Research and analysis

Driver CPC periodic training: quality assurance and compliance for 2014 to 2015

Published 18 February 2016

1. About the audit programme

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT) carry out audit visits of training centres and courses that are approved for Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) periodic training.

2. Types of audit

There are 3 types of audit visit:

  • JAUPT centre audit
  • DVSA centre audit
  • Driver CPC course audit

2.1 JAUPT centre audit

This is a visit to the approved training centre to make sure that policies and procedures match those stated in the centre’s application.

Each approved training centre now has a mandatory audit visit within the first year of its approval.

2.2 DVSA centre audit

This visit is conducted following a referral from JAUPT about operational failings or as part of an investigation into a complaint.

This visit to the approved training centre gives DVSA the opportunity to:

  • make sure policies and procedures match those stated in the centre’s application
  • inspect training records and to check them against periodic training hours uploaded onto the recording and evidencing database

2.3 Driver CPC course audit

This visit is to a course audits to confirm that the mandatory requirements are being followed and to observe the quality of the course.

DVSA course audits generally focus on failings identified at a prior JAUPT audit or to investigate complaints from the public. These ‘top level’ visits are designed to counter alleged malpractices.

Following course audits all findings are reported back to the centre with recommendations for them to take corrective action where identified.

3. Aims of the programme

The aims of the audit programme are to:

  • promote consistency
  • raise standards
  • make sure compliance in operational procedures and course delivery through the:
    • promotion of best practice and improved procedures
    • identification and resolution of issues with individual Driver CPC periodic training providers

The audit programme supports Driver CPC regulations by:

  • deterring short delivery (less than 7 hours)
  • revoking non-compliant periodic training hours from a driver’s record
  • identifying potential fraud

4. Outcomes in 2014 to 2015

JAUPT carried out 347 centre audits and 1,087 course audits. Where serious non-compliance was identified the case was referred to DVSA.

During 2014 to 2015 DVSA conducted 113 audits. These were targeted as a result of referrals from JAUPT or complaints received directly from members of the public. Of these:

  • 46% focused on course duration
  • 39% had issues with incomplete course registration forms
  • 32% had inadequate controls in place for consortia members
  • 38% of centres visited had poor controls over system access to the recording and evidencing database

4.1 Learning points for course providers

Course providers should:

  • have a trainer register to record the courses trainers are qualified to deliver
  • consider introducing a CPD programme for trainers and regularly conduct quality control checks on trainer performance
  • manage course delivery to make sure the course is delivered as approved
  • make sure trainers are familiar with the course layout and keep the course plan to hand
  • keep original course attendance sheets securely or convert them to electronic format
  • notify JAUPT of training schedules and changes to primary and responsible contacts
  • have a register of persons authorised to upload periodic training to the recording and evidencing database which includes their:
    • name
    • signature
    • authorisation date
    • de-registration date

Passwords for the recording and evidencing database must not be shared.

4.2 Other common issues identified through centre and course visits

Other issues found were:

  • failure to set course aims and objectives
  • inadequate internal quality control of trainers
  • trainers failed to identify trainees needs before periodic training has started
  • failure to record timings of actual course start, finish and break times on the attendance/registration record form

4.3 Outcomes identified by DVSA’s compliance team

Loss of Centre Approval

During the year DVSA:

  • revoked one centre’s approval
  • suspended one centre’s approval
  • were informed that three training centres dismissed trainers found to be falsifying attendance registers or not complying with the minimum 7 hour course duration
  • were informed that one training centre decided to cease trading as a direct result of findings identified

Where DVSA identified non-compliance it resulted in:

  • 269 drivers having training hours revoked
  • 68 drivers having training hours blocked
  • 17 centres having to offer re-training to the drivers affected

Non-compliance identified by DVSA found:

  • trainers uploading periodic training hours for themselves in the belief that delivering the course constituted legitimate periodic training
  • that the course delivered didn’t reflect the approved course layout or syllabus
  • periodic training hours were uploaded for drivers who didn’t attend the course
  • periodic training hours were blocked where the auditor identified short delivery

These outcomes have significant repercussions for training centres as they must resolve the situation with the drivers who attended the course. This might include redelivering the training and paying compensation.

5. Important themes and achievements

The important themes and achievements for 2014 to 2015 were that:

  • driver CPC training is generally of a good standard and within the syllabus
  • the majority of approved periodic training centres are compliant with regard to their administrative arrangements
  • when challenged by DVSA about weaknesses identified in their processes and procedures, or the delivery of periodic training courses, centres have generally responded positively
  • improvements have been made to identity/licence checks and more centres have provided comprehensive attendance records
  • the ‘fair processing’ notice is commonly outlined verbally to drivers before periodic training

Improvements have been observed in training environments and classroom layouts that are more conducive to effective learning.

The audit programme has effectively identified non-compliance. This has resulted in periodic training centres improving their standards and the quality of periodic training delivered.

Feedback from the majority of the providers visited by an auditor shows they value our structured approach and feedback.