Remote DCPC ‘should have a place in the long term’

Driver CPC (DCPC) training via remote means should have a place in the long term, according to a survey by RTITB of organisations that delivered courses online between 1 April and 1 June.

“The majority feel that going forward, remote delivery of DCPC should be an option alongside classroom delivery to enable customers to choose the route they prefer,” says RTITB Managing Director Laura Nelson.

DVSA temporarily allowed DCPC training to be handled remotely to take account of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the RTITB Master Driver CPC consortium were approved to deliver training via web conference. RTITB has since surveyed some of those organisations.

Instructors reported that they did not find issues with verifying participants’ identities when holding remote courses. “In-house instructors know their drivers and have licence information on file, making it simple to verify their identity. Training providers made licence checks in advance and asked drivers to show their licence to the camera each training day,” adds Ms Nelson.

Regarding course quality, it has been suggested that if remote DCPC delivery is to become a permanent option then training modules should be reviewed to facilitate maximum effectiveness. The need to develop specific criteria for remote delivery was also raised.

73% of the training delivered remotely by those organisations surveyed was in seven-hour blocks to groups of six to 10 drivers.

Instructors reported that drivers – all of whom had previously taken part in classroom DCPC courses – found the remote courses enjoyable and productive. 75% of instructors had no problem engaging with drivers. They utilised interactive elements such as quizzes (90%), group discussions (90%) and videos or presentations (27%).

Overall, instructors found that drivers were more relaxed and thus more likely to interact and engage with the course. They reported few technical or connection issues. However, some older drivers said that they still preferred a classroom environment.

Other benefits of remote DCPC training that were highlighted by respondents included a reduced cost of delivery and a removal of the need for drivers and instructors to travel to a central point.

RTITB’s survey findings echo the thoughts of one coach operator that carried out remote DCPC training. Kent-based Passenger Plus said it would welcome the option to make online DCPC training a permanent option.