Who Needs a Driver CPC?
All professional HGV and PSV drivers are now required to hold a Driver CPC (certificate of professional competence) licence in addition to a vocational driving licence.
The deadline for Driver CPC for HGV lorry drivers was 9 September 2014. However, the deadline for PSV drivers passed a year earlier on 9 September 2013.
I’ve just passed my test, do I need a CPC as well?
Yes, if you passed your HGV vocational licence (C, C1, C+E and C1+E) on or after 10 September 2009, or in the case of a PSV you got your vocational licence (D, D1, D+E and D1+E) on or after 10 September 2008 you will need to complete the Driver CPC initial qualification.
I’ve been a professional driver for years, do I need a CPC?
Even if you’ve held your HGV licence since before 10 September 2009 or your PSV licence since before 10 September 2008, you will still need a CPC. This means completing 35 hours of training every five years.
What are the penalties if I get caught without a CPC?
You can receive a fine of up to £1,000. However, in reality the consequences are likely to be even worse for your employer if you’re caught driving for them without a CPC as they have an obligation to check and keep records of those checks. In addition to financial penalties which could be imposed in the criminal courts, you and your employer may also be called before the Traffic Commissioner.
Are there any CPC exemptions?
Yes there a number of CPC exemptions which are listed below:
- Nationals of EU member states or employed by a company based in a member state
- Vehicles that aren’t allowed to exceed 45 kilometres per hour
- Vehicles being used by or under the control of the armed forces, police, a local authority or fire and rescue authority
- Vehicles being road tested or new or rebuilt vehicles which haven’t been put into service
- Vehicles driven to and from pre-booked appointments at official testing centres
- Vehicles being used in emergencies or rescue missions
- Vehicles being used for driving lessons or driving tests
- Non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods for personal use
- Vehicles carrying material or equipment to be used in the course of the driver’s work
- Vehicles driven within 50 km of the driver’s base and not carrying passengers or goods
However the above points are just a summary, and are narrowly interpreted. If you want to rely on any of these CPC Exemptions, it’s sensible to seek advice so that you can be confident they will apply to you.