January 2023

What does Driver CPC training cover?

Driver CPC training has been a legal requirement now for some years. It was introduced for bus and coach drivers (PCV) in 2008. The driver certificate of professional competence was extended to lorry drivers (HGV) in 2009. This meant that by September 2014 every professional driver had taken at least 35 hours of training over five years to keep themselves up to date.

The introduction of this qualification marked the difference between a driver and a professional driver. Ask the average driver who uses their vehicle for commuting, the school run and supermarket trips when they last looked at the highway code.

Vocational drivers make up about 10% of transport and storage industry workers and there is currently a shortage of drivers with September 2021 seeing the highest number of vacancies ever recorded. The pandemic has contributed in part as driving tests were cancelled and new drivers were unable to qualify. It’s been over a decade since the number of tests taken was so low and the result has been a demand for drivers. That makes it a good time to get qualified. With pay of £35,000 to £50,000 being reported in some sectors, have you considered getting a vocational licence and earning your living behind the wheel?

In addition to passing your practical tests, you’ll need to fulfil another requirement in the form of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence. That means that you’ll need to compete 35 hours of training every 5 years to keep your vocational licence and be able to drive as the main part of your job. So what does driver CPC training actually cover?

The Driver CPC Syllabus

CPC training is broad to reflect the different needs of the transportation industry and as a result, the syllabus has quite a number of different areas. To meet the requirements the level of content being taught needs to be comparable to Level 2 National Vocational Qualifications.

The content is split into three areas and the type of licence you are training for will influence the areas that you need to be familiar with.

Advanced training in rational driving based on safety regulations

This first area looks at topics such as optimising fuel consumption identifying hazardous situations and passenger safety as well as safe vehicle loading.

Application of regulations

Courses meeting the requirements of this section will focus on the rules governing road transport. This would include covering updates on regulations around transporting goods, carrying passengers, working hours regulations and the use of tachographs.

Health, road and environmental safety, service, logistics

This third section covers awareness of the risks of the road, preventing trafficking of immigrants, physical risks including health and the economic environment of the industry.

Why is Driver CPC training valuable to professional drivers?

There’s more to being a professional driver than getting behind a wheel and the ongoing training requirements for a vocational licence reflect this. Laws change all the time and as a trained professional, it’s up to you to ensure that you know what they are and what they mean for you and your work. For example, 2022 will see a number of changes to driving laws. These include the use of mobile devices while driving, changes to the highway code, and rights of way for other road users. Changes to the hierarchy of road users more responsibility is placed in those is larger vehicles. For HGVs this mean prioritising pedestrians, cyclists and car drivers.

Remember you don’t have to cover the full syllabus at once. You can focus on the areas of Driver CPC training that will be of most benefit to you and support your work as a driver.

Check out our Driver CPC training courses here.

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