Understanding the Driver CPC

Oct 26 09:58 2015 Lisa Jeeves Print This Article

Those undertaking delivery work or other driving jobs in the UK will need to obtain and maintain their Driver CPC.

In the UK,Guest Posting the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification is still relatively new, having only been in effect since 2009. If your job involves driving large vehicles – delivery work, for example – it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of getting and keeping your Driver CPC.

What is Driver CPC?

The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence is a compulsory qualification for bus, coach, and lorry drivers. A European Union directive introduced new qualifications for professional bus, coach, and lorry drivers in 2003, but legislation didn’t take effect in Britain until 10 September 2009.

Driver CPC was introduced to improve road safety and general driving standards across Europe. As a general rule, if you drive a lorry over 3.5 tonnes or a minibus with nine or more seats, you will need to obtain your Driver CPC in addition to a vocational driving licence. Jobs that require a Driver CPC include delivery work and public transport drivers.

How Do I Obtain the Driver CPC?

If you are a new driver, you must first have a full car licence before applying for a provisional lorry or bus licence. Next, you must pass a series of theory and practical qualification tests in order to obtain your Driver CPC. To keep your Driver CPC, you must complete 35 hours of periodic training every five years

If you are a bus, coach, or lorry driver and you obtained your vocational licence before Driver CPC laws came into effect, you don’t need to complete the initial tests, as the law deems you to hold ‘acquired rights.’ In effect, veteran drivers are ‘grandfathered’ into the Driver CPC system. However, these drivers still have to complete the same 35 hours of periodic training as new drivers in order to maintain their Driver CPC.

The Qualification Process

Driver CPC qualification consists of four tests: one theory test, one case studies test, one practical test of driving ability, and one practical demonstration test. To get a full Driver CPC qualification, drivers must pass all four parts of the test. If drivers are only aiming for a vocational licence but won’t be driving for a living, they will only need to take and pass parts one and three of the test.

Periodic Training

All drivers must complete 35 hours of training every five years in order to continue driving for a living. For those who earn their livelihood through delivery work or bus driving, it’s imperative not to let it lapse. If you do not keep up with periodic training, you will lose your Driver CPC and can be fined up to £1,000 for driving without it. You can keep track of how many hours you’ve completed at a dedicated website and your Driver Qualification Card (DQC) shows the deadlines for your periodic training. You can find approved Driver CPC courses on the UK government website.


There are certain situations when bus, coach, and lorry drivers do not need to have the Driver CPC. You are exempt if your vehicle is limited to a top speed of 28 mph, or if it is being controlled by the armed forces, police, or fire and rescue service. You also don’t need a Driver CPC if you are using your vehicle for non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods. There is a full list of exemptions on the UK government website.

Anyone thinking of undertaking any kind of commercial delivery work or driving for a living should check their requirements for the Driver CPC before commencing.

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About Article Author

Lisa Jeeves
Lisa Jeeves

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry in the UK and Europe. It provides services for matching delivery work and to buy and sell road transport in the domestic and international markets. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.

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