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driver CPC requirements for goods vehicles commence this month

4 September 2009

Driver CPC training will be a requirement for all large goods vehicle drivers from 10 September 2009. As of this date, drivers will need to have completed the necessary training in order to legally drive large goods vehicles for a living.

The Driver CPC training, which has already been in place for bus and passenger vehicle drivers since 10 September 2008, is required due to a 2003 EC regulation. The intention is to professionalise driving as a career, and to improve road safety and efficient use of fuel.

Many operators are already aware of these requirements, but it is important that operators take steps now to arrange for the appropriate training, and to ensure that they are not sending out unqualified drivers on the road after the 10 September.

The Driver CPC should not be confused with the higher level Certificate of Professional Competence, which will already be familiar to Transport Managers.

There are two types of training as part of the legislation:

  • For drivers who do not have any professional driving qualifications as of 10 September, there is Initial CPC training, which will be assessed by way of a test
  • All professional drivers, including existing qualified professional drivers, will have to undertake Periodic CPC training every five years. There is no test, but each driver must attend 35 hours of accredited training in every five year period. Passenger vehicle drivers are required to have completed the initial periodic training by 10 September 2013, and goods vehicle drivers by 10 September 2014

Topics to be covered by the periodic training will include health, road and environmental safety, logistics, rational driving and regulatory compliance.

The periodic training could be dealt with in a one week course, or split into training sessions of no less than seven hours, spread over the five year period. It is important that drivers and operators monitor the progress of their periodic training, and do not leave booking it until the last minute, as this is likely to create a logjam, which will result in some drivers not receiving the required training before the deadline.

It will be an offence to cause or permit a person to drive a vehicle without the required training from the 10 September. In addition, drivers themselves may be fined for driving without the required CPC qualification.

Fines for drivers are likely to be dealt with by way of a graduated fixed penalty notice issued at the roadside, under VOSAs new powers which came into force earlier this year.

It is important that operators are up to speed with the Driver CPC, as offences committed by a company or its drivers against the new rules will be recorded by VOSA, and could result in an unwelcome summons to public inquiry to review an operators licence before the Traffic Commissioner.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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