Developing drivers to create a safer and fuel efficient workforce

In 2022, Gist set an ambitious programme for all of its drivers to undertake Safe and Fuel Efficient Driver (SAFED) training.


The programme, developed by Logistics UK, enhanced Gist’s existing driver training and development schemes. The one-day course involved classroom and practical learning with a specific focus on educating drivers on how they can improve their own driving styles to become safer and more fuel efficient.


Logistics UK supported by hosting train-the-trainer courses, with 75 Gist drivers trained to become assessors. The assessors were responsible for training colleagues at sites across the Gist network, with all 2,023 drivers completing the training this month (November).


Helen Jarman, Transport Compliance Manager, said: “It has been a big learning curve for the trainers and drivers, but it has been very beneficial. Our drivers have improved their driving styles and are more conscious and aware of their own driving and their surroundings. Many drivers have commented it has also influenced driving their own cars at home, so it has really shifted their mindset.”


Gist vehicles have a fully integrated driver telematics system, Microlise, to monitor driving styles. Gist analyses seven measures, including harsh braking, over-speeding, excessive idling, and combined coasting. Analysing performance identifies ways for drivers to improve their driving style techniques. Every operational site has a structured programme in place, where teams have individual and group coaching and celebrate success. Drivers are also encouraged to continuously improve their driving style performance via an app where they can access their scores and tailored advice.


Introducing SAFED training not only helped support Gist’s safety and environmental ambitions, but offered an opportunity to further engage drivers with Microlise and encourage driving style performance improvement.


Since undertaking the course, many drivers have seen their individual Microlise score improve. A Gist Transport Team Manager commented after training: “Doing SAFED training was a good eye opener, with all the information and statistics about how we could help with protecting the environment as well as learning how to use the vehicle systems to achieve the best results. The training was well worth the time to sit down and discuss the information and talk about other ways that we as drivers could improve our driving performance.” 


Following the successful programme roll out, all new drivers employed by Gist, as well as agency   staff, will undertake SAFED training within their first week with Gist.