Drivers Certificate of Professional Competence Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Driver CPC?
The driver Certificate of Professional competence (CPC) will be a requirement for LGV drivers who drive professionally throughout the UK.  It is being developed as a requirement of the EU Directive 2003/59/EC, which is designed to improve the knowledge and skills of professional LGV drivers throughout their working lives.

If Driver CPC focuses on competence, could we not simply raise the standard of the driving licence acquisition test?
Driver CPC is intended to raise the professional standard of all professional drivers by improving the skills and knowledge they need to carry out their day to day work, it is not just about practical driving skills.

Why the Change?
To improve the knowledge and skills of lorry drivers - helping: To improve road safety The road freight industry - better staff performance, recruitment and retention, more economical vehicle usage Improve perception of Professional Drivers - skill levels and maintenance, career opportunities, professionalism The environment - reduced fuel consumption and vehicle wear

When did the Driver CPC scheme start?
Legislation started on 10 September 2009.

Who will Driver CPC affect?
All professional drivers of lorries over 3.5 tones.

How does it affect me?

  • New Drivers acquiring a LGV vocational entitlement (C1, C1+E, C, C+E licence) after 10th September 2009 will have to obtain an initial qualification in addition to their licence to drive professionally.
  • Existing LGV drivers who already hold a vocational licence on 10th September 2009 are exempt from the initial qualification.  This is known as 'acquired rights'. Both existing and new drivers must complete a total of 35 hours periodic training within 5 years following their 'acquired rights' or initial qualification to keep their Driver CPC valid. LGV drivers holding full licences on 10th September 2009 will have to complete their first course of periodic training within 5 years – ie by 2014. This is only a requirement if the driver is using their licence professionally.

Will CPC apply to drivers who do not drive on the public roads?
No, although this depends on whether your employer requires you to hold an LGV licence to drive off public roads.  In the same way they may require you to hold a CPC.  If part of your job, however small, requires you to drive on public roads then CPC would be required.

I hold an LGV licence and do occasional driving for an agency although this is not my main job.  Does CPC apply to me?
Yes if you are driving professionally for any period of time you will be required to hold CPC.  It is not the number of hours worked which affects the requirement for CPC, it is the type of driving undertaken.

I took my car test some time ago and got a C1 entitlement which I use to drive a small delivery lorry for my grocery business.  Does CPC apply to me?
Yes.  CPC applies to any driver who drives a goods vehicle of more than 3.5 tonnes.  As an existing licence holder on the implementation date of 10th September 2009, you will not be required to undertake the initial qualification for new drivers but you will be required to complete the 35 hours periodic training requirement.

I already have a CPC for transport operations do I need the Driver CPC?
If you are driving Category C vehicles you will need a Driver CPC.  The CPC for transport operators is a different qualification.

How will the periodic training recording process be applied to drivers who do not have a UK Driver’s Licence but work and live in the UK?
These drivers will have to carry a Driver Qualification Card (DQC) in the same way that UK licence holders will.

How will Driver CPC affect foreign nationals who drive lorries in the UK but don't work and live here?
Driver CPC applies across all EU Member States therefore all of those drivers will have to carry whatever their home country uses to evidence Driver CPC.

Can I work as a driver without a Driver CPC?
No, unless in exempted circumstances

Who is exempt?
Drivers of the following vehicles will not be required to hold a Driver CPC:

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

What happens if a driver switches between driving in exempted circumstances and other non-exempted driving?
The driver will need a CPC in addition to their licence.  The exemptions only cover the driver whilst they are engaged in that specific activity.  If, for example, a driver starts to drive professionally as a weekend job, they will need to hold Driver CPC.

What will Periodic Training involve?
35 hours of Periodic Training must take place in 5-yearly cycles consistent with CPC renewal.  This must continue until such time as the person no longer wishes to drive category C vehicles professionally

Are there any tests to take for periodic training?
No, there are no tests as it's not a pass or fail course.  It is recorded as hours of attendance.

Is practical training a compulsory element within Periodic Training?
The Directive does not stipulate that there should be any compulsory practical aspect to periodic training.

What type of training can count towards Periodic Training?
There is not a prescribed type of training; it may be classroom based or ‘in-vehicle’.  It can be whatever suits the needs of the driver at that time – but it has to be approved training, by an approved centre and be overseen by a trainer.

Can drivers do the same courses each year?
Theoretically, yes.  However, employers and drivers will be seeking value for money and repetition of the same courses will not be beneficial.

Can the 35 hours training be carried out flexibly - over several weeks / months / years?
Yes. The driver has flexibility as to how the training is taken over the 5 year period provided that the training occurs in blocks of at least 7 hours. NTP Services Limited recommend that all drivers sign up for our 5 year scheme which means training can be carried out by attending a 1 day training session annually.

What if the 35 hours of periodic training is started but not completed within 5 years?
Periodic training can be carried out at anytime over a 5 year timescale but drivers are encouraged to spread the sessions over the required 5 years.  All of the training must be completed within 5 years.  Failure to do so would mean the driver could continue into the next year, but their 1st year of hours gained would be disregarded.

What if an LGV driver competes their 35 hours of Periodic Training early, say in 2010?
This driver will be sent their driver qualification card in 2010 when they have completed their 35 hours of training.  This card will have an expiry date of September 2019.  This means that in order to renew the card in 2019 the driver will need to have completed another 35 hours of training between 2014 and 2019.

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.

If a driver uses both PCV and LGV licences professionally, do they need to undertake 70 hours Periodic training every 5 years?
No. The Directive states that the holder of a vocational licence for PCV / LGV need only complete 35 hours course attendance in a 5 year period.

If a driver already holds an initial CPC for one LGV category (eg rigid lorry Category C), will that person need another CPC to drive another LGV Category (eg articulated lorry Category C+E)?
No, you will upgrade your vocational licence in the normal way. Once you have obtained your Driver CPC you will not need to renew or alter it until it expires (Every 5 years).

Do the regulations for Periodic Training have any impact on those drivers who need to renew their vocational licence every year because of age or health reasons?
No, these drivers will still need to renew their licence as any other driver would.

Does the Driver CPC Directive alter the medical requirements for LGV drivers or driving instructors?

Within the definition of the Working Time Directive, does course attendance for periodic training count as work?
The Working Time Directive states that if a driver is paid by their employer whilst attending training, then the hours would count as working time. Therefore if the driver is being paid whilst attending periodic training, it would be counted as work.

How will Periodic Training course attendance be recorded?
There is a central database at the DSA that will be updated by the training provider

How will Driver CPC status be evidenced?
Drivers will be issued a separate Driver Qualification Card (DQC) which will have to be carried at all times when driving professionally.

When do LGV drivers get issued with their Driver qualification card?
When they have completed their 35 hours of Periodic Training.

Will it be an offence for someone to drive without a Driver CPC or Driver Qualification Card (DQC) when they should have one?
Yes there will be penalties if someone drives without the Driver CPC or is not carrying their DQC.  There will also be penalties for Operators who cause or permit a driver to drive without a Driver CPC or DQC.  Allowances will be made for lost or stolen DQC's similar to the rules that are currently in force for lost or stolen digital tachograph cards.

How will Driver CPC-holding be enforced on the road?
In the same way as holding an appropriate driving licence, particularly by the police, VOSA, and DVLA. Also, any EU enforcement body can ask a driver for proof that his/her CPC status is current while they are driving in other Member states, and issue a penalty if a driver is in breach of the Directive.

Who is responsible for creating courses for periodic training?
It is the responsibility of the approved training centres to deliver courses that comply with the regulations and meet employers’ needs.  Employers are encouraged to discuss the training needs with the training centre to ensure that courses are tailored to meet their requirements.

Is it possible to focus the training on individual and employer needs?
The flexible nature of periodic training allows approved centres to develop training tailored to driver and employer needs (subject to meeting the criteria laid down in the syllabus contained within the Directive)

Are drivers and their employers able to check the number of hours a driver has completed?
Yes, this facility is available on the central database.

How is periodic training been quality assured?
This is managed primarily through the auditing process of the Joint Approval Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT) together with feedback from employers and employees.  The JAUPT quality assurance process will include the review of course evaluation forms.

Who governs JAUPT?
JAUPT is governed by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and Driver Vehicles Testing Agency.

Who can arrange my 35 hours of approved training?
NTP Services Limited, call us on 01406 424922 to discuss your requirements