Truck driver training courses have always been a major expense – frequently involving candidates going into debt or working two jobs to save up for it. There is no pressure like financial pressure. We’ve heard “gotta get it done first time cos I can’t afford another test” and “gotta pass or I lose my job”. There are hundreds of trainers in the UK with assorted offerings; the good, the bad and the downright ugly!
It’s a sad fact that candidates are amazed to discover that there is no compulsory registration for LGV instructors. There is a voluntary register operated by the Driving Standards Agency and many good instructors are proud to have jumped the hoops to qualify for a place on the register. Many other instructors trade on the knowledge that candidates will assume they are suitably trained, qualified and registered.
LGV schools are one of the few sectors not regulated by law. Once again, there is a DSA Accreditation Scheme for LGV Schools but it is purely voluntary. There is no more than a handful of schools actually accredited by DSA. Beware of claims of such accreditation – - they are frequently false. Being accredited by DSA is a quality assurance for the candidate. Vehicles, premises, training records, instructor qualifications, training methods all come under scrutiny. So any school who is genuinely accredited is capable of delivering really good training that is proven to the highest standards.
Then there is the spectre of the brokers who purport to have depots all over the country when, in reality, they have none. Brokers are notorious for taking the money then taking forever to book the training with a local trainer. On occasions, brokers disappear together with candidate’s cash. The broker will do nothing that any decent trainer will do – they just do it slower and charge more for the privilege. And, incidentally, are some of the culprits for false accreditation claims.
One HGV training company, Peter Smythe Transport Training Ltd, feel each issue should be robustly addressed to offer the candidate the best possible training resource. So we only employ LGV instructors who are highly experienced, talented, qualified and registered with the DSA as LGV driving instructors. Take note, “qualified and registered with the DSA as LGV driving instructors”. There are cases of car instructors purporting to be LGV instructors. It clearly isn’t the same thing.
Having achieved the correct qualification levels for all their LGV instructors, they then went on, at the request of DSA, to open their own private driving test centre – -the first of it’s type in the UK at their purpose built training centre. Not being content with that, they then went for LGV Centre Accreditation. They have now held that for a year and the recent renewal audit visit was “an absolute pleasure” according to Colin Thorneycroft, Asst Chief Driving Examiner from DSA.
Is that all? It would be plenty if that were all! But no, the progress continues. Given the issue that candidates are under pressure (some almost to the point of unbearable) to pass the test, Peter Smythe Transport Training have made it as relaxed as possible. They believe that this measure will increase their already legendary pass rate. They now offer a genuine money back guarantee.
The candidate will receive a normal training course running up to test. But extra training will be provided prior to test if they consider it necessary. Hopefully then, a first time pass. But life just isn’t like that all the time. So if it goes wrong they now provide unlimited training up to a second test. And a third. And a fourth. And a fifth. And so on.
The candidate pays the test fees (which carry a small surcharge for the site) and no more. If, eventually, they consider that the candidate will never pass the test, they can terminate the training and give a full refund of the training fees. This will exclude all test fees and any accommodation costs they have incurred for those travelling to their Mansfield training centre from afar.
They believe there is no other trainer in the UK offering this guarantee. It’s based on some simple principles:
- Their pass rate is very high
- The candidate should know how much all this will cost
- The pressure is taken out of the situation
- They have a genuine desire to help folk into what we believe is a brilliant industry.
This is new. They fully understand scepticism from any quarter. If they had never been heard of and had no track record this would be most understandable. But the fact is that the school can trace it’s roots back to 1947, it’s been under it’s current ownership since 1984 by Peter Smythe who has been training truck drivers since 1974 and bus drivers since 1971. Their reputation is magnificent and will not be put at risk by false claims and promises. They simply couldn’t afford to risk their position within the industry.
To anyone out there who is concerned about training, give Peter Smythe Transport Training a call on 01623 620062 or visit their website. If concerned about the guarantee, give it a go and see if it really is true. Because if it isn’t you would simply be able to ruin them.
As a footnote, Peter Smythe Transport Training would like to point out that although they have accreditations, qualifications and the nerve to offer a money back guarantee, there are other very competent, fair trading instructors out there. It may just be difficult to establish who they are.