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Frequently Asked Questions


What will the initial qualification involve?

It will involve 4 hours of theory testing and 2 hours of practical testing. The extra testing is 2.5 hours of theory and 30 minutes of practical testing. The tests must be at the equivalent of NVQ level 2. Drivers can obtain their driving licence and Driver CPC from the DSA at the same time through modular tests.
The Driver CPC syllabus covers the additional knowledge a professional driver needs to have. It is not merely about practical driving skills.
The Theory test will be in 3 parts:

  • Module 1a - licence acquisition - 100 multiple choice questions
  • Module 1b - licence aquisition - 19 hazard perception clips
  • Module 2 - initial DriverCPC - 3 case studies

The 'Case Study' is designed to suit the profile of the candidate and DSA is meeting both sectors to help develop the new tests. The questions are in the format where a situation or scenario is defined for the driver, and they are then asked questions relating to this situation. Case studies, wherever possible, use diagrams, pictures and graphics.
Test presentation will be screen-based, like the theory test for driving licence acquisition and will be delivered from existing theory test centres.

The Practical test will be in 2 parts:

  • Module 3 - licence acquisition - 1.5 hours of on-road practical testing
  • Module 4 - initial DriverCPC - 0.5 hours of practical 'show me, tell me' test using a vehicle

What is the DSA's involement?

DSA with Skills for Logistics and Go Skills on behalf of the Department for Transport, have implimented the Driver CPC. As well as legislation, this includes the arrangements for testing for both the initial qualification and periodic training.

Who will DriverCPC affect?

All professional drivers of lorries over 3.5 tonnes, buses, coaches and minibuses unless they qualify for an exemption.

Can I work as a driver without a DriverCPC?

No, unless in exempted circumstances

Under CPC rules, can an 18 year old drive a full sized bus?

Yes, but the driver is limited to routes that do not exceed 50km.

Under CPC rules, can an 18 year old drive a full sized lorry?

Yes, under the new regulations a person of 18 can acquire a category C (followed by a Category C+E) licence as long as they also acquire the initial DriverCPC.

Do the regulations for Periodic Training have any impact on those drivers who need to renew their vocational licence every year because of age or health reasons?

No, these drivers will still need to renew their licence as any other driver would.

Does the DriverCPC Directive alter the medical requirements for LGV/PCV drivers or driving instructors?


Will DriverCPC apply to foreign nationals?

Yes, DriverCPC applies across all EU Member States therefore all of those drivers will be required to qualify and hold a DriverCPC in exactly the same way as UK drivers.

What vehicles may be used for DriverCPC regulated training and testing?

For the Initial DriverCPC there are no EU rules on the vehicles that drivers must use for the training prior to the test. For the DriverCPC practical test, vehicles used must satisfy the minimum test standards for the vocational driving test. There are no EU rules concerning vehicles used for periodic training.

What is DSA’s involvement?

DSA is leading, on behalf of the Department for Transport, the implementation of the project. As well as legislation, this involves establishing and implementing arrangements for training and testing for both the initial qualification and periodic training.

Are drivers of buses operated under s19 and s22 permits in scope?

Section 19 and 22 permits are designed to enable charitable groups etc to operate minibuses and larger buses outside the current regulations, which mean they are operating under these permits and therefore the vehicle isn't deemed to be a PCV and therefore the driver doesn't need a Class D/D1 licence and therefore are exempt from the DriverCPC.

Do those driving vehicles under a category B (car) licence need CPC?

Anyone driving under a category B licence is out of scope of the Directive.

Can the title of this qualification be altered as it is being confused with the Operator’s CPC?

The Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) is a generic term that is well recognised in Europe and viewed as a type of professional qualification. It is attached to a number of different occupations in Europe and increasingly in the UK. It will not be possible to re-designate this qualification type. However, we are using the phrase DriverCPC to differentiate from Operator’s CPC.

What is the definition of a qualification at Level 2?

Competence which involves the application of knowledge and skills in a significant range of varied work activities, performed in a variety of contexts. Some of the activities are complex or non-routine, and there is some individual responsibility and autonomy. Collaboration with others, perhaps through membership of a work group or team, may often be a requirement.

NVQ Route to the DriverCPC

How can N/SVQs support the Initial DriverCPC?

We are currently working with DSA, DfES and the LSC to explore ways in which the N/SVQs can support the Driver’s CPC. By aligning the content of N/SVQs with the requirements of the Driver’s CPC, it makes it possible for there to be some overlap in training e.g. achievement of the Initial CPC could provide evidence towards the NVQ.

How can N/SVQs support periodic training?

Only training courses approved by the JAUPT can be counted towards periodic training. If courses have been developed to deliver training for aspects of N/SVQ that meet all the requirements for course approval (e.g. in terms of contact time, content linked with the directive) then these can be submitted for approval in the same way as other courses. In this way centres can use courses to deliver training that meets the needs of the N/SVQs and periodic training at the same time.

How does the initial DriverCPC fit with a National Vocational Qualification?

Trainees involved in the National Vocational Qualification programme can obtain a vocational licence but defer CPC acquisition by a maximum of 1 year whilst still driving professionally. This is called the NVT Concession. Examples are the N/SVQ in Driving Goods Vehicles or the N/SVQ in PCV Driving. Trainees will have to register with either GoSkills or Skills for Logistics (depending on which qualification they are undertaking) and will receive a certificate to show they are covered by the NVT Concession.

Will there be a Young LGV Driver’s Scheme after the CPC has been implemented?

The DriverCPC supersedes the Young LGV driver scheme and so the Young LGV Driver Scheme will be abolished on 10th September 2009. The DriverCPC reduces the standard minimum age for professional LGV drivers from 21 to 18 years.

Periodic Training

What is the syllabus?

The Directive lays out the syllabus in Annex 1 Section 1 of the Directive. There are three main groups of subjects:

  • Advanced training in rational driving based on safety regulations
  • Applications of regulations
  • Health roads and environmental safety, service, logistics

The content of the training is designed to deal with subject matter that is relevant to the driver in their day-to-day work.

Is there the potential for government funding for the training?

Public funding is sometimes available for vocational driver training however this is not an issue that JAUPT or SSC’s have control over.

Will there be a limit imposed on the number of providers approved to deliver the periodic training?

No. There will be a free market and those providers who are able to meet the quality assurance standards will be able to offer training.

How much will the regulation costs be for Periodic Training?

Centre approval £1500.  Please refer to top of page for new course charging structure. 

Can we start delivering our training courses as soon as we are approved?

No, you can't start the training until on or after the directive date comes into force for the DriverCPC i.e. 10th September 2008 for PCV and 10th September 2009 for LGV.
Any training delivered before this time will not count towards Periodic Training as it can't be recorded onto the DSA's central database.

Can an element of practical training be made compulsory within Periodic Training?

The Directive does not stipulate that there should be any compulsory aspect to periodic training.

What are the benefits of offering training and qualifications before Sept 2008 / 09?

Many well-known operators in both PCV and LGV offer training programmes leading to N/SVQs. These operators believe (as do the SSCs) that investment in training leading to approved qualifications improves driver performance. Training leading to national qualifications is also a motivator that helps retention of staff. Delaying training is therefore a false economy as performance standards and retention may suffer as a result. It is also notable that achievement and maintenance of the Driver’s CPC does not deliver the same breadth of skills as training towards achievement of an N/SVQ (e.g. customer service skills).

Can distance learning and e-learning be used?

Periodic training must involve direct interaction or contact time with a trainer. E-Learning could be a useful training tool when overseen by a trainer. Distance learning is not acceptable as training can not be overseen.

What type of training can count towards Periodic Training?

There is not a prescribed type of training; it may be classroom based or ‘in-vehicle’. It can be whatever suits the needs of the driver at that time – but it has to be approved training, by an approved centre and be overseen by a trainer.

If a driver uses both PCV and LGV licences professionally, do they need to do two lots of 35 hrs periodic training every 5 years?

No. The Directive states that the holder of a vocational licence for PCV / LGV need only complete 35 hours course attendance in a 5 year period.

Within the definition of the Working Time Directive, does course attendance for Periodic Training count as work?

The Working Time Directive states that if a driver is paid by their employer whilst attending training, then the hours would count as working time. Therefore if the driver is being paid whilst attending Periodic Training it would be counted as work.

Will it be possible to focus the training on individual and employer needs?

DSA intends that should be the case – whether changes in legislation, new vehicles, or remedial training, against the background of the syllabus.

Are there any tests to take for Periodic Training?

No there are no tests as Periodic Training is not a pass or fail course. It is recorded as hours of attendance.

Can the 35 hours training be carried out flexibly – over several weeks/months/years?

The driver has flexibility as to how he/she takes the 35 hours training over this time. So for example a driver may complete a two day course in the first year, and a three day course in the fifth year.

How does periodic training apply to drivers who obtained a CPC via the initial qualification?

Over the 5 years following their licence and initial driver CPC acquisition, they have to undertake 35 hours periodic training to maintain their DriverCPC.

How does periodic training apply to existing PCV / LGV licence holders who are exempted from the initial qualification?

PCV / LGV drivers holding full licences on 10th September 2008/09 will have to complete their first course of periodic training within 5 years – ie by 2013/14.

How will periodic training be quality assured?

This will be managed primarily through the auditing process of the Joint Approval Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT) together with feedback from employers and employees. The JAUPT quality assurance process will include the review of course evaluation forms.

What processes will be in place to ensure that training centres offer good practice in the training that they provide to drivers/employers?

The Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT) will monitor good practice through the QA process and approval process. Additionally, employers will be expecting to see benefits from the training and will drive good practice by choosing providers who give good value training.

When will the process be in place so that providers can apply for approval?

JAUPT is already accepting applications for courses and centres.

Who governs the Joint Approval Unit for Periodic Training?

The JAUPT is governed by the Driving Standards Agency and Driver Vehicles Testing Agency. It is managed by two Sector Skills Councils (SSC’s) ‘Skills for Logistics’ and ‘GoSkills’.

Can drivers do the same courses each year?

Theoretically, this is possible. However, employers will be seeking value for money and repetition of the same courses will not be beneficial.

Who will be responsible for creating courses for periodic training?

It will be the responsibility of the training providers to deliver courses that comply with the regulations and meet employers’ needs. Employers would be encouraged to discuss the training needs with the training providers to ensure that courses are tailored to meet their requirements.


Licence Issues

What licence categories will be affected by DriverCPC?

C1, C, CE, D1, D &DE

If a driver already holds an initial CPC for one LGV category (eg rigid lorry Category C), will that person need another CPC to drive another LGV Category (eg articulated lorry Category C+E)?

No. (This will not affect the requirement to pass the relevant driving licence acquisition test for the additional category.)

If a driver already holds an initial CPC for one PCV category (eg minibus sub-Category D1), will that person need another CPC to drive another PCV Category (eg full-sized coach Category D)?

No. (This will not affect the requirement to pass the relevant driving licence acquisition test for the additional category.)

If a driver holds an initial DriverCPC for LGV, will he / she need to obtain an initial DriverCPC to drive a PCV?

Yes. The initial DriverCPC is specific to LGV or PCV

Acquired rights

Acquired rights, sometimes termed 'grandfather rights' will apply for existing holders of full LGV and PCV licences at the time the Directive comes into effect in the UK. This means that those drivers who obtain a full PCV licence before 10 September 2008 or a full LGV licence before 10 September 2009 will have 'acquired rights' and will not have to undertake the 'Initial DriverCPC'. These drivers will not be required by law to hold a DriverCPC until 10 September 2013/14, although drivers will be encouraged to do their 35 hours of Periodic Training well before this date.

Both exisiting licence holders with 'acquired rights' and drivers who have obtained their initial qualification will be required to undertake 35 hours (5 days) of periodic training every 5 years in periods of not less than 7 hours at a time.

Similarly if you hold a full PCV or a full LGV licence but you are not driving for a living at the present time, you will also have acquired or 'grandfather' rights until 2013/14. If you decide to start driving professionally again after this date, you will need to complete 35 hours Periodic Training to gain your DriverCPC before you can start working as a driver.

Recording Periodic Training and enforcement

How will Periodic Training course attendance be recorded?

There will be a central database that will be updated by the approved training centre.

How will DriverCPC status be evidenced?

Drivers will have a separate Driver Qualification Card (DQC) which will have to be carried at all times when driving professionally.

Will it be an offence for someone to drive without a DriverCPC or DQC when they should have one?

Yes there will be penalties if someone drives without the DriverCPC is not carrying their DQC. There will also be penalties for Operators who cause or permit a driver to drive without a DriverCPC or DQC. Allowances will be made for lost or stolen DQC's similar to the rules that are currently in force for lost or stolen digital tachograph cards.

How will DriverCPC-holding be enforced on the road?

In the same way as holding an appropriate driving licence, particularly by the police, VOSA, and DVLA. Also, any EU enforcement body can ask a driver for proof that his/her CPC status is current while they are driving in other Member states, and issue a penalty if a driver is in breach of the Directive.

Would Digital Tachograph cards be an appropriate means of recording DriverCPC status?

  1. Whilst this might prove of value in the future, there are two principle reasons why this will not be appropriate at the moment.
  2. There are over 100,000 PCV drivers who don’t use tachographs.

Whilst the requirement for digital tachographs commences in May 2006, it relates only to new vehicles and therefore will take a lot longer than the two to three years to Sept 2008/9 for all drivers to need a card.

How will the periodic training recording process be applied to drivers who do not have a UK Driver’s Licence but work and live in the UK?

These drivers will have to carry a DQC in the same way that UK licence holders will.
How will DriverCPC affect foreign nationals who drive lorries and buses in UK.
It will not affect them. However, they will have to carry whatever their home country uses to evidence DriverCPC.

When do PCV / LGV drivers get issued with their Driver qualification card?

When they have completed Module 4 of the Initial DriverCPC or their 35 hours of periodic training.

Instructors / Trainers

What qualifications do trainers need to be able to deliver training?

Annex 1 Section 5 of the Directive details the conditions; these include:

  • “Instructors must provide certification showing a knowledge of both the subject matter and teaching methods”
  • “With regard to practical training, instructors must provide certification of experience as professional drivers or similar driving experience such as that of driving instructors for heavy vehicles.”

Can you develop evidence towards an appropriate qualification whilst you work as a trainer, for example, as you do to qualify as a N/SVQ assessor by using candidates as your first pupils?

The Directive states that the trainers delivering periodic training must be adequately qualified and experienced before they commence delivery. However, this does not prevent the trainer working towards additional qualifications.

Will trainers be able to deliver periodic training for both PCV and LGV drivers?

Yes, as long as they hold suitable qualifications. The majority of subjects in the Annex 1 syllabus are common to both sectors.

Will PCV / LGV trainers have to comply with Periodic Training Requirements?

If training only, they are exempt from the requirements of the DriverCPC. However, if they wish to occasionally drive professionally, they will need to comply with the Directive by arranging their own course attendance or by getting their employers to do so.

Does this Directive apply to driving instructors?

No. Unless they occasionally drive professionally.

Does the Government intend to introduce quality assurance arrangements for lorry and bus driving instructors?

The Road Safety Bill contains powers that would allow for the introduction of statutory quality assurance schemes for instructors. However, the scope of such schemes and how they would operate, has yet to be finalised.



Road Law LGV Drivers PCV Drivers Training DriverCPC New Drivers Training the Trainer Digital Tacho SAFED