What is the Driver CPC?
The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) is a qualification for all professional bus, coach and lorry drivers. Basically anyone driving a goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes or a passenger carrying vehicle with more than 9 passenger seats.

Existing drivers must complete 35 hours of approved training every 5 years. Failure to comply could result in a large fine.

If you hold a category D licence for passenger carrying vehicles and you obtained that licence before September 2008 then you have until September 2013 to complete 35 hours of approved periodic training. If you obtained your category C licence AFTER September 2008 then you MUST complete an INITIAL Driver CPC before you can drive professionally. You will then have to complete 35 hours of periodic DCPC training within 5 years of passing your initial Driver CPC. This process then continues throughout your professional driving career.

If you hold a category C licence for goods vehicles and you obtained that licence before September 2009 then you have until September 2014 to complete 35 hours of approved periodic training. If you acquired your category C licence after September 2009 then you will need to complete an initial DCPC followed by 35 hours oof periodic training every 5 years.

The initial DCPC involves passing a theory test and a practical test. Periodic training is attendance only and there isn't a pass or fail.

The Driver CPC is a European Directive meaning that in future drivers will need to undergo regular training as well as obtaining the appropriate vocational driving licence. It is hoped that the Driver CPC will bring an improved professional and positive image to the profession, attracting more people to drive buses, coaches and lorries for a living. The training will not only improve the knowledge and skills of LGV and PCV drivers when they start work, but also ensure these skills are maintained and developed throughout their working life and the driver receives ongoing professional development.

The Training Service Ltd are based in Haslingden, Lancashire and specialise in delivering Driver CPC training throughout the Rossendale Valley as well as further afield at customers premises. The Training Service Ltd can provide approved Driver CPC training throughout Lancashire. Being based in Haslingden means that we are ideally placed to service areas such as Bunley, Blackburn, Rochdale, Bury, Oldham and many more towns.

Does the Driver CPC affect me?
If you already drive a goods vehicle of over 3.5 tonnes or a passenger carrying vehicle with more than 9 passenger seats then yes the Driver CPC does apply to you. If you are planning to obtain a licence to drive a goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes or a passenger carrying vehicle with more than 9 passenger seats then you will need to pass the Initial Driver CPC qualification.

When does the Driver CPC come into effect?
10 September 2008 for drivers of Passenger Carrying Vehicles and 10 September 2009 for drivers of Goods Vehicles.

If I decide to become a professional LGV driver after September 2009 or PCV driver after September 2008 what will I need to do?
You must obtain an INITIAL Driver CPC before you can drive professionally. The initial Driver CPC consists of a theory module and a practical module. It is still possible to acquire your vocational licence category C or D without completing the Initial Driver CPC but you would not be able to drive for a living until you had completed the initial DCPC

Are there any exemptions to the Diver CPC?
There are a few exemptions. It is a common misconception that the exemptions are related to Operators Licence rules or perhaps Tachograph rules, but this isn't correct. The main examptions from Driver CPC are

  • Vehicles with a maximum authorised speed not exceeding 45 km/h;
  • Vehicles used by, or under the control of, the armed forces, a police force, a fire and rescue authority;
  • Vehicles undergoing road tests for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes, or of new or rebuilt Vehicles which have not yet been put into service;
  • Vehicles used in a state of emergency or assigned to a rescue mission;
  • Vehicles used in the course of driving lessons for the purpose of enabling that person to obtain a driving licence or a CPC;
  • Vehicles used for non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods for personal use;
  • Vehicles carrying material or equipment to be used by that person in the course of his or her work, provided that driving that vehicle is not that person's principal activity.

When looking at exemptions it is worth remembering that the Driver CPC applies to goods vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes or passenger carrying vehicles with more than 9 seats irrespective of the type of vehicle or whether it is covered by an Operators Licence or Tachograph. There are many large vans and 'mini-bus' type vehicles will be covered by the Driver CPC legislation.

I already have a CPC for transport operations do I need the Driver CPC?
If you are driving Category C or D vehicles (including subcategories C1 and D1) you will need a Driver CPC. The CPC for transport operators is a different qualification and not linked to the DCPC at all.

Does the Driver CPC expire or is it a life-long qualification?
You will need to renew your Driver CPC every 5 years by completing a minimum of 35 hours approved training within the previous 5 years. Failure to renew the DCPC will more than likely leave you unable to drive for a living.

Do I have to complete 35 hours of training all in one go?
Yes and no! You can complete the training in blocks of 7 hours (a single day) spread over the 5 year period or you could complete 35 hours all in one week. A driver could complete a single day of training (7 hours) each week spread over five weeks, or one day per month or one day per year. As long as the training is a minimum of 7 hours and the driver completes 35 hours by the required deadline. Training can also be split with 31/2 hours on one day and 31/2 hours the next day as long as the second part is started within 24 hours of finishing the first part.

If I hold a Category C Licence and have a driver CPC will I need to take another Driver CPC if I upgrade my licence to a Category C+E?
No. Once you have obtained your Driver CPC you will not need to renew or alter it until it expires (Every 5 years).

I hold both LGV and PCV Driving licences will this mean I will be required to undertake 70 hours of training every 5 years?
No, the new directive states that the holder of a vocational licence for either LGV, PCV or both need only complete 35 hours course attendance in a five year period.

If I leave the driving industry and my Driver CPC expires will I need to retake it before I can start driving again?
Yes, you will need to complete 35 hours of approved training before you are able to continue within the transport industry.

Who can arrange my 35 hours of approved training?
All training must be organised by an approved training centre, which must be approved by the Secretary of State. The Training Service Limited based in Haslingden, Lancashire is fulkly approved to deliver Driver CPC Training.

If you want to continue driving a goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes or passenger carrying vehicle with more than 9 seats for a living then you need to complete the Driver CPC (DCPC) and gain your 35 hours of approved training. You must then ensure that you carry attending approved training over the next 5 year period.