Changes to regulations based on the review/consultation about amendments to Driver CPC

The main changes are:

  • Drivers should complete 7 hours of training a year.
  • They should not repeat the same course unless there is a specific need.
  • If DVSA believe a training provider knowingly allowed a driver to repeat courses, they may revoke the driver’s periodic training hours, or their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DQC) card.
  • Courses can include a maximum of 2 hours e-learning per 7-hour course for drivers to complete prior to attending the classroom or during the classroom sessions, where the other five hours will be delivered.
  • Drivers can now also undergo training based on other transport-related EU Directives that does not hold specific approval as a Driver CPC course.
  • This may include training on the transport of dangerous goods (ADR training taken under Directive 2008/68/EC) and other training yet to be confirmed.
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Traffic commissioners publish 2019-20 annual report

The Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain have published their annual report for 2019-20.

In the report, the commissioners:

  • outline the approach they have taken to assist operators during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
  • provide an update on progress against their strategic targets
  • report on their observations from the past year of regulating the road transport industries
  • give their thanks to critical workers in the road transport industries, OTC staff, and DVSA staff for their hard work during the pandemic

Read the traffic commissioners’ annual report for 2019-20

Response to the COVID-19 pandemic

A large part of the report is dedicated to the flexible and pragmatic measures put in place to support and regulate the road transport industries during this difficult period. The report recognises our reliance on safe and reliable transport during the lock down period and the efforts of operators, transport managers, drivers and OTC staff.

The topics covered in this section include:

  • a change in regulatory approach proportionate to the circumstances of the pandemic
  • issuing practical advice for operators
  • helping to ensure vehicle safety during lockdown
  • working out a way of carrying out compliance checks
  • working to introduce virtual training and remote audits
  • supporting bus operations

Statistics for the year

The report contains the Office of the Traffic Commissioner’s stats for 2019-20. This covers both its licensing and regulatory functions.

Some of the key stats for the year are:

  • 11,803 operator licence applications and variations processed
  • 15,640 local bus registrations processed
  • 1,541 public inquiries
  • 318 preliminary hearings
  • 17,937 driver conduct cases closed

Read ‘Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain publish 2019-20 annual report

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End to maintenance schedule relaxations in latest COVID-19 advice update

The traffic commissioners (TCs) have announced an end to maintenance inspection interval relaxations from 1 September 2020. This is covered in the latest updated to their advice for operators during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The traffic commissioners had agreed a risk-based approach during the COVID-19 pandemic where operators unable to access maintenance facilities could extend the usual maintenance intervals for their vehicles. As restrictions begin to lift, the commissioners have taken the decision to end this policy.

The update issued on 30 July 2020 also covers:

  • an extension of temporary local bus service processes until 4 January 2021
  • an increase in the notice period for service variations for Local Authorities from 24 hours to 72 hours in England and Scotland
  • amending a registered local bus service to become a school or works bus service
  • the use of additional vehicles on services

Read more about the latest updated to the traffic commissioners’ COVID-19 advice for operators

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DVSA plans for heavy vehicle testing

Heavy vehicle testing restarted at Authorised Testing Facilities (ATFs) on 04 July 2020.
As you know, we’ve been issuing certificates of temporary exemption (CTEs) to vehicles and trailers due for test.
We’re now able to confirm our longer-term plans to help manage testing demand:
Exemptions will be in use until March 2021
3-month exemptions will continue for all vehicles and trailers that have not already received one
12-month exemptions will be introduced for certain operators, vehicles and trailers

Issuing further exemptions
Vehicles and trailers due for test up to March 2021 will get a 3-month exemption if they have not already received one.
But certain vehicles and trailers due for test up to March 2021 will get longer exemptions.

What is the criteria?
Fleets which are considered to be safer will get 12-month exemptions.
Newer vehicles and trailers, Earned Recognition operators and those demonstrating a higher level of compliance generally have the lowest test failure rates.

Exemption status
Eligibility
12-month exemption
Either:
Earned Recognition operator (whole fleet)
Operator in green OCRS roadworthiness band with 50 or more roadworthiness events and a calculated roadworthiness base score of 1.3 or lower on 27 July 2020
Vehicle or trailer up to 2 years old
3-month exemption
Not previously had an exemption and not eligible for a 12-month exemption (see above)
 
How will this work?
All exemptions will be applied automatically.

3-month exemptions will apply from the original test date. For example, a vehicle with a test originally due in September 2020 will be moved to December 2020.

12-month exemptions will also apply from the original test date. For example, a vehicle with a test originally due in March 2020 which got an exemption to September 2020 will be moved to March 2021.

For Public Service Vehicles (PSVs), the exact date of expiry will be retained. So, if the vehicle is due for test on 15 September 2020 and gets a 3-month exemption, it will move to 15 December 2020.

Operators of dangerous goods vehicles who are getting an exemption for the first time should complete the application for an ADR annual inspection waiver to keep their inspection date in line with the new test date.
Further information will be provided directly to dangerous goods operators.

12-month exemptions – eligible operators

Longer exemptions will only be applied to vehicles and trailers specified on operator licences.

All eligible operators should ensure their vehicle lists on Vehicle Operator Licensing (VOL) are up to date by 21 August 2020. Trailer data can alternatively be provided in an Excel file. We will provide details to operators on how to do this for trailers.

Operators with a green OCRS roadworthiness score can find out if they will qualify for a 12-month exemption by asking for a copy of their OCRS report covering the 3 year period to 27 July 2020.

12-month exemptions – eligible vehicles

Longer exemptions will be applied to vehicles and trailers which are up to 2 years old. This will not be linked to OCRS score or operator licence status.

If an exemption has already been issued to the vehicle or trailer, the test date will be made up to 12 months.

This will retain the test date and month of the original test prior to any exemption being issued.

When will exemptions be applied?
We will begin to apply 3-month exemptions immediately.
12-month exemptions will be processed from 24 August 2020 and we will start with vehicles and trailers which are due in for test in August 2020 (those with 3-month exemptions issued in May 2020).

Some PSVs will not get longer exemptions prior to their August 2020 test expiry date because the individual expiry date is before 24 August 2020.
You can use MOT test history to confirm vehicle test expiry dates.

You should continue to manage the regular maintenance and inspection schedule for your vehicles and trailers during the exemption period. This is a legal requirement under your operator’s licence.

What advice have we given to ATFs?
We’ve given ATFs guidance on the vehicle tests they should prioritise. The highest priority are those vehicles and trailers which legally need a test.

So, we’ve asked ATFs to prioritise:
Vehicles/trailers legally due a test within a month
Vehicles/trailers going on international journeys
Dangerous goods vehicles
Specialist vehicle types (eg. refuse vehicles, gritters)
Prohibition clearances

If you will now benefit from longer exemptions and have tests booked in the next few months, we would like you to reschedule those appointments to create space for vehicles which will legally require a test.

What if my exemption is expiring and I cannot get a test?
It’s important that vehicles and trailers are only presented when tests are due. 

We’ll be making more testing staff available to ATFs at short notice. So, it’s worth checking availability several times with a range of ATFs.

If you’ve taken all reasonable steps to find an appointment and you are unable to secure a test, you’ll be able to notify us. We’ll provide more information about this shortly.
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