Driver training companies have denied claims that the fleet training sector is about to go into “meltdown”.
Graham Hurdle, managing director of online training provider E-Training World, said that the sector will not be able to cope if more fleets demand practical training, blaming a shortage of instructors.
“We are on the verge of the biggest surge in activity the driver training sector has ever seen,” he said.
“There will simply not be enough trainers to deliver the required volumes across the car and commercial vehicle sectors.”
Mr Hurdle said that this overload would be the result of fleet operators rushing to comply with duty of care obligations following the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter Act.
His warning is based on anecdotal evidence.
But companies providing on-the-road training said there is no basis to Mr Hurdle’s claims.
“There’s nothing to suggest that the driving sector is on the verge of meltdown and RoSPA has not experienced any problems coping with demand,” said Kevin Clinton, head of Road Safety at RoSPA.
“The Corporate Manslaughter Act and duty of care obligations are about much more than driver training.
"They’re about how employers manage their staff.”
His views were echoed by David Richards, marketing director at driver training school DriveTech.
He said that demand for training is growing but fleet managers, far from panicking and jamming the market, are already well aware of their responsibilities.
“The impact of the Corporate Manslaughter legislation has been on the fleet manager’s agenda for some time now,” said Mr Richards.
“That’s why we don’t believe there will be a sudden surge in demand.”
Saul Jeavons, director of risk management consultancy, The Transafe Network, agrees, reminding fleet operators that as long as risk assessments are carried out and acted upon they have little to fear from the Act.
“Ultimately what the Corporate Manslaughter Act requires is that companies can demonstrate the assessment and effective management of risk.
"That may require on-road training, it may require computer based training, or it may require no training at all – every case is different," he said.