Certificate of Professional Competence & Continuing Professional Development

The Certificate of Professional Competence, or CPC qualification, once it has been awarded, the Certificate of Professional Competence is considered as being valid indefinitely. Considering that other transport qualifications, like the Drivers CPC, ADR qualification, were part of the requirement for continuous use, is for the holder to have periodic refresher training. It seems strange that Transport Managers who are legally required to have knowledge of transport regulations, so they can do their job to a formal professional standard.

The role that a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder plays when acting as the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operator’s Licence, is not a mere formality. It is a serious undertaking which carries a lot of responsibility it. That is why considering how the role is viewed by the Operator Licensing Regime, it does seem strange that it does not have a legal requirement for periodic refresher training. But there is a reason why there has been no formal requirement for periodic refresher training which is explained below. 

The reason, that there was no requirement for a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder to undertake periodic refresher training. Was due to the view taken by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner for a number of years. Which is explained below.

Any individual that is the holder of Certificate of Professional Competence & thereby being Professional Competent person. Whether or not they are acting as the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operators Licence, is still considered as “holding”. So, keeping up to date with Operator Licensing Regulations, & thereby being keeping their level of knowledge of transport regulation to a Professional Competence standard. Is something that a Professional Competent person should be doing, without the need of regulatory pressure place on them to do so.

However, the view of the Office of the Traffic Commissioner has changed. Its view now in regards to for periodic refresher training for Certificate of Professional Competence Holders. There may not be a regulatory obligation on holders of Certificates of Professional Competence, who are nominated on any Operator’s Licences to undertake periodic refresher training. But it would be expected that if asked, those holders of Certificates of Professional Competence. Would be able to produce evidence that they had undertaken some form of periodic refresher training. Whether nominated on a Standard Operators Licence or not.

This new stance by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner, is not so much as regulatory pressure. But as the Office of the Traffic Commissioner expecting Certificate of Professional Competence Holders to follow best practice, or what may be viewed as obligatory guidance. In regards to periodic refresher training. Which the Office of the Traffic Commissioner now calls Continuing Professional Development or CPD

Certificate of Professional Competence: What is Continuous Professional Development?

Continuing Professional Development or CPD is a comparatively new idea, the term itself comes from corporate jargon. But the reasoning behind CPD is based on a simple concept. That nobody over their life never stops learning & increasing their knowledge base. This concept of never stopping learning has been brought into the business world, therefore no matter what job or role a person has, they will always be an opportunity increase their knowledge about their profession.

It is now easy to see why the Office of the Traffic Commissioner is keen in the promoting of Continuing Professional Development or CPD. When placing the concept against the environment of being a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, acting as the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operators Licence. Were the importance of keeping up to date with all the regulations surrounding road transport operations, which can change on a regular basis is important.

Please examples of why Continuing Professional Development or CPD. Is being viewed with an ever-increasing importance by the enforcement & regulatory bodies.

Certificate of Professional Competence: Reasons for Continuous Professional Development

When the holder of a Certificate of Professional Competence, is acting as the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operators Licence. The role & responsibilities not only have a contractual obligation, but they also have statutory obligation against it.

  • This statutory obligation requires the holder of a Certificate of Professional Competence, to make sure that they are “effectively & continuously” in control of the transport operations, that are carried out under the authority of the Standard Operators’ Licence they are nominated on as the Transport Manager.

This statutory obligation includes making sure that all the undertakings or promises made by both the holder of a Certificate of Professional Competence & the Standard Operators Licence Holder, during the application process required for the granting of a Standard Operator’s Licence. Are kept therefore the “effectively & continuously” obligation includes making sure, that the vehicles operated under the authority of the Standard Operators Licence they are named on. Are operated in a safe & lawful manner.

So, it stands to reason given the legal obligations that a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder undertakes, when agreeing to act as the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operator’s Licence. That whilst they are carrying out that role, with all the responsibilities that go with it. That the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder’s knowledge of the surrounding regulations, is as current as possible.

  • The Certificate of Professional Competence Qualification in Road Transport Management CPC was designed to confirm that anyone who is awarded it is considered as “holding” Professional Competence & therefore the required knowledge, to manage road transport operations. At the time of taking the Certificate of Professional Competence examination.

Once the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder is only required to take the Certificate of Professional Competence examination once. So, unless they have their Professional Competence taken away i.e. after attendance at Public Inquiry, were the Traffic Commissioner due to their actions as a Transport Manager. found that they could no longer be considered as holding the required level of Professional Competence.

It is therefore logical to presume that if a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder who obtain their Certificate of Professional Competence qualification a number of years previous. Or if they are demonstrating their Professional Competence through the use of acquired or grandfather rights certification.

Therefore, their knowledge level of the Operator Licensing Regime & what is expected of them to maintain a Road Transport Operation. To the level of compliance expected by the enforcement & regulatory bodies, may have become outdated. If the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder has not under taken any type of refresher/Continuing Professional Development training.

  • The Road Transport Industry, is no different than any the other industry operating in today’s commercial environment. Were the pace of changing technologies use in their industry, the standards expected by their customers need to be match, so keeping their competitive edge over their competition. The ever changing best-practice guidance & finally before we forget, there is the regulation changes.

All of the above change to a lesser or greater degree at any given time. In many cases it is the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, acting as the nominated Transport Manager on Standard Operator’s Licence are often seen & in many cases expected, to be the party who must keep up with pace of these changes. In many cases these changes involve a change in regulations, & therefore the manner by which the vehicles are operated which they & the Standard Operators Licence Holder, are responsible for operating in a legal manner.

Therefore, in summary it makes sense that the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, when acting as the nominated Transport Manager, to keep their knowledge base up to date. Should have some form of Continuing Professional Development training or a regular basis.

Certificate of Professional Competence: FAQs on Continuing Professional Development

Please see below some FAQs which Oplas Transport Consultancy have been asked in relation to Continuing Professional Development, for Certificate of Professional Competence Holders 

How Often Should Continuing Professional Development Training be Undertake?

Unlike other industries there is no set frequency for when a Continuing Professional Development training should take place. However, for those Certificate of Professional Competence Holders, acting as the nominated Transport Manager on Standard Operator Licences. Then the Office of the Traffic Commissioners would expect some sort of Continuing Professional Development training, to have been undertaken every five years as a minimum.

What is Consider as Being Valid Continuing Professional Development Training?

Please see below a list of different types of training which can be part of a Continuing Professional Development Training program.

Transport Manager CPC Refresher Training Courses:

It is not uncommon at a Public Inquiry for the Traffic Commissioners as part of their decision to place an undertaking on a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, acting as the nominated Transport Manager on the Standard Operators’ Licence. To undertake a Transport Manager CPC refresher course & in some cases the Standard Operators’ Licence Holder attendance, is made part of the undertaking.

This is done in the view that the Standard Operators’ Licence Holder will gain an appreciation, of the pressures & responsibilities a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder acting on a Standard Operator’s Licence has when acting as the nominated Transport Manager.

Therefore, if such courses are used by Traffic Commissioners as part of their decision-making process. Then Transport Manager CPC Refresher Training Courses must be seen as having value by the regulatory body, that being the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.

Subject or Regulation Specific Training Courses:

Certificate of Professional Competence Holders, when acting as the nominated Transport Manager on Standard Operators Licence. Need to make sure their knowledge is up to date in the core areas of regulation which govern the use of a Standard Operator’s Licence. Such as Digital Tachograph & Drivers’ Hours regulations & Working Time Directive (WTD) regulations.

Senior Traffic Commissioner & Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency Guidance Documents:

Both the Senior Traffic Commissioner & the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency will regular publish its guidance documents when an update occurs. These documents are free via the gov.uk website. Both Certificate of Professional Competence Holders, acting as a nominated Transport Manager & Operators Licence Holders. Would be expected to have a knowledge of their contents

Department of Transport, Office of the Traffic Commissioner, DVSA & DVLA Email Notifications:

Continuing Professional Development can include such things as, signing up for email updates on regulations from the Department of Transport (DfT), Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, the Office of the Traffic Commissioner & Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency. All can be seen, as part of a Certificate of Professional Competence efforts of Continuing Professional Development.  

Internal Training:

As well as Certificate of Professional Competence Holders using Continuing Professional Development training from external sources. The Certificate of Professional Competence Holders should also look at using internal sources for their there Continuing Professional Development

An example of this would be Certificate of Professional Competence Holders, acting as the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operators Licence. Were the Standard Operators Licence Holder does their own vehicle maintenance.

In a lot of cases a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder would have none or very little background in vehicle maintenance. Therefore, a period of time such as a day, spent in the workshop with a qualified fitter. Who would go through such areas of vehicle maintenance, as the regular safety inspection & defect rectification processes? Would be of be of great benefit to the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, as these are areas which when acting as the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operators’ Licence. They have a legal responsibility to make sure are carried out & the results are record correctly.

Transport Specific Publications:

A further area which a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder can use to help with their Continuing Professional Development. Is the use of Road Transport Industry specific publications. There are many available, which on a regular basis contain articles & features on changes which are happening within the many areas of the Road Transport Industry, such as regulation & best practices.

Certificate of Professional Competence Holders, acting as the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operators’ Licence. Would be wise to use this source of information, to both keep track of the latest developments & increasing their knowledge base. By regular reading of these trade periodicals.

Please Note: The List Shown Above is not to be Taken as Exhaustive One. It is Meet for Guidance Only

How Should Records of Continuing Professional Development be Kept?

Any Certificate of Professional Competence Holder should keep a record all Continuing Professional Development training they have undertaken. So, certificates should be obtained to confirm attendance at formal training courses. Certificate of Professional Competence Holder should make a record such as a log indicating the date any other training such as indicated above.

So, if they are asked to produce evidence in relation to Continuing Professional Development that they are able to do. Producing a full complete record which demonstrate, the actions they have taken in the area of their Continue Professional Development.

When Will a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder be Asked for Record Continuing Professional Development?

Traffic Commissioners have the authority to ask for evidence of Continuing Professional Development training at any time they feel it is necessary to do so, when they have concerns over the Professional Competence of a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder.

They will always ask for evidence of Continuing Professional Development, when a Certificate of Professional Competence/CPC holder who has been nominated to act as the Transport Manager, on either a Standard Operator’s Licence application, or current Standard Operators Licence. When the following conditions apply, to the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder

The Certificate of Professional Competence Holder has not been nominated as the Transport Manager on a Standard Operators’ Licence in the last five years

The Certificate of Professional Competence Qualification held, is more than 10 years old

The Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, has been called to a Public Inquiry, where their ability to exercise continuous and effective management is or has been under consideration.

What are the Consequences of Having no Record of Undertaking of Continuing Professional Development?

A lack of evidence of Continuing Professional Development could prove costly for a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, who is acting as the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operators Licence. If they are ever called to Public Inquiry.

It stands a good chance that the Traffic Commissioner, will make their lack of Continuing Professional Development part of their decision-making process. When considering disciplinary action, against the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder

There is already precedent for how Traffic Commissioners are viewing the importance of Continuing Professional Development. At a Public Inquiry held by the North East Traffic Commissioner in September 2018.

Resulted in the disqualified of a negligent Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, who was the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operator’s Licence.  Who admitted that he had done no Continuing Professional Development or CPD training since qualifying in 1990

Certificate of Professional Competence: Continuing Professional Development Summary

So, it is plane to see that the enforcement & regulatory bodies over the last few years have placed an increasing importance on Certificate of Professional Competence Holders of undertaking Continuing Professional Development training. Because if not undertaken, then any Certificate of Professional Competence Holder faces the possibility.

Of being unable to carry out the role of being the nominated Transport Manager on any Standard Operators Licence. Which for the majority of Certificate of Professional Competence Holders, is the whole point of obtaining the Certificate of Professional Competence Qualification in the first place.

It is no longer about just passing the Certificate of Professional Competence Examination & there is no more work the holder of the Certificate of Professional Competence needs to do. To be considered as “Holding” Professional Competence.

Certificate of Professional Competence Related Services Offered by Oplas Transport Consultancy

Oplas Transport Consultancy offers a number of services & solutions, related to the Certificate of Professional Competence. Along with information for those individuals looking to obtain a Certificate of Professional Competence qualification. Please see below those services & if you wish for more information, you can by using the highlighted links. Which will take you to a dedicated page or website for that service & the solutions offered.

1: Those parties looking to engage the services of an individual who is the holder of a Certificate of Professional Competence To act as the nominated Transport Manager on the either their Standard Operators Licence application, or the current Standard Operators’ Licence. The conditions under which the Certificate of Professional Competence/CPC Holder will be engage, are to be those considered as being an External Transport Manager. Please use the link indicated, to our On-line CPC Holder Finder Service.

2: Parties(s) who are the holder of a Certificate of Professional Competence qualification & are interested in External Transport Management work. Along with willing to offering those skills, & services, in a sub-contract / self-employed manner. Which matches the current requirements, known as the 4/50 regulations & willing to registering their details on the Oplas Transport Consultancy database. So that they may consider offers from interested parties after being contact by said described parties, from their use of Oplas Transport Consultancy On-line CPC Holder Finder Service. Please use the link indicated, to our On-line CPC Holder Database Registration.

3: Parties who are Restricted Operator’s Licence Holders. How are looking for a professional advice from a holder of a Certificate of Professional Competence. On matters of Operator Licensing compliance. Please use the link indicated, to our dedicated Restricted Operator’s Licence Management Website.

4: You are after more information as a holder of a Certificate of Professional Competence. Acting as the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operators’ Licence. In such areas as the role, responsibilities, & regulations. Please use the link indicated.

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This Website and the information shown on it, has been produced as a basic guide, to show the relationship between a CPC Holder, & the Operator Licence Regime. Therefore, it cannot be considered as formal legal advice.