TM1G

TM1G – How many hours should a transport manager work?

The DVSA have moved all operator applications online, which is a great thing. However, getting quick and easy access the guidance publications is almost impossible currently. Specifically for transport managers and the TM1G doc, checking how many hours you are required to work via the .gov  website will leave you somewhat frustrated. The great news is you can read the information required below taken from the TM1G document!

TM1G statutory guidelines for the number of hours transport managers should work

The statutory guidance documents give a broad guideline as to what might be expected in terms of hours worked by a transport manager relative to the maximum number of vehicles authorised for a licence. Please note that this is a starting point only. The traffic commissioners will need to be satisfied that you are capable of exercising continuous and effective management of the transport operation (see below) and will consider each case on its own facts and its own merits.

Motor Vehicles

Proposed Hours (per week)

2 or less

2-4

3 to 5

4-8

6 to 10

8-12

11 to 14

12-20

15 to 29

20-30

30 to 50

30-Full Time

Above 50

Full Time and additional assistance required

Additional hours may be required for trailers.

Please give full details of the hours you will work in the relevant boxes on the form. If you will not be devoting the amount of time to the relevant licence(s) as shown in the table above, you should provide the traffic commissioner with written explanation as to how you will carry out all your responsibilities effectively in the time allocated.

Your explanation should include how you will ensure the operation and management of the following;

 Drivers administration – including the checking of drivers’ licences and driver CPC qualifications (DQC), ensuring that the retention of drivers hours records (no less than 12 months) and working time records (no less than 24 months) and both are made available upon request;

 Drivers management – ensuring compliance with the driving hours rules (EU or Domestic Hours rules); that drivers record their duty, driving time and rest breaks; to download and store digital tachograph unit data (at least every 90 days) and from the drivers’ smart cards (at least every 28 days); ensuring that the following records are retained – drivers’ hours, Working Time Directive (WTD), and that they are available to be produced during the relevant period; to ensure that drivers are adequately trained and competent to operate relevant vehicles and equipment.

 Drivers operations – ensuring drivers are completing and returning their driver defect reporting sheets and that defects are recorded correctly and cross checked, and that drivers and mobile workers take adequate breaks and appropriate periods of daily and weekly rest;

 Vehicle administration – including ensuring that vehicle maintenance records to be retained for a period of no less than 15 months, ensuring that vehicles are specified as required and that operator licence discs are current and displayed correctly; ensuring safe loading with appropriate indicators fitted, that tachograph calibrations are up to date and displayed, that there are up to date insurance certificates; a suitable maintenance planner is complete and displayed with preventative maintenance inspection dates at least 6 months in advance, to include the Annual Test and other testing or calibration dates;

 Vehicle management – ensuring that vehicles and trailers are kept in a fit and roadworthy condition, that defects are either recorded and repaired promptly and where not roadworthy are taken out of service; to make vehicles and towed equipment available for safety inspections, service, repair and statutory testing at the appropriate times and within the notified O-licence maintenance intervals; to liaise with maintenance contractors, manufacturers, hire companies as might be appropriate.

 Compliance systems – including details of training, management, monitoring and auditing showing the role you play including and what authority you have for instance to review any shortcomings such as prohibitions and/or annual test failures. How you ensure that relevant changes are notified in accordance with operator licence requirements.

 Licence administration – ensuring that the traffic commissioner is made aware of any relevant matters within 28 days including convictions and prosecutions of the transport manager(s) or drivers and also of my own resignation should I leave the employment of the operator.

The Senior Traffic Commissioner has also identified some general indicators as to effective transport management which you should comment on:

 Knowledge and skills – which require more than just the formal qualification;

 Impact – where the individual CPC holder is recognised as a key person within the organisation so that s/he can influence decisions relevant to compliance and authority to deal with external contractors. Their position should reflect the professional and personal responsibility vested in the individual;

 Decision making – where the individual CPC holder is sufficiently close to drivers to be able to influence their behaviours and senior enough to influence the deployment of resources and to inform the decisions of the owner/directors/partners.

The above is not an exhaustive list. You should also include any further information which is relevant to the operation under your control. The traffic commissioner may also require information about the location of the operating centres for which you have responsibility, and whether travelling time will have an impact on your ability to provide effective management. You should therefore also be ready to supply a breakdown of your working week, including details of visits to the operating centres and of travelling time, as this may be requested.

Looking for an external transport manager, get in touch!

Are you an external transport manager looking for work? Go here to register on our database.

Transport Manager Duties

Top-line Transport Manager Duties

This list of Top-line Transport Manager Duties is not exhaustive and is intended to be used as guide only. I have broken the jobs by daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.  Many of the jobs are interlinked and will need to be repeated where necessary. For more detailed policies and processes please refer to the the Operator Handbook. References to the Operator Handbook and Master Spreadsheet are documents I have written, which I provide to my own clients. You can purchase these from the TMconsultant Shop.

Transport Manager Duties

Daily

  • Ensure all drivers have a daily defect report book
  • Ensure 3.5t drivers have a daily working time book. Including drivers who are swapping from EU to GB regs
  • Ensure VU has paper roll inserted and drivers carry a spare
  • Enter all defects are entered into a master defect book or the MS for cross referencing
  • Ensure all defects are rectified immediately, information has been recorded accurately and signed off – No rolling defects
  • Collect any completed defect report books and working time record books
  • Record any of the below on the Master Spreadsheet (MS)
    • Fines
    • Accidents
    • Incidents
    • Insurance claims
    • Breakdowns
    • Roadside stops
    • Complaints
    • Driver info changes
    • Training
  • Check planner schedule for any vehicle maintenance due dates
  • Ensure any vehicles due for maintenance are booked in with supplier
  • Carry out pre-employment assessments for new drivers
  • Carry out induction training for any new drivers
  • File any relevant documentation

Weekly

  • Review/cross reference all defects
  • Check whether part time or agency drivers have or have not driven for any other company. If yes, they must complete the Agency or Part time Driver activity record
  • Check planner for vehicle maintenance
  • Book in vehicles for PMIs, MOTs, Servicing, Brake Tests, Tyre changes
  • Enter fuel and tyre usage on the MS

Monthly

  • Collect Tachograph data and charts from drivers and VUs for analysis
  • Send off data for analysis
  • Make a record of date sent and when reports are returned using the MS
  • Complete the Tachograph analysis discussion with drivers
    • Cross reference charts with reports
    • Drivers must justify any infringements in writing on the report
    • Drivers must sign off any infringements and TM counter sign
    • Check:
      • Digital Over Speeding – Instances whereby a vehicle has been recorded exceeding the predefined maximum speed limit for HGV/PCV’s. Small instances may indicate a steep descent. Review of any instances that exceed 3 minutes in duration.
      • Events and Faults – Lists all error messages and diagnostic events that the digital tachograph unit within a given vehicle has recorded, such as tampering with the unit, removal of power supply or mechanical/electrical failure. Review this section in detail.
      • Driving without an Appropriate Card – This error occurs when the VU registers that the vehicle has been moved without a driver, enforcement or workshop card being in place. In all likelihood this error is brought about by small movements or shunts. However, they need to be explained where possible
      • Unknown Driver – Indicates in detail every instance whereby a vehicle has recorded itself in motion, without a driver, workshop or enforcement card being inserted. Although most instances will constitute a small shift or shunt, a review this section in detail and paying close attention to any instance which exceeds 5 minutes in duration is recommended.
    • Record driver infringements on MS. Analyse trends to determine whether a driver needs any further training, reprimands (warning letter)
  • Cross reference PMI sheets with defect reports and carry out investigations for any discrepancies – Sign off PMI sheets
  • Complete a spot check daily walk round check with drivers to ensure they are doing this properly – provide training where necessary
  • Check with publications and online recourses for new legislation and general information relating to operating vehicles/training
  • Review planner and make any necessary adjustments
  • Book in vehicles for PMIs, MOTs, Servicing, Brake Tests, Tyre changes
  • Carry out monthly driver meetings including a toolbox talk – record each toolbox talk using the training record sheet
  • Carry out relevant driver licence checks
  • Carry out relevant eyesight checks
  • Carry out a monthly review/status meeting all staff involved with transport and with all connected departments

Quarterly

  • Processes review and update policies and processes where necessary

Annually

  • Ensure all vehicles are booked in for Pre MOT and MOT
  • Book drivers in for annual Driver CPC training and or any other required training
  • Carry out an annual review meeting with Directors and connected departments to include policies and processes according to Operator and Driver Handbooks
  • Review and update policies and processes where necessary
  • Directors to sign off updates
  • Communicate policy changes to drivers – Carry out annual review meeting with drivers including any policy updates – drivers to be given new updates with training and driver declaration sign off

For more information regarding the documentation and services we offer and Top-line Transport Manager Duties, please visit the TMconsultant shop or alternatively please just get in touch. If you are looking to become a Transport Manager, have a look at the National Careers Service page for Transport Managers and also a blog I wrote, Looking for an External Transport Manager? Here to share the knowledge!

DVSA-publications-guides-forms-tools

The complete list of links to DVSA publications guides & forms

The complete list of links to DVSA publications guides & forms

I often get asked about which forms to use and what operator compliance publications the operator and driver should be utilising. So I’ve put together a rather helpful, regularly updated complete list of links to DVSA publications, guides, forms and tools for you. A one stop definitive place to find those all important DVSA publications, guides & forms, operator compliance legislation & other very helpful information.

Last update 24/07/18

Goods Vehicles Operators Guides

The Guide to maintaining roadworthiness 2018
https://www.safedrivingforlife.info/sites/default/files/guide-to-maintaining-roadworthiness.pdf

Guide to Goods Vehicle Operators Licensing 2011 (GV74)
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/193518/Goods_Vehicle_Operator_Licensing_Guide.pdf

Guide to graduated fixed penalties and financial deposits 2013
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-graduated-fixed-penalties-financial-deposits

GV262-03 Drivers’ Hours and Tachograph’s guide 2015
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rules-on-drivers-hours-and-tachographs-goods-vehicles-in-gb

Updates to Drivers’ Hours rules 4th March 2016
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/drivers-hours-goods-vehicles/updates

Working time regulations for mobile workers 2013
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-time-regulations-for-mobile-workers

Staying legal heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers 2011
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-legal-heavy-goods-vehicle-drivers

Load securing: vehicle operator guidance 2017
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/load-securing-vehicle-operator-guidance

HGV overloading: the basics 2013
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hgv-overloading-the-basics

The safe Operators Guide 2009
http://www.thetransportmanager.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/vosa-safe-operators-guide.pdf

Categorisation of Defects 2015
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/categorisation-of-defects

MOT testing guide (6th edition) 2004
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mot-testing-guide

VOSA Safe Operators Guide
https://tmconsultant.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/vosa-safe-operators-guide.pdf

Working time regulations for mobile workers:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-time-regulations-for-mobile-workers

The role of the traffic commissioners
www.gov.uk/government/organisations/traffic-commissioners

A guide to representations, objections and complaints
www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-guide-to-making-representations-objections-and-complaints-goods-vehicle-operator-licensing

Senior Traffic Commissioner’s statutory guidance and statutory directions – How traffic commissioners approach the exercise of their statutory functions
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/senior-traffic-commissioners-statutory-guidance-and-statutory-directions

Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS)
www.gov.uk/government/publications/operator-compliance-risk-score-guidance-ocrs-notes

International Road Haulage
www.gov.uk/the-essentials-of-international-road-haulage

Running a fleet of vans
www.gov.uk/government/publications/your-van-best-practice-guide

Towing small trailers guides
www.gov.uk/government/publications/quick-guide-to-towing-small-trailers

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/towing-a-trailer-with-a-car-or-van

Recovery operations guide
www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-for-recovery-operations

Horsebox and trailer owners
www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-horsebox-and-trailer-owners

Driver CPC overview
www.gov.uk/driver-certificate-of-professional-competence-cpc/overview

Driving licence categories
www.gov.uk/driving-licence-categories

Driving licence codes
www.gov.uk/driving-licence-codes

Guide to graduated fixed penalties and financial deposits
www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-graduated-fixed-penalties-financial-deposits

Guide to vehicle immobilisation:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-vehicle-immobilisation

Digital drivers cards (DQC)
www.gov.uk/government/publications/digital-drivers-cards-how-to-stay-within-the-law

Enforcement sanctions policy
www.gov.uk/government/publications/enforcement-sanctions-policy

Lorry types and weights:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-lorry-types-and-weights

HGV inspection manual (2013 consolidated version)
www.gov.uk/government/publications/consolidated-hgv-inspection-manual-2013

HGV brake test
www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-your-heavy-vehicle-for-brake-test

Braking connections when using a trailer:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/understanding-your-braking-connections-when-using-a-trailer

Automatic slack adjusters – maintenance guide
www.gov.uk/government/publications/automatic-slack-adjusters-maintenance-guide

Dangerous and hazardous goods vehicles inspection
www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-the-inspection-of-dangerous-and-hazardous-goods-vehicles

Seat belt installations
www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-changes-to-seat-belt-installations

Maintenance software and computer storage of maintenance records
http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-guide-to-the-use-of-maintenance-software-and-computer-storage-of-maintenance-records

Individual Vehicle Approval manuals (IVA)
https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-approval/individual-vehicle-approval-manuals

Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) for lorries help to get a pass
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/individual-vehicle-approval-iva-for-lorries-help-to-get-a-pass

Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) for vans help to get a pass
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/individual-vehicle-approval-iva-for-vans-help-to-get-a-pass

Categorisation of defects
www.gov.uk/government/publications/categorisation-of-defects

HGV operator licensing forms

All operator licensing applications and changes are carried out now online. See refer to my guide on ‘how to apply for an operators licence’.

Other helpful Links

Stoneridge Tachograph Simulator – great tool for practicing the use of a digital tachograph
http://www.se5000.com/documentation.html

Find your nearest Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) or DVSA test station:
www.gov.uk/find-atf-vosa-test-station

Check MOT test history
www.gov.uk/check-mot-history-vehicle

HGV driver daily walkaround check poster
www.gov.uk/government/publications/heavy-good-vehicle-drivers-daily-walkaround-check

Moving on – Official advice and information for lorry, bus, coach and van operators and drivers

https://movingon.blog.gov.uk

I hope you found the complete list of links to DVSA publications guides & forms, operator compliance legislation & other helpful info useful. If you did then please share by clicking the social icons below.

Or if you have any questions please do just get in touch. Here to share the knowledge!

external transport manager

The External Transport Manager and what you need to know

The External Transport Manager and what you need to know.

As an operator of a small to mid sized business, one of your primary jobs is to ensure you are fully compliant 100% of the time. This task is, by its very nature quite complex. For Standard Licence holders you must employ a professionally competent person. You don’t need to employ a full time transport manager, that’s where the External Transport Manager (ETM) comes in (if you are a Restricted Licence holder then you should employ the services of an External Transport Manager consultant). In this post, I will explain everything you need to know about employing the services of an ETM.

What is an External Transport Manager and what requirements must they meet?

An external transport manager is a competent professional who generally works for small to mid sized operators to ensure that its vehicles are roadworthy and drivers comply with traffic and drivers’ hours rules. They are also responsible to the wider public, through the traffic commissioner, for ensuring that an operator is compliant. That is to say that if the operator is not doing what the external transport manager is asking of them, then they have a duty of care to inform the traffic commissioner.

Let’s have look at what the Senior Traffic Commissioner has to say. (Statutory document no. 3: transport managers)

A designated transport manager must meet the requirements of Article 4 i.e; be of good reputebe professionally competent and, in the case of an external transport manager, is not prohibited from acting as a transport manager by a traffic commissioner, and is not designated to act in that capacity for more than 4 operators or be responsible for more than 50 vehicles or such smaller number as the traffic commissioner considers appropriate.

How do I know if my Transport Manager is of good repute?

The great news for Standard Licence holders is an external transport manager will have to complete a TM1 form, should they wish to be employed. If there any issues, then they will picked up by the Traffic Commissioners office. However, as Restricted Licence holders don’t need a CPC holder in place (via the TM1 form) and you would like to employ the services of a consultant, then you will need to contact the Central Licensing Office to find out this information.

It’s worth noting that if you are restricted licence holder and you would like to employ an external transport manager consultant, then they should as a minimum, hold the CPC in road haulage qualification.

What are the External Transport Managers’ duties?

I have written a comprehensive post on top line transport manager tasks/job on daily/weekly/quarterly and annual basis, which you can view here.

However, below is a list the duties the Transport Manager should be carrying out according to the Traffic Commissioner.

Drivers administration

  • Manage, audit and review compliance systems to ensure that they are effective
  • Review any shortcomings such as prohibitions and/or annual test failures
  • Ensure that relevant changes are notified in accordance with operator licence requirements
  • Keep up to date on relevant changes in standards and legislation
  • Ensure that drivers hold the appropriate licence for the vehicle they are driving (including non-GB vocational drivers from EU member states who are required to register their driving licences with DVLA within 12 months of being resident)
  • Ensure that regular checks are carried out on the drivers’ licences
  • Ensure regular eyesight checks are carried out
  • Ensure that vocational drivers hold a valid driver CPC qualification (DQC)
  • Ensure that all drivers hours records are kept for a period of no less than 12 months and are made available upon request
  • Ensure that all working time records are kept for a period of no less than 24 months and are made available upon request

Drivers management

  • Ensure compliance with the driving hours rules (EU or Domestic Hours rules) are in place
  • Ensure that drivers are recording their duty, driving time and rest breaks on the appropriate equipment or in drivers hours books and their records are being handed back for inspection as required
  • Download and store data from the vehicle digital tachograph unit (VU) (at least every 90 days) and from the drivers’ tachograph smart cards (at least every 28 days). I always advise VU data and driver data is downloaded and sent for analysis at the same time 
  • Ensure that drivers’ hours records are retained and are available to be produced during the relevant period
  • Ensure that records are retained for the purposes of the Working Time Directive (WTD) and that they are available to be produced during the relevant period
  • Ensure that drivers are adequately trained and competent to operate all relevant vehicles and equipment;
  • Contribute to relevant training and subsequent disciplinary processes as required.

Drivers Operations

  • Ensure that drivers are completing and returning their driver defect reporting sheets and that defects are recorded correctly
  • Ensure that all drivers and mobile workers take adequate breaks and periods of daily and weekly rest (as per the relevant regulations which apply).

Vehicle Administration

  • Ensure that vehicle maintenance records are retained for a period of no less than 15 months and are made available upon request
  • Ensure that vehicles are specified as required and that operator licence discs are current and displayed correctly
  • Ensure that vehicle payloads notifications are correct, height indicators are fitted and correct, and tachograph calibrations are up to date and displayed
  • Ensure that there are up to date certificates of insurance indemnifying company cars, commercial vehicles and plant
  • Ensure a suitable maintenance planner is completed and displayed appropriately, setting preventative maintenance inspection dates at least 6 months in advance and to include the Annual Test and other testing or calibration dates.

Vehicle Management

  • Ensure that vehicles and trailers are kept in a fit and roadworthy condition;
  • Ensure that reported defects are either recorded in writing or in a format which is readily accessible and repaired promptly
  • Ensure that vehicles and trailers that are not roadworthy are taken out of service
  • Ensure that vehicles and towed equipment are made available for safety inspections, service, repair and statutory testing
  • Ensure that safety inspections and other statutory testing are carried out within the notified O-licence maintenance intervals (ISO weeks)
  • Liaise with maintenance contractors, manufacturers, hire companies and dealers, as might be appropriate and to make certain vehicles and trailers are serviced in accordance with manufacturer recommendations.

What else should you be looking for?

  • Knowledge and skills – More than just the formal qualification, what experience and skill do they posess
  • Impact – Where the individual CPC holder is recognised as a key person within the organisation so that they can influence decisions relevant to compliance and authority to deal with external contractors. Their position should reflect the professional and personal responsibility vested in the individual
  • Decision making – where the individual CPC holder is sufficiently close to drivers to be able to influence their behaviours and senior enough to influence the deployment of resources and to inform the decisions of the owner/directors/partners
  • Improvements – Your ETM should also be able to help with:
    • Driver/company relations
    • Fuel efficiency
    • Develop your Driver training matrix
    • Transport related H&S policies
    • Ways to maximise on spend efficiency on all transport related areas.

It’s worth noting at this point that operators will also need to have someone in place for running day to day duties on behalf of the External Transport Manager. Otherwise you’re looking at employing a full time transport manager.

How much does an external transport manager cost?

The standard rates start at around £350 for one vehicle plus £100 is usually added for additional vehicles. This can be more depending on your OCRS (operator compliance risk score). If your OCRS is amber or red then there is more work/risk so the price goes up. Have a look at my rates here.

Where can I find an ETM?

Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer to this. An internet search is a good start and there are various consultancies who can find ETMs on your behalf. I am currently building a database of available external transport manager, so if you are looking for an ETM then please do get in touch as I may be able to help.

Update April 2018!
Our database is a real success and we now have over 60 transport managers on the books. So if you are in need of either an external transport manager or full time transport manager just fill in the blanks on the form and we’ll get straight back to you. You can find the form here.

How does employment work?

ETMs are freelance, self employed or run their own business and therefore, will bill you monthly for their services. Your ETM will have in a place a contract which you will both need to sign. Your ETM will visit you monthly and you will need to be in regular contact. As mentioned, you will also need to have someone in place to manage day to day duties.

It’s worth noting that Richard Turfitt (TC) recently pointed to a ruling made by the Upper Tribunal in 2015, which stated that a transport manager cannot be a volunteer as they often cannot establish a genuine link to the operator. Also, if you find an ETM who offers their services in name only then I would kindly decline. This is not only frowned upon by the TC but will put your operator licence in jeopardy.

In Summary

  • Do they have the CPC in Road haulage qualification? – If you’re operating abroad, do they have the International CPC qualification?
  • They have their good repute? – Have they ever been in trouble with the Traffic Commissioner?
  • What are their work ethics, what else can they bring to the mix?
  • Do they come with pre-compiled robust policies and procedures which can be implemented immediately?
  • Do they have any experience with FORS?
  • How often will they come to visit you? – No point in having an External Transport Manager in name only!
  • Cost. Don’t just opt for the cheapest solution – you get what you pay for!

 

Where can I get more information?

If you have any questions regarding External Transport Managers, please do get in touch. Here to share the knowledge!

Policies and Procedures tm consultant

Why we like Policies and Procedures for Transport Managers

Why we like Policies and Procedures for Transport Managers? A great question! Ok, I know this doesn’t sound like the most exciting of subjects to write about, never the less it is important. Policies and procedures provide the framework within which a Company operates. They define what the Transport department does and how you do it. Clear policies and procedures support effective decision making and delegation because they provide guidelines on what people can and cannot do, what decisions they can make and what activities are appropriate.

A clear policy framework means there will be fewer misunderstandings or debates about what to do in particular situations and there will transparency and consistency in the way you operate as an organisation and make decisions.

The policies and procedures an Operator needs will depend on a number of factors such as the type of work and the size of your organisation and fleet.

Transport Managers need to have a way to implement all of the Operator’s Licence undertakings and we need to ensure all the Policies and Processes are in place. Vehicle checks, Maintenance, H&S, complaints, applications, induction, grievance, smoking,  fuel tracking , vulnerable road users, training the list goes on!

Without doubt, writing your policies and procedures manual will be one of the biggest and most time consuming undertakings for the Transport Manager. Yet, once you have a general format and all the generic elements together, you’ll have the solid foundations for a very powerful document and when complete, a very valuable asset in your tool box.

Why Do We Have Processes and Procedures?

No self respecting Operator can run efficiently (or effectively) without having robust policies and processes in place. A business without policies and procedures is like a truck without a driver, essentially an organisation without control. Personnel at all levels would have no guidance on how to make any decisions and carry out their tasks. Think of it like returning a faulty product to a shop, if the shop had no policy on refunds, the result would be dependant on who would be serving you that day. An absence of policy leads to inconsistency of decision making.

The purpose for creating an internal control system through defining and documenting processes with well-written procedures boils down to a few very basic components:

  • Compliance
  • Operational Needs
  • Managing Risks
  • Continuous Improvement through review
Compliance

Complying with traffic laws and regulations should be the most basic function of an Operator. While policies and procedures themselves may not demonstrate compliance, well-defined and documented processes (i.e. procedures, training) along with records that demonstrate process capability can make evident an effective internal control system and compliance to regulations and standards.

We love efficiency!

The Transport Manager cannot be everywhere all the time to ensure staff and drivers carry out their tasks correctly and responsibly. Instead the Transport Manager will develop and communicate policies, and ask staff and drivers to read and adhere to them. Therefore, policies and processes will help decrease the amount of direct supervision by the you, and at the same time increase the efficiency of work procedures. So creating well-defined processes documented by procedures in order to meet your legal and regulatory requirements should be of the highest priority.

Drive Improvement, keep control

Reviewing data for policy effectiveness is one form of internal control and should be an integral part of the process. Are your objectives being achieved? Are the objectives meaningful and reflect the processes’ importance and risk? Necessary corrections can be identified and implemented as a result of the review. Improvement occurs when we compare the prior condition to the current condition. Improvement is always a question of “as compared to what?”

I just don’t have time, are template documents any good?

In short yes they are. Off the self templates can save you much time and effort. They take the headache out of policy writing but you still need to read through thoroughly and adjust the template to your specific company requirements. It’ll still take some time but once finished, you’ll be proud of your accomplishments, whether you used a template or not.

If you would like to know more about policies and procedures for transport managers and how we can help, please do get in touch.

become-an-external-transport-manager

How to become an External Transport Manager

How to become an External Transport Manager

(updated 5th September 2017)

I get asked by many people about how to become an External Transport Manager (ETM). It could be you’re already a full time Transport Manager and you’re looking to go it alone. Perhaps you’re looking for a career change. What ever your reasons for reading this article, I will take you through, step by step so you’re armed with all the knowledge to give you a head start.

Step 1. Get qualified

If you’re just starting out then this will be the first port of call on your quest to become an external transport manager. You need what’s called a CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) for Transport Managers (Road Haulage) or otherwise known as the ‘Transport Manager CPC’. This qualification is offered on behalf of the Department for Transport and in relation to the current EU Directive through OCR. It is suitable for those wishing to enter the profession of Road Haulage Transport Management or demonstrate professional competence to meet the Operator Licensing requirements. It’s essentially a ‘licence to practice’ and due to its nature, is very in depth. This, I might add is not an easy qualification to gain and will take much of your time in preparation to pass the tests with confidence.

What does the Transport Manager CPC course cover?

The course covers Law, Business and Finance, People management and Employment Legislation, Operator licensing, Drivers’ hours and working time, Record keeping, Maintenance and vehicle operations, Driver licensing, Health and safety, Vehicle selection, Contracts of Carriage and International operations. Everything needed to run either your own operating centre or manage someone else’s.

How long is the course?

CPC courses are 10 days intensive. Home study courses are also readily available.

Where can I sit a course?

My best advice here is to shop around. Just Google Certificate of Professional Competence in Road Haulage or transport manager CPC and find a course near to you. Obviously, the main players like RHA, FTA, ROSPA etc provide the TM CPC course. Personally, I can recommend a super training company called Sigma Studies out in East Essex. They’re independent and go out of their way to help you achieve your goal.

How much is a TM CPC course?

You’re looking at spending anything from around £1,200 to £1,500.

After the exam don’t expect to get your results for at least 7 to 8 weeks. These things take time so you’ll need to be patient!

Where can I get more information?

Go to the OCR website here

Step 2. Get some experience

Of course feel free to jump straight into setting up your own external manager business but my advice is to get out there and find yourself a transport manager job. Pay is pretty good at around the 30 to 40k mark (depending on experience) and the knowledge and experience will be invaluable.

Step 3. Services

Your initial service will be to offer external transport management services. This is where you’ll essentially be a part time transport manager. Small to medium sized business won’t want to employ a full time transport manager, so this is where you come in. You can only work for 4 operators with up to a maximum of 50 vehicles. However, each application via the TM1 form will be at the Traffic Commissioner’s discretion. The factors considered include, how far and how long will it take you to travel to the operators’ premises, how many vehicles will you be managing, what work you will be carrying out, whether you have any assistance and what tasks they will be assigned, the days and hours you will be working and what other work you do.

You may won’t to consider offering your services to Restricted Licence holders. As you know restricted licence holders don’t need to employ the services of a professionally competent person. However, they are still required to comply with exactly the same legislation as a Standard Licence holder when it comes to compliance. I always advice restricted licence holders to ensure they at least have access to professional advice.

How much can I charge?

Rates do seem to vary much among external transport managers. Through my research I have found that this is because there are a few people out there who offer external transport manager services without actually doing very much. This is known as ‘name only’. I must add that this practice is frowned upon, not only by reputable consultants but also by the traffic commissioners office too. Richard Turfitt (TC) recently pointed to a ruling made by the Upper Tribunal in 2015, which stated that a transport manager cannot be a volunteer as they often cannot establish a genuine link to the operator.

Anyway, the standard rates start at around £350 for one vehicle plus £100 is usually added for additional vehicles. This can be more depending on an OCRS (operator compliance risk score). If an OCRS is amber or red then there is more work/risk so the price goes up. Have a look at my rates page here. These numbers are our recommended rates as we are trying to get some sort of uniformity to the pricing structure.

Step 4. Policies, processes, procedures and other requisite documents

As an external transport manager, you will need to come armed with all the documents necessary to keep your clients compliant. It’s no easy task to compile all the necessary policies, processes, procedures and other requisite documents I must say. The great news is you can purchase everything you need from our Transport Manager Shop. We supply:

If you would like to have a go at writing your own handbooks, I have written a post on this subject

Step 5. Where can I find work?

Like with all new start ups, ensure you do your research and that you have enough capital to see you through the initial stages. The likely hood is that you have already built up your contacts and therefore the transition should be relatively easy. Otherwise, you’ll need to find your new clients. You can do this by checking your local paper to see who is applying for an operators licence for example. You could contact existing consultancies as they may be looking for external transport managers for new operator applications. Feel free to register with TMconsultant, we are currently building a database of external transport managers and we will contact you should any work be available in your area. To apply go here.

Contract

You will need a comprehensive service contract which covers:

  • Appointment/Termination
  • Duties
  • Fees, invoicing and expenses
  • Confidentiality
  • Delivery up documents
  • Tax liabilities and indemnity
  • No employment
  • Data protection
  • Force majeure
  • Survival of causes of action
  • Severability
  • Waiver
  • Notices
  • Law and jurisdiction

It is always advisable to seek the assistance of a solicitor with all things legal. However, you can purchase and download a template copy of an external transport managers contract here.

Step 4. Add extra value – become a Driver CPC trainer

Add value to your business. Rather than just providing your external services, think about becoming a JAUPT approved Driver CPC trainer. That way you can not only earn extra income you can provide all your drivers training, which is great for ensuring you are helping to cover off your external transport manager responsibilities. As you already have your transport manager CPC, all you need is teaching experience and or suitable training. If you don’t have teaching experience you can take a ‘train the trainer course’. There’s a few companies offering this kind of training, Sigma Studies, TMC Assist, the RHA and FTA all offer ‘train the trainer courses.

There a two routes into Driver CPC training of which I go into much more detail in another article, which can find here.

You can set up your own Driver CPC training centre through JAUPT . Alternatively you can join a consortium which is a great option if you’re just starting out or you’re not intending to teach too much. For more information about the TMconsultant consortium go here.

Step 5. Keep up to date

I can not stress the importance of keeping up to date with the industry and legislation. Not only will you be able to keep your clients legal and compliant at all times, you’ll be the font of all knowledge and therefore an invaluable asset to any Operator. You can get the DVSA publication ‘moving on’ here. The TMconsultant news letter is also a great place to get updates, interesting and useful information. To join the TMconsultant news letter go here.

For general information and reading for external transport managers go here.

Need Help?

If you need any advice about how to Become an External Transport Manager then please do just get in touch. We’re here to share the knowledge!