The Benefits of Driver Assessment – Putting the Pieces Together.

For LGV and PCV drivers, the Certificate of Professional Competence requires drivers to do 35 hours training every 5 years. Taking CPC as an example why not have ongoing assessments for all drivers?

Assessing drivers abilities and attitudes to driving can be of significant help to the employee and employer. The qualities of a good driver are derived by attitude, skills and knowledge. Using data to evaluate the driver profile identifies the areas where training and education is required. When all qualities fit together there can be some interesting cost benefits.

Attitudes and Risk Awareness

Employers are encouraged to assess and evaluate their employees understanding of risk awareness, behaviours and attitudes to driving that is expected when performing any work related driving duties. Internal and external courses can be undertaken to find out what each employee’s requirements are, whether it be online psychometric tests or other methods, types of behaviour and attitude can provide useful driver profiles in order to determine what additional training is needed. It has been said that personality and character play a huge role in the ongoing development of a driver’s attitude. Instilling the concept of a calmness combined with a discernment of other road users can impart patience and a willingness to learn from mistakes made not just by the driver but also mistakes made by others. This development of attitude and risk awareness is the foundation that can be built upon by honing practical skills and experience.

Practical Skills and Experience

Minimising driving risks can be experienced by additional practical driver training and ongoing experience. Assessing the practical skills and experience can be determined by qualified instructors or by data such as excessive fuel consumption, brake and tyre wear, the number of accidents or endorsements. Driving any vehicle is enhanced by knowing the capabilities of the vehicle, by knowing and experiencing the vehicle’s weight and braking performance, turning capabilities, length, height and width, especially where LGV and PCV vehicles are concerned. Courses on defensive driving techniques and how to anticipate potential hazards focuses upon the reduction of hazards and risk. Advanced driver training encourages safer and more efficient driving performance.

Theory and Legislation

It is absolutely necessary to ensure that all employees understand the theory and legal requirements for driving any type of vehicle. Even if part of a policy or procedure, ongoing and updated education with regards to the rules of the road and the legal obligations can bring risk reduction and cost effectiveness. Having to replace a driver who has exceeded the number of endorsement points impacts upon time, cost and reputation. Taking pre-emptive action to re-direct a driver from risk will pay dividends not only for the employee but for the employer as well.

The obvious health and safety benefits are saved lives, reduced injuries and a reduction of driver stress. The surprising by-products although less obvious can be saved time, expense and cost to the business or organisation. Better driving reduces fuel consumption, increases the longevity of a vehicle’s consumables such as brakes, tyres and clutches and improves the vehicle’s residual values. Having a driver assessment policy in place and all of the supporting requirements for training and education will pay for itself and be a positive beneficial contribution to the public the employee and the employer.

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