So you want to be a Transport Manager
Transport is not for the faint hearted, it's a stressful environment where weekends and shift work to cover 24-hour operations are the norm.
Transport managers have responsibility for planning the routes and schedules of drivers involved in road haulage, distribution and logistics or passenger transport.
They must ensure that all operations are carried out in accordance with UK and EU laws and regulations governing vehicle safety, environmental controls on fuel emissions and traffic congestion, driver hours, customs requirements, and food hygiene where applicable. The most economical method of completing the journey must be calculated as there will be budgetary restrictions.
The transport manager also has, along with the operator, overall responsibility for sticking to the undertakings on the operator licence and they will be held accountable just as the operator would should the rules and regulations not be adhered to therefore its of paramount importance that the transport manager fully understands their role, responsibilities and is not just a named transport manager but a qualified one.
Restricted operators are not required to have a qualified transport manager however, it is recommended to ensure compliance across the organisation. All to often restricted operators are targeted by the enforcement authorities and have their licences suspended, revoked and curtailed. Although transport is not the main part of the business for restricted operators it is important that they understand that they must adhere to the same undertakings as those in possession of a standard or international operator licence.
Standard and International operators must have a qualified transport manager so in some cases it may not be that you want to be a transport manager it may be that you have to be a transport manager but don't worry it's not as difficult as it can sometimes sound and in fact many who have undertaken the qualification have stated they have seen an increase in staff productivity and a decrease in in offences!
Becoming a qualified transport manager sounds like a daunting prospect to some people however, it needn’t be! There are different routes you can take to work around your own schedule and learning style.
The most important thing is learning everything you need to know, and I will admit there is a lot to take in but if supported and determined this should be achievable.
One way to go is to go through the home-study route, this is where you can obtain all the information you need in a pack and study at home, in your own time and then take the examination when you’re ready. There are four examination dates per year to choose from held at various locations throughout the UK. These dates are set by the OCR which is the examination board that issues the qualification upon successful completion. The home-study option is the most effective way to gain the qualification however, the candidate choosing to achieve the qualification through home-study must be self-motivated, disciplined and determined which can sometimes be difficult when maintaining a busy lifestyle.
Another route is through classroom based training, this is the best route to take for those who would like to complete the course and become qualified in the shortest time frame possible.
Training providers, such as us, run intensive training courses four times per year to coincide with examinations. These courses are often seven consecutive days of training with a week break before the examination. We also run a pre-exam refresher day before the examination as well to ensure candidates are ready. It is intense but it works and most candidates who achieve the qualification do so through completing the intense transport manager CPC course. The cost for intensive training is significantly higher than home-study however, some training providers (us included) offer flexible payment plans to allow people, who don’t have the option of paying a large chunk of money up-front, to still take the qualification.