The Excellence in Professional Driving (EPD) programme has been developed to enable fleets to meet their legal obligations and protect employees that use their cars for business purposes.

Robb Gravett, a former British Touring Car Champion and founder of Ultimate Car Control, said: ‘When we started developing EPD, we did a lot of research into the sector and found that there was no established standard for existing courses. They had no reproducibility and took no account of the different skills and aptitudes of individual drivers. In short, many were just a box ticking exercise; a token effort by companies to meet their legal obligations.

‘To me, that simply wasn't good enough - after all, this is people's lives and their safety that we are talking about and I wanted to change the way driver training was provided. Today, EPD is the only fully legally compliant driver training programme available, and it's also the only programme that licenses each individual driver.’

The course is split into two sessions - the first, a classroom-based session covering topics like hazard perception, the effects of drugs and alcohol on drivers, as well as finding out how vehicle safety systems such as anti-lock brakes actually work. The second part is dynamic driver training, where participants learn how a car behaves in extreme situations and what a driver can do to keep control.

Drivers taking part in the one-day courses will use Volvo vehicles, selected specifically for the manufacturer's expertise in vehicle safety and new technology that helps drivers avoid accidents on the road. Volvo is also putting its own employees through the scheme.

Selwyn Cooper, national corporate operations manager at Volvo Cars UK, said: ‘Ultimate Car Control is the emerging leader in this sector and has created a driver training programme that is unique in the market place. We are delighted to have teamed up with them to improve standards across the industry and help organisations reduce accident rates and the associated costs caused by vehicle downtime and rising insurance premiums.'