THE Welsh Government has confirmed that people wanting to complete the Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme will be able to complete the programme entirely online, on a temporary basis.
The course is a 16-hour training programme, which can help to prevent future reoffending. It is usually, delivered in a classroom environment. Three separate sessions are required, spread over a two week period.
Coronavirus has led to the suspension of classroom delivery of courses. This meant people could not begin programmes, although providers were granted permission to deliver a small number of online courses. This enabled people partway through their training course, to be able to complete online.
The temporary measure of online training will ensure provision can resume and people can begin courses.
The two providers of courses in Wales are ‘IAM RoadSmart’ and ‘TTC Group’. People can take part in courses if they have a ban of 12 months or more. Courses are intended to reduce the likelihood of reoffending, while also reducing driving bans.
Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, commented:
“The rehabilitation course is really important and can help reduce the risk of future drink driving.
“In giving the go-ahead for online provision, on a temporary basis, we are confident people will be able to receive the same benefits from the scheme without having to travel and spend time in confined spaces. We are in discussion with providers to help ensure services remain accessible for people.
“We will continue to keep the scheme under review as we consider our ongoing response to Covid-19.”
Tim Ribton, TTC National Manager said:
“TTC continues to work with the Welsh Government to help improve road safety throughout Wales, recognising the importance that the Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme plays in making Welsh roads safer for everyone. TTC’s primary goal is about protecting people on the move, whether driving, walking, or cycling.
“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, workshop courses for groups of people have had to be temporarily suspended, which would have negatively impacted drink driver offender’s ability to participate in the course.
“The move by the Welsh Government to temporarily allow the Drink Drive Rehabilitation courses to be delivered online in virtual classrooms is an excellent decision, allowing TTC to continue delivering behavioural change programmes to offenders.
“Over the past few months, TTC has been successfully delivering virtual classroom training to thousands of individuals, across all areas of our business to continue in our commitment to improving road safety.
“Whether delivered online or in person, the Drink Drive Rehabilitation programme is crucial to making a positive difference, not only to the individual offenders who complete the course but also for families and the wider community who all share the use of the roads throughout Wales.“
Tony Greenidge, Interim IAM RoadSmart Chief Executive added:
“IAM RoadSmart is delighted to be able to resume delivery of the Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme in Wales. This is an important part of our commitment to improving road safety for all and we welcome the decision of the Welsh Government to use proven video conferencing technology to facilitate courses that would otherwise not have taken place.
“Supported by a robust curriculum and the requirement for both the training provider and offender to adhere to strict course delivery criteria, we have developed an online training infrastructure that can deliver an enhanced learning experience.
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, IAM RoadSmart has delivered a wide range of video conference sessions to both business and private drivers. During this lockdown period, we have taken the opportunity to review and fine-tune our course delivery and we are pleased to have seen consistently high levels of attendee engagement throughout.
“We welcome the opportunity to work closely with the Welsh Government to monitor the success of this temporary arrangement. Our team is ready to deliver and for those offenders who complete the course we know that many will undergo a positive and life-changing experience.”