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Are You Exempt From Driver CPC? If You Think so, Can You Prove it?

3rd December 2013

Many are now  aware of the requirement for ‘professional’ lorry drivers to hold (D)CPC or (Driver) Certificate of Professional Competence. The deadline for those holding acquired rights (i.e. already working as a professional driver) is September 2014 and those failing to comply by this date face hefty fines of up to £1k.

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There is a widely held belief amongst our clients and other construction industry associates that CPC is not required for those driving a delivery vehicle to a work site where the materials being carried are for their own use, or in other words, driving is not the main part of their job.

However, (and here is the bad news!) this is not always the case.

We asked Keith Squire, widely acknowledged road transport expert to explain more and this is what he said:

“The Police and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (replacing VOSA and DSA) have the power to stop a scaffolding lorry and check that it is safe for use on the road.

Contrary to popular belief, neither requires the other organisation to be present to do so therefore, the risk of being stopped is doubled, especially in cities and large town areas.

All drivers of scaffolding lorries have a legal obligation to ensure that their lorry is fit for the road, including the security of any load.

As with all jobs, training is of the utmost importance and driving is no different. Employers have an obligation to ensure that drivers are adequately trained in all aspects of their work, including security of loads and the equipment needed to achieve this.

Many drivers in the industry will now be required to complete the Drivers Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) however some may be exempt. Unfortunately, those that may be exempt could find that the rules are open to interpretation by the enforcement authorities and the onus to prove exemption falls on the driver.

For example, a Scaffolder who loads only his own vehicle and takes  materials and/or equipment to site and erects it then he is exempt. BUT if he loads a vehicle or ‘drops off’ materials to another site for another operative then he is not exempt. The penalty for the driver will be 6 points on his licence plus a fine of up to £1000. The operator may face a fine of up to £5000 PER INFRINGEMENT plus face the prospect of losing their operator’s licence! Therefore it is recommended that all drivers of scaffolding lorries receive training to obtain the DCPC.

There is a myriad of legislation and guidance applying to safety of loads on lorries however as far as scaffolding is concerned, you and your drivers need to be aware …if a driver or another person permits a driver to take a vehicle on the road, knowing (being a bit picky but it doesn’t matter if the driver or operator knows) that the load is unsafe, he or they are guilty of an offence.”

You may be pleased to know that training is available and in partnership with Keith Squire, Simian have scheduled CPC training, starting later this month at our Warrington Centre.

There are 5 modules to complete CPC and they are scheduled on: –

17 December 2013
11 February 2014
15 April 2014
17 June 2014
12 August 2014

An individual enrolling on the module starting later this month would beat the September 2014 deadline. The cost is per delegate per module and group bookings are available. To enquire about costs and availability, please contact jwood@simian-risk.com.

If you operate vehicles and are concerned about the implications for your business, please contact your Simian Account Manager who will be pleased to advise.