Lorry drivers or business owners with a fleet have to keep abreast with rules and regulations regarding Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training and related changes. Drivers are required to undertake 35 hours of training periodically after every 5 years to keep their CPC qualification. Some drivers abuse the system by repeating similar training to obtain the 35 hours. Yet, they are supposed to undertake various training to retain and develop appropriate driving skills.
In other instances, some drivers do all the 35 hours at the last hour instead of undertaking the training in 5 years. This would mean repeating a single module to keep their CPC valid. The right way to complete this training is to do 7 hours annually throughout the 5 years. This loophole is now tightened up after the UK government adopted reviews of the Driver CPC training and recommendations from the European Union.
Effect of CPC rules on lorry drivers
All drivers of buses, coaches, or lorries have to undertake and pass 35 hours of training after every 5 years to retain their CPC. The validity lasts 5 years and drivers have to do the 35 hours of training before the 5 years elapse. A CPC card shows the deadline. All CPC training courses need the approval to count the recommended hours. Drivers of dangerous goods use the hours from the international carriage of dangerous goods by road training for the required 35 hours.
When planning to get driver CPC training, some documents are essential including a photocard driving licence, digital tachograph card, valid passport, and driver CPC card. A certificate is issued on completion of the course including updating the Driver CPC record. On completion of the 35 training hours, a driver CPC card is also known as the driver qualification card is issued after 20 days.
Using the CPC card
Drivers of buses, coaches, or lorries have to carry this card always while on the road. There’s a fixed fine of £50 for drivers found without this card. On completion of the periodic training, while waiting for the CPC card, it is possible to drive without worrying about getting a fine for not having the card. Professional driving without a CPC card is illegal and carries a fine that can go up to £1000.
Drivers can undertake the training from another European Union country and then apply for the CPC card. Those who have a UK driving licence can apply for this in writing. For a driver with a licence from another country in the EU and others can apply including;
- Isle of Man
However, taking at least 7 hours of periodic training in the UK is mandatory. Some drivers can get “acquired rights” making them not liable to take the CPC training for having driving experience. However, there are requirements to meet.
Requirement to get a CPC card
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) monitors training to make sure drivers don’t repeat it unnecessarily to make the 35 hours. This is by checking the training records and those with issues are likely to have their DQC revoked. The CPC training allows drivers to retain and hone their skills regarding various disciplines that benefit them while on the road.
Repeat training is only sanctioned by the DVSA to embed the driver with knowledge and support. The training is spread across 5 years including various topics focusing on varied areas where they need enhancement or where they need refreshing.
Driver medical exams
There are important changes in the driving sector including those regarding the frequency of medical exams. On making 45 years, a vocation lorry or bus driver is required to undertake a medical exam after every 5 years. Those with medical conditions are required to take one sooner as a requirement to renew their driving licence. Drivers over 65 years have to renew their driving licence annually.
The legislation to take a medical exam as a requirement to renew a driving licence was waived as a result of the pandemic. This was to lessen pressure on health services. However, drivers who self declare the state of their health are given an extension of one year. This waiver can’t be used more than two times. The DVSA sends drivers reminders about the expiry of their licences 56 days before. This is to allow ample time to go for medical exams before the renewal date.
Drivers need Certificate of Professional Competence training with periodic refreshing for safe driving. It is very important to undertake this training while keeping in mind rules and regulations. Equally important is to understand when to complete the mandatory 35 hours of training to be sure that your card remains valid.