CPC for existing lorry, bus and coach drivers

All professional lorry and bus drivers must complete 35 hours periodic training every 5 years to maintain a Driver CPC card (sometimes called a ‘driver qualification card’ or ‘DQC’).

Driver qualification card

The validity of DQCs with expiry dates from 1 February 2020 to 31 August 2020 has been extended for seven months.  If the expiry date on your card is in this period, you should add seven months to that date to calculate the new expiry date.

Examples:

A DQC with an expiry date of 1 February 2020 is now valid until 1 September 2020.

A DQC with an expiry date of 1 July 2020 is now valid until 1 February 2021.

You will not be issued with a new card to reflect the new expiry date.

You must continue to carry your DQC.

DQC expiring between 1 February 2020 - 31 August 2020

The seven month extension to the validity of your DQC gives you an extra seven months to complete your 35 hours of periodic training.  You have five years and seven months from the date your current CPC became valid to undertake this training.

Example:

Your DQC validity has been extended from 30 June 2020 to 31 January 2021.  This means periodic training undertaken from 1 July 2015 counts towards the 35 hours of training you must complete by 31 January 2021 to renew your DQC.

Enforcement arrangements

DQC expiring between 1 September - 30 September

On 31 March DVA indicated that, subject to review, it did not intend to carry out enforcement action against drivers from 1 September 2020 to 30 September 2020 if their DQC expired during this period.

This gave these drivers up to 29 extra days to complete their periodic training, if this was disrupted due to COVID19.

This notice has been rescinded and enforcement action will be carried out from September in relation to DQCs expiring after 31 August, as there are now enough periodic training courses available for drivers whose DQC expires from September 2020 to renew their DQC before then.

If your DQC expires from September 2020, you must not drive until it is renewed. You could face a £1000 fine if you drive without a valid DQC.

Where this applies

All EU countries are obliged to recognise the extension of your DQC. You must carry your DQC when carrying out international road transport.

Remote training

Training is available remotely from approved Driver CPC training providers, via online video platforms. Training should be kept up to date wherever possible, but not as an activity that needs extra travel and only in compliance with general government advice.

Details of all Driver CPC periodic training courses that have been authorised for remote delivery are updated daily on the JAUPT website 

Check your training record

You can find out how much periodic training you’ve already completed by emailing dva@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk 

Never held DQC or DQC expired before 1 February 2020

If you have never held a Driver CPC and have ‘acquired rights’ or your Driver CPC expired before 1 February 2020, you can complete 35 hours of periodic CPC training to get your Driver CPC.

Some periodic CPC training is currently being delivered remotely.

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.

To work for an EU company after Brexit, you will need an EU Driver CPC qualification. You can exchange your UK qualification but you need to do this before 31 October 2019.

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
Waterside
Coleraine
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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