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What is the Driver CPC?

The Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) was brought in to effect back in 2009 to improve the skills of newly qualified HGV/PCV drivers across Europe and was introduced to help reduce the amount of traffic accidents involving professional drivers.

Who needs it?

The CPC qualification still remains somewhat of a minefield for newly qualified and qualified drivers alike. So if you don’t understand it or haven’t heard of it before, don’t worry you aren’t alone!

The way we explain the CPC to our Customers is to simplify what is a very confusing piece of legislation in to its separate parts as the two often get scrambled up.  So let’s break it down…

Think of The CPC as having two “hats”

Hat 1 – The Driver CPC Initial Qualification

Hat 1 is The Driver CPC Initial Qualification is a legal requirement of any driver entering the industry who passed their car test after January 1997 or alternatively gained a vocational licence (C1/C) after September 2009 (when the legislation came in to effect).

The Driver CPC Initial Qualification consists of two parts, a case studies based theory test (Module 2) & a practical demonstration test (Module 4). The Driver CPC tests can be taken at any time of a driver’s training course but the Module 2 must be completed before the driver can progress on to the Module 4. After completion of the Module 4, which consists of completing a series of walk around checks of the vehicle in front of an Examiner the driver will receive their Driver Qualification Card (DQC) this usually takes about 2 weeks to be issued by the DVSA.

What is involved in the Module 2 test & how do I revise?

The Module 2 is a computer-based case studies theory test and is sat at your local theory test centre. The test is made up of 7 case studies which are all based on real life scenarios. The test works to test your theoretic competence on a number of issues you may come across when carrying out your daily work.

To revise for your Module 2 you will first need to register with us to obtain your unique username & ID to gain access to our online client portal found here. Once you have your log in details you will then be able to begin revising. The online portal has been designed with new drivers in mind, which means it is easy to use and navigate your way around, when you log in you will be welcomed by ‘Professor Theory’ who will show you the ropes in no time. One of the main benefits of using this interactive portal is you can tailor your revision to the method that works best for you, so, if you prefer to test yourself first & only swot up on the areas you aren’t so hot on you can do that. Alternatively if you would prefer to opt for the ‘revision first’ method you can do this too, whichever way is fine & it is up to you!

What is involved in the Module 4 test, and what sort of training will I receive?

The Module 4 is a practical demonstration test carried out at your local DVSA testing centre by a registered DVSA Examiner.  This test requires you to demonstrate competence when carrying out a variety of security checks on your vehicle in front of an Examiner to make sure you are competent to check your own vehicle when out on the road. When you have your revision pack sent out for your CPC you will also be sent a list of walk-around test questions which could be asked on your test, we give this to you in advance so that you can start thinking about the types of questions you will be asked and what your answers will be. On the day of your Module 4 you will have training with your Instructor who will train you on the various security checks of the vehicle, show you how to secure different types of loads using various different methods and will perform a mock test to see how much information you have absorbed and don’t worry there isn’t any driving involved! After the training is complete you will be taken with your lorry to the testing site to do the same exercise again but in front of the Examiner.  For more information on the Driver CPC Qualification and what it includes please click here.

Hat 2 – CPC Periodic Training

Remember…All drivers wishing to drive for professional purposes are required to complete 35 hours of periodic training across every 5 year period.

BUS & LORRY DUAL CATEGORY HOLDERS: Any drivers that don’t fit the Hat 1 mentioned above (Passed their car test prior to January 1997 and/or gained a (D and either C1/C) vocational licence before September 2008) are not legally required to complete the Driver CPC Initial Qualification and can therefore go straight on to completing their first 35 hours of periodic training Hat 2. They have what is referred to in the industry as ‘Acquired rights’ or ‘Grandfather Rights’. The first 5 year cut off for these drivers is September 2013.

LORRY CATEGORY HOLDERS: Any drivers that don’t fit Hat 1 mentioned opposite (Passed their car test prior to January 1997 and/or gained a (C1 or C) vocational licence before September 2009) are not legally required to complete the Driver CPC Initial Qualification and can therefore go straight on to completing their first 35 hours of periodic training Hat 2.  They have what is referred to in the industry as ‘Acquired rights’ or ‘Grandfather Rights’. The first 5 year cut off for these drivers is September 2014.

Any drivers that fit Hat 1 (passed their car test after January 1997 or alternatively gained a vocational licence (D/C1/C) after September 2009) can only start to complete their periodic CPC hours once they have completed Modules 2 & 4. The due date for their first 35 hour periodic training requirement is 5 years from the date they passed their Module 4. So if you passed your Module 4 on 19th May 2014 you have until 19th May 2019 to complete your first 35 hours.

 Are there any exceptions?

Yes, there are! There are some groups of drivers who are not required to complete either hat of the CPC qualification.

Vehicles you can drive without a Driver CPC:

-Vehicle that is being road tested after repair, maintenance or technical improvements.

-Vehicle that is new or has been rebuilt and not been put in to service yet.

-Vehicle that is limited to a top speed of 28mph.

Uses of vehicles where the Driver CPC isn’t required:

-Emergency Services & Fire Service.

-Military, Armed Forces or Civil Defence.

-Vehicle only used for personal reasons, for example driving a horsebox for recreational reasons or hiring a lorry to move home.*

-Those whose sole job it is to train trainees in a training vehicle in order to achieve their HGV/PCV or CPC qualification.

-The vehicle is used to carry equipment or material for use on your job, but the driving the vehicle isn’t your main job. For example. You are employed as a Communications Engineer but drive an HGV only to transport the equipment you need to carry out that role.

*Drivers under the age of 21 must complete a Driver CPC Initial Qualification, even if they fall in to this category.

What sorts of topics does CPC Periodic Training cover?

We can supply classroom based Periodic Training on many subjects to include First Aid, Digital & Analogue Tachographs, Health & Safety, Loading & Unloading, Customer Care, Drivers Hours and EU Laws & Legislations to name but a few. These modules can be repeated as many times as you like and there are no compulsory subjects. All Periodic Training modules are sold in 7 hour slots, separating the modules down in to manageable bite sized chunks giving you the time you need to digest what you have learnt.

What happens after I arrive for my CPC Periodic Training?

Upon arrival to your CPC Periodic Training session you will be registered on the course by your Trainer and copies of your ID will be taken. Once all Trainees are registered the Trainer will run over the syllabus to be covered in that session, familiarise you with the closest refreshment/toilet facilities and will answer any questions you have about the day’s events. Once the induction is complete the Trainer will begin the training, leaving time for questions and answers after each section. There will be a lunch break in the middle of the day where you will be able to go and stretch your legs, grab a sandwich or take a break outside. After lunch the training will recommence will end at around 4pm.

How do I make sure I am covered?

You have made the first step in making sure you are appropriately covered with the Driver CPC by reading this article. The next step is to get in touch with one of our Training Advisors so that they can talk through your individual requirements in greater depth and get you registered. Our Advisors are highly trained on the CPC Qualification with practical hands on knowledge of the training and will be able to tell you exactly what you need in order to ensure you are keeping yourself on the right side of the law. You can contact them by requesting a call back or alternatively call us on 0800 0744 007.

In a rush?

As the cut off for the first set of lorry drivers is fast approaching we are more than prepared for the amount of drivers who are going to need to complete their Periodic Training by September 2014 to continue to work for financial gain. We appreciate that time = money and as such we have hundreds of periodic training sessions running across the UK and Northern Ireland. We will be able to find a course that is suitable to you without delaying your working schedule.

How will I keep on top of my 35 hour requirement during my career?

Keeping up to date every 5 years with your 35 hour requirement alongside working can often look like an impossible task. We can help you to arrange a programme to suit you to ensure you never miss a deadline. We are able to help you arrange your periodic training in whatever way works with you. If you would like to book one 7 hour session per year or would prefer to book a full five days every five years that isn’t a problem! We will find dates to work with your schedule and get you booked up to ensure you are able to plan ahead.

Contact us – request a quote or call back now, or alternatively call us on 0800 0744 007!

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