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Revival: the role of education
Objectives of the Institute
The objectives of the Institute are stated in our Constitution:
"The Institute is established for the purpose of promoting education ... and in particular education in the principles of transport administration and their application."
"The Institute shall formulate from time-to-time standards of knowledge, training, conduct and experience requisite to the proper administration, shall register and assist persons qualified to exercise such functions, and shall encourage, with particular regard to the requirements of orders in Council consequent upon Acts of Parliament, the maintenance of such standards by its members in the practice of their professional duties".
Key to the revival of the Institute is a return to these objectives.
Since the Institute discontinued its examinations in 1992, the only generally available level 3 qualification for transport operators and transport management personnel were the OCR
Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) or The Chartered Institute of Logistics Certificate, which gave exemption from the OCR CPC examination.
Over the years the skills in the transport industry have declined a great deal, this, in the main is due to the lack of training available. The Institute is now addressing this problem with the introduction of its Certificate in Transport Management in both road haulage and passenger transport operations. The Institute must provide and support training at all levels and across all modes and sectors of the transport industry. To do this it must utilise the expertise of members in developing training programmes.
OCR CPC Examinations
The change in OCR CPC examinations from simple multiple-choice exams to multiple-choice plus written case studies in 1999, intended to improve the level of training, has, in fact, deterred the majority of drivers from attempting further study.
Drivers are typically practical people who tend not to be academically inclined. Although their understanding of a subject may be good, they are typically reluctant writers and put off by concentrated theoretical courses followed by written examinations. This does not cool their ambitions to start businesses, but means they often rely on a family member getting a CPC to apply for an Operator's licence, although the CPC holder may not be involved in the day-to-day running of the firm.
A new concept in transport training
Success in a formal examination favours candidates with a good memory, and where examinations centre on case studies, knowing how to phrase answers to maximise marks. Neither of these skills is relevant to managing a transport operation.
The Institute’s newly developed level three Certificate in Transport Management in both road haulage and passenger transport operation, would exempt successful candidates from taking the OCR CPC examination, as the Institute's Graduate and Corporate Members examinations did in the past.
The Institute’s training programme is modular and competence based, candidates will be required to build a portfolio showing their progress. The modular programme enables candidates to progress at their own speed and to study taking into account their work and other commitments. Modules will be assessed by the training provider and verified by an Institute verifier. There will be a final timed assessment, which will be open book. Candidates will be given a case study up to three weeks prior to the assessment. They will be able to make notes relating to the case study and take these together with their portfolio and any other documents they consider helpful to the assessment. At the assessment they will be given a number of previously unseen questions relating to the case study and the programme.
The programme helps candidates to develop skills and the knowledge required in managing transport operations. This is a highly significant factor to encourage the take-up of training.
The programme does not follow traditional subjects based on purpose written training manuals. Candidates will be required to obtain information various sources including the internet, with the trainer adding context and building understanding of how the information relates to the running of a business.
There are implications for the skills required of training providers. Different abilities are needed; a training programme and qualification is to be developed by the Institute to ensure training providers have the skills suited to deliver the Institute's Certificate and other training programmes.
Integrated training programmes
The introduction of the compulsory level two EU Driver CPC has created a unique opportunity for the Institute to deliver training to benefit drivers. Some Driver CPC training courses (e.g. drivers' hours, health and safety, fuel economy) are directly relevant to a more stretching level three qualification, driver CPC could be a precursor to drivers progressing to additional or higher qualifications.
Many drivers progress to office positions, where their knowledge allows them to function, but their lack of training in the administration of transport, hinders them. There have been no courses available to help in their transition. The Institute is now developing a level two course to help overcome this problem. The Certificate in Transport Administration is a modular competence based programme. On completion of the programme the candidate should be able to deal efficiently and effectively with all normal transport administration functions. There are no formal examinations that may deter the driver from participating in the programme and acquiring additional skills.
Accreditation for Driver CPC
For training providers to offer training for the compulsory EU Driver CPC, they must register as a trainer with the Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT). Annually, they must also register each and every training programme they wish to offer, with JAUPT. This is expensive: £1,500 per trainer to register the firm (which covers a five-year period) and £36 per hour for each hour’s delivery of training material for approval. A full suite of training programmes may amount to 150 to 200 hours of training for approval, at an annual cost of £5,000 to £7,200.
Groups of training providers using the same material can register as a consortium, thereby allowing costs to be shared between the members of the group.
The Institute has registered as a consortium and is inviting training providers who are Institute members to join. This provides significant benefits and financial savings to training providers, it also supports good-quality, cost-effective training to the industry, and raises the profile of the Institute.
Quality control: accreditation of training providers
Essential to the success of the Certificate programme is control of the quality of training. Training providers must:
The Institute will accredit training providers who can demonstrate these qualifications. All accredited providers must also be active participants in the Institute's Continual Professional Development (CPD) programme.
To ensure the third criteria, the Institute will develop its own trainer the trainer qualification. This will be held by all IoTA-accredited trainers, including 'in-house' trainers working for larger employers. In the short term, until this is available, prospective training providers will be assessed by an Institute assessor or hold acceptable alternative qualifications.
An annual fee will be payable by providers to cover the costs of quality control.
Fleet Operators Accreditation Scheme
Fleet operators who employ best practice in their operations, and whose staff are qualified with, or engaged in, Institute training programmes will be invited to apply for accreditation with the Institute.
Their systems will be audited annually by an Institute assessor, and they will be encouraged to display the Institute logo prominently on all vehicles in their fleet. Accredited Fleet Operator status will entitle the operator to discounts on training programmes.
In time, other services will be accredited (e.g. trade suppliers) and similar discounts would also apply. The overall objective is to ensure that, by ensuring best practice is adopted and all staff are competent, accredited fleet operators should never appear before a Traffic Commissioner for disciplinary reasons.
Structured training embracing the CPD concept
The Institute will offer a directed Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme to support diversification of skills, operations and activities within companies, and to keep personnel at all levels abreast of developments as they occur.
These training modules will be examination-free to encourage participation, and foster the spread of skills by active involvement of members in all relevant fields. This mutual support will strengthen the skill base of industry and promote the ‘Member Assist’ concept that has the potential to offer a unique value to membership of the Institute.
The Institute is developing links with the Taxi and Private Hire industry with a view to accrediting training course being developed by industry training providers.
A Diploma in Transport Management will be developed shortly. This will be a modular programme and include a project together with a project report.
Contacts with other types of training providers
The Institute will consider joint projects with other organisations and commercial companies that have an impact on the transport industry. Such projects will raise the Institutes public profile.
In the longer term, the Institute will accredit vocational driving schools (LGV and PCV driver training schools), and later schools of motoring, and offer training and presentations to colleges and secondary schools. This will help to bring to the attention of new drivers the dangers of commercial vehicles, and the difficulties and needs of large vehicle drivers. This will benefit new driver training and road safety in the UK.
Teaching materials for secondary schools and information packs for career advisers will be developed to show young people the career potential of the industry. To the extent it is possible (allowing for safety requirements) young people and new drivers should get the opportunity to experience travel in a modern goods vehicle to understand the concerns of drivers and operators. Co-operation with Accredited Fleet Operators could make this possible.
European Partnerships and Support Services
The Institute will explore links with counterparts in other European countries to develop similar training arrangements and mutual support for members working outside of their home country.
In the not to distant future it is envisaged that additional services will be contracted covering legal advice, health and safety services, tax and accounts, personnel management and employment practice, environmental protection and any other areas identified by members as beneficial to operators and professionals engaged in the industry.