FTA launch new driver accreditation scheme

By Anita Jaynes on 12 February, 2014

The Freight Transport Association (FTA)  has just launched the FTA Driver Agency Accreditation Scheme.

The voluntary initiative has been developed by the FTA, together with the driver agency industry, and aims to recognise, encourage and promote good practice within the sector.

Chairman of the scheme is Chippenham based Julian Thompson, Managing Director of recruitment agency 24-7 Staffing. The agency specialises in recruiting for the Driving, Logistics, Industrial, Technical and Commercial sectors.

Julian has been instrumental in the development of the scheme and has been working closely with the FTA over a three year period prior to the launch.

Julian said: “This industry is not about getting just anyone behind the wheel, it’s about knowing the legislation and practices that make a good agency. The FTA’s Driver Agency Accreditation Scheme will give clients the assurance that the consultants really understand the legislation involved with driving their vehicles and can completely deliver a quality service to clients in this industry.”

Every driver agency applying to become accredited by the scheme will be asked to sign a statement of intent and the FTA Driver Agency Accreditation Scheme will undertake an independent audit of the agency’s systems covering core business standards, driver recruitment standards and driver management standards.

Theo de Pencier, FTA Chief Executive, commented:  “Ensuring high standards are maintained is always a priority for our members, but it may prove to be particularly important in a year when economic growth could increase the need to access a flexible workforce.  This scheme, which has been developed by driver agency members and vehicle operators, provides industry recognised standards as well as a governance structure to promote continuous improvement.”

The scheme was launched at the FTA/Department for Transport ‘Listening to Industry’ event by Transport Minister Robert Goodwill, who said: “I welcome the Freight Transport Association’s scheme to help ensure that high standards for drivers are maintained.  I hope this measure helps to give driver agencies a recognised structure for improvement.”

The benefits of the FTA Driver Agency Accreditation Scheme include:

  • Industry recognition that organisations are striving to achieve the highest levels of quality and compliance
  • Verification to employees and clients that driver agencies are promoting good practice
  • Reduction of corporate and operational risk
  • The audit process will highlight any areas of ineffectiveness or non-compliance to help improve systems and processes

The Driver Agency Accreditation Scheme’s Governance Group is made up of founding driver agencies and considers applications, audit performance, feedback results, complaints and any other detrimental information.

Senior Traffic Commissioner, Beverley Bell said: “Driver agencies provide a vital service to the commercial vehicle industry but the standards of service currently provided vary tremendously I am encouraged by the new FTA initiative to set up an accreditation scheme that will not only promote but also monitor high standards of service thereby enabling operators to ensure that their operator licence compliance is not compromised in any way. As regulators traffic commissioners reinforce the principles of road safety and fair competition and so we always welcome new initiatives from within the industry to achieve better standards.”

Further information on the development of the Driver Agency Accreditation Scheme can be found at: www.fta.co.uk/daas