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Guide to CPC Training

If you own or rent a lorry, bus or coach and wish to drive it commercially, it is vital to obtain Driver CPC. Alternatively, you may already have Driver CPC and are coming up to your deadline for renewal – in either case, drivers must undergo training before professionally operating one of these vehicles.

What is a CPC?

CPC stands for ‘Certificate of Professional Competence’, and it is required for professional drivers of lorries, buses and coaches. Drivers can be fined up to £1,000 for operating a vehicle without Driver CPC. A Driver CPC lasts for five years.

Do I need CPC training?

If you drive a lorry, bus or coach as the main part of your job, you must have a Driver CPC - it’s illegal to operate one of these vehicles commercially if you do not possess this qualification.

As a Driver CPC only lasts for five years, it must be renewed if you wish to continue driving a lorry, bus or coach. You must undergo 35 hours of training before your current Driver CPC expires: see details on the UK government website Driver CPC page. You only need to complete one set of training every five years if you drive both lorries and buses professionally.

If you drive a lorry for personal use - such as carrying non-commercial goods, or as a hobby - then you do not need to take CPC training.

What does CPC training involve?

If you are a new driver, your initial training will consist of four modules, including the theory and practical tests you must sit to obtain a driver’s licence. The other two modules are specific to driving lorries, buses or coaches professionally.

    • Theory test (standard test, required to obtain a driver’s licence)
    • Practical test (standard test of driving ability, required to obtain a driver’s licence)
    • Case studies (CPC-specific test where the driver answers questions based on scenarios a lorry driver may encounter while driving)
    • Practical test (CPC-specific test where the driver must demonstrate and explain a number of operations that are required by a lorry driver other than the driving itself)

Drivers renewing their licence must complete 35 hours of training in total. Each CPC training course lasts a minimum of seven hours, and there is no pass or fail element to these tests. Drivers can check their Driver CPC periodic training record online to see how many hours they have completed.

Remember when you attend a CPC training course to bring the following items:

    • Photocard driving licence
    • Valid passport
    • Digital tachograph card
    • Driver CPC card

How much does CPC training cost?

There is no set price for CPC training - research various training firms for their prices before you commit to a course. The cost of CPC training will also vary depending on whether you are a new driver or are renewing your qualification, as each test incurs its own cost.

CPC training is included with fleet driver risk management from Towergate - this could work out cheaper if you are also interested in fleet driver licence checking services, risk management tools and driver profiling and education.

What if I miss my deadline for CPC training?

If you miss your deadline for CPC training, you will not be able to drive professionally until you have completed the training. Your next deadline will be set for five years after you finish the training.

Any training you’ve already done before the original deadline counts for five years from the date you took the course. The training will not count towards the 35 hours total if you took it more than five years ago.

Fleet driver risk management from Towergate

Towergate offers CPC training as part of fleet driver risk management. Our partners Safedrive are driver risk management specialists, who make sure that your lorry drivers are licensed properly, profiled, trained, and equipped. For more information, visit our dedicated fleet driver risk management page or call us on 01952 298990 to speak to a specialist adviser.

About the author

Chris North FCII, commercial vehicles insurance articles author Chris North FCII is a respected industry leader with over 40 years' experience, who has worked in the insurance industry in a variety of roles, accumulating a wealth of knowledge. He is currently Technical Manager for Towergate's motor division, providing expertise on all matters relating to motor fleet insurance, in particular haulage and self-drive hire fleets.

This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

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