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DVSA launches certification for trailer towing training


Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ decision to cancel the trailer driving test late last year forced the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to launch a new trailer accreditation program.

The decision to waive the tests for motorists looking to tow trailers weighing up to 3,500kg has been met with advice from within the DVSA, driving organizations and safety authorities, but it still remains. conducted in an effort to free up capacity for more HGV driving tests. Since the law changed, anyone with a full driver’s license has the legal right to tow a trailer weighing up to 3,500kg, with or without training. That means any driver can pull a large caravan or horse-drawn cart, or a trailer to work.

However, one unintended consequence of canceling the towing test is that employers whose employees are required to tow trailers to work, do not currently have the vehicle to meet the HSE obligations to demonstrate that their drivers are well-trained.

As the DVSA no longer grants ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ applicants, it will instead accredit training institutions through the National Council for Accredited Trailer Training. Full details of the program are yet to be released, but it is believed that accredited trainers will be able to issue a certificate showing that candidates have attended towing training. It remains unclear whether coaches will be allowed to fail unsatisfactory applicants, as the newly revised license law means everyone has the right to hire a trailer – whether qualified or not. .

A DVSA spokesperson said: “The government is committed to encouraging motorists to receive professional training before towing a vehicle for pleasure or business.

“The trailer training accreditation program aims to ensure that motorists who wish to tow trailers for pleasure or business have the skills, knowledge and capacity to tow safely. And for those who pull trailers in connection with their work, to help ensure it is the employer’s corporate responsibility to ensure safe work rules are met. “

The DVSA will host a webinar for trailer training providers this week and next, designed to provide an update on its accreditation plan and explain the role of the National Council Accredited Trailer Training Experts.

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