DVSA backs Skills for Logistics new trailer towing scheme


The Driver and Vehicle Standards Authority (DVSA) has initiated a new towing accreditation scheme following the decision taken by Department for Transport to scrap mandatory training and testing for the B+E category.

Role of the National Council for Accredited Trailer Training

As part of the new trailer towing accreditation scheme, the DVSA will be accrediting training organisations via the National Council for Accredited Trailer Training (NCATT), a partnership between DVSA, trailer stakeholder groups, Department for Transport, and the accrediting bodies, including Skills for Logistics.

The role of NCATT will be to act through a forum where strategic issues can be discussed. It will also monitor the performance of the training syllabus and whether overall standards are met.

Skills for Logistics and other accrediting bodies will operate the scheme and accredit training centres and instructors to deliver quality-approved trailer training.

Purpose of the new scheme

The new trailer training scheme aims to:

  • Ensure drivers who are towing trailers for business and leisure purposes have the skills, knowledge, and competencies to tow safely
  • Make sure an employer’s corporate responsibilities ensure safe working practices are being met for their staff towing trailers in connection with their work.

The road ahead

As of now, three training organisations have been accredited by the DVSA as accrediting bodies. These include the National Trailer & Towing Association, National Register of LGV Instructors, and Skills for Logistics.

A spokesman from DVSA has explained the purpose of the new scheme:

“The government is committed to encouraging drivers to get professional training before towing for leisure or business.

The trailer training accreditation scheme aims to ensure drivers who want to tow a trailer for leisure or business have the skills, knowledge, and competencies to tow safely. And for those towing a trailer in connection with their work, to help ensure an employer’s corporate responsibilities to make sure safe working practices are met.”

Read more about how training instructors can get accredited under our new scheme

DVSA launches B+E training syllabus for safe work practices

The DVSA has launched a new trailer towing accreditation training scheme which will give Britain’s drivers the choice to be fully equipped with the skills, knowledge, and understanding of towing trailers safely.

The scheme will be launched in two phases, the first of which will be to establish a network of accredited training centres and instructors. Phase 2 will be to cascade the accredited training to candidates in early May. The scheme is designed for corporate organisations wishing to ensure their employees are fully trained, complying with Health & Safety requirements, and for other motorists towing trailers and caravans for leisure and pleasure.

DVSA has given official recognition of the Skills for Logistics B+E (trailer towing) accreditation scheme where we will accredit training centres and instructors and provide quality assurance and certification.

Find out more about the Skills for Logistics B+E accreditation scheme and how you can apply.

Industry Losing Thousands of New Drivers as LGV Testing Remains Suspended

At the start of the Covid19 lockdown, the DVSA suspended testing of new LGV drivers and no new drivers have entered the industry since that date.  Unfortunately the DVSA has still not confirmed when LGV driving tests will resume, leading to fears that the transport industry will soon see a worsening of the driver shortage.

At Skills for Logistics we felt it was particularly important to engage directly with the 150 plus LGV training providers across the UK, by conducting a survey asking whether the LGV training sector can bounce back to tackle the back log of 20,000 + lost driving tests.

Read more here. Read more

Tension between lower level and high-level apprenticeship training provision needs to be resolved.

As an end-point assessor our main focus is apprenticeships. The work we do is predicated on the advice and regulations laid out by the government. In many respects, these new apprenticeship standards, the levy, the shift in definitions, expectations and opportunities resemble one large experiment.

We, like many other in the education sector, are excited by the potential and are starting to see good numbers of apprentices go through end-point assessment.

We are also seeing businesses move past perceiving the Levy as merely an additional tax. Critically in our sector, logistics, we finally have a vocational training opportunity that could help resolve the skills crisis.

If you were not already aware, Large Goods Vehicles (LGV) drivers alone have an average age of 53 in the UK and, depending on who you listen to, hundreds of thousands of new recruits are needed to address shortages by 2024.

However, there are real issues affecting the viability of this experiment. Businesses are opting for higher level apprenticeships, which is resulting in an overspend of the apprenticeship budget. I’m sure there are many reasons contributing to this situation but here is what we’ve observed in our sector…

Read the full article here.

The Apprenticeship Levy – 2 years on.

The 6th April 2019 marked the 2 years anniversary of the apprenticeship levy coming into effect and I believe it has taken quite literally that amount of time for most employers and stakeholders to fully understand it.

Working with The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute), we can see the direct impact the new standards are having on employer behaviour and how apprenticeships are being embedded into workforce planning and talent pipelines. As Anne Milton highlighted, apprenticeships bring new blood into businesses, they promote local talent and upskill the existing workforce.

Going forward, there is still a lot to do, particularly with non-levy payers and entry level standards. I know the government want to see the Institute become much more transparent and to build more open and fluid relationships with employers, and the Institute to be viewed as facilitators rather than just a regulator.

I see my role at the Institute very much as an ambassador and certainly engaging as much as possible with employers and training providers – encouraging full usage of the levy pot. If not this route, then definitely to promote the opportunity to transfer 25% to connected businesses in oppose to losing it month by month.

10th April 2019 David Coombes

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Beyond just the logistics

We had the pleasure of meeting Martin Corner at the Automotive Logistics Summit, Martin is the Vice President of Supply Chain Management for Nissan Europe. We spoke about management effectiveness, specifically within the logistics sector and Martin was kind enough to do an interview with us here at Skills for Logistics to elaborate further.

How have you seen the logistics sector transform over your career?

The transformational use of analytics and forecasting have really optimised the supply chain end to end, it’s just at the beginnings for the automotive sector.

What are the changes you see for the future workforce of logistics and supply chain?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and technology will start to take over the administrative and data management side of the role.  Once this happens it will allow the supply chain team to become more focussed on business management. The future requirements of a supply chain professional will be influencing skills, communication, strategic business acumen and leadership.  It will be an opportunity for a new generation of supply chain professionals to develop a fulfilling career.

When we last spoke, we discussed the importance of empathy in management style, could you elaborate further?

In my opinion, respecting the strengths and style of the individual and giving them the encouragement to flourish and be the best version of themselves yields the best results.  Listening and giving people the space to define their own ideas and solutions, rather than prescribing your own ideas, drives motivation through teams and individuals.

How do you feel good management has influenced your career?

Hugely, when you have a manager who; trusts, respects, listens, supports, challenges constructively (crucial point) and adds value with suggestion and guidance, it makes a significant difference. Being given the space to go beyond your objectives and drive change is hugely motivating – the right line manager is crucial in making this happen.

What management paths do you think are available for the supply chain & logistics sector that maybe aren’t being utilised currently?

I think that people pursuing a career in this sector have an opportunity to grow their careers more than at any time in the past.  This could be towards more general business management and even board level roles due to the unique positioning of supply chain as a function, touching all parts of the business. Equally it could be as a technical supply chain specialist working on the new technologies that should help revolutionise the sector in the future.

What would you say the priority is for the Supply Chain & logistics sector to tackle first?

Look to the supply chain of the future and work backwards. Year on year efficiencies are great but the step change needed to really optimise data analytics/forecasting, AI, automation and robotics requires some ambition and planning.  We need to imagine what the world can look like in 10/20 years’ time and make a roadmap to get there as fast as possible. What will customers want and how will the technology we see coming help deliver this revolution?

Your final thoughts Martin?

For me supply chain is the most exciting part of the business to work in.  Anyone considering a career which gives both a specialism and a total business overview should look no further. It is a function which concurrently operates on both a short-term delivery and long-term strategic basis which is immensely satisfying from both an intellectual and motivational perspective.

It was a great opportunity to talk to Martin and hear his thoughts, but what about you? If you’ve got any insights you’d like to share on the supply chain and logistics industry and management then please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you – Tweet us!

If you’d like to connect with Martin on Linkedin, please do show that you have read this article in your request.

1st April 2019