22/06/2012 - CPC Driver training success for Bakers Coaches
Having obtained his PSV driving license, James Edwards is now qualified to operate one of the Bakers Coaches ‘Bakerbus’ service vehicles, which covers the ‘Silk’ route between Macclesfield and Stockport.
James’ is the latest rookie to qualify after passing out from the Bakers Coaches in-house driver training programme.
Greater investment has been made in the training school in light of new legislation implementing far more stringent standards for driving to improve road safety. Now anyone who drives a vehicle with more than nine passenger seats must hold a Certificate of Professional Competence.
Unlike the basic driving license the CPC stipulates that all newly qualified drivers must gain their initial CPC (to enable them to drive commercially) which involves passing two tests over and above the usual theory and driving tests. Periodic CPC training must be undertaken by all qualified drivers which involves 35 hours of “face to face” training every five years.
“There is more to it than just steering and Highway Code,” explains Geoff Barker, a former driving instructor, who is now responsible for running the recruitment assessments and induction as well as on-going driver training at Bakers Coaches.
“Drivers need to be aware of working time directives, drivers’ hours, tachograph rules and health and safety of passengers - and that includes first aid and emergency procedures.”
“For public service vehicles, we are concerned with defensive driving techniques and in particular a comfortable ride for passengers. Good driving style will also ensure good fuel economy and less wear and tear on the vehicles, which should help to minimise operating costs.”
In addition to training its own staff, Bakers Coaches is also providing training for private individuals who want to obtain PSV driving licenses. Successes include a newly appointed director of a rival coach firm who came to Bakers to help him pass the test. Bakers is also registered with the Department for Work and Pensions and the Ministry of Defence as an approved service provider, supporting resettlement and occupational training.