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DCPC – was it really meant to be this hard?

Dr Ross Moloney


I think of myself as an upbeat and optimistic sort of individual.
But DCPC is now one of those subjects that leaves me with my head in my hands.
Was it really supposed to be this hard?

I’ve written previously about my position on DCPC. I believe in training, I believe that skills can improve the efficiency and effectiveness on people and organisations. But those skills have to be relevant and fix a problem.

I’m not going to be a better researcher by doing five first aid courses in a week, and I don’t believe many professional drivers will benefit much either. The training has to be high quality and the learner has to be engaged. Is it really this hard?

So here are my bugbears – I wonder what else should be on the list?

  1. Auditors – I’ve heard so many bad things about the auditing. I tried to improve it when I was involved. How are things now?
  2. Pure attendance. Turning up and reading a book? I’m attending my Speed Awareness Class tomorrow. I’m expected to fully participate.
    Did we really mean to outlaw testing completely?
  3. Repeating the same courses over and over. Crazy.
  4. Line of sight over who is responsible. Is it JAUPT? Is it DVSA?
  5. Communication – as above I think, can a fundamental shift such as this one really best be communicated via an online forum? Is that really the best way to do things?
  6. Who has the ear of the DVSA? I believe in evidence based policy. Is there any worked-up evidence at the heart of this change?  I hope employers are heard. I hope training providers – who let’s face it should be experts in this – are listened to.
  7. Leadership – who is leading this? Who will listen to competing voices and say, ‘I hear you – let’s do it this way – on my head be it’.
  8. Statistics. Can we please get some definitive numbers on professional drivers.

I’ve moved away from the DCPC issue but I had hoped that things were better than when I got involved.

A fundamental shift announced on an online message board? If that’s really what happened then it sounds like somebody has a long way to go.

What do we think?

Dr Ross Moloney
Managing Director
FireDog Research


Baker Dearing Educational Trust brief FireDog on a research study in Staffordshire


FireDog Research_Lord Baker_Baker Dearing Educational Trust

Dr Ross Moloney, FireDog MD, Lord Baker, Chair of The Baker Educational Trust and Gwyn Stubbings, IDI Glazeley

Research has found that the UK needs more advanced technical skills at all levels in order to prosper with the need for a million extra scientists, engineers and technicians by 2020. 

The Baker Dearing Educational Trust (BDT)  is keen to encourage employers, universities, local authorities and other public bodies to establish University Technical Colleges (UTCs) where there is demand from the local area.

As part of their work, BDT has identified a number of potential areas – including Stoke and Staffordshire – where there is a potential for a UTC specialising in engineering, construction, civil engineering or another technical or digital area within the STEM or indeed the STEAM agenda.

FireDog Research have been briefed on a short study that will:

  • identify current and future skills gaps
  • understand the potential market failure in talent – in particular young talent – recruitment
  • identify the skills that employers are struggling the most to recruit
  • understand the impacts of a skills gap  e.g. effect on an ageing workforce,
  • evidence the growing demand for competent talent and young people and potential gaps in local education provision
  • examine careers advice and provision of technical ‘work ready skills’

The results of the study will be presented by Dr Ross Moloney, FireDog Research Managing Director and the Baker Dearing Educational Trust at an event in late June – full details to follow. If you wish to take part in the research, please email hello@firedogresearch.com

Good research isn’t just ticking a box. Good research changes lives.

Dr Ross MoloneyResearch should not be undertaken for research’s sake. It has to be robust and impactful and change lives. Research is not meant to tick a box, lie on a dusty shelf, prop open a door or be there for the kids to scribble on.

Dr Ross Moloney, Managing Director, FireDog Research

SEMLEP: Cultural & Creative Sector Research. FireDog Research to help provide the ‘bigger picture’


FireDog Research win SEMLEP tender for Cultural, Creative and Visitor Economy Research

FireDog Research are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the Cultural and Creative Contract by SEMLEP.

Our  team are thrilled at the prospect on working on such a unique, exciting and regionally significant programme.

FireDog have proposed a study will work with employers and stakeholders within the Arts, Heritage, Sports, Visitor Economy, Creative and Cultural Industries (AHSVEC&C) to:

  • research and analyse specific AHSVEC&C skills, knowledge and intelligence needs around staff recruitment, retention and workplace skills development, Apprenticeships and Traineeships
  • identify common themes around skill development and skills shortages and evidence where precise action is needed within an audience of key business across the sector.
  • demonstrate the overall value and importance to the local economy of the AHSVEC&C industries and identify the training and development needs of owner managers to help support and grow their business.
  • work with the 11 local authorities in the SEM region in a mapping exercise to improve regional and national collaboration.
  • provide the AHSVEC&C sectors and visitor economy with information, analysis, knowledge and tools that will enable them access new talent, source funding opportunities and put in place sustainability recommendations and proposals to take advantage of future growth opportunities.

Contact the team at FireDog Research to find out more.