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Outsourcing: Clarity Sought On Driver Training

Fed confirms it has sought legal advice over privatisation issue

Senior roads policing professionals have admitted serious concerns over the potential legal implications of outsourcing driver training to private firms as budget cuts continue to bite.

The Police Federation has confirmed that it is seeking clarification over any ramifications that could face forces if they use the services of third parties.

Alan Jones, Chairman of the staff association’s Roads Policing Group, said that he was not levelling criticism at forces using the outsourcing route or the companies they chose – but felt that any potential legal issues should be quickly identified and addressed.

He added: “We are concerned about this issue – forces are being affected by austerity measures and cuts to budgets and the use of outsourcing is growing.

“Advanced police driver training has traditionally been provided in force by officers who have responsibility for teaching students how drive safely at high speeds.

“This is something that you clearly cannot do while sitting in a classroom.”

Mr Jones said the Police Service needed to know whether a private security firm had the relevant legal rights and exemptions to teach students to drive at high speeds.

He also said clarity was required over how instructors were vetted and assessed.

Mr Jones added: “We have asked for legal advice about the outsourcing issue in the absence of any particular ACPO guidance focusing on this area.

“It may be the Home Secretary would argue that driver training is not a front-line service but we must make sure the people delivering it have the best skills.

“If this is not the case, then we clearly do have a problem we need to solve.”

PoliceOracle.com approached the ACPO on this issue but had yet to receive a response as this story went live.

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