What Is A Driver CPC, And Do I Need One?

 

In the United Kingdom, professional drivers of large goods vehicles (lorries), buses, and coaches are required to hold a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC). This program goes beyond a standard driving license, ensuring that these drivers possess the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the demands of their jobs. The Driver CPC emphasizes ongoing training, promoting driver competence and ultimately contributing to safer roads for everyone.

In this blog, we cover all you need to know about a Driver CPC, and how to obtain one.

Who Needs A Driver CPC?

The Driver CPC is mandatory for specific categories of professional drivers in the UK. If you operate vehicles for commercial purposes, here's a breakdown of who needs to qualify:

Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) Drivers

This applies to drivers of lorries (trucks) with a maximum gross weight exceeding 3.5 tonnes.

Bus and Coach Drivers

Drivers carrying more than eight passengers are required to have a Driver CPC.

Exemptions

It's important to note that some exemptions exist.

Drivers who fall under "grandfather rights" may not need a Driver CPC if they obtained their relevant vocational license before specific dates (e.g., September 2008 for buses and coaches, September 2009 for LGVs).

Additionally, exemptions apply to drivers in certain situations, such as:

Operating a vehicle for non-commercial purposes (e.g., driving your own horsebox).

 

Driving within a limited radius (generally 62 miles) of your base without passengers or goods.

 

Working in specific sectors like agriculture, forestry, or fisheries, provided driving is not your main function (less than 30% of your working time).

 

How To Obtain A Driver CPC

There are two main scenarios for obtaining a Driver CPC, depending on whether you're a new applicant or renewing an existing qualification.

For New Applicants:

Theory Test

 

You'll need to pass a theory test specifically designed for professional drivers, covering topics like highway code, vehicle knowledge, and safe driving practices.

 

Driver CPC Training

 

Once you pass the theory test, you'll need to complete a series of Driver CPC training modules. These modules total 35 hours and cover various aspects of professional driving, such as safe maneuvering, regulations, and driver well-being.

 

Driver CPC Qualification Card

After successfully completing the training modules, you can apply for your Driver CPC card. This card serves as official proof of your Driver CPC qualification.

For Existing Driver CPC Holders (Renewals):

Periodic Training Courses

 

Every five years, you must complete a further 35 hours of periodic training courses to maintain your Driver CPC qualification. These courses help update your knowledge and ensure you stay current with industry best practices.

 

Driver CPC Qualification Card Renewal

 

Upon finishing the periodic training requirements, your Driver CPC qualification will be automatically renewed, and a new card will be issued to you.

 

What Do I Learn In A DPC Module

There's a vast array of DCPC modules available, but not all are created equal.  Choosing the right provider can significantly impact your learning experience and the overall value you get from the training.  Here's why opting for well-designed modules, like those offered by the AWARE Series, can make a world of difference.

 

Engaging Delivery

 

Forget dry lectures and monotonous presentations. High-quality modules utilize interactive elements, multimedia resources, and real-world scenarios to keep you actively involved in the learning process. This makes the content more relatable and memorable, fostering a deeper understanding of the material.

 

Variety and Choice

 

The AWARE Series, for instance, offers a range of modules catering to different learning styles. Whether you prefer interactive online modules, practical demonstrations, or a blend of both, you can choose the format that best suits your needs.

 

Experienced Instructors

 

Having access to knowledgeable and passionate instructors makes a big difference.  Look for providers that employ instructors with extensive experience in the commercial driving industry.  Their practical insights can bring the learning material to life and provide valuable career guidance.

 

Up-to-Date Content

 

Regulations and best practices in the commercial driving world are constantly evolving.  Choosing a provider that prioritizes keeping its modules current ensures you're equipped with the latest knowledge to excel in your field.

 

Let’s take a look into 5 AWARE Series modules a delegate can take, to cover their 35 hours.

 

EV & HybridAWARE DCPC

Delegates can learn to master safe handling of Electric & Hybrid vehicles in this DCPC module, and learn key components, power management, and safe isolation for roadside recovery.

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Mental Health & WellbeingAWARE DCPC

Delegates can explore the causes, signs, and risks associated with mental health disorders. Delegates can learn to recognize them for themselves and in team, and become a support system to prevent Mental Health issues from escalating.

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PublicAWARE DCPC

Delegates will develop the skills necessary to communicate with people in various situations, both verbally and non-verbally.

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RoadsideAWARE DCPC

Delegates are shown how to attend vehicle breakdowns and recovery tasks safely, while following legal requirements.

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IncidentAWARE DCPC

Delegates will learn how to manage incidents within the roadside and recovery industry, including incidents relating to alternative-fuelled vehicles

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How Do I Maintain My Driver CPC

The Driver CPC is designed to ensure professional drivers maintain their competence throughout their careers. 

 

Here's how it works:

Five-Year Cycles

 

Your Driver CPC qualification is valid for five years. However, to maintain its active status, you must complete additional training within these cycles.

 

Importance of Periodic Training

 

These periodic training courses are not just a formality. They play a vital role in keeping your knowledge and skills up-to-date with the latest regulations, safe driving practices, and technological advancements.  The commercial driving landscape is constantly evolving, and these courses ensure you stay ahead of the curve.

 

Focus on Continuous Improvement

 

The specific content of these periodic training courses may vary depending on the provider. 

 

However, they typically cover a range of topics relevant to professional driving, such as:

 

Changes in Regulations

 

Stay informed about any updates to driving laws, licensing requirements, and vehicle operation regulations.

 

Advanced Safe Driving Techniques

 

Sharpen your skills in areas like emergency manoeuveres, hazard perception, and eco-driving practices.

 

Technological Advancements

 

Gain insights into the latest technologies impacting commercial vehicles, such as driver assistance systems and alternative fuel options.

 

As a thought leader in DCPC training, we endeavour to keep you updated through our range of resources and blogs, delivered through the AWARE Series Knowledge Exchange. 

 

Renewing Your Driver CPC Card

 

Once you've successfully completed the required periodic training within a five-year cycle, your Driver CPC qualification will be automatically renewed. You'll receive a new Driver CPC card as official proof of your continued qualification.

By actively participating in periodic training, you demonstrate your commitment to continuous professional development and ensure you remain a safe, efficient, and knowledgeable driver throughout your career.

 

How Does A Driver CPC Benefit Me

A Driver CPC is a win-win for drivers and employers.

The Driver CPC program isn't just a regulatory requirement; it's a powerful tool that benefits both professional drivers and their employers. Here's how:

For Drivers:

Sharpened Skills and Knowledge

 

Driver CPC equips you with the latest knowledge and skills in areas like safe driving techniques, regulations, and vehicle technology. This not only makes you a more competent driver but also enhances your confidence behind the wheel.

 

Enhanced Job Security

 

By demonstrating your commitment to continuous learning and professional development through Driver CPC, you position yourself as a valuable asset to any employer.

 

Improved Safety

 

The focus on safe driving practices throughout the Driver CPC program translates to a significant reduction in road accidents and near misses. This not only protects you and other road users but also minimizes the risk of costly downtime due to accidents.

 

Increased Job Satisfaction

 

Mastering the complexities of professional driving and staying current with industry best practices can lead to a greater sense of accomplishment and job satisfaction.

For Employers:

Safer Fleet and Reduced Costs

 

A Driver CPC-trained workforce translates to a safer fleet on the road. This leads to a significant reduction in accidents, minimizing costs associated with vehicle damage, injuries, and potential lawsuits.

 

Improved Operational Efficiency

 

Drivers with a strong understanding of regulations, fuel-efficient driving techniques, and proper vehicle maintenance can contribute to smoother operations and reduced fuel consumption, ultimately saving your company money.

 

Enhanced Compliance

 

Driver CPC ensures all your drivers possess the necessary qualifications and up-to-date knowledge, reducing the risk of non-compliance penalties.

 

A More Engaged Workforce

 

Investing in your drivers' professional development through Driver CPC demonstrates your commitment to their well-being and competence. This can foster a more engaged and motivated workforce.

Driver CPC is a true win-win proposition. By investing in this ongoing training program, both drivers and employers can reap the rewards of a safer, more efficient, and cost-effective professional driving experience.

If you would like to complete your Driver CPC with us, find a range of Driver CPC courses here. 

 

Gary Tucker, Managing Director of Network Training Partnership

Awarded the 'Outstanding Contribution to the Motor Industry' by the Institute of the Motor Industry at their 2020 Centenary Awards and a finalist in the Talent in Logistics Industry Ambassador Awards 2020.

A dynamic, entrepreneurial personality and strategic leader with a proactive attitude and history of proven success within the Military and Commercial sectors. Can be relied upon to always produce outstanding results in exceptionally high-pressure situations.