Being a proficient, professional LGV driver is about more than the skills learned to handle the vehicle safely and efficiently on the road. It is also about being an ambassador for the company and the brand. According to RTITB, the largest Driver CPC Consortium in the UK and Ireland, more businesses, particularly well-known brands in the logistics and retail sector, are seeing the benefits of training their LGV drivers in professional conduct.
“LGV drivers are on the ‘front line’ and are often the face of a business, as the first, and sometimes only, person a customer interacts with,” says Laura Nelson, Managing Director for RTITB. “To make the best first impression, it’s essential that employers and drivers understand the importance of professionalism. This both protects and benefits the reputation of the business.”
“Professional conduct training from RTITB can be easily incorporated into compulsory Driver CPC Periodic Training,” explains Laura. “This helps employers to educate drivers in their legal, professional and social responsibilities. Investment in this type of training also gives drivers a sense of how important their job is, and helps to develop their professional skills and career.”
The vast RTITB Driver CPC Periodic Training library includes a number of relevant topics to equip drivers with the skills they need to exhibit professional conduct and company values. The ‘Professional Driver’ module covers many contributing factors to professionalism, and the responsibilities of a driver, such as working time regulations, load safety and traffic regulations, as well as customer relations and interactions with the public. However, it also goes into greater depth on other important topics that can sometimes be overlooked in LGV driver training, such as ‘Diet, Mood and & Driving’, ‘The Effects of Anger on Driving’ and ‘Representing the Company’.
The ‘Representing the Company’ topic highlights the importance of being part of a team, and teaches drivers how their behaviour with colleagues and customers, as well as interactions with other road users, can impact the company’s image. It also addresses conduct on social media, explaining how posting or reacting to content, even if not directly about the company, can cause potentially negative exposure for the employer, as well as harm to the individual and their employment prospects. To ensure that drivers are truly representing the company and brand as required, RTITB Driver CPC training can also be tailored to incorporate the values and ethos of an individual company.
As part of the ‘Professional Driver Roles and Responsibilities’ training module, drivers have opportunity to learn about their role and responsibilities as professionals working within the road freight industry. This includes guidance on being courteous to other road users, and driving safely and responsibly, such as indicating in good time, not driving aggressively and leaving plenty of space between vehicles, for example.
“LGV drivers usually wear a company uniform and drive a branded truck, which basically acts as a huge advertising hoarding for the business,” says Laura. “If a driver lacks proper professionalism on the road, or in interactions with others, this can seriously damage a company’s reputation. Correct training is a simple, proven way to protect against this.”