There is already a shortage of HGV drivers, and they are currently playing a crucial role in maintaining the supply of food and medicines during the current COVID-19 crisis.
These drivers have to have a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
So what is the CPC training requirement for qualified drivers?
Driver CPC training for qualified drivers.
How much training you need to do?
You must do 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to keep your Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) to drive a lorry, bus or coach.
When to take CPC training?
Your Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification lasts for 5 years. To keep your Driver CPC you need to do 35 hours of training before your 5-year deadline.
The deadline to do your training is shown on your card.
It’s up to you when you take the cpc training courses, as long as you do them within the 5-year period.
Drivers with ‘acquired rights’
Having ‘acquired rights’ means that you did not have to take the Driver CPC initial qualification because of your existing driving experience.
You have acquired rights if you got your vocational licence before the dates shown in the table.
|Type of vehicle||Vehicle categories included||When you got your vocational licence|
|Lorry||C, C1, C+E and C1+E||Before 10 September 2009|
|Bus or coach||D, D1, D+E, D1+E||Before 10 September 2008|
|Bus or coach (not for hire or reward)||D(101)||After 1991|
|Minibus (not for hire or reward)||D1(101)||Before 1997|
Training deadlines for drivers with acquired rights
You still need to take periodic training, but there are set deadlines.
|Training block||Lorry driver||Bus or coach driver||Dual-category driver (lorry, bus and coach)|
|First block of training||9 September 2014||9 September 2013||9 September 2013|
|Second block of training||9 September 2019||9 September 2018||9 September 2019*|
|Third block of training||9 September 2024||9 September 2023||9 September 2024|
*You have 6 years to do your second block of training if you have acquired rights for both lorries and buses and finished your first block of training by 9 September 2013.
If you did not do your first block of training you can finish your training or take extra tests if you have acquired rights and did not finish your first block of training by the deadline.
Finding training courses
Only approved Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) courses count towards periodic training. You can choose which courses to attend. The minimum length of a training course is 7 hours.
Different courses cover different parts of the Driver CPC syllabus.
You’re allowed to take the same course more than once in each 5-year period, for example you could take a first aid course in the first and last year of the 5-year period.
Driver CPC course costs
Training providers set their own prices for courses – there’s no maximum price.
Taking a training course
You must take one of these to your Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training course:
- a photocard driving licence
- a valid passport
- a digital tachograph card
- a Driver CPC card
You’re required to attend courses, but there are no tests or exams to pass at the end of them. Instead, you’ll get a cpc certificate of attendance. It belongs to you – your employer is not allowed to keep it.
Your Driver CPC training record
The training centre will put your training on your Driver CPC training record.
If you miss your training deadline
If you miss your deadline, you cannot drive professionally until you’ve finished your training.
You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving professionally if your Driver CPC expired before 1 March 2020.
Your next deadline will be set for 5 years after the date you finish your training.
How long training counts for
Any training you’ve already done counts for 5 years from the date you took the course. You do not lose it because you’ve passed your deadline.
The training will not count towards the 35 hours total if you took it more than 5 years ago.
If your Driver CPC expires before 30 September 2020
If your CPC expires between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020, and you cannot complete your training because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can either:
- do the training remotely, with an approved training provider
- complete your training after 30 September 2020
You can continue to drive until 30 September 2020. You will not be charged the penalty fee if you show your expired card.
If you have acquired rights
If you have acquired rights you can either:
- complete 35 hours of Driver CPC periodic training by finding and taking training courses
- take and pass the Driver CPC part 2 (case studies)and part 4 (practical demonstration) tests
You can only choose the test option once. After that, you must take periodic training to keep your qualification in the future.
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