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The Driver CPC is for LGV and PCV drivers who drive professionally throughout the UK. To come in line with the EU Directive 2003/59, the Driver CPC came into force in September 2008 for PCV drivers and September 2009 for LGV Drivers.

It is designed to improve the knowledge and skills of professional LGV and PCV drivers throughout their working life.

Driver CPC has been introduced across the European Union to maintain high driving standards and improve road safety. All professional bus, coach and lorry drivers must hold a Driver CPC if they want to drive for a living unless you fall into one of following exemption categories:

• used for the non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods, for personal use

• undergoing road tests for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes, or

new or rebuilt vehicles not yet put into service

• used in the course of driving lessons for any person wishing to obtain a driving licence

or Driver CPC

• carrying material or equipment to be used by the driver in the course of his or her work,

provided that driving the vehicle does not constitute the driver’s principal activity

• with a maximum authorised speed not exceeding 45km/h

• 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

NB: any drivers of lorries over 3.5 tonnes, and minibuses with nine seats or more, must obtain a Driver CPC. The ‘Transport Manager’s CPC’ also known as the ‘Operator’s CPC’ is a separate qualification and anyone holding one who still drives professionally as part of their job also needs to hold a Driver CPC.

All drivers need to complete a minimum of 35 hours of periodic training every five years. The training will require attendance at courses but will not require drivers to take or pass further examinations.

How you gain your Driver CPC will depend upon when you obtained your vocational licence. If you are a bus or coach driver and held your vocational licence (D*, D1*, DE*, D1E*) prior to 10 September 2008 you have acquired rights until 9 September 2013. If you are a lorry driver and held your vocational licence (C, C1, CE, C1E) prior to 10 September 2009 you have acquired rights until 9 September 2014. To keep your Driver CPC and continue driving professionally beyond this date, you will need to have completed 35 hours of periodic training by this date.

New drivers will need to pass the initial qualification to gain their vocational driving licence and qualify for their Driver CPC. For a new driver, the requirement to undertake a minimum of 35 hours’ periodic training to retain their Driver CPC will start once they have passed the initial qualification.

* Those who have an entitlement on their licence stating ‘not for hire or reward’ (Code 101) will not have acquired rights and will have to take the initial qualification should they wish to drive professionally.

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