PTDI looks at CDL qualifying
May 29, 2007 2:59 PM
The Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) is reviewing its skill, performance, curriculum and certification standards in anticipation of a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed rule that will consider the effectiveness of driver training in reducing crashes, and the appropriate types and levels of entry-level driver training that should be mandated, PTDI said.
The PTDI Board of Directors has authorized the formation of a task force to make recommendations regarding course standards and certification processes in preparation for the pending federal mandatory rule. The FMCSA is currently drafting the proposed rule that is expected to be published late in 2007.
PTDI said the proposed rule will consider requiring minimum time of behind-the-wheel training for persons who must hold a commercial driver license (CDL).
The Task Force also will make recommendations to the board regarding a strategic plan to expand its ability to certify training courses under any new federal mandate. The task force is made up of both publicly and privately funded truck driver schools, insurance industry, carriers, and other interested parties.
PTDI said it will present several recommendations to the FMCSA for consideration in the new rule. Although all of the recommendations are not yet formulated, the PTDI Board placed emphasis on:
•The PTDI Task Force will review current standards and determine if there should be a greater focus on "product" or driver skill attainment and performance outcomes as opposed to process or inputs. Potential recommendations of the task force could be a lesser emphasis on a paperwork intensive, totally hours-based process and a greater emphasis on a school's product--the performance of the student driver. Potential recommended changes to PTDI’s current skill, performance, curriculum, and certification standards will be submitted to the Board by the end of June 2007 for consideration and review.
•PTDI believes that independent certification of CMV training courses is the only way to assure consistent quality and thus to obtain the safety benefits sought by FMCSA in this prospective rulemaking. PTDI will be in a position to meet the certification needs of any new federal rule through a new strategic partnership with motor carrier safety specialists.
•PTDI will include a recommendation that newly graduated entry-level CMV operators be required to receive follow up training through a finishing program with their employer.
The PTDI Board of Directors has authorized the development of a strategic partnership with Consolidated Safety Services (CSS) to conduct on-site visits at schools with commercial motor vehicle operator training courses seeking or maintaining course certification. Consolidated Safety Services is the only FMCSA contractor authorized to conduct motor carrier safety audits. CSS has 48 certified DOT inspectors who will be equipped to provide PTDI with expansion resources, PTDI said.
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