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If you’ve never heard of the term ‘grandfather rights’ it might sound strange to be said in the same breath as something as professional and modern as Driver CPC training, but it’s a commonly held belief that these rights mean you don’t need to hold a Driver CPC qualification under certain circumstances.

What are ‘Grandfather Rights’

The ‘grandfather rights’ referred to are also known as ‘acquired rights’, and some people take them to mean that if you got your licence before a certain time, when the rules on Driver CPC training weren’t in place, that Driver CPC doesn’t apply to you at all. This isn’t exactly true, and believing that it is can cause you problems if you don’t abide by the real rules on Driver CPC training.

We’ve broken it down so you know exactly where you stand with these rights.

Grandfather rights HGV Driver CPC

Grandfather Rights and the law

Drivers of coaches, lorries and buses must by law hold a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence, otherwise known as a Driver CPC. Without it, you’re not allowed to drive professionally at all.  It’s the case now that if you undertake your professional HGV, bus or coach training, then you will need to get a Driver CPC as part of your qualification. But that wasn’t always the case, and that’s why we have grandfather rights or acquired rights.


Who has acquired rights?

If you’re an HGV driver who gained your licence prior to 10 September 2009 then you have acquired right, since it was only beyond this point that CPC became part of your formal qualification. This applies to Cat C, C1, C+E and C1+E licences for vocational use.

If you gained a bus or coach driver and gained your licence D, D1, D+E or D1+E before 10 September 2008, you will also apply for acquired rights.

What do acquired rights really mean?

All the term really means for you with regard to Driver CPC is that you don’t need to hold the actual qualification as part of your licence. It’s assumed that you have the same rights in this regard as drivers who are coming through the system now and DO need the Driver CPC. So in other words, you have acquired the Driver CPC by right of having completed your training before Driver CPC was needed. 

However, you do still have some obligation under the law. Just as other drivers who do hold a Driver CPC must complete 35 hours of training every five years, so must you. Failure to do this is a breach of the law and you could suffer serious professional consequences as a result. If you are looking to acquire right from grandfather rights, you can simply visit the gov website and apply. 


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