Watch out for this loophole when employing new LGV drivers

Don’t employ LGV drivers illegally – even diligent operators need to read this!

You may think that all your LGV drivers have the right type of licence, but if they passed their test since September 2009 they could be driving illegally – they may only hold a licence to drive in a non-commercial context.

With the advent of the driver CPC on 10th September 2009, two new requirements were introduced: the enhanced test and ongoing periodic training. The first of these requirements relates to enhanced test modules (modules 2 and 4 are the additional requirements – case studies and an additional practical test) and anyone who already held their licence on 10th September 2009 obtained this qualification by “grandfather rights”. There is therefore no need for existing drivers to take these extra test elements. However it IS necessary for all new drivers who have passed their test since that date to take these two additional modules if they want to drive commercially, and it is easy to check as those who have passed all 4 modules are immediately issued with a Driver Qualification Card (DQC) which they must carry with them at all times. There is a fixed penalty for a new driver without a Driver CPC and a likely £1,000 fine for the company, so it is important to get it right. Such drivers will also be ineligible to undertake Periodic Training.

Problems are arising however, as there is still widespread confusion over the driver CPC within the industry. One driver had taken his test in June 2009, failed it and simply re-booked the same test in January 2010, unaware that he now needed to do the two extra modules as he works as a commercial driver. The test centre and the training provider failed to advise him, and the issue was only picked up by his employer when the driver CPC periodic training started and he could not produce a DQC. He is no longer driving and the extra two extra modules were booked ASAP.

Other examples seen of this problem include training providers who simply do not wish to do the training, as it is new to them and quite difficult. They are putting people forward for LGV tests and not letting them know about the extra modules and the difference between commercial and non-commercial driving, to keep their pass rates high.

Please let others in your organisation know about this, and if any newly qualified drivers are working for you, or apply for a job, ask to see their DQC. If they only have a normal licence they will need to take the extra 2 modules before they can drive commercially.

In the subject of the second CPC requirement, Periodic Training, demand for this is starting to pick up now, with most training providers reporting a surge in bookings as the industry accepts it is not going away. This applies to all LGV drivers working commercially (even a supervisor/manager who only drives for the company occasionally). The first 35 hours (normally 5 days’ of 7 hours) of periodic training must be completed by 2014 for drivers who already had their licences in September 2009, unless they are due to retire from driving by then or will not work commercially after that date, and for newly qualified drivers the clock starts ticking from the date they pass their test. Driver Qualification Cards will be issued to all existing drivers once they compete their initial 35 hours of Periodic Training.

If you would like to book a course with Labyrinth, we currently offer two options: LGV Essentials and Health, Safety and Security. Saturday dates are available, our rates are competitive and we only use knowledgeable trainers. Please email ruthwaring@labyrinthsolutions.co.uk for more information.

TOP