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LTB 075/24 - Royal Mail Group New Starter Driver Training – Interim Safety Standards Variation Rules Non-Compliance – RMG SHE Huddle FY24 009

No. 075/2024


Our Ref:  V4/24


To:  All Branches


Dear Colleagues,


Royal Mail Group New Starter Driver Training – Interim Safety Standards Variation Rules Non-Compliance – RMG SHE Huddle FY24 009


This LTB is being issued further to LTB 288/23 dated 10 November 2023 and my letter to all ASRs dated 21 October 2023.


Introduction:


SHE Huddle FY24 009 is intended to remind managers of their requirements when it comes to training new entrants following a relaxation of driving requirements.


Background – New Starter Driver Training


As detailed in LTB 288/23, Royal Mail initiated a huge ‘crash’ recruitment programme with circa 10,000 new employees being engaged in a short space of time.


One of the ‘knock-on’ effects of this exceptional current large scale staff recruitment programme condensed into such a short period of time was that it presented a ‘driver training’ predicament, that being the impossibility of getting all the newly recruited drivers through the Royal Mail ‘standard new driver training programme’ without an ‘interim variation’ to the process as ‘Pertemps’, Royal Mail’s accredited driver training provider were not able to train this large number of new recruits within the in-take time frame, in line with Royal Mail Group’s current policy as the number exceeds the maximum capacity of Pertemps’ driving instructors.


Therefore, a relaxation or variation in the RMG new starter driver training requirements had to be put in place, in order to maintain Royal Mail operations whilst at the same time taking steps to mitigate any safety impact of the change.


In short this means that where training lead-times exceed 2 weeks, new starters will be permitted to drive ‘Small Vans Only’ (e.g. up to Peugeot Expert size), pending training being delivered and for a period of up to a maximum of 6 months.


The ‘interim driver safety variation’ Royal Mail Group therefore made last November is a temporary change to the current driver training standards for new starters enabling them to drive in advance of taking their Royal Mail/Pertemps driver training course.


Two higher risk groups where the RMG Driver Training Standards requirements will not be relaxed by Royal Mail for driver training are in respect of new entrants that:


  • Have held a drivers licence for only 12 months or less

  • Are under the age of 25

For those allowed to drive under the new ‘interim driver safety variation’ arrangements, the following must apply: 


  • They will only be allowed to drive small vans prior to being trained – for 6 months only – by which time they must go through the ‘New Starter Training’.

  • They must be booked on a Pertemps new starter driver training course.

  • They must have completed the driver e-learning and been briefed on the driving SSOW.

  • They must be comfortable to drive under the new arrangements.

  • The Unit Manager/PiC must complete the ‘Permit to Drive’ checklist (copy attached) which details each element of the alternative arrangements, including that a Pertemps course has been booked for a future date and file this in the employee’s personal file.

  • Electric Vehicle (EV) Training and Post Collision/RTC Training remain unchanged.

Non-Compliance


A significant non-compliance problem has been discovered across the country with only 59% of the new starters having been trained or booked for training and many of the new recruits have now exceeded the maximum six months service without driver training dispensation. Further to this, the situation worsens as many of these new recruits have not even had the driver training booked, let alone attended the training. This non-compliant practice increases the risk of road traffic collisions and increases the risk of prosecution. The Royal Mail SHE Team are endeavouring to take action to improve the situation and have requested CWU support through ASRs and WSRs.


Road Traffic Accident Statistics


Royal Mail, Parcelforce, RMSS etc., vehicles were involved in over 8,500 collisions last year and the trend indicates that that the number of RTCs this year will top 9,000. As the business changes with more parcel duties, larger vans and increasingly electric vehicles, the risk to drivers increases and driver training is more important than ever.


ASR Action – Message From the Royal Mail Group National Road Safety Manager Mark Bromhall


The Royal Mail Group National Road Safety Manager Mark Bromhall has requested the assistance of all CWU Area Safety Reps and Workplace Safety Reps to check compliance with the new starters ‘Driver Training Variation Standard’ in the Units within their postcode constituency, reporting any non-compliance to the Unit PiC OPL and SHE Team Safety Advisors without delay.


RMG SHE Instruction 8.2 – Drivers Minimum Standards


An additional point to be checked by ASRs/WSRs in respect of new starter drivers is the requirements as set out in RMG SHE Instruction 8.2 ‘Drivers’ Minimum Standards’. This states that;


  • New drivers must have no more than 6 points on their drivers licence.

  • New drivers must not have a TS99 (totting up) endorsement on their driver’s license.

Two drivers in one area were found to have licenses breaching these requirements – so please check them out.


See attached copies of:


  • SHE Huddle FY24 009 – Driver Training

  • Royal Mail –  Guidance for Using New Starter Training File

  • Driver Training Relaxation – Permit to Drive Checklist

  • Regional New Starter Training Completed and Training Booked Stats

Yours sincerely


Dave Joyce

National Health, Safety & Environment Officer






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