TRAFFIC COMMISSIONERS REITERATE THE IMPORTANCE OF DRIVER MANAGEMENT
In their 2018-19 Annual Report, the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain highlighted the importance of managing professional drivers. Driver management can be a challenging job, but that's no excuse for non-compliance.
Operators must take the duty of making diligent checks seriously. This includes regularly examining a driver’s licence, ensuring that the driver has a valid in-date driver's digicard and ensuring their drivers' CPC qualifications are current .
You must not leave this responsibility to the drivers. These checks are particularly important at the start of a period of employment and are equally applicable to agency drivers.
DO THE INITIAL CHECKS
One issue highlighted in the annual report is that some operators do not even undertake an initial driver's licence check. They instead assume that previous experience means they have the right licence and training.
It is vital that the necessary checks are made upfront to ensure complaint operations, failing to do this is dangerous and neglectful.
When it comes to training, it is also your responsibility, as an operator, to ensure your drivers meet the required standards. The consequences of not doing so can be severe.
THE DRIVER FILE
Every driver on your books should have an individual "driver's file" containing:
• proof of regular online driving licence, CPC and digicard checks
• training records
• working time directive reports and any opt-out
• tachograph infringement reports
• driver assessments
• disciplinary records
• any other certificates or licences, such as ADR or DBS
You can check a driver's licence for points and penalties and check a driver has the correct training and licence to drive a bus, coach or lorry.
This guidance on using or employing drivers may also contain useful information for you.
EMPLOYING OR USING DRIVERS
If you employ or give work to drivers, you must check that they have the correct licence and training to drive goods or PSV vehicles.
Professional HGV and PSV drivers need to hold a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC).
If you employ or give work to foreign drivers, you should make sure they understand the rules for driving in the UK. The Highways Agency has produced guides for foreign HGV drivers in 6 languages.
As yet there does not appear to be the same guides specifically for PSV, but many of the practices in the guides can be used.