Driver Competence November 2022

UK's first eMixer

Many of you would have seen the news of the UK’s first eMixer, recently launched at Renault Trucks UK and developed by McPhee Mixers and featuring their new ‘Edge’ branding and the rebranding from their parent company TVS Interfleet. 

From a MinTrain™ side, we’ve been part of these exciting new developments, with the eMixer coming with our MixerSURE© training and SVCA© (Site Vehicle Competence Assessment) as standard.
As the only training and assessment for mixer drivers accredited and recognised by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency), it demonstrates a new level of commitment from McPhee and TVS Interfleet to making the industry safer and more efficient. 

It’s great to see that the manufacturers, the bodybuilders, and the regulators, recognise the benefits of our offerings, but what about the industry and their customers? 

Over the last two years, and since gaining accreditation from EMPI Awards (an industry-recognised awarding body), CLOCS (Construction Logistics & Community Safety), and now the DVSA. We find that people still wrongly believe that the previous industry scheme for drivers is the only card scheme available. Things have moved on and now there is a genuine choice available. And this is one that demonstrates competence, which no other scheme can claim.

In recent meetings, it’s clear this has created a lot of confusion around training and competence.
This probably comes from the fact that previously, a “Driver Skills Card” was the only scheme that “demonstrates competence.”

So, why is there so much confusion? The following might clear some of that up.

In a previously recorded webinar from MPQC (Minerals Product Qualifications Council) explaining their MP Connect Card, a factually incorrect statement was featured at the beginning of the webinar, which has caused much confusion from many not aware of all the facts. 

Verbatim, the statement in question is:
“The MP Connect will supersede the Driver Skills Card, so every driver within our industry has to do the Site Safety Awareness & Behaviours Qualification to be able to drive within our industry.
It used to be called the Driver Skills Card, but the MP Connect Card is going to supersede that, and that’s the card they’ll receive when they do the training.”

Neither the MP Connect Card nor the Site Safety Awareness is a ‘qualification’, they are driver CPC courses covering safety awareness across the different vehicle types used in our sector and are not a demonstration of competence.

Another misleading factor was the past name; how can drivers develop skills in a classroom or on Zoom?
Skills are practical. 

It is also misleading to other organisations and industries to specify that “ALL drivers operating in our sector must hold this “qualification”, enabling them to drive “within our industry”.
This has created the assumption that the card demonstrates competence for each vehicle type driven and operated, confusing many from outside and within our industry to accept the card as a demonstration of competence. 

For those who’ve looked further into having competent drivers delivering to their sites, the following “official statement” might help clarify.

“All drivers delivering for an MPA member require a DSC (MPQC or other industry-recognised schemes) and must carry this with them and will be asked to provide proof.”… not the definition we mentioned earlier.

So, the MPA fully accepts that there are ‘other industry recognised schemes’ not just the MPQC scheme and that their members will accept them, we are that other industry recognised scheme AND it demonstrates competence as well. No other scheme offers this.

Currently, the only requirement for drivers in our sector is a valid driving licence covering the category of vehicle being driven and an in-date Driver Qualification Card (CPC Card).
Any other driver requirement will depend on their employed or contracted company. Still, the fundamental requirement is to ensure that any driver is competent to drive and operate this specialist vehicle. 

Offering industry-specific courses and vehicle-specific competence assessments that are not only recognised but also accepted and accredited by the regulators should tell you all you need to know. 

However, companies, operators, and drivers must ensure that they choose the correct course or assessment that suits their needs and have accurate information that is factually correct.

Now that you’ve got that information, it’s up to you what you do with it. 


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