Do you work in the road haulage or passenger carrying industry? Are you struggling to understand “What is Driver CPC?” If so this blog will guide you through all you need to know to make sure you comply with this increasingly important issue.
What is Driver CPC?
The most important thing to know is that professional bus, coach and lorry drivers are now required to hold a Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) licence in addition to a vocational driving licence. So whether you’re coming into the industry new, are an existing driver or are responsible for a fleet of drivers, it is imperative that you are aware of how to comply with Driver CPC legislation and the correct licensing of drivers.
The aims of Driver CPC
The main aim of Driver CPC is to ensure better trained drivers, who are up to date with current legislation, and to help reduce road casualties – ultimately resulting in improved road safety.
The main business benefit to you, as an employer, is increased productivity and lower fleet maintenance costs in the form of:
- Lower insurance premiums due to fewer accidents
- Less business interruption due to fewer accidents
- Less wear and tear on vehicles due to better driving behaviour
- Increased fuel economy
- Improved staff retention
Who needs Driver CPC?
All prospective and existing professional drivers of lorries, buses and coaches are affected by this. So, whether hiring a new recruit or managing the transition to CPC certified drivers, it is essential that you are aware of what this new licensing requirement involves.
How to comply with Driver CPC regulations
The Driver CPC Initial Qualification route is for any new drivers hoping to enter the road haulage or passenger carrying industries.
Initial qualification consists of 4 parts, all of which drivers must pass to qualify.
- Part 1 – theory test (this includes a multiple-choice and hazard perception test)
- Part 2 – Driver CPC case studies test
- Part 3 – driving ability test
- Part 4 – Driver CPC practical demonstration test
If successful, your drivers will be issued with a driver qualification card which must be kept with them at all times when driving professionally, and which will be valid for five years.
Periodic Driver CPC Training
Following initial qualification drivers must then complete 35 hours of periodic training every five years, if they want to keep their Driver CPC status. Drivers can check online for the number of hours of CPC training that they have completed.
Only training that has been approved and delivered by a JAUPT registered provider will count towards certification. Driver CPC Courses will qualify drivers for a minimum of seven hours for a one day course up to the full 35 hours for a 5 day course. Courses can be selected to not only fulfil driver CPC, but also to enhance drivers’ skills and deliver essential driver training. Popular RoSPA courses which have been accredited include:
- Defensive Driver Training (7 hours)
- Driver Assessor Course (up to 21 hours)
- Driver CPC Theory Workshop (7 hours)
- CPC Operator Courses (35 hours)
Driver CPC grandfather rights
If you currently employ drivers who already hold a vocational licence they will not need to take the initial qualification route if they gained their licences before September 2008 for bus and coach drivers or September 2009 for lorry drivers. Their previous experience is accepted as equal to initial qualification.
However, these drivers are required to complete the 35 hours of periodic training, and it may fall upon you to ensure that drivers complete this training by the upcoming deadlines:
PCV Drivers: September 2013
Lorry Drivers: September 2014
Existing drivers will only receive their driver qualification card when they have completed their 35 hours of periodic training. This will be valid until 9th September 2018 for PCV drivers and 9th September 2019 for LGV drivers.
All drivers are then required to complete 35 hours of periodic training every five years on an ongoing basis to continue driving for a living.
Driver CPC exemptions
Whilst Driver CPC regulations will apply to the vast majority of cases there are certain instances where exemptions apply. Drivers do not need a Driver CPC licence if the vehicle they drive:
- Has a maximum authorised speed not exceeding 28mph
- Is used by, or under the control of, the armed forces, civil defence, the fire service and forces responsible for maintaining public order
- Is undergoing road tests for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes
- Is a new or rebuilt vehicle which has not yet been put into service
- Is used in states of emergency or assigned to rescue missions
- Is used for driving lessons for those wanting 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 that driving the vehicle is not the driver’s principal activity
Diver CPC enforcement
Driver CPC is enforced in all European Union (EU) member states. Your drivers must always carry evidence of their Driver CPC status. If found driving without a Driver Qualification Card, (or a valid driving licence, if they have acquired/grandfather rights), they will be liable for penalties.
In short employers will not be able to use drivers who are not Driver CPC compliant.
Share your Driver CPC Experience
With every new piece of legislation, confusion and a change in work practices are almost always inevitable – how are you coping with the introduction of Driver CPC licences? Are you on top of periodic training for acquired rights drivers? We’d love to hear about your experiences and of course for you to share your tips on how best to cope with this change – please leave your comments below.