Professional driver competence: a global concern – IRU


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IRU Academy Seminar on professional driver competence, organised in partnership with CIECA, highlights that professional driver training is a worldwide concern.

Brussels – The IRU Academy Seminar on Driver Competence organised today in partnership with the International Commission for Driver Testing Authorities (CIECA), attracted some 150 participants from 35 countries across the Americas, Asia and Europe. They confirmed the increasing attention paid by transport companies worldwide to professional driver training and competence.

IRU President, Janusz Lacny, emphasised, “Global objectives of enhanced road safety, reduced CO2 emissions and increased professionalism can only be achieved if drivers worldwide undergo effective and harmonised professional training. This is what the IRU Academy offers through its global network of Accredited Training Institutes with harmonised and state-of-the-art training courses in all key aspects relating to road transport operations.”

Professional competence today is a prerequisite for ensuring a competitive advantage to companies active on local and international markets. The IRU Academy thus helps to build this competence by harmonising training standards, incorporating international best practices and verifying, in an independent capacity, that these standards are in full compliance with international legal instruments and EU directives and regulations governing road transport.

CIECA President, Sonja Sporstøl, stressed “the key to ensuring that performance criteria are met and to improving road safety records is the development of common high-quality standards for training and testing. At European level, Directive 2003/59 EC was designed both to enhance road safety and improve the competence of professional drivers, which also reflect the core aims of CIECA. Moreover, across European borders, the continuous exchange of information between CIECA members and other parties allows for learning from each other and contributes to the creation of solid best practice examples.”

This IRU Academy Seminar highlighted the significant progress made on professional driver training throughout the world. However, the current lack of harmonisation between training programmes prevents quality training to display its full potential since policies and support measures implemented by national authorities too often vary from one country to another, resulting in major differences in both the number and nature of training standards. This causes significant problems for the industry’s workforce as it often prevents mutual recognition of credentials and conflicts with the very nature of international road transport operations.

Participants concluded that the collaboration of all actors involved in road transport professional competence is key to harmonise training standards, maximise driver competence and obtain mutual recognition.