate goals of zero deaths and catastrophic injuries from road crashes, zero air pollution from road transport, and net zero carbon.
If you also want to see continous improvement when it comes to road safety, I urge you to support the aims of Safe Roads for All and join the Alliance - https://www.saferoadsforall.org/join