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Transport Manager Facts

This transport manager information website has been developed by Oplas Transport Consultancy and the Commercial Transport Manager Association (CTMA). It is designed to help people within the transport industry understand the effects of the changes to the operator licensing system that came in on 4 December 2011. This includes the new statutory guidance on how the Office of the Traffic Commissioner and DVSA (formally known as VOSA and DSA) view the role of a nominated transport manager within the operator licensing regime. Specifically, it aims to help those who are seeking to become a nominated manager and to make such persons aware of a transport manager’s role and responsibilities in today’s transport industry.

Freelance Transport Manager Services

A starting point is the understanding that any organization’s nominated transport manager is legally responsible for its transport operation. Under UK law, the role of them has been a pivotal position in an operator licence holder’s management structure for some time now. The regulatory and enforcement bodies are increasingly focusing on an operator licence holder’s internal management structure. This is particularly so in relation to a holder of standard national or international operator licence.

An independent transport manager can help to provide these services for you if you do not have your own employee. A freelancer can perform this role on a temporary basis for as long as the role is necessary, alleviating the need to employ a full time member of the team should their services only be required momentarily. This makes hiring a self-employed transport manager a very cost-effective solution for your business. Furthermore, as they frequently move from business to business, freelance transport managers will be no less qualified than any other transport manager. They will have just as impressive a skillset and a lengthy resume of experience.

Transport Manager the Statutory Definition

The statutory definition of transport manager is “a natural person employed by an undertaking or, if that undertaking is a natural person, that person or, where provided for, another natural person designated by that undertaking by means of a contract, who effectively and continuously manages the transport activities of that undertaking.” Article 4.1 of Regulation (EC) 1071/2009 requires this person (i.e. the transport manager) to have a genuine link to the undertaking, for example through being an employee, director, owner or shareholder, or by administering it.

Collective Responsibility

Both the transport manager and the operator licence holder are under a legal requirement to understand the role and responsibilities that they agree to undertake when acting as the nominated person on a standard national or international operator licence. However, a large proportion of licence holders and transport managers remain ignorant of the fact that their roles and responsibilities are defined by law. A further surprising fact is the role and responsibilities of the transport manager are regarded by the DVSA and the Office of the Traffic Commissioner as being the collective responsibility of the transport manager and the operator licence holder (employer). This has caught out a number of operator licence holders, who have mistakenly believed that maintaining compliance is the sole responsibility of their transport manager (i.e. “…that’s what I pay my Transport Manager to do!”).

What is the Transport Managers Role?

They are people who work for operators maintaining the compliance standard of a fleet and its drives. The job involves ensuring that their drivers are in compliance with the rules regarding traffic and driving hours and making sure vehicles are road-worthy for use. They are also responsible for making sure that the operator is compliant to the public.

The legislation makes it a mandatory for all holders of a standard national or international operator licence to have a suitable qualified person of good repute to act as the nominated transport manager on their operator licence. This person must have “continuous and effective control and responsibility” for the management of transport operations within the operator licence holder’s business.


Both the nominated transport manager and the operator licence holder should already be aware of the responsibilities of the manager for no other reason than the fact that they are set out in the document known as the TM1 Form (“Application to add a Transport Manager to an operator licence”). The completion of this Form (along with the associated documentation) is a mandatory requirement before any standard national or international operator licence may be granted.

When the proposed transport manager and operator licence holder sign the TM1 Form, they should be aware that they are signing certain undertakings which require them both to maintain compliance and, if they fail to maintain such compliance, they may be subjected to enforcement and regulatory action being taken against them. Such action may include the revocation or the operator licence and/or the prohibition of the transport manager. Before any such action could be taken, both persons would need to be called to a Public Inquiry before a Traffic Commissioner or a Deputy Traffic Commissioner.

Listed below is a sample of undertakings as shown on the TM1 Form (please note that the list shown below is not to be taken as exhaustive one and is subject to change at the will of the Traffic Commissioner. You should not act in reliance of it but instead download a current TM1 Form to satisfy yourself of the current requirements.

  • The making of arrangements to ensure that drivers comply with drivers’ hours and tachygraphy rules and with speed limits;
  • The making of arrangements to ensure that the vehicles are maintained properly, including the inspection of vehicles at the appropriate time and the action taken to remedy defects found;
  • The reporting and recording of vehicle defects by drivers;
  • The method of compilation and the accuracy of all records, which must be kept for a period of not less than 15 months;
  • The making of arrangements to ensure that the vehicle/s are not overloaded;
  • Ensuring that authorised vehicles will be kept at the authorised operating centre(s) when not in use;
  • Where appropriate, notifying the relevant traffic commissioner (in writing) of all prosecutions and convictions concerning the operator, the drivers and all persons connected to the operator’s licence within 28 days of the court hearing;
  • Notifying the relevant traffic commissioner of resignation, termination or any other reason which ends with the nominated transport manager being no longer named on the licence holders’ licence.
  • Any role that involves the, Verifying contracts and documents, Basic accounting, any other role involving safety procedures.

Download the TM1 Form