Fuel transport is a specialist area of the transport industry that comes with extensive compliance and best practice requirements. Documenting and communicating these requirements from a business perspective, ensuring consistency, compliance and the efficient onboarding of new drivers is a challenge that the industry well understands.  ACAPMA, the Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association, has been assisting members with the crafting and review of policy and standard operating procedure documents for almost 40 years. This experience and assistance has now been combined into a unique Driver Management Resource that offers a holistic system for small and medium transport businesses to drive compliance and consistency in their businesses.

The ACAPMA Driver Management Resource pack includes business and transport policy documents as well as standard operating procedures, checklists and communication and training guidance.

ACAPMA Executive Manager for Employment and Training, Elisha Radwanowski explains “the Driver Management Resource has been constructed in such a way that it provides not just the policy documents, but also the guidance for management in how to implement, review, encourage, discuss and enforce the policies.  These Business and Transport Policies are then complemented by a stepped Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Manual that includes detailed task instructions and checklists.”

“The approach taken in the development of the Resource has been to establish a framework of SOPs that will remain largely unchanged over time.  Regardless of the type of equipment or facility utilised there are consistent elements, these comprise the SOPs.  The items that will change over time, with innovation and equipment and facility changes are the task instructions and checklists.  Due to this the SOPs are simple consistent instructions to follow the corresponding task lists or utilise the checklists.  For example, before a driver leaves the depot for the day there are steps that will not change over time, there will always be a need to 1) check that they are fit to drive, 2) check that the vehicle is fit to drive, 3) check that the load is appropriately balanced, 4) check that the route plan is understood.  There standard elements are the SOPs.  The individual steps that would be required under each of these ‘checks’ may change over time or with differing equipment and those changes can be easily reflected in the corresponding task instructions and checklists.”

“The SOPs are designed to remain stable over time, and the corresponding task instructions and checklists are designed to be flexible and change as required.  This design element allows the Resource to seamlessly grow with the business, remaining a living document that informs and guides daily activity, and not just another dust collector on the shelf” said Elisha.

The ACAPMA Driver Management Resource is available in two formats, a generic guidance document pack or a customised system.  The generic product provides a comprehensive guidance document and customisation instructions to the business to facilitate the customisation and adoption of the resource elements into the businesses own systems and resources.  The customised option engages ACAPMA to consult on the current systems in the business and customise the Resource for adoption into the business.

The two options are offered to the industry to ensure that the content of the Resource are available and accessible to all sizes of industry operators.  Elisha expands “the option of generic as well as customised was seen as important to offer as the industry is far from homogenous and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.  In the piloting stages of the Resource rollout there were smaller and medium operators who sought the opportunity to engage with ACAPMA to have the customisation and integration of the Resource provided externally, providing a total solution, while other larger businesses, with more human resources in the policy and compliance area, are opting for the generic guidance Resource and undertaking the customisation and integration inhouse.”

One member explains why they have opted for the generic Resource “it is a fantastic pack.  We are only small but we are customising it ourselves because there is very little work to be done to it, we just have to take out the items that don’t apply to our set up.  I was a little hesitant at first, but I could not be happier.  It is really clear that it would have taken us ages to put something this detailed together.”

Another member expands “what I found really interesting was the structure.  We’ve had a Driver Manual for ages, but this is more of a whole system.  The Policies connect to the SOPs and the SOPs connect to the Forms and Checklists.  We are already in version 2 or 3 for some of the checklists and task lists as we have had equipment upgrades, and the structure of the documents meant we just changed the page with the tasks instruction and slipped it into place.  The design is really well thought out in terms of actually using it.  As a business operating multiple depots I also really like the management resources in the Managers Policy Manual.  They make it really clear to the depot managers on how to manage the policies themselves, including things like toolkbox talks and consultations”

The ACAPMA Driver Management Resource is a product that is available to the whole industry, however ACAPMA members are offered extensive discounts on both the generic and the customised options.  For more information on the Resource or on ACAPMA membership please contact employment@acapma.com.au.