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03 July 2024

Driver CPC Training: Essential Information for Drivers & Recruiters

Driver CPC Training: Essential Information for Drivers & Recruiters

Maintaining your Driver CPC Qualification 

Driver CPC Training was introduced in 2009 for drivers of Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs, previously termed HGVs. To continue driving professionally, LGV drivers need to complete 35 hours of periodic training every five years to maintain their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). If you employ drivers who qualified when the original training started on September 2009, you need to ensure they have completed another 35 hours of accredited training BEFORE 10th September 2024, so their compliance is maintained. Failing to do so can result in a fine of up to £1,000 for both the driver and the operator.

Ask your drivers to check their current training hours online to stay on top of their requirements. If the driver operates both lorries and buses, a single set of training covers both vehicle types within the five-year period. If you're based in Northern Ireland, there are specific guidelines to follow.

Timing Your Training

Driver CPC qualification is valid for five years, and the training must be completed before the deadline, as indicated on the driver's CPC card. If there are multiple deadlines (for lorries and buses), the earliest one must be met to stay compliant. Missing the training deadline means a driver cannot drive professionally until the necessary hours are completed. Driving without a valid CPC can lead to significant fines.

Acquired Rights

Drivers with 'acquired rights' did not need to take the initial CPC qualification due to their prior experience. However, they still must complete periodic training. Here are the key dates:

Lorry Drivers: Training deadlines

  • First block: 9 September 2014
  • Second block: 9 September 2019
  • Third block: 9 September 2024

Bus or Coach Drivers: Training deadlines

  • First block: 9 September 2013
  • Second block: 9 September 2018
  • Third block: 9 September 2023

Dual Category Drivers (Lorry, Bus or Coach)

  • First block: 9 September 2013
  • Second block: 9 September 2019
  • Third block: 9 September 2024

Finding and Taking CPC Training Courses

All approved Driver CPC courses contribute to your 35 hours of periodic training. The minimum course length is seven hours, which can be split over two consecutive days and may include up to two hours of online training. Some non-Driver CPC courses can also count towards your training, such as:

  • Up to 14 hours for transporting dangerous goods (ADR)
  • Up to seven hours for other related courses like the Transport Manager CPC (excluding refresher training)

Check with the DVSA if you want to confirm whether a particular course qualifies.

Costs and Requirements

Training providers set their own prices for courses, so costs may vary. When attending a course, one of the following must be taken: a photocard driving licence, a valid passport, a digital tachograph card, or a Driver CPC card. There are no tests or exams at the end of the courses, but they will receive a certificate of attendance, which is theirs to keep.

Getting and Replacing a Driver CPC Card

A Driver CPC card will be issued upon completing the 35 hours of training. This card, also known as a driver qualification card (DQC), must be carried while driving professionally. Failure to have a card can result in a £50 penalty. If a card is lost or stolen, apply for a replacement promptly. Cards will be sent to the address on the driving licence, so ensure it is up to date.

Missing a Training Deadline

If training deadline is missed, training must be completed before a driver can drive professionally again. The new deadline will be five years from the date the training was completed. For drivers with acquired rights have the option to:

  • Complete the 35 hours of periodic training, or
  • Pass the Driver CPC part 2 (case studies) and part 4 (practical demonstration) tests

This test option is only available once; subsequent renewals will require periodic training. For more information or to check training records, visit the official DVSA website. Stay compliant and keep your drivers on the road.

Find out more about KPI Driving here.