Would you pay an unregistered doctor to conduct medicals on your staff? Answers on a £20 note please!

Next question; would you pay an unregistered driving instructor to train your drivers? You might, but you probably might do so without knowing. How many companies ask to see the qualifications of the trainers supplied by driver training companies?

In some cases you or even the trainer may not know they have broken the law, take this example: last week the money guru Martin Lewis took Jeremy Vine out for an eco driving lesson and they played the recording of the session on Radio 2. Now you may say, there is nothing wrong with that, as Lewis wasn’t actually teaching Vine to drive, just giving him a few tips on how to save fuel. I am not sure if Lewis is paid to be a guest on the Vine show, but in fact it wouldn’t make a difference if he was paid or not as he may have gained financial benefit from the extra visitors to his website through the exposure he receives from his personal appearances. The law states:

Section 123 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 renders it a criminal offence to provide driving instruction for money or monies worth unless the driving instructor is registered or licensed to give instruction under Section 123 (1). Section 123 applies to all paid instruction regardless of whether the person receiving instruction possesses a full licence or not. Section 123 applies to instruction both on public and private roads and indeed also to off road instruction

So why should businesses be concerned about unregistered driving instructors? Many companies now employ internal assessors; often these are current drivers who have attended a short assessor’s course. Simply completing an assessor’s course may not ensure the employee is legal. I say ‘may not’ because it is unclear if it is legal or not.

If like me you are unsure, you might want to get clarification from those who should know, you might think about asking the Driving Standards Agency, if anyone they should know they should?

If you are thinking about asking the DSA, don’t waste your time, because they don’t know the answer. They will send you a reply stating the law (as above) with a statement saying “Only the courts can decide what the law actually is”. Not a great answer if you want to assess you drivers to comply with your Duty of Care obligations, but to ensure you do so legally. Going round in circles never achieves very much!

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