Driver CPC Training in the UK: Who Needs It and Why?
1st June 2023
The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) is a key qualification for professional lorry, bus, and coach drivers in the United Kingdom. Brought into effect in the UK in 2008 for bus and coach drivers and in 2009 for lorry drivers, Driver CPC aims to elevate driving standards and road safety while promoting a higher level of professionalism among drivers.
The Driver CPC training comprises two fundamental parts: the initial qualification for new drivers and the periodic training for all drivers. The initial qualification, designed for aspiring drivers, encompasses four separate tests. Meanwhile, the periodic training applies to all drivers, irrespective of their professional experience. This requires completion of 35 hours of training every five years to ensure that drivers consistently refine and update their skills.
Distinct from many other qualifications, Driver CPC training underscores practical and ongoing professional development. It goes beyond mere vehicle handling ability to cover things such as fuel-efficient driving, vehicle loading skills, understanding regulations about drivers' hours, and the ability to manage emergency situations.
So, do you need Driver CPC training in the UK? Essentially, if you plan to drive a lorry, bus, or coach professionally within the UK, you undoubtedly require this qualification. It is unlawful to drive professionally in these categories without a valid Driver CPC.
Nevertheless, there are exceptions. You may be exempt from Driver CPC if the vehicle you drive:
- Cannot exceed a speed of 45 km/h.
- Is used by or under control of the armed forces, civil defence, the fire service, or forces responsible for public order.
- Is used for road tests related to technical development, repair, or maintenance.
- Is a new or rebuilt vehicle not yet put into service.
- Is used in emergency states or assigned to rescue missions.
- Is used during driving lessons for those wishing to obtain a driving licence or a Driver CPC.
- Is used for non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods for personal use.
- Is carrying material or equipment to be used by the driver in the course of his or her work, provided driving is not the driver's principal activity.
In short, most exemptions apply to non-commercial or emergency use, or when driving is not your primary profession.
If you're not exempt, obtaining your Driver CPC is crucial. Non-compliance can result in substantial fines and penalties. Beyond that, the value of the training itself is immense. It enables professional drivers to stay informed about the latest traffic regulations and safety standards, and to effectively handle challenges like vehicle breakdowns or medical emergencies.
Moreover, the requirement for periodic training ensures that even seasoned drivers continue to refresh their knowledge, keeping pace with industry best practices and regulatory changes. This not only benefits the drivers but also the employers, contributing to a safer, more professional, and more efficient transport industry.
Taking a Driver CPC Training Course
You must take one of these to your Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training course:
- a photocard driving licence
- a valid passport
- a digital tachograph card
- a Driver CPC card
You’re required to attend courses, but there are no tests or exams to pass at the end of them. Instead, you’ll get a certificate of attendance. It belongs to you - your employer is not allowed to keep it.
Your Driver CPC Training Record
The Driver CPC training centre will put your training on your Driver CPC training record.
Getting Your Driver CPC Card
You’ll get your Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) card when you’ve done 35 hours of periodic training. The card is sometimes called a ‘driver qualification card’ or ‘DQC’. You must carry this card while driving a lorry, bus or coach professionally.
In summary, if you're a professional lorry, bus, or coach driver in the UK or aspire to be one, Driver CPC training is a critical step in your career progression. It's not just about meeting a legal requirement; it's about striving to be the safest and most proficient driver possible. Remember, informed and well-trained drivers form the backbone of a thriving and efficient transport industry.
CRH Training Ltd is approved by JAUPT as a nationwide Training Centre for the delivery of Driver CPC Periodic Training for both PCV and LGV drivers, regardless of make and model of vehicle used. We are widely acknowledged as the leading provider of Driver CPC training in the West Midlands and Staffordshire.
To book an Driver CPC Training Course, or for further information, please contact CRH on 0121 553 3184.