|Thanks to Bruce Swain for the photo from his archive!|
Well yes, it is of value. Whilst the arrival of another piece of Brussels obligation is always tiresome and potentially costly this one has galvanised the bus and coach industry into action. Because whilst we often think of ourselves as communicative with our employees the truth is that bus companies typically spend 80% of their time dealing with the 20% of staff who appear to be failing and very little time with the rest. We also often rather assume our staff know what we know, whereas in fact they only know what we tell them.
So the Driver CPC has presented us with an obligation which we have all too frequently forgotten in the past. Just once a year, one measly day for just a few hours we take our hard-working, downtrodden and often abused staff out of the fire of daily bus (or coach) operation and have them together in small groups to discuss issues, receive feedback and sharpen up their skills and knowledge.
Put that way it sounds like we should be doing it much more often!
In fact, until dCPC arrived, it was entirely possible that a driver could pass his PCV test aged 18 and carry on regardless until 27 years later when he would, by law, have to submit to his first ever intervention by the state - his obligatory PCV medical examination. During that time no obligation to invest in his skills at all.
The one day session has to comply with certain requirements but generally operators are free to 'open the door' to safe and efficient driving, the environment, road skills, customer service and so on.
And the scheme is flexible enough to change the rate of training. We have been able to slow it down a little during times of staff shortage or other priorities and can speed it up similarly.
At First we've taken bus drivers UNDERNEATH a bus for the first time. Some had no idea how vulnerable some of the components were and what really happened when you turned the steering wheel or applied the brakes. Most said they were amazed what went on down there.
So, as you have gathered, the Driver CPC is bringing a welcome new understanding to our hard-worked bus (and coach) drivers and I hope everyone is now seeing the benefits.
And a hark back to much older training times - my old Obsolete Fleet Training Bus T2, in service 1981-3. It was a properly converted Bristol FLF with the front staircase removed and a tricky and temperamental manual gearbox!