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Road Safety Strategies

Road safety Academy

A Training and Development resource for the Devon Road Casualty Reduction Partnership

road safety banner


In recent times Devon County Council’s Road Safety Team has set a precedent for developing the skills and knowledge needed for casualty reduction amongst its partners.

Beacon Authority logo for road safetyThis approach was recognised as a key element of our successful bid for Beacon Authority status and was a clear example of what levels of road safety work can be achieved with a prudent investment in training.  Devon is recognised as an authority that can ‘punch above its weight’ in road safety and this is in large part due to the commitment of its partners to engage in road safety work, and the commitment of Devon officers to provide partners with additional skills and knowledge.

The Devon Road Safety Academy Project aims to develop this ad hoc support into a full-time, fully co-ordinated operation that builds up the skills needed by the Devon Road Casualty Reduction Partnership.  This will include officers of:

  • Devon County Council
  • Plymouth and Torbay Councils
  • Devon and Cornwall Police
  • Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
  • Highways Agency
  • Devon Primary Care Trust
  • South Western Ambulance Service Trust
  • Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership
  • DSA Approved Driving Instructors
  • Partners in the volunteer sectors


This is a Devon County Council initiative, delivered for the Devon Road Casualty Reduction Partnership and is financially supported by the Department for Transport via a partnership grant.  This grant will provide for project management, course and service development, it will also fund the purchase of teaching and learning aids.

What is involved?

The project has three distinct stages:

  1. To assess the skills, knowledge and resources of the partners.  This is to see what is required to enable us all to deliver the Partnership’s ambitious Strategy and Delivery Plan.
  2. To develop training and support programmes for people within the partnership that will help them to develop professional skills and qualifications in the field of road safety.
  3. To create a training centre suitable for the management and delivery of these services.

How long will the project take?

The Devon Road Safety Academy will be a long term commitment by both Devon County Council and its partners.  

Start up funding for the project however will be restricted to 2009/10 so every effort will be made to ensure that the project is fully operational by March 2010.

What has been achieved so far?

Apart from securing the funding necessary from the Department of Transport, courses are already being developed and delivered. These include training and development for technical staff within Devon County Council; training for volunteer and community helpers and training for front-line partners in Fire and Rescue, the Police and for Driving Instructors.

Courses are being developed in-house and by external training partners in order to ensure the highest possible standards and expertise.

A standard course design is emerging that allows trainees to:

  1. Develop basic knowledge through self-directed, on-line learning prior to seeing a tutor.
  2. Engage in formal training involving tutored groups of trainees
  3. Assess their understanding, skills and knowledge through on-line assessments.

Our work with Approved Driving Instructors is itself a national demonstration project to bring Continuous Professional Development to people who are effectively responsible for the safety of some of the most vulnerable, at-risk drivers on our roads.

Where will the training centre be based?

Our plan is to develop the site of the Devon Drivers’ Centre at theCounty Showground, Westpoint, Exeter.  This will allow us to merge the already highly successful and unique Drivers’ Centre (which provides training to the public) with a new and similarly unique facility providing training to our professional partners.

Who will be able to gain access to courses offered by the Academy?

The Academy is primarily being developed for personnel within the organisations represented by the Devon Road Casualty Reduction Partnership.  This will include:

  • Road Safety Officers, engineers and other technical staff from the three Highway Authorities and the Highways Agency
  • Police Officers including Road Casualty Reduction Officers, PCSOs, Neighbourhood Beat Managers and data analysts
  • Safety Camera Partnership personnel
  • Fire and Rescue personnel with road safety responsibilities
  • Approved Driving Instructors acting as contracted trainers for the Devon Drivers’ Centre
  • Ambulance and PCT staff working on road safety projects

In addition there will be courses and support for volunteers, community activists, and other professionals including:

  • Adult cycle trainers
  • Nursery and Day Care workers
  • Parents and others involved in school journey safety
  • Teachers and classroom assistants
  • Fleet safety managers and company directors

What courses are already available?

A number of courses are available and others are under development.  These include:

Course Designed for: Status
Minor Scheme Safety Assessments Local Highways Authority and Highways Agency technical staff Available
National Standard Cycle Training Adult cycle trainers (commercial and volunteer) Available
Introduction to road safety All partners In development early Autumn 2009
Understanding young driver behaviour All partners In development for late Autumn 2009
Understanding and helping those who drink and drive All partners Available
Child Car Seat Safety Checks Front line partners wishing to assess and/or fit child car restraints Available
Evidence based practice in road casualty reduction - a blended learning format Road safety professionals including educational, enforcement and technical staff Available
Driver impairment training (mobile phones, drugs, fatigue and alcohol) All front line partners engaged in work with young and ‘emerging’ drivers Available
Continuous Professional Development for ADIs DSA Approved Driving Instructors Available
Practical motorcycle training Any partner staff who use motorcycles in the course of their work Available
Route risk assessments Front line partners with an interest in assessing the safety of walking and cycling routes for young people In development for late Summer 2009
Managing effective outside events Front line partners with responsibilities for developing, organising and managing public engagement events In development for late Summer 2009
Non-invasive traffic calming Officers engaging in managing and influencing driver speeds through engineering, enforcement and education initiatives and with specific reference to a blended (3E) approach to influencing driver behaviour In development early Autumn 2009
At-work driver safety advice and guidance Fleet and business managers Available

For further information please contact:

Jeremy Phillips
Road Safety Operations and Partnership Programme Manager
Devon County Council