Driver CPC? What does it mean?

Driver CPC What does it mean?

You may have heard of the term Driver CPC, but what does it actually mean?  This guide explains all about what a Driver CPC is and whether or not you need to have one.  If you read this guide and determine you do need a Driver CPC qualification, at 2 Start Training we can help you obtain yours. We are a comprheensive driving school with skilled trainers and a range of courses.

What is a Driver CPC?

The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) is a legal requirement for those driving larger vehicles professionally.

Having been introduced in Europe, 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?

You need a Driver CPC if you’re looking to drive buses, coaches or HGVs for a living. If the vehicle is over 3.5 tonnes or with 9 or more passenger seats and it will be the main part of your job then its essential.

There are certain drivers who are not required to hold a Driver CPC, they are outlined below:

Drivers are exempt if the vehicle is:

  • Used for non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods, for 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. (For example, 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?

Acquired rights

ALL professional drivers must hold a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) qualification.

Acquired rights or ‘grandfather rights’ apply to drivers who acquired their drivers licence prior to 1997 or passed their Bus (D1) or Lorry (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 will remain 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 a Bus or Lorry Licence after 2009 will be required to do the initial CPC modules 2+4 as 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 take a medical to ensure that you are fit and healthy.  You will need to obtain your provisional licence by applying to the DVSA using a D2 form.  Once you have this you are able to take your Theory and Hazard Perception test. Once you have passed this you can 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 which are 2 & 4.

You will also need to have taken and passed your driver theory and practical driving test which make up the remaining Modules 1 & 3 to complete the Driver CPC qualification

You must pass part one before you can take part three and pass part two before you can take part four.

See below for more information on the modules that make up the Drivers CPC Qualification.

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:

Multiple choice

The multiple-choice questions part lasts for 1 hour and 55 minutes, and the pass mark is 85 out of 100 questions.

Hazard perception

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.

It doesn’t matter which one you take first but each one is only valid for two years so you will need to pass both within 2 years of each other to get your theory test certificate.

Module Two – Driver CPC Case study test

The case study test lasts 75 minutes and covers seven case studies which are based on situations you will likely to 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 about 1 hour and 30 minutes and 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

Module Four – Driver CPC Practical “show & tell” test

In this test you’ll 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.


Periodic CPC Driver Training

Once you have passed your initial CPC or if you have acquired rights, then you will need to pass your periodic training every 5 years.

The periodic training is classroom based with 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 to JAUPT who are the approving body.

Courses can vary in content providing they have been approved by JAUPT.

The courses that 2 Start Ltd offers are as follows:

Driver’s Essentials – Drivers hours and tachographs

Driving Principles – Vulnerable road users, road signage and markings, vehicle documentation and loading safely

First Aid – Emergency response, CPR, diagnosis’ and treatment

General Health & Safety – Manual handling, risk assessments and accident prevention

Fuel Efficiency & Driver Licensing – Fuel-efficient driving, maintenance and license categories explained

Once 35 hours of training has been uploaded to the JAUPT systems, a DQC (Driver Qualification Card) will be issued.

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 JAUPT.  JAUPT are the joint approvals unit for periodic training and were established in 2007 to enable the DVSA or DVA in Northern Ireland to manage the application process and the quality assurance of the training courses and centres delivering the periodic training of the Drivers CPC qualification.

2 Start Training Ltd are members of JAUPT and we are regularly assessed, so you can be assured that all the content on our courses that is delivered by our in-house instructors are fully compliant with the DVLA and DVA.

We offer Periodic or Initial Driver CPC courses at any of our sites in Portsmouth, Southampton and Reading.

2 Start Training Drivers CPC Training 

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 at:

Here at 2 Start Ltd we offer both the full CPC Periodic Driver Training of 35hrs delivered in a week’s long course or alternatively we can offer 1 x 7hr blocks of CPC driver training to be completed within 5 years at your leisure.

2 Start Training Periodic CPC 5 Day Course 

2 Start Training Periodic CPC 1 Day Course 

For those with acquired rights the deadlines apply (information taken from the site).

Training blockLorry driverBus or coach driverDual-category driver

(lorry, bus and coach)

First block of training9 September 20149 September 20139 September 2013
Second block training9 September 20199 September 20189 September 2019*
Third block training9 September 20249 September 20239 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.

What are the consequences of 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 are pulled over on the roadside. .

If you lose your card you will have to pay £25.00 for a replacement.

We have provided the information above to the best of our knowledge.  The legislation and conditions for driver training are ever evolving and there may be a time that some of the information we have provided is out of date.

However, we can assure you that all of our training material is accurate and up to date with full compliance to our regulatory body JAUPT.

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