We’re pleased to confirm that the Chauffeur industry has a new representative body. The Guild of Professional Chauffeur Drivers aims to promote excellence within its professional driver membership.
After an initial meeting in October 2016 attendees confirmed the need for such an organisation, and that sufficient enthusiasm exists within the industry to sustain it. Subsequent meetings in November and January have led to the successful formation of the Guild.
Its founders are adamant that it will be financially transparent and that no individual or company should profit from it. Plan fully support the goals of the initiative and have volunteered to fund the development of a website to aide the organisers.
Steve Sommerfield, former Director of award winning chauffeur service England Limousines, has played a key role in the formation of the Guild. He explained to Plan that he hopes in time the organisation becomes,
“A body who’s opinion is sought after by consultation teams of local authorities and perhaps even government. Our long term aim is to bring some cohesiveness and respect to the chauffeur industry, and to seek a separation from the taxi and private hire fraternity.
We are at the start of a very long journey – potentially it could take a couple of years for the Guild to fully gain industry recognition, approval and respect but we have the drive, ambition, and knowledge of our own field.”
Another of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Guild, Andy Dubberley recently provided a progress report on the Guild Of Professional Chauffeurs facebook page,
“Just to confirm that things are very much ‘live’ behind the scenes. Our little team are all busy people in our own right so please bear with us.”
Currently the Guild are looking for a small number of individuals that are passionate about the industry and its future to stand for the executive committee. In the next few weeks the Guild will be in touch with all those that have expressed an interest to firm up their commitment by paying £30 to join as a ‘member designate.’
Membership will be split so that only accredited Chauffeurs gain full membership. The exact requirements of the accreditation are still to be confirmed and responsibility for establishing them will fall on the soon to be elected committee.
The cost of designate membership will be deducted from full membership upon the individual successfully passing their assessment. It will be refunded if a membership application is unsuccessful. The charge is aimed at ensuring members are fully committed to joining as well as providing funds to aid the creation of the Guild.
Industry suppliers will only be able to take advisory roles. So far Gary Jacobs of specialist accountancy firm Driver Tax has volunteered his services free of charge as interim Chairman, in order to help ensure the Guild is established on the correct basis, and Chris Brown from Ethos Vehicle Finance sponsored the cost of meeting venue and refreshments.
If you’d like to learn more or to get involved you can request access to the Guild’s facebook page or visit the guildofprofessionalchauffeurs.co.uk website – which is currently under construction but contains some relevant information.
You can also contact the Guild’s administrator via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org