LTB 381/20 – Royal Mail & CWU National Terms of Reference on the trial of a Vehicle Check App

No. 381/20
17th July 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Royal Mail & CWU National Terms of Reference on the trial of a Vehicle Check App

To comply with the ‘O’ Licence maintenance obligations (that affect all vehicles and not just those ‘O’ Licensed), Royal Mail has committed to maintain its vehicle fleet to a standard agreed with the Department of Transport. In addition, the duty of care to our members and other road users and members of the public, as well as the Health & Safety at Work Act, means that Royal Mail must ensure all drivers are aware of their responsibilities. To maintain vehicles in a roadworthy condition, it is the legal responsibility of every driver to carry out basic safety and maintenance checks every time a vehicle is used.

Branches will therefore recall that drivers working in Royal Mail Operations must undertake different levels of safety checks at different times. Checks when a vehicle is first used (daily or first use check), at the start of another duty (duty check), and weekly ones which all vary slightly, and drivers must understand which is to be done and when. Managers must also carry out periodic checks of their own to make sure vehicles are safe. Branches will further note that Royal Mail will ensure that sufficient time is included in all P318/ Driving Duty Schedules to allow drivers to perform each of the pre-use safety checks on their vehicles. It is a legal requirement that each new driver completes some form of roadworthiness check before taking a vehicle onto the road.

Royal Mail have recently approached the Outdoor Department to discuss how best to improve compliance of drivers around the legal requirement as mentioned above. An obvious concept is to complete these checks via an App on the PDA which will record each check electronically. Royal Mail are of the opinion that Under the Bonnet checks, as contained in the First Use Check, need only be completed on a weekly basis. Such checks will now preclude all fluid levels such as sufficient levels of oil including screen wash. The Department feel that such a move could potentially result in the status of the vehicle being in breach of the Ministry standards if there is insufficient water in your screen wash bottle which is enough to cause an MOT failure.

In order to compare both compliance and the effectiveness of the checks, the Department has agreed that from w/c 20th July roll out of this capability will proceed to 13 sites to test the App using the refreshed checks built into the App for a 4-week period. The trial will test both checks (6 units & 7 units) in order to ensure a like-for-like evaluation can be performed within the units, fully taking into account the roads, local factors and weather conditions etc. There will also be a shared list of vehicles identified in advance of the trial in order to ensure which vehicles are involved and on which checks, so this aspect can be monitored.

A suite of documents have been constructed alongside new training material that provides a step by step approach to the new process which must be completed by all drivers. Royal Mail will provide the necessary support, information and training for drivers on vehicle pre-use safety checks, as well as the PMT1 Fault Reporting procedure. All training will be recorded in a driver’s individual record, and if individuals feel that they have not been adequately trained, they should identify this and speak to their manager.

The Union and Royal Mail fully support the use of an App for the vehicle check process and recognise that we need to jointly improve compliance to the actual checks and ensure that this is done in a supportive way. The times associated to complete such checks will remain as listed in the Drivers’ Manual and will not impact upon the trial activity.

Any queries in relation to the content of the above should be directed to the Outdoor Department quoting reference 300, email address:

Yours sincerely,