COVID 19 – RESUMPTION OF CLASSROOM BASED, DRIVER CPC TRAINING
Branches will recall that Royal Mail suspended classroom based Driver CPC training in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This cessation was facilitated by a Department for Transport (DoT) and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) action to suspend enforcement arrangements for all Drivers whose Driver Qualification Card (DQC) expired during the period from 1st March 2020 until 31st September 2020, allowing them to continue driving. This information was circulated to Branches in LTB 167/20 on 1st April 2020.
There was some conjecture over whether this dispensation would be extended and further clarification was issued indicating that all Drivers whose DQC expired between 1st March and 31st August 2020 would have their entitlement extended by 7 months, i.e. a driver whose card expired on 1st June 2020 would have until 1st January 2021 to complete training.
However, in June 2020 the original dispensation relating to September 2020 was in fact rescinded by the DoT on the basis that in their view there were sufficient CPC training classes available to ensure that training commitments could be met. Drivers with cards expiring from the end of August are now required to complete training and are subject to enforcement action. Failure to complete training removes the entitlement to drive and could lead to fines of £1000.
The phasing of CPC training in Royal Mail has meant that very few Drivers DQC’s were due to expire during this period, however RMG have been monitoring the situation and believe that it is now imperative that Driver CPC training recommences if they are to avoid DQC’s expiring.
Extensive discussions have therefore been taking place between the business and the CWU Health and Safety Department on arrangements to allow classroom training to recommence in a safe manner and SSOW and safety compliance documentation has now been agreed. Classes will be restricted to a maximum of six attendees and full social distancing arrangements will be in place at all times. For the avoidance of doubt, following consultation with the Health and Safety department we can confirm that in line with the generic RMG policy the wearing of Face Coverings will be mandatory in the classroom.
All documentation and agreed processes will be shared in advance with the Advanced Driver Coaches (ADC’s) to ensure that the approach is deployed consistently.
The resumption of training will prioritise any drivers whose cards have expired or that are due to expire soon, following which BAU courses will continue to catch all DQC’s that have not been carried out since March this year.
The departments believe that all necessary actions have been taken to enable training to resume in a Covid safe environment. In these circumstances and against the very real threat that our Professional Driver members could start to lose their entitlement to drive, the department has agreed to support the recommencement of classroom training from Monday, 16th November 2020. It has been agreed to jointly review progress two weeks after the recommencement of DCPC training to check on the process and to ensure that the arrangements are working.
Attached for the information of Branches are the SSOW and Safety Documents relating to the classroom activity and the latest Gov UK advice on Enforcement.
Branches and Representatives are asked to ensure that the content of this LTB is brought to the attention of our Network and Distribution Professional Driver members.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: email@example.com quoting reference 502.02.