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With the New Year upon us, we felt it necessary to once again address the question of CPC driver training for operators of lorries, coaches, buses, etc. As you may already know, the driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) is now a requirement for individuals operating commercial vehicles in excess of 3.5 tons or, in the case of buses, vehicles exceeding a capacity of nine passengers.

The CPC requirement in the UK came about as part of a European Directive put in place years ago; UK regulations were enacted in 2009. Since then the government has been pushing hard to remind both drivers and their employers of their need to obtain CPC certification.

For drivers of buses, coaches and other PCV vehicles, the deadline for obtaining certification was 10 September 2013. HGV drivers were given an extra year to complete their training. However, that means all commercial drivers operating vehicles of qualified classes must be certified no later than September of this year.

So what is CPC driver training?

CPC driver training consists of 35 hours of class work designed to make sure drivers can operate their vehicles safely and competently. Drivers that already have vocational licenses without CPC certification are required to complete this training within the next eight months. New drivers who have not yet earned a licence will complete it as part of their regular training.

All drivers who have completed the training will receive a qualification card that must be kept with them whenever they are working. The card is only good for five years. That means drivers who earned their certification in 2014 will be eligible to continue driving through until September 2019. Sometime prior to the expiration of that card, remedial training will have to be undertaken.

Where We Are Now

With eight months to go until the deadline for HGV drivers, we are starting to see an increase in the number of people enrolling in CPC classes. Yet some are worried that too many drivers are still not taking the regulations seriously. A number of reports from last summer suggested HGVs were waiting to see if the regulations would be strictly enforced among their PCV counterparts before undertaking training themselves. You can rest assured that they are.

In the first few months after the deadline for PCV drivers, officials were merely issuing warnings to drivers caught without certificates. However, that has since stopped. Drivers are now facing hefty fines and the possible loss of their jobs if they are found operating buses and coaches without certification. We can expect the same for HGV drivers come this autumn.

The HGV Training Centre offers complete CPC driver training to both individuals and companies. We urge you not to take this lightly. Instead, get in touch with us at your earliest convenience to schedule your training. The sooner you get it done, the better off you will be. Also, keep in mind that classes will fill up more quickly as we get closer to the September deadline.

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