The IRU RoadMasters hydrocarbon programme helps drivers understand and mitigate the risks of transporting hydrocarbons. In 2018, MELI and IRU collaborated to implement the programme for Saudi ARAMCO’s subcontracted drivers to ensure high professional standards are demonstrated during the transport of hydrocarbon materials.
We spoke to Amer Badarneh, General Manager of the Middle East Logistics Institute (MELI) about the benefits of the programme.
What are the key elements of the IRU RoadMasters hydrocarbon programme?
While we have general programmes for drivers, we have never had a specialised programme like this before. It is based on practical assessment rather than knowledge-based tests, making it more representative of the actual job. The programme was designed based on International industry standards and by encapsulating real-life ARAMCO experiences and therefore reflects reality, allowing drivers to develop the skills they really need, such as hazard identification.
Why is it particularly important that drivers undertake this certification?
Unfortunately, there is no training regulation in Saudi Arabia for the transportation of hydrocarbons. Saudi ARAMCO made the hydrocarbon certification programme a requirement because it enables them to assess transport operators on the basis of standardised norms, ensuring the safe and efficient transport of hydrocarbons.
Operators are starting to perceive the benefits and see the return on investment of spending on training and certification. RoadMasters helps strengthen long-term competitive advantages by reducing liability exposure, minimising road incidents and cutting the related costs. The programme is unique in that it leads to an international standard certification, which improves driver motivation and contributes to their career development.
Training and certification of drivers is especially important in the context of the Saudi Vision 2030. Drivers are at the centre of the logistics pillar of the Vision and their development will contribute to the realisation of its goals.