Van Driver Passports Get Closer To Reality


Professional van drivers have long sought the creation of a driver passport that would establish a minimum training level for commercial van drivers. The passport would raise driving standards and allow professionals who have already achieved specific levels to bring their proof of competency with them when they move from one job to another. Now the idea is under serious consideration by a group of leading fleet operators and is being spear-headed by the Freight Transport Association.

The companies that are considering creating the passport include AAH Pharmaceuticals, Clancy Docwra, Speedy Hire, Balfour Beatty, Iron Mountain and Virgin Media. The group is in discussions with the Freight Transport Association to determine exactly how to administer the programme.

The basic idea is that the passport would require achievement of a specific minimum level of training. Once achieved, having the passport would allow drivers to move to new companies and have the need for re-testing waived. Industry-specific training would also be available for a different level of qualification, and individual companies could then create their own tiers related to customer service and a company’s individual culture.

According to Speedy Hire group fleet services manager Ian Leonard, “We’d like to see a recognized, portable qualification for van drivers. This would improve retention and also give drivers a qualification they could use within the industry, saving the sector time and money in re-training them.”

The hope is that there will be progress on the initiative over the next few months and a definite decision by the end of the year.