All drivers of lorries, vans over 3.5 tonnes and Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCV) with nine or more seats, must complete 35 hours of periodic training every five years. Here we look at the Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training course and the benefits it offers for your drivers and fleet.
With online shopping at its peak, the need for greater emphasis on correct driver training and supervision has never been so important. Ensuring customer satisfaction, keeping drivers and the public safe, as well as maintaining your commercial vehicle insurance or van fleet insurance policy premiums is essential. This has resulted in the Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) which refers to two types of qualification in the UK transport and haulage industry: namely the Transport Manager CPC and Driver CPC. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at the Driver CPC.
Professional drivers of lorries, vans over 3.5 tonnes or Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCV) with nine or more seats must usually obtain a Driver CPC in addition to a vocational driving licence. New drivers get their Driver CPC by passing a series of initial qualification tests with both theory and practical sections. This must be maintained with 35 hours of periodic training every five years or the certificate will expire.
Taking the Driver CPC Test
The initial Driver CPC qualification is split into four parts. These include the theory and practical tests your drivers will need to pass before they can gain their full vocational driving licence. The other two parts are optional, and only need be taken if your drivers need the full Driver CPC to allow them to drive buses, coaches, or lorries professionally. This gives drivers the flexibility to obtain their vocational licence only, or to gain full Driver CPC at the same time.
Module One of the CPC: This theory test is made up of a multiple-choice exam and a hazard perception test. The multiple choice takes about two hours to complete and contains 100 questions. The hazard perception part of the theory test consists of 19 video clips, with a total of 20 scoreable hazards.
Your driver must take both tests separately and it doesn’t matter in which order they complete them. If both tests are passed within two years of each other, your driver will get a theory test certificate. Once they have passed Driver CPC module 1, your driver must pass the Driver CPC module 3 driving test within two years, otherwise, they will have to pass the module 1 theory test again.
Module two of the CPC: This consists of seven case studies your HGV, coach or bus driver works through on a computer - short scenarios based on situations that are likely to happen in the working life of a commercial driver. The driver is asked between six and eight multiple choice questions on each of the seven case studies.
A pass letter is valid for two years and the driver must complete and pass the Driver CPC module 4 practical demonstration test within two years, otherwise they will have to complete the module 2 case studies test again.
Module three of the CPC: This is the one and a half hour practical driving ability test that includes vehicle safety questions, practical road driving and off-road exercises.
Module four of the CPC: This completes the test with a CPC practical exam, where your driver is expected to demonstrate and explain several operations that are required by an HGV driver other than the driving itself. For this module, the driver is tested on being able to load the vehicle safely and securely, prevent illegal immigrant trafficking, assess emergency situations, and do a complete walk around vehicle safety check.
To get the full Driver CPC qualification, drivers must pass all four parts. If they want to get a vocational licence, but will not be driving for a living, they will only need to take and pass part one and part three.
You’ll get your Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) card when you’ve done 35 hours of periodic training. The card is sometimes called a ‘driver qualification card’ or ‘DQC’. You must carry this card while driving a lorry, bus or coach professionally.
There are specialist CPC training centres throughout the UK. With COVID restrictions still in place, the DVSA says where possible driver CPC training should be done remotely. But where this is not possible, classroom-based teaching in a suitable COVID-secure environment is allowed.