Yet another examination body?
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• If the Minister for Transport Industries, accepts the proposals presented to him last week by the Transport managers' Licence Committee it will mean the establishment of yet another examining body. This was revealed last week at the TMLC's first-ever Press conference in London and confirmed the report which appeared in CM on the same day.
The TMLC has asked the Minister to recognize the establishment of a certification board, the composition of which would be the same as the committee. This would mean that the Institute of Transport, Industrial Transport Association, Institute of Road Transport Engineers and the Institute of Traffic Administration, the Road Haulage Association, Freight Transport Association and the Road Transport Industry Training Board would be members of the new. board. The four professional associations already have an education syllabus and annual examinations for their various grades.
The committee chairman, Mr D. H. Joyce, pointed out that registration with the board would be on a voluntary basis. Those who registered would be placed in one of four grades following an examination, although initially persons qualified either by experience or through membership of one of the professional bodies would be granted exemption from examination.
Mr Joyce said that he expected the scheme to attract those who, for one reason or another, had been unable to gain admittance at any grade to one of the professional associations. In answer to a question, he said that this did not mean that the standard of those registered would be lower than it would have been for membership of a professional body.
The chairman also stated that the board would not be an employment agency. Its function would be to keep a register of transport managers.
Mr. U. Harper, of the Road Haulage Association, said that it was hoped that the board would attract registrations from two sources: young people entering the industry and those who were to be engaged strictly on road goods operation. He felt that at the moment transport contractors had no real source on which to draw for trained or experienced managers. He considered that many young people became disillusioned with transport courses when in the initial stages they had to absorb some passenger knowledge although their real interest was in goods operation.
The TMLC considers that the professional institutes cannot have any impact on industry individually and the board is seen as a more effective way of presenting transport management. Mr Joyce said that registration of transport managers with the board is a device which would achieve the 'objects of the Transport Act 1968 but would be devoid of the dangers of a statutory scheme. He contended that a statutory scheme would downgrade the status of transport managers.
The board has not yet drawn up an examination syllabus in detail nor does it yet know how much the administration of the scheme would cost.. In its proposals to the Minister it has asked for a Government loan which would be repaid from registration fees. The chairman. pointed out, however, that they had yet to explore all of the financial implications.
Mr Joyce said that it was hoped to have the board established by April and ready to accept registrations by January 1972. He was unable to say what benefits would accrue to those who were registered which could not already be gained from membership of the Institutes.
A spokesman at the Department of the Environment said that the committee's proposals had been received on January 18 and that they were to be considered by the Minister—together with those submitted by the National Guild of Transport Managers (CM January 15).