- Driver’s licence and record
- Assessing drivers
- Driver orientation
If your employees drive for work, you need to make sure that it is legal and safe for them to do so. Learn how to check their driver’s licence and record, and assess their skills, below. Our SkillCheck driver assessment tool can help you.
Driver’s licence and record
The first thing you need to do is check their driver’s licence and driving record, and review their insurance. Follow these steps with current and future employees:
Check the issue and expiry dates to see if their BC licence is valid. Then, check the licence class against ICBC codes to make sure it’s correct for the vehicles they will drive. For example, they will need a special endorsement to tow certain trailer sizes and setups.
Ask the driver if their licence was suspended recently. Is there any reason they’re not allowed to drive in BC? An employee who drives with a suspended licence can cause serious legal problems. Your organization should have safety policies to deal with this situation. For example, ask employees to tell you about any driving violations, suspensions, or prohibitions right away.
A driver’s record (also called an abstract) shows suspensions, violations, and penalty points from the last 5 years. It tells you about how they drive now and may in the future. Ask employees for a current record. They can get a copy of their Driving Record and Insurance History from the ICBC website.
Fleet operators can make bulk requests for NSC abstracts using the National Safety Code Abstract request form.
Ask employees to explain anything on their record, and review it together every year. Make it part of your hiring process too.
Talk with your broker or agent to make sure each vehicle is correctly insured. Keep a copy of the current insurance certificate in each vehicle. Keep the original in your office records.
If your employee is driving a vehicle they own or lease for work, get a copy of their insurance. Your organization may set specific requirements for third-party liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance. Set a calendar reminder to check their insurance again at the renewal date.
It’s a good idea to have a system for regularly reviewing driving records. If an employee gets penalty points while driving for work, it can help you decide what to do.
Here’s an example:
|Driver Penalty Points||Employer Actions|
|1 to 3||Supervisor asks driver for an explanation. Next steps may include monitoring, skills training, and disciplinary measures.|
|4 to 6||Supervisor meets with driver. Next steps may include limiting or suspending driving duties. Supervisor decides on monitoring and training options.|
|More than 6||Supervisor meets with driver. Steps may include driver being suspended from work. Supervisor decides next steps, including training and monitoring.|
|Driving suspension or prohibition||Supervisor meets with driver. Work-related driving is suspended immediately until suspension or prohibition ends. Manager decides next steps, which may include firing.|
After checking a driver’s licence and record, check their driving skills. It’s up to you to decide whether they can drive safely for your organization.
- Can they operate the vehicle properly?
- Do they have the skills to drive safely?
- Do they have a good attitude?
- Do they show safe and correct driving behaviours?
Your organization can develop procedures to address these questions. Use our Driver Assessment Procedure template (Word 20KB) as a starting point.
The best way to assess drivers is to ride along with them in the vehicle. Our Driver Assessment Procedure template guides you through the basics.
Watching helps you understand the driver’s road safety skills and attitude. You can then match assignments to driving abilities. For example, a less skilled employee can do easier driving tasks. When they have more experience, they can take on more challenging ones.
The assessment will also show you which driving behaviours need improvement. Then you can make a plan for training, mentoring, and coaching.
You or one of your employees can use our SkillCheck Driver Assessment Tool to rate employee driving skills and behaviours.
Step 1: Download and review the SkillCheck guide
The SkillCheck guide (PDF 2MB) explains 20 criteria for rating driver skills and behaviours. Review it before a ride-along. You can print and fill it out during the assessment or download a fillable form (PDF 298KB). We developed the guide with the Justice Institute of British Columbia Driver Education Centre.
Step 2: Watch Using Ride-Along Assessments to Improve Employee Driving Skills video series
The 3-video series below follows a driver and instructor during a ride-along assessment. It includes dashcam footage that shows and explains ideal driving behaviours.
Part A: Preparing for the assessment:
Part B: Conducting the assessment:
Part C: Giving feedback after the assessment:
It’s a good idea to make ride-alongs part of your hiring process. Current employees should have one before they start driving for work.
Do another assessment every 2 or 3 years. New technology, vehicles, and routes can present new driving challenges. Driving skills can also decline as bad habits and complacency creep in.
Employers, supervisors, or other experienced drivers can do driver assessments. The driving assessor should:
- Be actively employed in the organization
- Have experience with the work-related driving the employee will do
- Have shown their ability to successfully manage road safety hazards
- Have a valid driver’s licence and clean driving record
- Be seen as a patient, fair and competent driver by fellow employees
Some organizations hire an instructor from a driving school. Having someone from your organization do assessments can save money and be easier to schedule.
Nobody is perfect, and everyone should find ways to improve their driving after a ride-along. Meet with the driver and assessor to talk about it.
Tell the driver what they did right and what they could improve. Identify their steps to correct issues, and provide the training they need. Decide how you will work together, including coaching and mentoring.
The employee may have to stop driving for work until they improve. You may also have to take disciplinary action.
Assessments usually come up with ways for a driver to learn and improve. You can then provide them with the training they need.
There are many other driver improvement courses on the web. Some employers use them as part of their driver orientation.
Have a safe, experienced driver show colleagues what they need to know. Team them up for a few days, and encourage the trainee to ask plenty of questions. Later, get the trainee to prove they understand what they’ve learned. Mentoring is effective for new and young drivers. It also can benefit experienced employees who are taking on a new vehicle or route.
Tailgate safety meetings
Use our tailgate meeting guides to talk about safe driving. Offer ideas that staff can discuss. Encourage them to make small adjustments to their driving.
Lunch and learn sessions
This is a great way to share practical advice, and the casual atmosphere engages employees. Use our tool kits for tips you can include in short presentations. Encourage discussion and questions. Add some impact by having a demonstration in a nearby cordoned-off parking lot.
Driver training schools
The Justice Institute of British Columbia has tons of experience in assessing and training drivers through its driver education and road safety courses. You can also hire a driver training school.
New hires and young workers need an orientation and assessment before they drive for work. They’re at higher risk, even if they’ve been driving for a while. New and young drivers may use a new or different vehicle or route and come across unfamiliar hazards.
Safety regulations define a young worker as anyone under 25. A new worker can be any age and includes those who are:
- New to the workplace or location
- Exposed to new hazards, such as construction, on their normal driving route
- Using new equipment, like a different vehicle
- Exposed to conditions they have not worked in before, such as snow and ice
Young and new workers have a higher risk of workplace incidents because they may lack:
- Training, orientation, and supervision
- Understanding and preparation for their workplace or job
They may also be exposed to more dangerous jobs and feel unsure about asking questions.
It’s part of your employer responsibilities to provide a health and safety orientation and training. Both should be specific to an employee’s workplace. A vehicle used for work is also a workplace, even if the employee is using their personal vehicle.
A driver orientation involves many steps. You can do them all at once or over a few sessions. Use our fillable driver orientation checklist (PDF 358KB) to help you keep track.
Driver orientation only covers driving-related duties. Provide extra training and orientation for other aspects of an employee’s job.
Step 1: Check driver’s licence and record
Make sure that a new or young worker can legally drive in BC. Check their driver’s licence and record. Look for any restrictions that would stop them from doing the type of driving needed for their job. For example, check they have the right endorsement for towing a heavy trailer. Make photocopies of their documents for your records.
Step 2: Review driving-related hazards
Tell drivers about the hazards they may come across while driving for work. Ask if they understand the risks and how to manage them. Get them to ride with an experienced driver before they make a trip on their own. Use our RiskCheck tool in the Hazard ID and Risk Assessment Tool Kit.
Step 3: Review policies and procedures
Review your safe driving policies and procedures. Give new and young workers a copy and make more copies available. Explain their safety rights and responsibilities, including the right to refuse unsafe work.
Step 4: Conduct a vehicle walk-through
Make sure your employee is familiar and comfortable with all aspects of their vehicle. Use our Driving for Work Tool Kit to show them how to adjust the driver’s seat and mirrors. Show them how to use all the vehicle parts properly. This may include gears, safety features, trailers, and equipment like a 2-way radio, winch or load securing device.
Step 5: Complete a driver assessment
Check your employee’s driving skills with a ride-along assessment. You need to know if their skills and behaviour are suitable before they do any driving for work.
Step 6: Schedule a follow-up meeting
Orientation and training give employees a lot of information. They probably won’t be able to remember everything. You could do a series of sessions instead of one in-depth orientation. But your new hire will have questions and need clarity either way. Schedule a meeting afterwards to go over things.