Back to the classroom for Driver CPC Periodic Training

In order to keep my professional driving qualification current I have to undergo regular classroom training. The rules of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) state that, for newly qualified drivers such as me, I have to do 35 hours of training within 5 years of gaining my initial CPC entitlement.

I took the first module a few days ago – a day-long course on driving hours and tachographs that left my head spinning by the end! Fortunately I didn’t have to go very far to do this, in fact I booked with SRTS in Exeter, just a stone’s throw from the VOSA Test Centre where I passed my test last year. There were 4 other guys taking the same module that day, making the session very easy to contribute and ask questions during the day. Usually, when the room is full with 25 participants, interaction is difficult.

The course doesn’t have a test element, although we did do 2 simple quizzes to test our knowledge. There being no pressure to pass or fail, I found it a much better environment in which to absorb the information. I succumb very easily to nerves in a test or exam situation!

The trainer knew his subject back to front but struggled on the day with a very sore throat and a gravelly voice that threatened to break up and disappear altogether. On the feedback form at the end I gave him 10 out of 10 for persistence in the face of adversity!

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PCV driver assessment in Exeter

Yesterday I went to Exeter for another driver assessment session, this time with Steve Robertson Training Services in Pinhoe. It very nearly didn’t happen though.

I arrived in good time and introduced myself. Unfortunately they didn’t have me down in their diary. Not only that but the coach instructor had just left after bringing a candidate back from their test. I got the chap in the office to check their emails and then they realised they’d made an error because my appointment had been confirmed some time ago. The instructor was hastily recalled and apologies were made.

After a short delay I met the instructor who was the boss of the company. I gave him a brief summary of my experience so far as we walked to the coach. Steve Robertson shares some facilities with Hookways Coaches, including one of their many coaches for training purposes. I was given a guided tour of the ‘cab’ before we set off out of town towards a quiet road where I would take over. I was very pleased to see that the coach had a normal 6-speed manual gearbox and didn’t feature a 2-speed rear axle. This was something that complicated matters for me the last time I had a driver assessment session – the coach we used then had 10 gears to play with!

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