CPC for existing lorry, bus and coach drivers
All professional lorry and bus drivers must carry out 35 hours periodic training every five years to maintain a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) card (sometimes called a ‘driver qualification card’ or ‘DQC’).
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 approved 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 carried out by emailing: CPC.Enquiries@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk.
You need to include your driving licence number and date of birth in the email.
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 carry out 35 hours of periodic CPC training to get your Driver CPC.
Some periodic CPC training is now being delivered remotely.
You need Driver CPC to drive professionally in the UK. You must carry out your Driver CPC periodic training by your deadline.
The UK recognises Driver CPC qualifications from EU countries.
To work for an EU company, you will need an EU Driver CPC qualification.
Check out the Driving in the EU: What UK drivers need to do to drive when visiting the EU for updates on Driver CPC.
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 issued 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
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 been to by contacting your training provider.
Giving up driving professionally
If you give up driving professionally and let your Driver CPC expire, then you must carry out 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 courses to do.
You only need to do one set of training every five years if you drive both lorries and buses professionally.
Driver Qualification Card
Once you have done 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 CPC Section, Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) Licensing to apply for your DQC. You’ll find the address at the link below.
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 comparable 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
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.
You can download the application form at the link below: