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LETTERS to Fleet News’ acting editor Steve Moody.

Driver training: get it right

SIR – As another fleet driver training provider, AcciDON’T was horrified to read the statistics presented by Drive & Survive relating to ‘wasted money’ from its customer survey.

  For 16% of sessions to be aborted due to the car having illegal tyres was astonishing: full marks to the trainers for spotting the defect before the driving session commenced, and I am sure that all approved fleet trainers carry out a full vehicle check at the start of any training session. 

The surprising part is that a customer has commenced a training programme before an effective fleet policy is being applied and monitored. It is essential that the training only provides the customer with a small part of the overall risk management programme and to have this many problems and cancellations for the various reasons given shows that a ‘working’ policy is not in place. It is down to the training provider to ensure that all elements are in place so that the customer is not allowed to ‘waste’ the training budget.

Furthermore, I am surprised that any customer is prepared to pay out for a 40% ‘no show’ rate.

All training providers suffer from cancellations where the candidates ‘failed to turn up’ but we addressed this problem by investing in a sophisticated online booking system that automatically generates reminders by email and/or text message to participants and line managers as the session draws near. This system, along with promoting an effective buy-in from all levels of the customers staff provide a very low percentage of ‘no shows’ at less than 5%.

Customers should spend time with the training provider account manager prior to training, making sure that an effective policy is not only in place but is working. Cancelled sessions could be robbing a driver of life-saving help, and putting the management in a poor position within the realms of duty of care. In our experience, the training is so well valued by the participants that we have seen an increase in demand for family members paying for their own training.

Pete Williamson AcciDON’T, Leicester

Wasted cash down to management failings

Sir – I read with interest the statistics quoted by a driver training company (‘Fleet training cash waste highlighted’ – Fleet News, September 29).

Apart from the trainee not turning up, all the other issues highlighted are systematic of management failings and suggest that the organisations involved should be looking at all their work-related road risk policies and procedures to ensure issues such as drivers with defective eyesight, defective vehicles and incorrect licences or insurance do not occur. We do carry out in-vehicle training where a specific need is identified from a risk assessment, but our main focus is helping our customers get the necessary management systems in place to create an environment in which people can drive safely.

Where we do carry out training we too check vehicle safety, eyesight, driving licence and insurance (especially important for drivers of privately-owned vehicles).

In the last two years, less than 0.5% of training courses have had to be cancelled due to one of the above issues. This is indicative of our customers’ commitment to work-related road safety. In all instances where courses have had to be stopped for one of these reasons, our customers have taken this very seriously and thoroughly investigated the reasons why it happened.

Andy Phillips Applied Driving Techniques

Easy solution on licence checking

SIR – In response to the article ‘Cheating drivers using fake licences’ (Fleet News, July 28), there is a very easy solution to this, which I use in the event a user cannot supply their licence when we require it to be seen.

Ensure you have a copy on file, either scanned in or a paper copy, to compare with if necessary. Call DVLA on 0870 240 0009, with the person concerned with you to be able to agree to DVLA giving their details to you.

Ask DVLA for the version number of the licence to see if it has changed from the last one or is perhaps different to the one being submitted to you at that time. Check the points and right to drive the appropriate vehicle. If there is any discrepancy, then the person concerned can be asked to explain and dealt with appropriately if required.

Brian Steer Compuware

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