Call for remote Driver CPC to continue after lockdown ends

Delivering Driver CPC remotely should remain an option alongside classroom delivery once lockdown has ended, a training body has said.

The RTITB undertook research with Driver CPC instructors who have delivered remote Periodic Driver CPC, and found that the majority feel this training method could have a place in the long-term.

During lockdown, members of the RTITB Master Driver CPC Consortium were approved by DVSA to deliver Driver CPC Periodic Training via web conference for groups of up to 12 Drivers.  RTITB surveyed some of these organisations, who had collectively delivered remote Driver CPC training to 685 Drivers between 1 April and 1 June.

 “The majority feel that going forward, remote delivery of DCPC should be an option alongside classroom delivery, to enable customers to choose the route they prefer,” said Laura Nelson, RTITB’s managing director. “Lots of instructors have been positive about delivering remote Driver CPC and say that it should have a place in the long-term as it seems to improve driver engagement.”.

Several benefits of remotely delivered Driver CPC were cited by instructors. For instance, it removed the need for drivers and instructors to travel to a particular venue to receive/deliver the training. Not only does this have environmental benefits, it can also shorten what can be a long working day, especially when it is a seven-hour course. The majority of training (73%) delivered was seven-hour courses to groups of six to 10 drivers.

In addition, delivering Driver CPC remotely reduced the cost and environmental impact of using printed training materials, especially as instructors found that the majority of existing topics were entirely suitable for remote delivery. Indeed, 70% of respondents stated that they did not have to change anything in order to deliver the course remotely.

Drivers also reported that the remote course was enjoyable and productive. Meanwhile, 75% of instructors said that they didn’t have a problem engaging drivers and found them more relaxed in a remote setting, and therefore more likely to interact and engage with the course.

Many instructors used interactive elements such as quizzes (90%), group discussions (90%) and videos or presentations (27%). 

“One objection we’ve heard a lot when discussing remote Driver CPC courses – which we’ve been considering for some time prior to lockdown – is that the technology would be a problem,” added Nelson. “However, although it was the first time that many drivers had participated in training using web conferencing, there were very few technical or connection issues.

“Instructors found that video calling tools met their needs, and technical hitches were overcome by providing drivers with log-in guidance and practice runs before the course. However, some older drivers, with less general experience of smartphones and apps, did say that that they still preferred a classroom course environment.”

Popular course topics for remote delivery for both PCV and LGV Drivers included; Operational Compliance, Safe & Economic Driving Theory,  Health and Safety Emergency Actions, Drivers’ Hours, Emergency Actions,  Professional Driver Health and Safety,  Eco-Driving,  Mental Health, Haulage Operations (compliance and enforcement), On the Road, Load Safety, The Professional Driver and Tachographs.

“Some organisations had concerns about verifying identity on remote courses, but the Instructors did not find this an issue,” said Nelson. “In-house Instructors know the drivers and have licence information on file making it simple to verify their identity, while training providers made licence checks in advance and asked drivers to show their license to the camera each training day.

“Overall, the environmental and economic benefits of remote Driver CPC training were seen as significant and could be especially game-changing for drivers and employers located in geographically remote areas. At the moment, there is still too much uncertainty post Covid-19 to predict what will happen next around training, but remote courses should certainly be a consideration as transport trainers adapt to the ‘new normal’.”

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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