Licence checking comes under scrutiny in first of new ACFO guides
Dubbed the "ACFO Best Practice Guide to Employee Driving Document Checking", the 11-page guide has been championed by former Transport Minister Dr Stephen Ladyman after he uncovered significant weaknesses in driving licence checking within Government departments.
In particular, the booklet looks at how regular checking of driving licences of all employees that drive on business, whether in a company vehicle or their own, should be a crucial part of all organisations' occupational road risk management policies.
The guide concludes: 'Driving licence checking is a vital component in compiling an adequate risk assessment of each employee and, indeed, the whole organisation in terms of at-work driving.
'With the entire public and private sectors focused on reducing their risk exposure, a failure to undertake licence checks on all employees who drive on business and volunteer drivers should be considered as a fundamental weakness in health and safety and duty of care policies and procedures.'
Also included is advice on the following areas:
• Driving licence checking procedure and best practice frequency
• The key information employers should look for on UK licences and those held by foreign nationals to ensure validity
• Who should carry out the checks
Dr Ladyman, who was a Transport Minister from 2005 to 2007 and had been the Labour MP for South Thanet in Kent since 1997 until losing his seat in this month's general election, said: 'All employers have a duty to make sure that people who drive for their work are properly licenced and that their vehicle is safe and insured. This new guide sets out clearly and simply how to go about it and ACFO should be congratulated for producing it.
'In my view Government departments need to set an example to all employers and from my questions it is clear that some of them fall well short of an acceptable standard. I want to see all of them agree to adopt the ACFO guidance and lead the way by taking driving safety seriously.'