CPC Holder Public Inquiry

Certificate of Professional Competence Holder: What to do if you are called to Public Inquiry?

Certificate of Professional Competence Holder when named on an operator’s licence as the nominated transport manager, may find themselves involved, & having to attend a public inquiry. Therefore, although no Certificate of Professional Competence Holder wishes to be called to a public inquiry. So being aware of what actions needed to be taken, should be seen as nothing more than planning for the worst-case scenario, which like most areas of transport compliance. Is always part of any Certificate of Professional Competence Holders system of work, when being the nominated as a transport manager on an operator licence. If you feel after reading the information on this page, you may need more formal advice then please use the contact form on this site, or click the link here, or at the bottom of the page.

  1. After you get the call up letter, don’t get into a panic! Read the correspondent from the Office of the Traffic Commissioner carefully, more than once to make sure, you fully understand the reason why you are being called, to public inquiry. Confirm if the holder of the operator licence(s) which you are nominated has also been called to the same public inquiry (or whether it is just a transport manager hearing).
  2. Talk to the operator licence holder, on which you are nominated on. This is essential, as even if you the only person being called, this may still have an influence on the operator licence(s) you are nominated on. Even if you feel your relationship with the licence holder is strained you should make the effort to talk (see the comments, below) as this will viewed by the Traffic Commissioner as the transport manager as having taken a proactive approach. Remember to document the conversation itself, so that all parties understand their position in relation to the upcoming hearing.
  3. Should the nominated transport manager contemplate resigning his or her position if they feel the operator is being uncooperative? This is a problematic question to answer, but if the licence holder continually refuses to operate in a compliant manner – even after the transport manager has highlighted legal shortcomings, the transport manager must seriously consider their resignation from the operator’s licence & the possibility of becoming a whistle blower.

Frequently asked questions

Rights of the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder at Public Inquiry: The Certificate of Professional Competence Holder is permitted to give evidence, make submissions, & make representations. The Certificate of Professional Competence Holder will also have the chance to speak, & to ask questions. The Traffic Commissioner will then decide what evidence given by the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder is relevant for the purposes of the Public Inquiry/proceedings. Anyone giving evidence to the inquiry can expect to be asked questions by the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, or by a representative acting on their behalf. The Traffic Commissioner will also put questions to all parties, at the Public Inquiry.

Certificate of Professional Competence Holder obligations at Public Inquiry: The Certificate of Professional Competence Holder evidence is not given under oath, but he/she is required to be honest & truthful when giving their evidence. If it is found that the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder has not been honest, & truthful they risk their fitness/professional competence, & their good repute to act as a nominated transport manager. Plus, the influence on the weight of the evidence given by the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder. Furthermore, there is the possibility that giving false evidence at a Public Inquiry by the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder. The Office of the Traffic Commissioner may consider referring the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, to the police and criminal charges could follow.

How should a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder handle themselves at Public Inquiry: As previously stated any Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, should be candid about their evidence. Telling the Traffic Commissioner everything they did or did not do, to ensure compliance to the operator licence regime i.e. the actions they took, during their time as the nominated transport manager cpc holder, when addressing any difficulties with compliance, along with any refresher training undertaken by the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder.

All the above questions are important and the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder needs to have answers, but the most pressing question a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder will need to consider is whether he or she requires representation when appearing at the Public Inquiry.

When both the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder who is acting as the nominated transport manager on an operator licence, & the operator licence holder are called to Public Inquiry. It is not uncommon for both parties to have the same representation, & in a lot of cases the cost of that representation is covered by the operator licence holder.

However, if the relationship between the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, & the operator licence holder is under pressure then the above may not be the case, along with the above questions, the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder needs to think very carefully about defending and protecting his or her own position, (Their professional competence also known as fitness, & their good repute), & should be looking at using all available tools in doing just that.   

Instructing an experienced transport solicitor or transport consultant will help the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder in a very difficult and stressful situation. One of the ways in which separate representation can help the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder is by attending the aforementioned meeting with the operator licence holder in order to discuss the public inquiry. This is especially true if the professional relationship between the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder and the operator licence holder, who’s licence the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder is nominated, has become strained, it may actually help to repair the relationship, which in turn may help to restore the compliance of the operator licence before the public inquiry is held. The repute of both parties will be at risk, so it must be ensured that all systems of work are fit for purpose were possible, before attendance at the Public Inquiry

As previously stated, if you feel after reading the information on this page, you may need more formal advice then please, use the contact form on this site, or click here.

This Guide Has Been Produced, as a Basic Definition of the Certificate of Professional Competence, & it’s Relationship to the Operator Licence Regime & Therefore Cannot Be Considered as Formal Legal Advice