Royal Mail Group – DCPC (Driver Certificate of Professional Competence) Classroom Training with Coronavirus/Covid 19 Risk Controls:
Following discussions between RMHQ and CWUHQ regarding DCPC classroom training, on the basis of the previously agreed ‘Covid-Secure’ – ‘Covid-Safe’ risk assessment and safe system of work control measures, the CWU/HQ Health, Safety & Environment Department is in support of the resumption of DCPC classroom training, following the Government announced new Covid-19 rules as part of the ‘roadmap out of lockdown’.
DCPC training and First Aid training courses were ceased when the country entered Lockdown 1 and when out of lockdown, were re-started because certain training is essential in respect of it being ‘legally required’ or ‘business critical’.
Working within Government, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and HSE guidance, strict health and safety ‘Covid-Secure/Covid-Safe’ controls were put in place to facilitate training to be delivered. However, the DCPC training was again postponed when the country re-entered Covid-19 Lockdown 3 for drivers other than those whose ‘Driver Qualification Card (DQC)’ was imminently due to expire in the next 3 months.
The suspension of business as usual DCPC training resulted in a considerable backlog being built up, with a number of CWU member drivers approaching a situation when their DCPC certification would expire with the result that they would no longer be able to drive and as such this would obviously, negatively impact on their jobs and for Royal Mail this would impact on driver resources and availability.
As the country is now on the Government’s staged roadmap out of lockdown, Royal Mail indicated its need and intention to re-start the full programme of DCPC training because of it being essential and ‘legally required’. As such, in addition to those drivers whose ‘Driver Qualification Cards (DQC)’ are soon to expire, drivers will be trained more in line with usual timescales from the 17th May. This will avoid any backlog and ensure a more timely and manageable system of important legally required, safety and professional competence training arrangements.
This Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) training is required in order for a driver to obtain a ‘driver qualification card’ or ‘ DQC ‘. LGV/PCV drivers must carry this card while driving a lorry, bus or coach professionally. Any drivers of lorries and vans over 3.5 tonnes, and passenger carrying vehicles which carry nine or more people, need a Drivers CPC qualification as well as their vocational drivers licence. Without it, they can’t legally drive the vehicle. Once DCPC qualified, drivers must do 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years in order to keep their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) and so be able to drive a lorry(LGV/HGV), bus or coach. If they don’t, then they cannot perform a professional LGV or PSV driver’s job.
Therefore, Royal Mail Group has agreed to expedite DCPC training in order to clear the backlog of this training, caused as a result of the impact of the Pandemic and suspension of DCPC courses, and in doing so ensure that CWU members who are LGV/HGV drivers affected by this, are able to continue their driving jobs.
Following discussions with Royal Mail, the following ‘Covid-Secure, Covid-Safe’ key training safety controls were agreed.
DCPC Training Key Covid-Safe Controls:
- Only 6 delegates maximum.
- All meeting rooms will have maximum occupancy for the room notified on the door.
- Room to be cleaned and sanitised before and after training.
- Room will receive a pre-start check for layout, cleanliness.
- Delegates on arrival before entering the room will be asked as a final check if they have any Covid symptoms or are feeling unwell.
- 2M minimum social distancing layout to be maintained.
- Adequate ventilation – no air-con or desk fans.
- Hand sanitiser, disinfectant wipes, gloves, masks, all to be available.
- Checklist to be issued to ADCs to ensure training room is sufficient.
- CWU ASR fully involved enabling pre-use health and safety inspection.
- Ensure Covid compliance standards are met, safe access/egress and floor markings.
- Only business-critical/legally required training is taking place.
- Unit Assessments already in place and site declared Covid-Secure.
- HR Services arrange in advance with the PiC that the room is suitable for the training and what the site COVID rules are.
- Rooms to be set up to ensure social distancing, floor markings, hand washing facilities etc.
- Number of delegates have been reduced.
- Training materials have been amended including section on Covid controls.
- Trainers to supervise and promote compliance to rules.
- Pre-course joining instructions to include requirement for delegates to inform ADC/HRS of any Covid symptoms or contacts with Covid symptoms.
- Delegates arriving from a different site are informed of the site rules and reminded not to attend if they have symptoms.
- Course intro will remind delegates to maintain social distancing, frequently sanitise and wash hands and PPE availability.
- Group work activities in the course will instead be completed in an alternative way.
Following conclusion of the health and safety consultation process, putting the above list of controls in place, it was concluded that those undertaking this training are at no greater risk than any other employees currently working for Royal Mail, undertaking other work and functions.
ASRs should take careful note of the above and should ensure that all ‘Covid-Secure’ health and safety controls are fully applied and complied with in relation to training taking place within their constituent area buildings and sites. ASRs should be informed if training courses are scheduled in their area.
In relation to the resumption of ‘In Cab Training’ of drivers – discussions are underway between RMG and CWU/HQ and will hopefully be shortly resolved. So long as adequate ‘Covid-Secure & Safe’ measures are in place, we are keen and supportive of seeing driver training resume for obvious driver and road safety reasons along with the necessity for Royal Mail Group to meet health and safety legal compliance requirements that place a duty on the employer to adequately safety train and inform the workforce.
Further updates and communications will follow.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer