Changes to truck licensing expected

The revised Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment (HVCBA) provider agreement is its final stages of revision, and it is expected to be ready for comment in early May with providers set to sign up following that. This agreement is the agreement that providers have with the RMS to offer heavy vehicle licensing to the public.

No one knows for sure exactly what changes will be made to the heavy vehicle licensing process in NSW, but there are a few contenders:

Separation of training and assessment – clause 4.2(d)

About 4 years ago, this infamous change saw 20 years of privatised heavy vehicle licensing turned on its head with a requirement for a different assessor to conduct the final assessment. This requires two assessors to conduct an assessment on one candidate. This policy brought significant hardship to regional parts of the state, and consequently, variations were provided to the rule on a needs basis. It is speculated by some in the industry that adjustments to this rule will occur and there is a chance the policy will be dropped entirely.

Video recording of criteria

Currently, the video recording is only of the Final Competency Assessment (FCA), which is the final assessment of the driving elements of the course. This final drive does not include criteria such as load securing, reversing, coupling and uncoupling, and pre checks; thus, these criteria are not captured on the video recording. There is some speculation that the RMS considers this to be too big a risk and therefore may consider requiring all criteria be video recorded.

Adjustment of required hours for licence candidate

For decades, industry groups have pushed for an increase to the minimum course times for truck driver training programs. Some speculate that the release of this new contract might see a long anticipated adjustment to the hours a licence candidate is required to undertake before achieving a licence. Historically, RMS has appeared careful not to impose more than the minimum on candidates and this position has been seen as reasonable as the public are entitled to receive recognition for experiences and acquired skills. Change in this space equals increases in course fees.

Executives at ALLTRUCK DRIVER TRAINING are participating in the scheme review process and will be signing the new contract when it becomes available.

Change can bring an increase in course fees and will bring significant increases if the hours of the courses are increased. Our recommendation is to upgrade your licence in the very near future if you wish to do it at today’s prices.

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