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 Driver CPC Questions



We also recommend checking trade publications and www.dsa.gov.uk/cpc to keep in touch with developments. In addition there will be regular updates in ‘Despatch’ - DSA’s magazine for the driver training industry.

If you have any further questions or would like information updates on Driver CPC periodic training and the Intial test please follow the links on this page. Alternatively please email your details to drivercpc@dsa.gsi.gov.uk
What does the Driver CPC involve?

As well as a driving licence, lorry and bus & coach drivers who drive professionally will have to hold a Certificate of Professional Competence which is renewable every 5 years. There will be an initial qualification for new drivers, and periodic training for new and existing drivers.
Driver CPC will come into force on 10 September 2008 for PCV drivers and 10 September 2009 for LGV drivers. These implementation dates apply to all EU member states.
To watch a video about Driver CPC pleasef ollow the link below.
What is the purpose of Driver CPC?
Driver CPC is being introduced to improve the knowledge and skills of lorry, bus and coach drivers which in turn will;
  • improve road safety
  • support the road freight and passenger transport industries by providing savings through more fuel efficient and defensive driving and help the industries with staff recruitment and retention.
  • raise the profile of the driving profession through maintaining skills levels, improving career opportunities and enhancing the image of drivers as ‘professionals’
  • help the environment through reduced fuel consumption and vehicle wear and tear.
What is DSA’s involvement?

DSA is leading, on behalf of the Department for Transport, the implementation of the project. As well as legislation, this involves establishing and implementing arrangements for training and testing for both the initial qualification and periodic training.
Who will Driver CPC affect?

All professional drivers of Lorries (of all sizes), buses, coaches and minibuses unless they qualify for an exemption.

Who is exempt?
Driver CPC will be needed only in circumstances where a driver is required to hold a driving licence in Categories C, C+E, D, D+E (including C1, C1+E, D1, D1+E).

In addition, even if a driver is required to hold a licence in one of these categories, they may be exempt if they belong to one of the following groups listed in Article 2 of the Directive:

Driver CPC shall not apply to the drivers of:

(a) Vehicles with a maximum authorised speed not exceeding 45km/h.

(b) Vehicles used by, or under the control of, the armed forces, civil defence, the fire service and forces responsible for maintaining public order.

(c) 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;

(d) Vehicles used in states of emergency or assigned to rescue missions;

(e) Vehicles used in the course of driving lessons for any person wishing to obtain a driving licence or a CPC, as provided for in Article 6 and Article 8 (1);

(f) Vehicles used for non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods, for personal use;

(g) Vehicles 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.

Who are drivers operating under s19 and s22 permits?
These are those driving buses or minibuses as a community based activity. The buses are driven for non-commercial bodies and on a non-profit making basis.

Are drivers of buses operated under s19 and s22 permits in scope?
We believe that drivers of such buses are likely to be either outside the scope of Directive 2003/59/EC or covered by one of its exemptions.
Do those driving such vehicles under a category B licence need CPC?
Anyone driving under a category B licence is out of scope of the Directive.
What about when operating under a category D licence?
In those circumstances where the driver must hold a category D (or D1) licence, we consider it would be difficult to argue that they are operating commercially in the normal sense of that word. Whilst they may, in certain situations, carry passengers for hire and reward, the operation as a whole must be "without a view to profit.” That does not easily fit with the usual interpretation of commercial activity. Consequently, we believe that these drivers would be covered by the exemption provided at Article 2(f) of the Directive ("vehicles used for non-commercial carriage of passengers…”).

However, we must stress that it will be for the courts to decide whether our interpretation is correct. We would strongly recommend anyone in doubt as to whether they need a CPC to take independent legal advice.

Would you recommend that a driver who does not need a CPC obtains it?
Even where drivers are not required to hold a CPC, we would hope that they (and their employers) would recognise the many benefits that it provides and choose to obtain it.
Can I work without CPC?
No. Not unless you fall under one of the exemptions.
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.
Will it be an offence for someone to drive without a CPC when they should have one?
Yes there will be penalties if someone drives without a valid CPC. There will also be penalties for Operators who cause or permit a driver to drive without CPC.
How will a driver be able to prove CPC status?
Either by a code on the driving licence or on a separate Driver Qualification Card. A final decision has yet to be made on which option to adopt.
How will CPC be enforced?
CPC will be enforced in a similar way to the enforcement of holding a driving licence. The Police or VOSA will be able to ask for proof that a driver has CPC status and issue appropriate penalties if the driver cannot prove this.
Has the Road Freight Industry and Passenger Transport Industry been consulted?
DSA have been in discussions with representatives from both industry sectors throughout the implementation of the project, including a formal consultation. There have been a number of working groups established to work through the details of the different requirements of the new arrangements. Most of these groups include industry representatives. In addition there is a specific group comprising stakeholder interests which is consulted and active on all aspects of the new arrangements.
If Driver CPC focuses on competence, could we not simply raise the standard of the present 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.
What will the initial qualification involve?
It will involve 4 hours of theory testing and 2 hours of practical testing. (The test for driving licence acquisition currently comprises of a 1.5 hour theory test and 1.5 hour practical test. So the extra testing would be 2.5 hours of theory testing and 30 minutes of practical testing.) The tests must be at the equivalent of NVQ level 2.

DSA are introducing modular tests so that drivers can obtain their driving licence and CPC at the same time. The CPC syllabus covers the additional knowledge a professional driver needs to have; it is not just about practical driving skills.

The Theory test will be in 2 parts; licence acquisition (multiple choice questions and hazard perception test) and case studies. "Case studies” will be designed to suit the profile of the candidate and DSA is meeting both sectors to help develop the new tests. DSA envisages that the questions would be of the format where a situation or scenario was defined for the driver, and they are then asked questions relating to this situation. Case studies wherever possible will use diagrams, pictures and graphics.

Test presentation will be screen-based, like the theory test for driving licence acquisition, and will be delivered from existing theory test centres. For more informatin or to watch videos about the inital qualifying tests please follow the links below.
How much will it cost to gain the initial qualification cost?
DSA estimates around £205 per test (which comprises an estimated £75 for the 4 hour theory test and an estimated £130 for the 2 hour practical test).
What is in the 2 hour practical test?
The existing 90 minute driving licence acquisition test plus a 30 minute demonstration of practical vehicle safety.
Can DSA provide arrangements whereby a person could choose whether to qualify for a driving licence and CPC together or a driving licence first and then a CPC?
Yes, by careful design of the overall test, and using a modularised approach, this is possible. If the CPC training was undertaken before the test for driving licence acquisition, the CPC test could be completely integrated. If the CPC training was completed after licence acquisition, there would be a "top-up” module.
How does obtaining a CPC fit with national vocational training?
There is the option for acquiring CPC whilst undertaking national vocational training (NVT) but the driver would still have to pass the CPC initial qualification in addition to any NVT training. The driver would be able to drive professionally within the UK while studying for their CPC for up to a maximum of 12 months.
Will there be a Young LGV Driver’s Scheme after the CPC has been implemented?
The Driver CPC Directive supersedes these arrangements. A driver can drive an LGV from the age of 18 if they hold the appropriate licence and have CPC.
If a driver already holds an initial CPC for one LGV category (e.g. rigid lorry Category C), will that person need another CPC to drive another LGV Category (e.g. articulated lorry Category C+E)?
No. (This will not affect the requirement to pass the relevant driving licence acquisition test for the additional category.)
If a driver already holds an initial CPC for one PCV category (e.g. minibus sub-Category D1), will that person need another CPC to drive another PCV Category (e.g. full-sized coach Category D)?
No. (This will not affect the requirement to pass the relevant driving licence acquisition test for the additional category.)
How often does periodic training have to take place?
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 or D vehicles professionally

The driver has flexibility as to how he/she takes the 35 hours training over this time, providing training occurs in blocks of at least seven hours at one time. So for example a driver may complete two blocks of 7 hours in the first year, and the final three blocks of seven hours in the fifth year. A driver could leave all 35 hours until the fifth year.

What is the syllabus?
The Directive lays out the syllabus in Annex 1 Section 1 of the Directive. There are three main groups of subjects:

· Advanced training in rational driving based on safety regulations

· Applications of regulations

· Health roads and environmental safety, service, logistics

The content of the training is designed to deal with subject matter that is relevant to the driver in their
day to day work.
Will Periodic Training be able to focus on individual needs?
Yes this is the intention - tailored training to suit the needs of the driver at that point in time. This may cover changes in legislation, new vehicles or remedial training, against the background of the syllabus.
Will operators be able to continue with in-house training?
Yes. Any transport or haulage company will be able to apply to become an "approved training centre”, provided they are certified as meeting the specified standards. This means an in-house training division can carry out CPC related training both for initial qualification and periodic training.
Are there any tests to take for Periodic Training?
No there are no tests required.
How does periodic training apply to existing PCV and LGV licence holders who are exempted from the initial qualification?
Both PCV and LGV drivers holding full licences on the implementation dates ( 10th September 2008 for PCV & 10th September 2009 for LGV) will have to undertake periodic training. Their first cycle of 5 year Periodic Training will start on the appropriate implementation dates.
Is periodic training a one-off or repeated?
Periodic Training has to be done every 5 years for as long as a driver wishes to drive Cat C/D vehicles professionally.
How will drivers / employers pay for CPC and accommodate the time required to undertake Periodic Training?
Many companies already invest in training for their staff and Driver CPC effectively ensures that the whole of the industry adopts this good practice. The industries will have to pay for this although there is the possibility that funding could be made available.
Will Driver CPC apply to foreign nationals?
Yes, Driver CPC applies across all EU Member States therefore all of those drivers will be required to qualify and hold a Driver CPC in exactly the same way as UK drivers.

The Driver CPC will put considerable additional pressure on DSA’s resources, for quality assuring training and providing fair and uniform assessments. What impact will this have on customers for driving tests?

DSA will be including the implications of this Directive in its business planning. There are now 2 years to plan for implementation, and there should be no negative impact on the service DSA provides to other customers.

Under CPC rules, can an 18 year old be allowed to drive a full sized bus?
If the driver holds a CPC and is limited to routes that do not exceed 50km.
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/PCV 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.
As a holder of both LGV and PCV licences will I need to do two sets of periodic training or will one set of training cover both aspects of my licence?
No, in these circumstances a driver will only be required to undertake a single cycle of 35 hour periodic training every 5 years to maintain their CPC status.
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 am a taxi driver and use a D1 entitlement to drive a minibus to take passengers the airport. Will I need to do CPC?
Yes. CPC applies to all drivers responsible for the carriage of goods or passengers for hire or reward. This includes vehicles in Cat D1 such as those with 9-16 passenger seats capable of 80km/h (50mp/h). As an existing licence holder on the implementation date of 10th September 2008, 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 am a PCV licence holder (cat D & DE) who mainly drives on enthusiast running days on free services in an unpaid category, but who may occasionally undertake paid driving on a casual basis.
a) Will I be affected?

b) If I only continue with unpaid duties at enthusiast events will I be affected?

a) Yes if you drive professionally even on a casual basis.

b) No. If you are driving voluntarily on an unpaid basis you would be covered by the following exemption:

(f) Vehicles used for non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods, for personal use;’

In short, you will need Driver CPC for your casual driving work, but you would be exempt when undertaking unpaid, non-commercial driving.

Please can you tell me what form the new CPC test will take as I hold a PCV and LGV licence but do not drive for a living at the present time? Will it mean that I have to take another driving test or written exam?
No you will automatically qualify for Driver CPC by Grandfather Rights until 2013 by which time, should you decide to start driving professionally again, you will have needed to complete 35 hours Periodic Training to retain your CPC status
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 News Headlines
  Agricultural tractors "likely" to require an O-licence
  Drivers’ hours: changes to fines for commercial drivers
  DVSA To Target Operrators Who Do Not Give Open Access To Data
  Department for Transport to Introduce Fixed Penalties for Historic Offences
  DVSA: The merge of the DVLA and DSA

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