If you’re a qualified, professional HGV driver, you’ve already gone through gaining your Driver CPC qualification. It’s a standard qualification that every professional HGV driver needs to take, and proves you are competent to be in charge of such a big, dangerous vehicle. You will also know that you need to renew your Driver CPC every five years in order to keep it current. Around this time 5 years ago, the HGV driver trade was hotting up, with millions of drivers rushing to finish their training before the last 5-year deadline. But this time around, over 220,000 fewer hours of CPC training have been logged by drivers than in the last 5-year period. And this is a big problem. Because without that licence renewal, the industry could lose thousands of drivers overnight on the 19th of September. So we wanted to know why that is, and what we can do to change things.
There are a lot of different reasons that fewer drivers are taking the time to renew their CPC before the deadline. So some experts talked to haulage companies and drivers, and narrowed it down to 4 reasons that drivers aren’t being as proactive in renewing their Driver CPC:
Most of these are totally understandable. There is a lot of pressure on the HGV industry right now, and that makes it difficult for the qualified drivers to take time out to renew their qualifications. But they are no excuse for avoiding it or putting it off – because before you know it it will be too late.
The Driver CPC is an absolute essential for anyone who wants to drive a HGV professionally. That’s why you had to do it to become a driver. And in order to keep drivers to a high standard, this qualification needs to be repeated every 5 years. No arguments. The problem is, people are always busy. There are a lot of pressures on the haulage industry at the moment, and drivers are struggling to find the time to get their training hours in. That’s 35 hours of training that you can’t be working (or paid) for.
But if you leave it until the last minute, you could be in trouble. It’s highly unlikely you’ll find a space on a course at the 11th hour, and if you do it will likely be a sub-standard school and will cost twice as much. Not to mention the fact that you might not be able to get a place at all, which would mean you losing your licence and your employer having to go through the rigmarole of hiring a new driver. So yes, it’s a bit inconvenient, but it’s an important part of being a HGV driver, and if you’re up for a 5-year renewal, you need to be getting it done now.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about Brexit. Because this is something that is out of our control, but could impact the industry. Yes, Brexit could bring about some changes to the regulations around driver CPC – but not for a long time. No matter what the result of the March Brexit deadline, the driver CPC will remain unchanged for at least 1 year, if not 2-3. Driver CPC regulation is at the bottom of the pile for new regulations in the event of Brexit, so you can’t rely on it not being around as an excuse to not renew your CPC. If you choose not to renew your CPC because of Brexit, it’s very likely you’ll end up losing your licence and your livelihood. That might sound harsh, but it’s true. You need to renew your CPC, regardless of the political situation.
So now it’s just a case of assessing the impact of doing the training. After all, you need a minimum of 35 hours re-training drive time, which means taking 35 hours out of your work schedule. This might mean arranging cover with your employer, switching shifts around or even taking time off to get it done in one go. The other option is to not renew your CPC, in which case you will lose your licence to drive commercially and your employer will need to start looking for a new driver. How you use that information is up to you.
At The HGV Training Centre, we specialise in helping drivers get the training and qualifications they need to driver professionally. This includes the original Driver CPC qualification, as well as CPC renewals. We can help you get your training hours logged, brush up your skills and get your new qualification well ahead of the deadline. To find out more, just get in touch with our team today.
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