Obtaining your Driver Certificate of Professional Competence
Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) training is continuing professional development which carries on throughout a professional bus, coach or lorry driver's career. Implementation of EU Directive 2003/59 requires all professional bus, coach and lorry drivers to hold a Driver CPC, in addition to their vocational driving licence.
Aims of Driver CPC
Driver CPC is aimed at improving road safety by providing better qualified drivers to help reduce road casualties. It should also bring an improved professional and positive image to the industries, attracting more people to drive buses, coaches and lorries for a living.
How to comply with Driver CPC
As a professional driver you will need to complete 35 hours of 'periodic training' every five years to retain your Driver CPC. Only approved courses taken with approved training centres will count towards periodic training.
If you hold both a Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCV) licence and a Large Goods Vehicles (LGV) licence, then you will only be required to complete one set of periodic training.
For new drivers
You will have to pass an initial Driver CPC qualification before being able to drive professionally. It can be taken at the same time as the vocational driving test.
Driver CPC came into force across all European Union member states on:
- 10 September 2008 for bus and coach drivers
- 10 September 2009 for lorry drivers
For existing drivers
As an existing professional bus, coach and lorry driver you are deemed to hold Driver CPC by ‘acquired rights’. However, you must complete your periodic training within five years of the introduction of Driver CPC, as follows:
- before 10 September 2013 for PCV licence holders
- before 10 September 2014 for LGV licence holders
Note: 'Acquired rights' (or 'grandfather rights') apply to people who already hold a full vocational licence to drive buses, coaches and lorries on the Driver CPC start date. A licence acquired before January 1997 which has a 'D1 not for hire or reward', ‘D not for hire or reward’ or '079' code does not qualify as 'acquired rights', nor do they provide any provisional entitlement. To drive professionally, drivers will need to take all four modules of the new Driver CPC test.
If you give up driving professionally, and let your Driver CPC expire, then you must complete 35 hours of periodic training in order to regain your Driver CPC before you can resume driving in the freight, bus and coach industries professionally.
The existing 'Transport Manager’s CPC' (also known as the 'Operator’s CPC') is a separate qualification and anyone holding one, who still drives professionally as part of their job, will also need to hold a Driver CPC.