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Goods vehicle operator licensing in Northern Ireland from 2011

FTA helps operators prepare. Changes to Goods Vehicle Operator Licensing are planned to be introduced in Northern Ireland from April 2011. These changes will require a step change by all operators of goods vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonnes in compliance practices linked to vehicle roadworthiness. For the first time companies transporting their own goods will also be required to hold a licence to operate vehicles.

Operator licensing is a major element of the Freight Transport Association's annual Transport Manager seminar, which this year will be held at the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle on 15 October. The keynote speaker will be Beverley Bell, Traffic Commissioner for North West England, who will be explaining how O-licensing currently operates in Great Britain and will provide an insight into how Northern Ireland operators should be preparing for the forthcoming changes.

The event is a must for all goods vehicle operators as it will deal with the range of operational and compliance challenges they are currently facing together with a round-up of forthcoming legislation. The day long seminar is designed to provide transport managers with key details of essential need-to-know legal developments and information to allow them to plan for the future.

The introduction of the Driver CPC from 2009 will require transport operators to put in place systems to ensure that the drivers they employ or use have the necessary level of regular training. Drivers must have received 35 hours of periodic vocational training on issues such as drivers' hours, safe and fuel efficient driving and roadworthiness of the vehicle and load by September 2014. Operators urgently need to begin planning what training is most appropriate for their business, what current training can qualify and how they are going to deliver it. The seminar will provide guidance on how to manage this process and gain maximum value as a business from the mandatory training.

Legislation is also on the way that will give the DVTA (Driver Vehicle Testing Agency) powers to issue fixed penalties at the roadside for certain vehicle and driver-related offences that will be graduated to reflect the level of offending.

Attendance is open to members of FTA at £215 plus VAT and to non-members at £280 plus VAT. Discounts are available for more than one delegate. Call the FTA Member Service Centre on 08717 112222 for registration.

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