CPC for existing lorry, bus and coach drivers

All professional LGV and PCV (lorry and bus) drivers must hold a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) qualification. Existing professional drivers are deemed to hold the qualification by ‘acquired rights’, but must complete 35 hours of periodic training within the five year introductory period to qualify for renewal.

Prepare for Brexit

You'll still need Driver CPC to drive professionally in the UK after Brexit. You must still complete your Driver CPC periodic training by your deadline.

The UK will still recognise Driver CPC qualifications from EU countries after Brexit.

The EU will not recognise UK Driver CPC qualifications after Brexit.

Check out the Drive in the EU after Brexit: lorry and goods vehicle drivers page for updates on Driver CPC.

'Acquired rights'

Acquired rights (or 'grandfather rights') apply to drivers who already hold a full vocational licence to drive buses, coaches and lorries on the Driver CPC start date. However, any 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.

Having Driver CPC through 'acquired rights'

You’ll have ‘acquired rights’ if you are a:

  • lorry driver and got your vocational licence (C, C1, C+E and C1+E) before 10 September 2009
  • bus or coach driver and got your vocational licence (D, D1, D+E and D1+E) before 10 September 2008 - this includes a restricted vocational licence D(079 of nfhr) issued after 1991 and D1(nfhr or 079) issued before 1997

When you need to do periodic training

If you’ve got your Driver CPC by ‘acquired rights’ you must do 35 hours of periodic training by 9 September 2014 if you’re a lorry driver. Bus or coach drivers should have completed their training by 9 September 2013.

Checking your Driver CPC periodic training hours

You can check how many hours of Driver CPC training you’ve done or what courses you’ve attended by emailing dva@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

Giving up driving professionally

If you give up driving professionally and let your Driver CPC expire, then you must complete 35 hours of periodic training to regain it 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 if you hold one and still drive professionally as part of your job, you will also need to hold a Driver CPC.

Driving a larger vehicle and adding trailer entitlements

Your ‘acquired rights’ don’t allow you to drive a larger vehicle of the same type with a trailer if this isn’t on your vocational licence. You’ll have to pass the relevant driving ability test to do this.

For example, you’d have to take the lorry driving ability test with a C+E vehicle combination if your vocational licence was only for a category C vehicle.

Driving a different type of vehicle

Your ‘acquired rights’ only counts for the type of vehicle you held your vocational licence for. You must get the Driver CPC initial qualification for any other type of vehicle.

For example, you’ll have to get the Driver CPC initial qualification for buses and coaches if your original qualification gave you ‘acquired rights’ for lorries.

Find training courses

Only approved courses taken with approved training centres count towards periodic training. It’s up to you to decide which to attend.

You only need to complete one set of training every five years if you drive both lorries and buses professionally.

Driver Qualification Card

Once you have completed your 35 hours of periodic training you will be issued with a Driver Qualification Card (DQC). It will be sent to the address on your driving licence. You must carry your DQC while driving a large goods vehicle or passenger carrying vehicle.

Some periodic training in another EU member state

If you’ve done some of your periodic training in another EU member state you need to write to the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) to apply for your DQC.

You must have done at least the last seven hours of your periodic training in the UK to apply to do this.

You’ll need to include:

  • your NI driving licence number
  • your phone number
  • evidence of the address and dates when you lived in that member state this can be a bank statement, utility bill or tax related document
  • evidence of the names and addresses of your employers for that time
  • the equivalent of your tax reference or national insurance number in the member states you worked in
  • a £25 fee to add training taken abroad to your DQC
CPC Section
DVA Licensing
County Hall
Castlerock Road
BT51 3TD

You must include the original documents - photocopies are not allowed.

Non-English training documents must be sent with a translation on headed paper from an educational establishment or embassy.

To get an application form you can contact us by:


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