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What is Driver CPC?

Defensive Driver Training image of man getting into a lorry

If you drive a bus, coach or commercial vehicle for a living then the Driver CPC qualification will apply to you.

Periodic Training Requirement

Periodic driver training is designed to confirm and expand existing knowledge and skills of each driver to ensure that they continue to be safe, courteous and fuel efficient drivers.

The EU passed the Driver CPC EU Directive in 2003. This affects all professional PCV and LGV drivers. For new drivers it introduces a new initial quaification - the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) which increases the amount of knowledge that drivers will need before they can drive.

For new drivers the initial qualification includes a four hour theory test and a two hour driving and practical test when combined with the licence acquisition tests.

All drivers, new and existing will then have to undertake 35 hours of training every five years to ensure that their driver CPC is current. This is known as Periodic Training

Only courses that have been approved and are being delivered by a training organisation that has been approved by the Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT) on behalf of the Compentent Authority will count towards the Periodic Training requirement of 35 hours.

When does it start?

The Directive became effective from 10th September 2008 for the PCV sector and from 10th September 2009 for the LGV sector

What licence categories does it affect?

Category C, C+E, C1, C1+E, D, D+E, D1, D1+E.

If you currently drive a 7.5 tonne vehicle or a minibus with more than 9 passenger seats on a Cat B car licence under grandfather rights, you will need to take a driver CPC as this will be classed as LGV Class C1 or PCV Class D1.

Owner Drivers

The Certificate of Professional Compentence for an owner driver will not cover you under the new regulations. The new Driver's CPC follows a different curriculum and covers operational topics such as safe and fuel efficient driving.

If you already have a full LGV or PCV licence

You will not have to take any kind of exam. But you will have to ensure that you undertake 35 hours of relevant training in the five years from the start of the CPC training cycle - September 10th 2008 for PCV and 2009 for LGV. If you hold both C and D licences currently you will not have to undergo two separate Driver CPC's, one will cover both.

If you have your Driver Qualification Card - DQC - you have to complete a further 35 hours of Periodic Refresher Training by the expiry date on the card.  For those with acquired rights this will be September 2018 for category D drivers and a year later for Category C drivers. 

The Training Syllabus

The CPC driver training will cover regulations on Health, Road and Environmental Safety and Customer Service and Logistics.  See  for further details. The training for PCV and LGV will differ but both disciplines will cover the basics of economical driving ( use of the characteristics of the engine and transmission),  safety features ( braking and retardation systems).  Other topics include drivers' hours regulations, tachograph regulations, the social environment of road transport, and responsibiliites regarding initial qualification and periodic training.

Training Sessions

The Driver CPC training will only be available for training bodies who have been approved by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).  Each separate training session must last at least seven hours in 24 hour period, but those sessions can be spread over several years or delivered in one week.  The total requirement is for 35 hours training in a five year period.


The Police and DVSA officials will ask to see your Driver CPC card at roadside checks or if you have been involved in an accident.

Exemptions - the following are exempt

Driving a vehicle with a maximum authorised speed which does not exceed  45KM/H.

Driving a vehicle under the control of or used by the Armed Forces, Civil Defence, Fire Service or Forces responsible for maintaining law and order.

Road testing vehicles for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes, or for driver training.

Driving a vehicle carrying materials or equipment for use in the course of work, providing that driving that vehicle is not their principle activity.

Visit our Driver CPC website at

For further details see

More Information?

If you require more information please call us on 01384 442233 or complete the form at Contact Us.