Novadata spells out the need for O Licence Awareness training
It is becoming increasingly important for Operators to ensure that they fully understand what holding an Operator Licence really means, says Su Winch, Managing Director of transport training expert, Novadata. Holders of both Restricted and Standard Operator Licences should have regular training to ensure that they understand what their responsibilities are and how failing to comply with their undertakings could affect their career and their business.
"Whether you hold a Standard or a Restricted Operator Licence, your responsibilities under transport legislation are the same - as are the legal consequences of failing to fulfil your O Licence undertakings" warns Su Winch. "It is all too easy to lose your O Licence and your repute, making it very difficult to continue operating vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes or with more than nine seats," she explains. "Many Operators simply don't understand how weak systems and processes, a few tachograph errors on the part of a driver, or record keeping failures by the Operator, can have serious, far-reaching consequences.
"All Operators should undergo some awareness training every few years, to bring them up to date with current legislation and industry best practice. If you have a Transport Manager CPC qualification, you should attend a Transport Manager CPC Refresher course every few years, in order to update your knowledge. And if you aren't required to have a Transport Manager CPC qualification, and hold a Restricted Operator Licence, it is very wise to attend an Operator Licence Awareness course every few years.
"As a Restricted Operator Licence holder, you might not have the benefit of Manager CPC training, but you still have all the same legal responsibilities, and you can suffer all the same legal consequences. Operator Licence Awareness training is something you should definitely make time for."
One common mistake is failing to notify the Traffic Commissioner of a change of address of premises. Says Su Winch, "Even if you only move from one industrial unit to another on the same trading or industrial estate, you must notify your change of address to the Traffic Commissioner."
"Similarly, you must notify the Traffic Commissioner of a change of Company Director or Transport Manager. There are host of things that you must report."
Companies with multiple depots which fall under the jurisdiction of more than one UK Traffic Commissioner must have a separate O Licence for each depot. "If, for example, you have one depot in Norwich and another in Glasgow, these areas will be overseen by different Traffic Commissioners, so you must have a separate O Licence for each depot. And there are other ways to fall foul of transport legislation," warns Su Winch.
"The Traffic Commissioners have stated that they would like to see matters related to the O Licence as an item on every board meeting agenda. If you lose your licence, you'll probably lose your business, so this is a good approach to follow," she adds. "Training your executives and your drivers, to ensure that everyone is working towards protecting the O Licence and ensuring the future of the business, also makes sound commercial sense."
Operator Licence Awareness training courses and Transport Manager CPC Refresher courses, as well as Novadata's new Driver CPC course, Drivers' Understanding of an Operator Licence, can be booked online at www.novadata.co.uk.
Story By: Novadata
Date : 26-09-2018