Last Friday Sandra Hoggins (pictured above in the Avenue de Tervueren in Brussels outside CIECA head office) and Edward Trewhella attended a meeting of the CIECA Permanent Bureau (Board of Directors). For those unfamiliar with CIECA take a look here https://www.cieca.eu/our-organisation/organisational-structure – Driving Mobility is an Associate Member (DVLA/DVSA are members and are typical of national representation). CIECA, now over 60 years old, extends well beyond the EU, including members from countries such as China and Australia. The language used is exclusively English, apart from the organisation name which stands for COMMISSION INTERNATIONALE DES EXAMENS DE CONDUITE AUTOMOBILE, but it is always referred to as just “CIECA” as in “shaker”.
So why would DM be interested in the activities of this body? Currently CIECA has a Fit-to-Drive Topical Group 180921Structure of Fit to Drive Topical Group (July 2018) Topical Groups (TG’s) are temporary domain-specific groups to focus on discussion and activity around a given area. Topical Groups provide an opportunity for CIECA Members with similar interests to discuss and explore particular areas of driver training and testing. They also act as a source of professional and technical advice for CIECA. Topical Groups develop activities in the form of meetings, workshops, technical visits, conferences and papers, related to their topic. Within the Fit-to-Drive Topical Group (led by Sandra Hoggins) there are two sub-groups:
- Setting Standards for Disabled Driver Assessment (Chair: Sandra Hoggins)
- Setting Standards for the Evaluation of Medical Fitness to Drive (Chair: Lars Englund)
and these multinational groups meet regularly to develop these standards. This activity places DM at the cutting edge of international development work in this area and ensures that we in the UK do not develop something that is not generally in line with what is used internationally. As part of these standard-setting activities there is a third initiative – the Portare Steering Group – which is also chaired by Sandra and reports in to the Disabled Driver Group. This group has been specifically set up to oversee the revision and re-launch of the PORTARE handbook.