Driver CPC is being introduced across the European Union to maintain high driving standards and improve road safety. All professional bus, coach and lorry drivers must hold a Driver CPC if they want to drive for a living.
Are there any exemptions?
There are exemptions from the Driver CPC qualification for drivers of vehicles:
Used for the non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods, for personal use
Undergoing road tests for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes, or new or rebuilt vehicles not yet put into service
Used in the course of driving lessons for any person wishing to obtain a driving licence or Driver CPC
Carrying material or equipment to be used by the driver in the course of his or her work, provided that driving the vehicle does not constitute the driver's principal activity
With a maximum authorised speed not exceeding 45km/h
Used by, or under the control of, the armed forces, civil defence, the fire service and forces responsible for maintaining public order
Used in states of emergency or assigned to rescue missions
How will it affect me?
All drivers will need to complete a minimum of 35 hours of periodic training within every five year period. The training will require attendance at courses but will not require drivers to take or pass further examinations.
How you gain your Driver CPC will depend upon whether you are a new or existing driver.
If you are an existing driver you will have 'acquired rights' as you already hold a vocational driving licence ( C, C1, CE, C1E, D*,D1*,DE*, and D1E* ) on the relevant start dates. Bus and coach drivers will hold acquired rights up until 9th September 2013 and lorry drivers until 9th September 2014. To keep your Driver CPC and continue driving professionally beyond this date, you will need to undertake regular periodic training.
New Drivers will need to pass a new initial qualification to gain their vocational driving licence and qualify for their Driver CPC. For a new driver, their requirement to undertake a minimum of 35 hours periodic training to retain their Driver CPC will start once they have passed the initial qualification.
*Those who have an entitlement on their licence stating ' not for hire or reward' ( code 101 ) will not have acquired rights and will have to pass the initial qualification should they wish to drive professionally.
What is periodic training?
Periodic training is continuing professional development for bus, coach and lorry drivers. It carries on throughout the professional driver's career - no matter how infrequently they drive.
The minimum length of a training course is 7 hours. Where a course of 7 hours is split into two parts the second part must start within 24 hours of the completion of the first part.
It is important that you allow yourself enough time to complete your training within the five year period. There is no advantage in delaying your periodic training. The sooner you complete your CPC your existing knowledge and skills will be refreshed and updated, which will enhance your professionalism.
Driver CPC requires you to complete a minimum of 35 hours of periodic training during every five year cycle for as long as you wish to continue driving professionally.