Driver CPC explained

In the UK it passed into British Law on 10th September 2006 and has been in force since 10th September 2008 for the PCV industry and 10th September 2009 for the LGV sector.

The driver CPC affects all commercial bus and coach drivers

It applies to all professional LGV and PCV drivers who drive commercially, including engineers, managers and enthusiasts who drive ‘for hire or reward’. The Transport Minister’s view is that if anyone gets in the cab of any large commercial vehicle, then they should be in possession of the qualification, irrespective of the various exemptions which can be claimed.

New drivers have to gain an initial driver CPC by passing two new additional driving test modules: module 2 – case studies, lasting 90 minutes, and module 4 – practical vehicle safety demonstration, lasting 30 minutes. The Driver Qualification Card (DQC) is issued on passing module 4.

All drivers then have to undertake 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years in order to renew their DQC and ensure that their CPC is current throughout their driving career. There are no further ‘tests’ to pass and the periodic training is purely course attendance only. Courses have to be approved by the Joint Approval Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT) and be delivered by a training provider who has been approved by JAUPT in order to count towards the Periodic Training requirement.

Periodic Training is designed to confirm and expand on the existing knowledge and skills of each driver to ensure that they continue to be confident, safe and fuel efficient drivers. This training also allows drivers to keep up to date with ever changing regulations and benefit from the state of the art training throughout their whole career leading to a more ‘professional’ image for those working in the truck, bus & coach industry.

The Periodic Training syllabus

Courses must be based on a syllabus contained in the directive and proposed by the training provider and accredited by the JAUPT. The course must be led by an approved trainer and must have a minimum length of  7 hours, although a course can be split into two modules of  three and a half hours on consecutive days providing that the second module starts no more than 24 hours after the first module has ended - e.g. Drivers can attend courses on two consecutive days in between the schools peaks 1030-1400.

Because of the diverse day to day operations an LGV or

PCV driver can encounter, there are, however, no fixed mandatory syllabus requirements. Somewhat ironically, a driver could attend the same course 5 times and this would technically be OK, if a little monotonous for the driver. However, if say it was drivers hours and tachograph course undertaken annually, this might be actually be quite acceptable and useful to the driver!

Who can deliver Periodic Training?

Only a provider approved by the Joint Approval Unit can deliver Periodic Training and only these providers can use the official Driver CPC logo.

The aim of centre approval is to ensure that deliverers must be providing quality training in line with the Directive requirements.. The cost of ‘centre’ approval is  be £1,500 for five years, but this can include multiple sites. Therefore a single site operator must pay the same as a large group with multiple training centres, which can register as a ‘consortia’.

Any organisation can apply to become an approved provider, providing they meet the criteria listed below. Employers who already deliver their own training can continue to do so but if they would like this training to contribute to periodic training requirements then they must apply to become an approved training organisation and must meet all of the criteria. Once approved, they are also free to offer training to other companies or individuals on a commercial basis if they so wish.

Requirements for becoming a Training Provider

These include adequate insurance cover, IT Systems (particularly for recording the training) and adequate infrastructure. The Training provider needs to have the appropriate premises (which can be hired, such as village halls or community centres), administration, equipment and resources to be able to deliver the courses they intend to deliver, including, where appropriate, suitable vehicles.

Training providers are required to issue each participant on a course with an evidence of attendance receipt at the end of the course that confirms the date of attendance and number and title of the course. This provides the driver with independent evidence of participation. However, except for overseas drivers, these certificates are not required for obtaining the DQC as this information is stored electronically on the DSA database.

Periodic Training is designed to improve the knowledge of the driver and is not examined. Whilst there is no “pass or fail” concept, providers are required to evaluate each course to ensure that those attending are deriving the benefits envisaged by the Directive. Each driver is asked to complete a feedback form at the end of each course and the provider retains this for possible inspection.

Approved providers are required to maintain a full record of all training delivered so that the approval body may verify the name and number of drivers attending; the date, title and number of the course delivered together with the name(s) of the trainer(s); the driver feedback forms

Which trainers can deliver the courses?

Trainers must have appropriate knowledge of the subject and experience of delivering training. All trainers used by providers must also be to an ‘approved’ standard, but not specifically named individuals.   This covers those currently engaged with training activities in the bus and coach industry but not possessing a formal teaching qualification. Effectively, there are ‘grandfather rights’ for existing trainers, but new inexperienced trainers need to take some formal teaching qualification, such as PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector).

What has to be contained in the course content?  

All courses must be approved and the layout and content of these courses is subject to an annual approval process. Approval for each course costs £252, so typically this will cost most companies £1260 per annum in order to offer the full five courses required to give 35 hours training.

Content has to be cross-referenced to the Directive syllabus, but can be customised to the requirements of individual drivers and operators. Approved training providers are responsible for submitting their detailed course content.

How much does it cost a driver or operator?

A periodic training course typically costs £400- £500 for 35 hours if an individual attends a ‘public’ course with a training provider in their own time.

Internal company courses, where drivers might well be paid by their company to attend, are generally comparatively much cheaper at around £200 - £250 for the 35 hours periodic training when provided by external trainers based on 20 drivers, the maximum allowed in a class by JAUPT. This will include the £43.75 DSA upload fee, which is the cost of the DQC itself. Smaller groups will cost more per head to train.

Progress to date

Currently in the training cycle there are some 600,000+ drivers. It’s difficult to be precise on numbers of drivers needing to be trained due to the large number of ‘dormant’ licences. It’s also impossible to distinguish between PCV and LGV drivers as many hold both class ’C’ and class ‘D’ vocational categories.

Driver CPC will NOT be affected by Brexit, at least for many years after the event as Driver CPC is safety-related.