Today we are launching the report of the Commission on the Future of National Driver Training which completed its review at the end of last year and who have delivered their recommendations on the future of national training for community transport drivers. I am grateful to the members of the Commission for giving their time and energy to the project and to the staff who supported them. You can read the report here.
I think the report represents a major step towards a clearer vision for CTA’s place in leading a national programme of quality assured education and training to enhance driving standards and the safe operation of community transport vehicles. The report establishes some good high-level principles about the direction of travel which my team and I are committed to delivering. This does mean further testing and validation of the recommendations through our broader business development activities. There is also the need to attract significant investment from outside CTA to make this happen, as any modest surplus we might ever make through the current business model will never be enough to pay for the innovation that everyone wants to see.
I welcome the recommendations for how we can change the approach to quality assurance by improving the interface between CTA and the drivers through online registration and record keeping. I also believe the Driver Assessor/Trainer (DAT) network is well placed to play a role in conducting peer review.
I also welcome the focus on making more materials available digitally and broadening the range of online learning resources. We believe that reorienting the service to work through a digital platform will offer a better quality of experience for users, making it easier for drivers and trainers to navigate their way round and curate their own information and experience whilst reducing need for labour-intensive processes in your organisations and CTA.
When the Commission started last year we declared it to be a good time to lead a public debate about the future of national training for community transport drivers. We could also have said that in a complex, uncertain and ever-changing environment there will always be some reason to not get started, so let’s just get on with it.
This report shows how our sector will continue to demonstrate that we can lead the debate on how to develop and modernise so we can go about our work with the confidence of regulators, policy makers, commissioners and crucially and most importantly our passengers.
Please note that the report and recommendations are advisory at this stage and none of the recommended changes have been implemented. All customers and users of MiDAS should continue with their normal practices. Changes will not be implemented for some time and we will give good notice of any changes made.