IRU, the world road transport organisation, has partnered with the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) to develop a new e-learning course to help drivers minimise security risks such as cargo theft, illegal immigration and smuggling.

The course has two versions:

  • A general cargo version for all drivers transporting any type of goods by road
  • A high-value theft targeted (HVTT) version for drivers carrying high-value loads, which adds content related to the equipment and procedures specific to such transport

The course covers topics such as:

  • Awareness of security threats and their consequences
  • How to plan routes to reduce risk exposure
  • How and when to conduct vehicle inspections
  • How to spot illegal immigrants, mistakes in cargo documents, and signs of vehicle tampering
  • The value of confidentiality and appropriate use of social media
  • How to react if an incident occurs

It runs on computers, tablets and smartphones and can be accessed online or downloaded and completed offline, taking approximately one hour to complete. Course participation is tracked and certificates of completion are issued.

In preparation for the full launch and for a limited period, the IRU Academy has decided to offer the course for free to a group of selected carriers in order to receive their feedback and to provide an opportunity for fine-tuning before it is made fully available. A few places remain open for this early access phase and any TAPA members that wish to participate should contact https://www.iru.org/apps/iforms-app?form_id=2675&lng=en&src=email as soon as possible.

“It is generally agreed that one of the key pillars of any cargo theft policy is training, yet our observations indicate that organisations tend to focus on the technological aspects, and not the human ones. Driver training is particularly challenging, considering they are always on the go as well as the high turnover in the profession. With this e-learning course, we aim to offer to security risk managers an easy to deploy and cost-effective induction training solution for drivers to reinforce cargo theft policies,” says Pierre Miranda, in charge of the IRU Academy Programme Development.

He adds: “We estimate that truck drivers are approximately six-times more likely to get physically assaulted than injured in a road accident. Nevertheless the average carrier is much more aware of road safety than security threats. There is a common misconception that security is an issue affecting only companies transporting high-value goods, when it actually affects all types of freight transport. With the ‘general cargo’ version of this course, we aim to raise risk awareness and disseminate best practice to a wider circle. For carriers of high-value goods, such as TAPA TSR-certified transport operators, our goal is different.

“Their problem is not lack of awareness, but lack of a simple, efficient and standardised driver training tool. This is why we are developing an ‘HVTT’ version of the course that additionally covers the specificities of such transport. We decided to develop this course in partnership with TAPA because we consider the Association to be an expert on the issue of security - with a global reach - just like IRU.”

TAPA EMEA has been working closely with the IRU Academy to support the development of the e-learning programme and believes the course will help to make an important contribution to the safety and security of truck drivers and their cargo.

Markus Prinz, a member of the TAPA EMEA Board of Directors and Training Lead, said:

“We welcomed this opportunity to partner with the IRU and for a small team of experienced TAPA EMEA trainers to work together to develop the course. TAPA was itself looking to develop driver security training at the time IRU initiated this project in 2015 so we were happy to offer our support. TAPA EMEA could not have worked alongside a better partner for this project.”