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Keeping your Couriers Compliant, Competent and Up for the Challenge

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As a manager, it’s important to make sure your courier work is profitable – and this obviously includes minimising penalty charges as much as possible. But more than this, managers also play n important roles as a motivator, keeping their drivers ready to tackle the job, and as employers, with a duty of care.

All this means is that it’s absolutely crucial that management takes every step it can to ensure drivers know and follow the rules and regulations of the road. This article will give some tips on how to do that.

Induction and Training

Employees should be thoroughly briefed from their first day with the company. Induction marks the perfect time to teach new recruits your business’s attitude towards penalty fines, and to ensure you’re all on the same page regarding your responsibilities to each other. Everyone doing courier work should know who to talk to, when and how to pay, company policies on contestation and more – before they ever go out on a job.

CPC and DQC

Training doesn’t stop once you’ve welcomed new drivers to the fold. As anyone in the industry will know, it’s an EU requirement that drivers complete 35 hours training every five years to renew their Certificate of Personal Competence (CPC) and Driver Qualification Card (DQC). As managers, you can make use of this legally mandated training to send your employees on courses that include sections on penalties.

Ongoing Training

Given how quickly things can change in the transport industry, it would be poor form to restrict training for courier work to every five years. It sounds obvious, but the best way to ensure knowledge is accurate and up to date is with regular refresher courses. If putting together briefings in-house requires too much research and planning, or if you struggle to find the time and space to bring your fleet together to learn, the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) offers online workshops and courses.

Comprehensive Briefings

When preparing your drivers to go out on the next job, it’s prudent to give them a little more than just the details of where to go and what to deliver. Alongside regular refresher courses, briefings can be a great time to ensure workers are up to date on rules, regulations and their responsibilities to follow them. Courier work can be stressful, and even the best people can forget. Briefing them before each job can minimise risk to them and your business.

Communication, Communication, Communication

Linked to our last point above, managers should see their workers as a resource. After all, while you have a responsibility to fill them in and keep things transparent, you also have the great benefit of a large number of eyes and ears out on the road - seeing any changes and issues first-hand.

Use this information! Encourage open and regular communication and ensure employees know to keep an eye out for any changes to conditions or regulations in popular areas. New restrictions on parking or loading, any road closures or suspended bays, changes to kerbside space and so on – all this can be picked up by couriers out on the job. Courier work runs smoothest when workers know what to expect, so management should make good use of the knowledge employees pick up.

All in all, communication and training are crucial at every stage of the manager-driver relationship. Keep this in mind, follow these tips and you should see your business improve even more.
About author: Desiree Michels

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.

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