Powered Wheelchair and Mobility Scooter (PWMS) Retailer Training Scheme launches at the House of Lords - Driving Mobility

Powered Wheelchair and Mobility Scooter (PWMS) Retailer Training Scheme launches at the House of Lords

Driving Mobility, supported by the Department for Transport, has officially introduced its mobility scooter and wheelchair retailer training scheme to business owners and stakeholders at the House of Lords.

The PWMS Retailer Training Scheme introduces the first ever standardised approach to providing mobility scooters and powerchairs in the UK. It aims to improve how retailers assess the needs and capabilities of customers so that the most appropriate products are supplied. The training will be provided by clinicians from Driving Mobility who will provide clinical knowledge to enhance the expertise of manufacturers. Add to this guidance on the The Highway Code and safe driving techniques, the Scheme aims to improve road safety for scooter owners, pedestrians and other road users.

Held in the Cholmondeley Room, House of Lords, the Westminster event represented a platform to formally launch the scheme to mobility product retailers, manufacturers and influencers across the industry. Guests received speeches from Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomson; Edward Trewhella, CEO, Driving Mobility; and Margot Shatz, Department for Transport – who all reiterated the importance of this new training scheme. Responses were positive from everyone attending with several guests commenting including Helen Dolphin MBE:

“For a disabled person knowing you are going to a retailer who is going to help you choose and buy a product which is most suitable for you is so important. There have been too many accidents where disabled people are using equipment that is totally unsuitable. This accreditation will help disabled people in finding an appropriate retailer who will take the time to find out about what they need so they can be safe and confident using their scooter.”

From a retailer point of view, Alastair Gibbs, Managing Director, TPG DisableAids added: “Alongside Steve Perry, Edward Trewhella and others I am pleased to have been instrumental in bringing this together and securing assistance from the Department for Transport. TPG DisableAids are fully in support of raising the standards within the industry and hopefully changing customer behaviour. It would be nice to think that in the future a buyer of a mobility device would expect to be assessed and trained as a matter of course.”

Daniel Stone, TGA Managing Director added:

“All retailers need to embrace this training and take responsibility for how they sell products. It is an opportunity that could make a real difference and even though our methods have been finely tuned over four decades, we are always open to improvements, hence we will be adopting the scheme.”

Several Driving Mobility centres will be providing the training and official accreditation. Senior representatives from several of these centres attended the House of Lords to explain in more detail their role in delivering the education programme. Amy Leddington, Head of Marketing and Business Operations, RDAC, commented: ‘Here at RDAC we are all about giving people the freedom to move as drivers or passengers. As well as conducting powered wheelchair and mobility scooter assessments with clients, we now also offer training to retailers through this fantastic initiative led by Driving Mobility. Together we are helping even more people to stay mobile, independent, and safe.’

Herts Ability, a Driving Mobility Centre in Welwyn Garden City, is also a PWMS provider and its CEO, Sean Lawrence added:

“Herts Ability is excited to deliver training for local retailers later this year, with our skilled team of occupational therapists giving retail staff the knowledge and confidence to sell the correct equipment to their customers and to ensure their safety. We hope this training will reduce casualties and fatalities in the future, as the sale of such equipment is largely unregulated. As this scheme is free of charge, we hope that retailers take advantage of this opportunity to upskill their staff.”

Improved road safety is the key objective of the PWMS Scheme. Attendee Rob Heard, Road Safety and Older Drivers Consultant concluded by saying:

“Safe mobility is essential for all, whether in a vehicle or on a mobility scooter we all need advice and support to ensure we are safe. As a retired Roads Police Officer, I fully appreciate how if we do not have the right equipment for our needs or training to operate that equipment, we can not only put ourselves at risk, but others. This training scheme will help retailers assist their clients with the correct and suitable equipment for their individual needs and in doing so help keep those most vulnerable safer and supported.”

For further details or to book on a PWMS Retailer Training Course email: info@drivingmobility.org.uk