The FTA has said plans to prevent drivers from completing the same Driver CPC module more than once during the same five-year period could limit their abilities to keep up with changes in legislation.
Under proposals put forward by the European Commission (EC), Driver CPC training would also be required to include at least one course on road safety, and have a strengthened focus on fuel efficient driving.
The EC’s proposal to amend the directive said: “The new wording ensures that the periodic training includes at least one subject on road safety and that the same subjects are not repeated within the same training. It also provides that the training is relevant for the work carried out by the specific driver and that it is up to date and relevant.”
The FTA expressed concern that specialised training in certain industries would not be recognised.
Chris Yarsley, FTA’s EU affairs manager, said: “An unintended consequence could be that a driver would undertake training that was less relevant to his or her role just to fulfil the statutory requirement. This would particularly apply to operators who carry dangerous goods or are involved in security work, where very specific training is required on a regular basis.”
However, the RHA's director of policy, Jack Semple, said ability for drivers to complete the same module multiple times under the current programme has "done so much to bring the Driver CPC into disrepute", and the proposed changes reflected much of what the association had been lobbying for.
He said drivers should be allowed to complete a course once more in order to reinforce core messages and cover any legislative changes that had been made.
"We are very aware that the issue is the quality of courses," Semple added. "Good courses are popular with both drivers and employers."
The FTA said the current format, which sees drivers complete training in seven-hour blocks, may not be the best method of learning for some individuals.Semple said that e-learning, suggested by the EC, may help improve the programme's flexibility.