New training standards for tanker drivers have been agreed by the UK Downstream Oil Distribution Forum (DODF).

DODF, which had ceased to operate in 2007, was reconvened last July by Edward Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change, as part of proposals agreed between the Unite union and haulage company employers.

The newly constituted group (representing trade bodies, energy and retail companies, haulage companies, Unite and URTU as well as the Health & Safety Executive and government departments) has now agreed the core of a training standard for all petroleum fuel drivers to operate to.

The petroleum product tanker driver safety passport will be additional to the ADR licence required for all drivers transporting hazardous goods, and will be specific to the industry and its five sub sectors: home heat, commercial, aviation, retail and marine.

Its content will be delivered through accredited in-house or third party training providers and will result in the issue of a safety passport for the driver. The passport will be valid for a five-year period, as with the ADR licence, but will be subject to an annual refresher day and includes a written and practical assessment before the passport is issued.

The DODF is now looking to appoint a scheme manager and working with terminal operators and owners of petroleum products to ensure the scheme has maximum take-up across the industry.

Brian Worrall, DODF independent chair, commented: “We have had great support from all interested parties which has enabled us to make good progress since the DODF was re-convened in July.

“The first quarter of 2013 will see us put in place the foundations which will enable a successful launch later in the year, and we plan to communicate widely across all parts of the industry as we get near that point.”