External Transport Manager
and what you need to know
As an owner or operator of a small to mid-sized business, you must ensure your fleet and drivers are fully compliant, this task can be very complex. For Standard Licence holders you must employ a professionally competent person that has gained a Certificate or Professional Competence (CPC). You don’t need to employ a full-time Transport Manager, that’s where the External Transport Manager (ETM) or sometimes known as a Freelance Transport Manager comes in.
An ETM is a competent professional person who has gained a Certificate of Professional Competence and generally works for small to mid-sized operators to ensure that its vehicles are roadworthy and drivers comply with traffic and drivers’ hours rules. They are also responsible to the wider public, through the traffic commissioner, for ensuring that an operator is compliant.
The duties of an ETM are exactly the same as an Internal Transport Manager but mostly done on a part-time basis.
The External Transport Manager must have continuous and effective control of the transport operations of the business. The ETM must work sufficient hours in order to fulfil the undertakings they sign up to. They must be more than just a transport manager in name.
When choosing an External Transport Manager, you must ensure they are:
- Of good repute.
- Professionally competent, by holding a CPC or equivalent, recognised qualification and have taken suitable refresher training.
- Not be prohibited by a Traffic Commissioner, or work for more than 4 operators or be responsible for more than 50 vehicles.
A list of the transport managers duties can be found in the Senior Traffic Commissioner’s Statutory Guidance Document 3: Transport Managers.
How do I know if a transport manager is of good repute?
Standard Licence holders, if you employ an External Transport Manager, they will have to complete a TM1 form. The Traffic Commissioners office will thoroughly check this and either accept or refuse their name to be on your licence.
Do they have the CPC in Road Haulage qualification? – If you’re operating abroad, do they have the International CPC qualification?
Do they have their good repute? – Have they ever been in trouble with the Traffic Commissioner?
What are their work ethics, what else can they bring to the mix?
How often will they come to visit you? – There's no point in having an External Transport Manager in name only!
Cost. Don’t just opt for the cheapest solution – you only get what you pay for.