Driver Career Path Discussions – Joint Statement On Selection Criteria For LGV Training
Branches will be aware that discussions with Royal Mail Logistics on the concept of a Driver Career Path were launched as part of the Agenda for Growth and Programme of Works process. These discussions have gathered pace in recent months with the creation of a Joint Working Group which includes PEC members, Divisional and Area Representatives.
Given the demographic profile of the current Professional Driver Grades, the business may soon face very real resourcing issues. In January 2015, 53% of Royal Mail Professional Drivers were above the age of 50 with 10% over the age of 60 and 26 drivers over the age of 65. With more than half of all drivers within 15 years of normal retirement age the potential for significant resourcing problems is clear unless steps are taken to change the profile and bridge the looming skills gap. Additionally, less than 3% of all Professional Drivers are female, which raises some concerns around the gender balance, even though the Royal Mail figure exceeds the industry average.
Analysis of the immediate resourcing requirements revealed a number of remaining LGV C&E vacancies in Network, unfilled following the recruitment process launched in September 2014. In addition a number of Network VOC’s experienced severe difficulties in securing agency resource during the peak period last year. As such discussions have centred on creating in house training opportunities with the aim of enabling our members to progress to Professional Driver roles through the attainment of vocational licences.
Against this backdrop the department therefore made representations that the business should launch a training programme to fill this current outstanding requirement. This has now been agreed and the business has secured funding for training of up to 55 LGV C&E Drivers nationally. These training places will be targeted to meet current resourcing requirements.
Training opportunities will be launched this week and applications will be invited from staff across Royal Mail Group including Parcelforce. The process etc is detailed in the attached Joint Statement.
The selection criteria is broadly based on that contained in the Professional Drivers Agreement (PDA) although we have been successful in achieving what we see as significant improvements both in regard to clarity and in removing potential barriers. In that regard branches will note that.
We have removed the reference to accident/speeding/tachograph offence history from the first bullet point under the selection process criteria
We have stipulated and clarified the definition of good Conduct and Attendance and also created a backstop position where any exclusion can be challenged where it would lead to external resourcing
We have also re-established seniority as a tie break criteria
The selection criteria establish that priority will be given to interested individuals who require the least training both in regard to licence achievement and Driver CPC. It is also recognised that the exercise may pick up some licence holders who did not apply for the previous recruitment exercise.
Applications for all interested parties will be through the Success Factor web page. Success Factors can be accessed via the following URL from any computer:
Please use the following details the first time you logon. The details can be found on your payslip:
• User name = your employee number e.g. 10999549
• Password = your National Insurance number without any dashes or spaces. The first two letters should be upper case, and the last, lower case e.g. AB123456c
When you first log on, please enter your personal email address in your profile, under ‘My Employee File’.
This training exercise is the first in a number of ongoing initiatives under discussion and branches will be updated accordingly as these talks develop.
Branches and representatives are requested to ensure that the content of this LTB and the attached National Agreement are given the widest publicity and brought to the immediate attention of all CWU members.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to: Terry Pullinger, Assistant Secretary, e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference number: 211.07.
Joint Statement between Royal Mail Logistics and the CWU on Driver Career Path Next Steps and Training Selection Principles
Royal Mail Logistics and the Communications Workers Union are working together to create a more sustainable workforce across the Regional and National Logistics Professional Driving Functions. Following the creation of our Driver Career Path Working Group (DCPWG) joint analysis of the age demographics and gender balance of our current Professional Driver workforce, wider industry trends and the evolving requirements of the business has been completed. We have now committed to a range of initiatives designed to establish Driver Career Path opportunities across Royal Mail Group.
Building on our Joint Statement from the 4th of September 2014 and our successful first phase of work on driver resourcing we have a joint aspiration to create a sustainable professional driver career path balanced against business resourcing needs. Our recent Driver Resourcing Campaign identified an appetite from employees to obtain the relevant C+E license that is required in National Logistics (Network). It is also jointly recognised that both within Royal Mail and in the wider transport industry there is a shortage of vocational license holders available to become professional drivers. The wider industry shortage increasingly has an impact on the supply chain for external agency resource and at times of peak it is difficult to meet the demand in the network for qualified professional drivers.
Against this backdrop, Royal Mail and the CWU are working together to design a career path into the Professional Driving Function. Our Joint Working Group (JWG) which consists of both National and Regional Representatives has been in the process of reviewing data and scoping options.
The Professional Drivers Agreement (PDA) recognises that investment in driving training is a significant cost to the business and that it is essential we ensure that it achieves the best return on investment. Therefore our second phase of activity on driver sustainability will be to offer training places for C+E licence acquisition at the locations shown below. The total number of training places to be offered for this phase of activity will be circa 55 and these will be split across the following locations in line with the resourcing need.
SDC VOC, NDC VOC
NWDC and Warrington VOCs
PRDC VOC SWDC VOC
HWDC VOC Southampton VOC
SE VOC Exeter VOC
The above locations offer a good geographical split and are also balanced against the business resourcing needs. Both parties agree that training plans have a clear link to meeting future job requirements and structured manpower planning in our Vehicle Operating Centres.
It is also our longer term aim to create a pool of professional drivers who at peak operational times can be deployed on a temporary basis to National Logistics. Key to the successful deployment of this initiative will be the creation of a pool of MGV C licence holders who can be deployed in regional Logistics on the same basis.
To support this aspiration both parties recognise that across the business we may have a pool of non-driving vocational licence holders who have not attained the mandatory Driver CPC accreditation (Driver Qualification Card – DQC). We accept that the attainment of a CPC qualification should not be a barrier to progression and as such we will also review any current C+E Licence holders who no longer hold Driver CPC (DQC) and where there is a business need offer CPC/refresher training.
As permanent roles become available these will be offered to fully trained people in line with the principles in the PDA.
The PDA recognises that past experience identifies that individuals pass their relevant tests and subsequently drive more safely if they have gained experience of larger vehicles on a progressive basis. This will be taken into account when selecting people for training. Initially the intention will be to select those interested individuals who require the minimum amount of training to meet the full C+E standard. However, both parties are aware that in some instances previous training programs relating to MGV/C1 requirements have involved training to C licence standard. In units where this applies the DCPWG will review these criteria to ensure that any training program does not disadvantage experienced applicants.
Selection Process Criteria:
No current record on an individual’s licence of dangerous driving or drink or drug related driving offences.
Less than 6 points on driving licence.
Good conduct and attendance record, in accordance with Royal Mail Group policy (Conduct at Category 2 level or 2nd Stage Attendance Warning). Where the exclusion of an internal candidate on the grounds of Conduct or attendance would otherwise trigger external recruitment, the case will be referred to the National parties for review.
Tie Break. Where two or more individuals are considered suitable for a lesser number of vacancies we will revert to Resourcing Area (see below) and Length of Service in line with the Way Forward Agreement.
1. A reasonable travel distance of the resourcing unit; reasonable is normally considered to be within one hour.
2. Outside the resourcing area other national people from anywhere in RMG.
3. Requests for Transfer by individuals with Special Circumstances will be considered jointly and prioritised on a case by case basis.
Applications for Training Places
At the point people are selected for training, they will be required to sign a Training Agreement and will be signing up to the terms in Section 9 of the PDA, including Appendix 4 (Contract for Acceptance of Driver Training).
Driver Training – extract from the PDA
Both parties wish the professional Driver duties to be viewed as desirable roles within the business and Royal Mail is committed to providing driver training for internal applicants to ensure a robust resourcing process and adequate reserves are available. Investment in driving training is however a significant cost to the business and it is essential we ensure that it achieves the best return.
Therefore the following extracts from the PDA will apply:
9.1 Previous agreements committed to ensure that all employees across the Royal Mail Group would be able to maintain and update their existing skills and that they should be afforded the opportunity to develop new skills based on personal ambitions and aspirations. Those agreements clearly recognised the jobs such as LGV driving required skills that individuals could well aspire to.
9.4 Training and development waiting lists of interested employees, training programmes, reserve drivers lists, actual LGV drivers available. The criteria for embarking on the professional driver career path will be as detailed below:
9.5 Past experience identifies that individuals pass their relevant tests and subsequently drive more safely if they have gained experience of larger vehicles on a progressive basis (i.e. car, van, 7.5 tonne or 17 tonne, articulated lorry). This and the resourcing criteria will be taken into account when selecting people for training.
9.6 Candidates will also be required to sign a Training Agreement which will agree to the following (see Appendix 4, PDA)
• Business funding will be provided for one attempt at the relevant licence.
• Failure at the first attempt will result in the candidate being offered a second attempt which Royal Mail will half fund (one further period of training and test) with the driver funding the remaining sum.
• Where a driver successfully passes at the second attempt the money will be reimbursed in full.
• No business funding will be made available for a third attempt.
• Where a candidate still wishes to have a third attempt they will be allowed to do so if they fund it themselves.
• Exceptionally at the sole discretion of Royal Mail, where a further independent assessment indicates that only a minimal amount of further training would result in a pass at the third attempt, Royal Mail may agree to fund this.
• Individuals would be required to accept when they pass the first role offered to them at a location within a reasonable distance of their home, irrespective of the working hours.
9.7 Employees failing to obtain the C+E licence will if appropriate revert to their original Unit.
9.9 If the individual leaves the business (by their own choice) within two years of passing a test that was funded by the business they will be required to repay the cost of their training on the following sliding scale:
• 0 to 6 months 100 per cent of cost
• 7 to 12 months 75 per cent of cost
• 13 to 18 months 50 per cent of cost
• 19 to 24 months 25 per cent of cost
Post Test Induction Training
Royal Mail Logistics and the CWU recognise that the successful achievement of a C+E Licence does not in itself fully prepare an applicant for a role as a Professional Driver. In recognition of this fact both parties are fully committed to reviewing current practice and establishing a robust Post Test Induction training and familiarisation program on all aspects of the Professional Driver role, utilising Advanced Driver Coaches. This program will provide all successful applicants with peer to peer coaching allowing them to gain skill and confidence thereby ensuring that they are fully equipped and able to perform the Professional Driver role.
Both parties recognise the need for on-going discussions on the Driver Career Path and to also consider the diversity of our professional driver’s workforce. Therefore, we will continue to review and develop the process as we continue with our JWG discussions.
Further information will be cascaded through LTBs and RMG communications channels.
Any issues of interpretation of this Driver Career Path Next Steps and Training Selection Principles Joint Statement should be referred to the National parties for resolution.
Royal Mail Logistics
Date: 22 May 2015