The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) is a legal requirement for those driving larger vehicles professionally.
Having been introduced in Europe, the legislation came into effect in the UK on the 10th September 2009. Its purpose is to improve road safety and uphold high standards of driving.
Who needs a Driver CPC?
There are certain drivers who are not required to hold a Driver CPC. Drivers are exempt if the vehicle are the following.
- Used for non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods or personal use.
- Undergoing road tests for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes, or of new or rebuilt vehicles which have not yet been put into service (must be driven by a qualified motor mechanic).
- Used in the course of driving lessons for the purpose of enabling that person to obtain a driving licence or a Drivers CPC (must be driven by driving instructors).
- Carrying material or equipment to be used by that person in the course of his or her work, provided that driving that vehicle does not constitute the driver’s principal activity. (Such as transporting scaffolding to the driver’s place of work. Driving must not become the major part of the work, i.e. the work being carried out at the site of work, must be a significantly greater use of time than driving itself.)
- With a maximum authorised speed not exceeding 45 km/h; (such as agricultural tractors).
- Used by, or under the control of, the armed forces, civil defence, the fire service and forces responsible for maintaining public order.
- Used in states of emergency or assigned to rescue missions.
Operators (i.e., haulage and transport businesses) of HGV and PCV vehicles must also be CPC certified, however the training for this is slightly different, due to them being an operator rather than a driver.
What about drivers with acquired rights?
ALL professional drivers must hold a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) qualification.
Acquired rights (also known as ‘grandfather rights’) apply to drivers who acquired their drivers licence prior to 1997 or passed their HGV (C1) licence or a higher category prior to introduction of the CPC qualification.
These existing drivers only received their driver qualification card once they had completed their initial 35 hours of periodic CPC training.
This was valid until 9th September 2018 for PCV drivers and remained valid until the 9th September 2019 for LGV drivers.
All drivers are then required to complete 35 hours of periodic training every five years to ensure compliancy.
Any one applying for either an HGV Licence after 2009 will be required to do the initial CPC modules 2 & 4. Modules 1 & 3 will be covered in applying for the actual licence class.
How do I take my CPC Drivers Qualification?
There are two ways to get your Drivers CPC qualification, initial and periodic.
Initial CPC Driver Training
If you plan to drive a vehicle larger than your current licence entitlement allows, you will need to complete the D4 medical form. This is as well as completing a medical evaluation to ensure that you are fit and healthy.
You will then need to apply for your provisional licence via to the DVSA, using the D2 provisional form.
Once you have obtained your provisional licence, and passed your medical evaluation, you will be able to proceed with your multiple-choice and Hazard Perception theory tests. Once you have passed your theory test, you can proceed to take your Practical driving test.
If you then wish to drive the vehicle professionally you will then be required to take the initial CPC driver qualification modules 2 & 4.
You will need to have already taken and passed your driver theory and practical driving test. These make up the remaining Modules 1 & 3 to complete the Driver CPC qualification.
You must pass part one of the Driver CPC before you can take part three. You also need to have already passed module two before you can take module four.
Module One - Driver Theory test
You can book the part 1 theory test as soon as you’ve obtained your provisional licence.
The test is made up of 2 parts:
The multiple-choice questions part lasts for 1 hour and 55 minutes, and the pass mark is 85 out of 100 questions.
You’ll watch 19 videos, and there are 20 developing hazards to spot, the pass mark is 67 out of 100.
You will be given the results at the test centre.
Upon passing the theory test, your pass certificate will only be valid for two years. If you are yet to pass the remaining modules after the 2-year window, you will then have to redo your theory test.
Module Two - Driver CPC Case study test
Module 2 CPC is required by any drivers who
- Qualified for their LGV after 10th September 2009.
- Qualified for their PCV after 10th September 2008.
Furthermore, drivers who passed:
- Their car test before 1st January 1997 do not require the initial CPC for Large Goods Vehicles.
- Their car test before 1st January 1997 do still require the initial CPC for Passenger Vehicles.
Mod 2 is the ‘Case Study’ part of the Driver CPC Initial Qualification. This is conducted at the theory test centre.
The Module 2 CPC test involves questions based on real-life scenarios. The test is made up of seven case studies consisting of between 5-10 questions.
The case study test lasts 75 minutes. This covers seven case studies, which are based on situations you will likely come across in your working life.
You’ll need to score at least 40 out of 50 to pass the test. Before you start the test, you can have a practice session of up to 15 minutes.
Module Three – Practical driving test of driving ability
Your practical test will last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Module 3 includes:
- vehicle safety questions
- practical road driving
- off-road exercises
During your test you will also be asked some questions on vehicle safety.
You’ll pass your test if you make:
- 15 or fewer driving faults
- No serious or dangerous faults
Drivers will need Module 4 CPC if they:
- Qualified for their LGV after 10th September 2009.
- Qualified for their PCV after 10th September 2008.
Additionally, those drivers who passed:
- Their CAT B (car) test before 1st January 1997 do not require the initial CPC for Large Goods Vehicles.
- Their CAT B (car) test before 1st January 1997 do still require the initial CPC for Passenger Vehicles.
Mod 4 is the practical test. This is where drivers must show various operations for an HGV driver, other than driving. You can be tested on safe loading of the vehicle, prevention of trafficking, emergency situation assessment, and the full vehicle safety check.
The test is 20-30 minutes in duration and will cover questions in the following:
- Daily walk-around checks.
- Ability to prevent physical risk.
- Loading and security of loads.
- Keeping the vehicle secure.
- Emergency procedures.
- Loaded vehicle dynamics.
- Border crossings.
- Security procedures.
You will also need to show that you can keep your vehicle safe and secure. You’ll be asked about:
- Safe use of your vehicle and checks to make before driving
- Loading your vehicle safely and securely
- Checking for risks from criminal acts and trafficking
- Assessing emergencies and risks.
The test lasts 30 minutes. You’ll need to score at least 80 out of 100 points, with at least 15 out of 20 for each topic area.
Do you have to go to a test centre for your MOD 4 CPC exam?
When training with 2 Start, you can complete your examination inhouse.
We have our own authorised DVSA approved assessors to conduct the CPC Training MOD 4 assessments. You can also complete your module 4 training and test at any of our training centres. This includes both LGV & PCV module 4 examinations.
The one-day practical course, including a test, will give you the ability to discuss key issues relating to goods vehicle safety. You will further demonstrate the practical skills required of professional LGV drivers, as per standards set by the DVSA.
Periodic CPC Driver Training
Once you have passed your initial CPC (or if you have acquired rights) you will be expected to complete periodic CPC training every 5 years.
The periodic training is classroom based. There are no examinations or pass and fail elements. Each course is made up of 7 hours and the completed hours will be uploaded by the training provider. They are uploaded to The Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training, also known as JAUPT.
Once 35 hours of training has been uploaded to the JAUPT systems, a DQC (Driver Qualification Card) will be issued to you.
Where can I get my CPC drivers qualification?
In order to ensure you are getting a valid CPC qualification, the centre you choose MUST be approved by The joint approvals unit for periodic training (JAUPT).
JAUPT manage the application process and the quality assurance of the training courses and centres which deliver periodic training of the Drivers CPC qualification.
2 Start are members of JAUPT. We are regularly assessed for our training quality and application. You can be assured that all content on our courses is correct.
When do I need to get my Driver CPC Training?
Your Driver CPC qualification lasts for 5 years. In order to keep your Driver CPC, you must complete 35 hours of training before your 5-year deadline.
The deadline to do your training is shown on your card. You can also check this online on the government website, titled, Check your Driver CPC periodic training hours.
Here at 2 Start Ltd we offer both the full CPC Periodic Driver Training of 35hrs delivered in a week’s long course. Alternatively, we can offer 1 CPC driver training session. This equates to 7 hours of your CPC requirement.
For those with acquired rights the deadlines apply (information taken from the gov.uk site).
|Training block||Lorry driver||Bus or coach driver|| Dual-category driver |
(lorry, bus and coach)
|First block of training||9 September 2014||9 September 2013||9 September 2013|
|Second block training||9 September 2019||9 September 2018||9 September 2019*|
|Third block training||9 September 2024||9 September 2023||9 September 2024|
*You have 6 years to do your second block of training if you have acquired rights for both lorries and buses and finished your first block of training by 9 September 2013.
Driving professionally without a valid Drivers CPC qualification
Driving without or failing to produce a valid Drivers Qualification Card (DQC) card will carry a maximum fine of £1000.00, for both the driver and the operating firm.
If you have applied for your Drivers Qualification Card but you have not received it yet, you may be issued with a verbal warning.
If you lose your card you will have to pay approximately £25.00 for a replacement.