The Vehicle Drivers (Certificates of Professional Competence) Regulations 2007 are the legislation that enacts a directive laid down by the European Union which requires member states to set out in law the need for drivers of Goods Vehicles and Passenger Carrying Vehicles to have more training and qualifications than just a valid driving licence to carry out their role. This will enable all drivers throughout the EU to be of a similar standard in knowledge and skill.
The Directive applies to drivers who drive vehicles in the categories C1, C1+E, C, C+E, D1, D1+E, D, D+E. The Directive affects drivers of D1, D1+E, D and D+E from the 10th September 2008. The effect for trucks is delayed until 10th September 2009.
There are at present seven exemptions from the directive, which are:
(a) Vehicles with a maximum authorised speed not exceeding 45 km/h;
(b) vehicles used by, or under the control of, the armed forces, civil defence, the fire service and forces responsible for maintaining public order;
(c) Vehicles undergoing road tests for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes, or of new or rebuilt vehicles which have not yet been put into service;
(d) Vehicles used in states of emergency or assigned to rescue missions;
(e) Vehicles used in the course of driving lessons for any person wishing to obtain a driving licence or a CPC, as provided for in Article 6 and Article 8(1);
(f) Vehicles used for non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods, for personal use;
(g) Vehicles carrying material or equipment to be used by the driver in the course of his or her work, provided that driving the vehicle is not the driver’s principal activity.
The directive requires that the training is provided to a set and that training shall be delivered by approved training bodies. The approval of training bodies is being managed by the Driving Standards Agency.
The minimum training requirements for new drivers is 280 hours of training, which must include at least 20 hours driving in the vehicle category they are intending to drive. At the end of the training the driver is required to undertake either a written or oral test. The theory test must last a minimum of four hours.
The minimum training requirement for existing drivers is 35 hours over a five year period, commencing 10th September 2008 for classes D1, D1+E, D, D+E and commencing 10th September 2009 for classes C1, C1+E, C, C+E. It is recommended that drivers undergo 7 hours of training every year; this will allow the training periods to be managed more effectively. This annual course must be of no less than 7 hours in length.
Trainers must conduct identity checks of the drivers attending the course. They must also issue each driver with a receipt confirming their attendance on the course.
There is also a requirement for trainers to obtain feedback from both the drivers and employers.
So if you use minibuses or buses you will need to amend your recruitment policies and contact a training provider to allow you to legally operate your vehicles. You will also need to check whether your employees are qualified to drive your vehicles, which will involve more than just a driving licence check.
If you would like any assistance with this we are always happy to offer our advice or training. In fact we are happy to announce that European Driver Training Limited will be delivering the training to our clients.
Fleet Risk Consultants