Driver CPC can now be bypassed

Professional drivers wanting to make a return to the industry can bypass Driver CPC training and sit part of the initial qualification instead in an effort to solve the driver shortage.

It means that drivers with acquired rights who did not complete their 35 hours periodic training by September 2014
can now sit modules two and four of the initial qualification and gain their driver qualification card (DQC).

In an email to one driver trainer, the DVSA said: “Since the acquired rights deadline has passed the DVSA has received requests from members of the public who wish to return to vocational driving, asking how they can obtain a DQC.

“The DVSA has considered these requests in the context of the government’s desire to support driver recruitment and reduce the potential burden to the industry and has decided that they will now allow drivers with a full licence to gain their first DQC via either periodic training or completion of modules two and four.”

The change in policy has received a mixed response from the industry.

Alec Horner, chief executive of the Association of Trainers, said he was baffled about why the change “dripped out” via a truck drivers’ forum and then onto social media, but he added that it was a “positive move”.

“It’s trying to get people back into the industry. But some trainers may see it as a threat to their short term business if they’re offering the 35 hours,” Horner added.

However, he warned: “It’s not the gift horse it seems; module 2 has a 43% pass rate. The other issue is that with module 4 you need a vehicle.”

Driver CPC trainer Sean Barlow described the DVSA’s decision as “a bit of a stab in the back” for drivers who completed their 35 hours training by the deadline: “I am very disappointed. They set this thing up badly in the first instance. It’s another thing that they have done after the doors have been closed.”

In response, the DVSA told CM that following adoption of the practice for bus drivers, after talks begun in 2013, it had now decided to provide the flexibility to professional truck drivers.

“We are offering more flexibility for bus and lorry drivers who are returning to the industry, by giving them the option of sitting the Driver CPC initial qualification tests in order to get their first Driver CPC qualification.

“After qualifying, all drivers must complete 35 hours of training within five years to maintain their qualification and continue driving professionally,” a spokesman said.

March LCV values up 1.5% on February

Average values for light commercial vehicles rose in March, to £5,616, a rise of £84 (1.5%) compared to February, according to the BCA.

Fleet and lease values improved for the second month running, the organisation said, while part-exchange values declined marginally.  Year-on-year, average values were up by £59 (1.0%) compared to March 2014, although performance against CAP declined by two and a half points over the year.

Age and mileage continue to decline, with the average van being two months younger and 1,600 miles less travelled when sold in 2015. Values for fleet and lease LCVs averaged £6,609 in March - a rise of £76 (1.1%) compared with February’s figure. CAP performance improved slightly to 101.1% and retained value against Manufacturer Recommended Price improved to 36.14%.

Year-on-year, values were down by £440 (6.2%). Part-exchange LCV values declined for the fourth month running, falling by just £22 (0.6%). CAP average comparisons were static at 103.8%, and continue to outperform the fleet & lease sector by some margin.  

Year-on-year values were behind for the third month running, declining by £190 or 5.1%, with the average van being four months older and a mileage around 3,000 higher.  CAP performance was down, year-on-year. Nearly-new LCV values averaged £12,688 in March - a fall of £924 compared to February, with CAP comparisons improving to 97.51%. 

Duncan Ward, BCA’s head of commercial vehicles said this has to be taken in the context of the very low volumes reaching the market and the model mix factor.  He added:  “We continue to see rising volumes of poor condition or similar model vans reaching the used market, which is creating some pressure on average values. We have been predicting a tipping point in used values for some time and both fleet/lease and dealer part-exchange vans averaged lower values in March 2015 than a year ago.”