The CPC was introduced back in 2008 for coach and bus drivers and 2009 for lorry drivers. The main aim of bringing in the CPC was to keep the roads safer with better drivers. The logic behind it wasn’t just to benefit road users but the industry itself by making drivers aware of many different aspects of the job, this ranged from staying up to date on legislations, EU rules and regulations and safe and economic driving were just some of the modules covered which led to;
- Lower insurance premiums due to fewer accidents
- Less business interruption due to fewer accidents
- Less wear and tear on vehicles due to better driving behaviour
- Increased fuel economy
- Improved staff retention
For these reasons as the traffic, commissioner describes the CPC as a must, NOT an optional extra.
With the deadline now fast approaching for those with acquired rights, I’ve had many people ask me what happens if I don’t complete my CPC or even drive without the initial qualification.
Well the DSA have issued warnings that anyone caught driving after the deadline or without the initial qualification could be fined up to £1000 or even lose your livelihood if you don’t finish on time.
So what exactly does it involve?
The Initial Driver’s Certificate of Professional Competence will need to be taken by anyone who passed the car test after 1997 or Cat C1 or C after September 2009 and is split into 4 modules;
- Module 1 – theory test (this includes 2 separate tests – multiple-choice and hazard perception)
- Module 2- case studies test
- Module 3- licence acquisition (practical test of driving ability)
- Module 4 – Driver CPC practical test (vehicle safety demonstration)
Please note: that you will most likely have completed modules 1 and 3 already, but if you’re not sure just call one of our friendly advisers on 08081 685 244 who will be able to point you in the right direction.
To get the full Driver CPC qualification, drivers will need to pass all four parts. Once passed the module 4 the driver will receive the DQC (Drivers qualification card) and has 5 years to complete the 35 hours training.
For those of you who are lucky enough to have passed before 1997 (cat C or C1 before 2009) will have something known in the industry as….wait for it……. ‘grandfather rights!’ (otherwise known as acquired rights) and will have to complete 35 hours of periodic training before September the 10th of this year. This works out at a minimum of 7 hours per course (if the 7 hours are split into 2 parts and the second lot of hours must be carried out within 24 hours of the first part)
The course is purely attendance with no test involved at all, as long as you show up on time with your licence you will receive the hours.
There are a range of different modules that you can attend that cover:
- Digital and analogue tachographs
- Drivers health and wellbeing
- EU rules and regulations
- Loading and unloading
- Safe, Economic, Rural driving.
- Safe and Defensive driving .
- Drivers hours .
- First Aid.
- Driving skills.
- Customer service and customer care.
- Drivers walk around checks.
- On road occurrences and accidents procedures .
You can even complete an ADR course (Carriage of Dangerous Goods) that would count as 21 hours.
Once all 35 hours have been completed you will then receive the driver’s qualification card.
After this year’s deadline, you will still be required to keep your licence maintained by completing your next set of 35 hours before your card runs out.
You may be wondering if you have already completed some of these hours. It’s pretty painless to check by following the below link.
Just as a heads up to those of you that already have your card or those who will soon receive it, anyone caught driving without carrying the card will be fined and can even receive penalties. You must carry the card on you at all times whilst drive for hire or reward.
Where can I do my CPC and how much does it cost?.
As one of the largest providers in the industry, we have over 50 training centres across the country enabling us to run these courses at low prices which will never be too far away from you.
These courses, as you can imagine are going thick and fast so to get booked onto a course today or even if you’re still not entirely sure what qualification you need to do, just give is a call on 08081 685 244.