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Does the driver CPC improve the transport and logistics industry?

HGV Training Centre

We can’t ignore the fact that the initial and periodic driver CPC is a legal requirement both in the UK and across Europe. However, is there an argument to say that it actually improves the transport and logistics industry? Could it be that, far from being a tick box exercise, periodic learning is capable of improving the performance and development of drivers and safety on the roads as a whole? We take a look at what the CPC is, and the benefits that it brings. 

Initial CPC Training

The initial driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) is an official qualification that all professional HGV drivers need to have. It’s part of the testing process to gain your HGV licence, and leads into an ongoing requirement throughout a professional driving career.

Test Process

Parts 2 and 4 of the HGV driving test are specific to the CPC, but you will need to pass all of the parts below to gain your drivers licence and initial CPC:

    • Part 1, Theory  – This test covers hazard perception and is multiple choice. You can begin studying before you receive your provisional licence and your pass certificate is valid for 2 years. 
    • Part 2, Case studies – A second theory based test, your pass is valid for 2 years. You must pass this part before you can move on to the practical tests. 
    • Part 3a, Off road exercises – This tests your knowledge of the vehicle and manouvreability and lasts around 30 minutes. 
    • Part 3b, On road driving – You must have passed part 3a before moving on to this part. You’ll be asked safety questions and undertake around an hour of driving.
    • Part 4, Practical demonstration – This is the most intensive practical test and covers the 5 areas of the CPC syllabus which are refreshed during your periodic training.
    • DQC Your driver qualification card, or DQC, is issued on completion of all parts of the HGV test. It will expire after 5 years if you do not complete the relevant 35 hours of training over that period. Professional drivers should carry their DQC at all times when working, and if you can’t show it when asked you can incur a fixed penalty fine. 

Periodic CPC Training

First introduced in 2009, periodic CPC training is an ongoing requirement for learning. To maintain your CPC you must complete 35 hours of training over the course of 5 years. This training can take place in person or be attended online, although prior to the pandemic it was generally an in-person classroom based process. If you fail to complete the required 35 hours and continue driving you can incur up to a £1000 fine. 

Benefits of the CPC

With the majority of drivers appreciating the benefits that ongoing training gives them, many view the CPC as a positive initiative in HGV driving. As technology and road conditions change quickly and sometimes dramatically, regular training and updates help to keep both drivers and other road users safe. 

Professional Development

The topics covered in periodic CPC training sit under key areas but can involve many diverse subjects. You could learn more about defensive driving and emergency protocols or fuel-efficient techniques and the latest on legislation and compliance. Each module provides insights and information that makes drivers better at their job and more able to develop and progress in their career.

Safety 

As a driver, your safety and the safety of other road users is a primary concern. This means that subjects like load security, first aid, and health and safety are integral to maintaining a safe working environment. With additional safety skills, drivers can help to reduce accidents and injuries on the job, which contributes to an improved safety record for both driver and organisation. 

Technology

Rapidly developing vehicle technology is hard to keep up with. However, understanding and using up to date tools allows drivers to work smarter, not harder. From tacho machines to safety technology to fleet logistics, you can deliver a higher level of service to customers and enjoy faster career development.

Environmental Impact

With current topics like reducing CO2 emissions, optimising vehicle performance, and the operation of low-emission zones, this area of training helps drivers to contribute positively to environmental initiatives. There are legal requirements here, but also benefits to the whole logistics environment. 

Improved Productivity

Ongoing CPC training enhances drivers’ abilities, making them more reliable, efficient, and productive members of logistics teams. Well-trained drivers are critical in reducing downtime due to accidents or vehicle maintenance issues. This means a more positive working environment as well as a more productive one. 

How to get the best out of CPC

While at first look, it may seem that 35 hours of training over 5 years is quite manageable, when you’re managing a schedule that is often set by someone else, it’s not so simple. This is why it’s worth individuals and organisations being strategic when it comes to periodic CPC training in order to get the best out of it. 

Varied learning

Here at HGV Training Centre, we offer a huge range of learning options, including over 90 in-person locations. To make sure that you make the best choices we provide a dedicated learning coordinator to oversee the process. 

Career changes

Find out how your periodic CPC training can help you to find a new job, or specialise in a different area. Our recruitment advisors can give you all the right information to help your next CPC work for you. 

Regular modules

Our advisors can help you to manage and plan your periodic training so that you don’t lose track. During the pandemic, many drivers missed out on sessions over a 2 year period, with attendance on courses experiencing a huge drop. Even if this has happened to you, HGV Training Centre can help you to get back on top of it.

Although there is certainly a regulatory aspect of the driver CPC, we believe that drivers can use this learning both to improve their careers and their working environment. Overall, this is a good thing for the whole industry, helping it to evolve into a safer and more efficient place. Find out how to get the best from your CPC by contacting us today.

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