The New Driver CPC

Central Transport Training Courses Driver CPC for Bus, Coach and Lorry Drivers

 

Introduction

A new qualification for professional bus, coach and lorry drivers – the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) – has been given the Government go-ahead. In future, just holding a vocational driving licence will not be sufficient for someone who wishes to drive such vehicles for a living.

The Driving Standards Agency is taking the lead in implementing EU Directive 2003/59 which requires all professional bus, coach and lorry drivers to hold a CPC in addition to their vocational driving licence. It comes into force across all European Union member states on 10 September 2008 for bus and coach drivers and 10 September 2009 for lorry drivers.

The main benefit is road safety and better qualified drivers to help reduce road casualties. Driver CPC should also bring an improved professional and positive image to the profession, attracting more people to drive buses, coaches and lorries for a living. It is aimed not only at improving the knowledge and skills of LGV and PCV drivers when they start work, but also at ensuring these skills are maintained and developed throughout their working life.

Driver CPC will require all category C and D licence holders (including C1 and D1) to take part in 35 hours training every 5 years in order to maintain their CPC. It also introduces a new initial qualification process that new drivers must complete before they can drive professionally.

Driver CPC will enable young people to enter these sectors in a safe and professional manner, from 18 years of age, subject to any licence restrictions for category D drivers.

 

  • Overview
  • Exemptions
  • Initial Qualification
  • Test Plan

New drivers acquiring a vocational licence entitlement after the relevant implementation dates (Sept 08 or Sept 09) and intending to work as a driver must obtain a Driver CPC before they can drive professionally.

To minimise cost and inconvenience, the DSA will offer new drivers the opportunity to acquire the Driver CPC at the same time as they obtain their vocational driving licence.

Driver CPC will be acquired by completing 4 hours of theory testing and 2 hours of practical tests. The tests can be taken in modules that will support drivers who may be exempt from Driver CPC, or who were exempt and now need their CPC. The modules will be:

  1. 2½ hours theory test
  2. 1½ hours theory test (case studies)
  3. 1½ hours practical test
  4. ½ hour practical demonstration of vehicle safety

The following table illustrates the modular approach to acquiring a vocational licence and/or Driver CPC:

  Module 1
Theory Test
Module 2
Case studies
Module 3
Practical Test
Module 4
CPC Practical Test
Licence Acquisition only *   *  
Full CPC * * * *
Upgrade to CPC   *   *

Modules 1 and 2 can be taken in any order, as can modules 3 and 4.

Candidates must complete module 1 before they can take module 3 and must complete module 2 before they can take module 4.

All professional vocational drivers must undertake periodic training in order to maintain their Driver CPC.

Drivers will have to complete a minimum of 35 hours of approved training every 5 years. Each training course must be of a minimum length of 7 hours, with the 7 hours being defined as contact time with the trainer. Each training course must be delivered within a 24 hours period.

All training must be taken with an approved training centre and on an approved training course. Records of training taken by drivers will be kept centrally.

All approved training centres and training courses will be subject to audit and approval may be withdrawn if it is found that centres or courses are not complying with the approval criteria.

Drivers who are deemed to hold Driver CPC by acquired rights must complete their periodic training within 5 years of the introduction of Driver CPC:

  1. for PCV licence holders, by 10 Sept 2013
  2. for LGV licence holders, by 10 Sept 2014

Drivers who gain their Driver CPC by completing the initial qualification must complete their first cycle of periodic training within 5 years of the date they acquired their Driver CPC.

Drivers who do not maintain their Driver CPC, i.e. because they leave the industries, but who want to start working as a professional driver again, must complete 35 hours of periodic training in order to regain their Driver CPC. They must complete the training before they can resume working professionally.

Drivers holding both lorry and bus and coach licence entitlement will only be required to complete 35 hours of approved training every 5 years.

Drivers of the following vehicles will not be required to hold a Driver CPC:

  1. a vehicle with a maximum authorised speed not exceeding 45 km/h
  2. a vehicle used by, or under the control of, the armed forces, a police force, a fire and rescue authority
  3. a vehicle undergoing road tests for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes, or of new or rebuilt Vehicles which have not yet been put into service
  4. a vehicle used in a state of emergency or assigned to a rescue mission
  5. a vehicle used in the course of driving lessons for the purpose of enabling that person to obtain a driving licence or a CPC
  6. a vehicle used for non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods for personal use
  7. a vehicle carrying material or equipment to be used by that person in the course of his or her work, provided that driving that vehicle is not that person’s principal activity.

An example of a driver under exemption vii (also known as "incidental driver") would be a brick layer who drives a load of bricks from the builder’s yard to the building site and then spends their working day laying bricks. In this case, driving a lorry is incidental to their main occupation.

However, drivers can move in and out of an exemption, depending on the circumstances in which they are driving. For example, a bus mechanic would be exempt while driving a bus to check that it had been repaired, but would need to hold a Driver CPC if they also drove a bus on a passenger carrying service.

Module 1 Theory Test

This module will be taken by candidates who want to acquire either a vocational licence only or a vocational licence and Driver CPC.

It is based on the current licence acquisition theory test. From April 2008, it will consist of 100 multiple choice questions and 20 hazard perception clips. Candidates will be allowed 2½ hours to complete this module.

Transition arrangements will be put in place to phase in the increase of questions from 35 to 100 questions. From April 2007, the number of multiple choice questions will be 60, and the passmark will be 51. From April 2008, the number of MCQ’s will increase to 100 and the passmark will be 85. The number of hazard perception clips will remain at 14 in April 2007 but will increase in April 2008, details of which will be provided in the near future.

Module 2 Theory Test

This module is to be taken only by candidates who want to acquire Driver CPC.

It will consist of about 3 case studies, which are currently being developed. More details will be provided, including examples of case studies, as the development work progresses.

Candidates will be allowed 1½ hours to complete this module.

Module 2 will be introduced in 2008 for PCV candidates and 2009 for LGV candidates.

Further information, in terms of how case studies will look, be scored and the pass mark will be provided once they have been developed.

Module 3 Practical Test

This module is to be taken by candidates who want to acquire either a vocational licence only or a vocational licence and Driver CPC.

It will consist of the current licence acquisition test, with an additional 10 minutes on-road time for categories D1, D, C1 &C. It is proposed that the additional on-road time will be introduced from April 2007, subject to consultation.

The vehicle used for this module must comply with Minimum Test Vehicle requirements.

Module 4 Practical Test

This module is to be taken only by candidates who want to acquire Driver CPC.

It will be introduced on 10 Sept 08 for PCV and on 10 Sept 09 for LGV candidates. The module will consist of a series of questions that will require the candidate to demonstrate their knowledge of vehicle safety issues. This will follow the current proven "show me, tell me" methodology.

The vehicle used for this module must comply with Minimum Test Vehicle requirements.

A summary of the test plan, showing in which modules the various parts of the syllabus will be tested for the initial qualification.

Section Reference: Driver CPC Module 1 M2 M3 M4 Remarks
1   Advanced training in rational driving
based on safety regulations
         
All Licences
  1.1 Objective: to know the charactaristics of
the transmission system in order to make
the best possible use of it
        Several transmission boxes to learn theoretical difficulty task eg automated gearbox. Best possible use of practical after generic theory questions
  1.2 Objective: to know the technical characteristics and operation of the safety controls in order to control the vehicle, minimise wear and tear and prevent disfunctioning:          
  1.3 Objective: ability to optimise fuel consumption:         Very significant cost for the industry and for the EU in achieving economic driving. This area was deemed to be extremely appropriate for M2
Licences C, C+E, C1, C1+E
  1.4 Objective: ability to load the vehicle with due regard for safety rules and proper vehicle use:         This is divided between background generic knowledge to pass the test versus specific knowledge to complete a job, e.g. passenger versus timber loading. Periodic training will provide the latter.
Loading for different vehicle Periodic training will provide the latter.
Loading for different vehicle types is a significant issue here.
Licences D, D+E, D1, D1+E
  1.5 Objective: ability to ensure passenger comfort and safety:         Significant issue particularly for bus and coach operators.
  1.6 Objective: ability to load the vehicle with due regard for safety rules and proper vehicle use:          
2   Application of regulations          
All Licences
  2.1 Objective: to know the social environment of road transport and the rules governing it:         Question whether it is essential to incorporate working time directive for necessary understanding? (discretionary in M1)
Licences C, C+E, C1, C1+E
  2.2 Objective: to know the regulations governing the carriage of goods:         Requires knowledge of safe vehicle control.
Scenario based around documentation requirements
Licences D, D+E, D1, D1+E
  2.3 Objective: to know the regulations governing the carriage of passengers:         Knowledge of Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) required.
Virtual journey used as the basis for testing knowledge?
3   Health, road and environmental safety, service, logistics          
All licences
  3.1 Objective: to make drivers aware of the risks of the road and of accidents at work:         the statistics of road accidents
  3.2 Objective: ability to prevent criminality and trafficking in illegal immigrants:         More criminality issues for buses here
  3.3 Objective: ability to prevent physical risks:         Examiner could move the vehicle mirrors and candidate readjust them.
Loading, manual handling most important + access/egress from cab.
  3.4 Objective: awareness of the importance of physical and mental ability:         Effect of alcohol and drugs on driving should be built into source material. In particular, impact of sleep deprivation and fatigue.
  3.5 Objective: ability to assess emergency situations:         Highway code includes basic first aid. Need in the consultative process to understand what assess means.
Assessment of appropriate action in event of aggression.
  3.6 Objective: ability to adopt behaviour to help enhance the image of the company:         Already have all but last element in source material.
Road rage; Attitude examples.
Knowing what to do when there is a defect.
In terms of maintenance this could reflect visual checks around the vehicle.
Licences C, C+E, C1, C1+E
  3.7 Objective: to know the economic environment of road haulage and the organisation of the market:         London transport system is implementing system that could be used as basis to inform a case study. DSA will be developing items offline. Industry asked to assist with examples.
Method of testing significant as source material is rare hence there is difficulty in developing case material.
Licences D, D+E, D1, D1+E
  3.8 Objective: to know the economic environment of the carriage of passengers by road and the organisation of the market:         Same source issue as 3.7