If you want to become an HGV driver in most European countries, you will need to complete something called a Driver CPC – which stands for certificate of professional competency. This means you have been deemed legally capable of handling a vehicle of such massive height, weight and length. The Driver CPC takes the form of 4 driving tests – 2 theory and 2 practical. You must pass all 4 to be awarded your Driver CPC. In this post, we’re going to focus on the theory element of the test, what’s involved, how to book, and what to do if you fail.
Booking your theory test is a simple, straightforward process. Once you are confident that you are ready, go to this government website to find your local test centre. It’s best to use the official site, as with third party booking systems you often end up paying extra. The tests will cost £26 for the multiple choice and £11 for the hazard perception, and you can take these together or separately. If you have any hearing or reading difficulties, or you need the test translating into another language, get in touch with the test centre and they will be able to accommodate you.
On the day of your test, you will be invited to the test centre and asked to verify your identity, usually with your provisional license. When this is done, you will be given a testing space with a computer and some headphones, and begin the test.
Multiple Choice. The multiple choice element of the Driver CPC is fairly self-explanatory – you will be shown a question and given a choice of answers, and you need to select the right one. There are 100 questions and 100 points, and you need to get at least 85 right to pass. You are given 115 minutes to complete this test, and you are given the option of a 15-minute warm up session to help you get used to the format. A few of the questions will have more than one correct answer, and the test will notify you when you haven’t chosen enough. If you aren’t sure of the answer to a question, the system has a ‘flag’ function that allows you to come back to them at the end.
Hazard Perception. In the hazard perception section of the test, you will be shown 19 films, each featuring a driving hazard. Each film will have only 1 hazard, except for 1, which will have 2. You need to click or touch the screen when you see a developing hazard. Simple, right? The quicker you identify the hazard, the more points you will get. There is a total of 100 points available, and you will need to score above 67 to pass. And for those thinking they can catch the hazards by clicking wildly or clicking in a strategic pattern across the screen – you will be given a warning and score no points for that film.
Just like any test, you might not be quite ready, or you might just be having an off day. If this happens, you could fail one or both parts of your theory test. Because you aren’t able to move on to taking your practical tests without completing your theory first, you will need to retake the tests. This is not an uncommon practice, and many fully-fledged HGV drivers have retaken their theory tests. Test retakes are also free, so you don’t have to spend a fortune.
At The LGV Training Company, we specialise in helping all aspiring HGV drivers complete their journey to a new career. Whether you have experience driving HGV’s before or have never driven a car, we can help and support you in learning the trade and passing your test. For more information about the Driver CPC tests, or to book your training course, get in touch with us today.