Fleet News

Fleet News Awards 2017: Most Innovative New Product or Service - Freight Transport Association

Freight Transport Association head of vans Mark Cartwright receives the award from Fleet News Buying Group operations director Jayne PettFTA’s Van Excellence Driver Certificate of Competence is the only nationally recognised driver qualification for van drivers. It was developed in partnership with a number of Van Excellence-accredited van fleet operators with two goals: to address work-related road risk and create a learning pathway for driver development.

By improving driver engagement the scheme can help fleets improve mpg, reduce collisions and improve retention.

The training is flexible and can be carried out by the FTA, by third party providers or in-house via a train-the-trainer programme. It covers eight topics: fitness to drive, pre-use inspections, legal and safe loading, the ambassadorial role of the driver, rules of the road, safe and green driving, other road users and breakdown and collision procedures.

Training materials are modular, enabling the course to be split over a number of sessions or delivered in a single day. Each part is designed to be 30 minutes to one hour in duration.

Once the training has been completed, drivers must sit a multiple-choice exam to pass. The award lasts for three years and drivers receive a certificate, qualification card and ‘Driver Ambassador’ pin badge.

So far more than 500 drivers have been trained and the FTA is confident a further 10,000 drivers could take the qualification in the next 12 months.

Early adopters include Network Rail, Balfour Beatty, AAH Pharmaceuticals, Bott, SG Gaming and Kelly Group who have committed to train more than 8,000 drivers between them.

The FTA says the training is closely aligned to its Van Excellence code of practice

Picture caption: Freight Transport Association head of vans Mark Cartwright receives the award from Fleet News Buying Group operations director Jayne Pett


  • Bulweria
  • Fleet Assist
  • Freight Transport Association
  • Paragus t/a CheckedSafe
  • VisionTrack

Highly commended

  • Fleet Assist

Judges’ comments

The FTA’s Van Excellence Driver Certificate of Competence puts a new twist on driver training. It gives van drivers    a professional qualification and recognises that driving is an at-work activity. Big name fleets are among the early adopters and the judges said the certificate will “raise standards” and has the potential to have “a significant impact”. 

Awards video


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