A Driver CPC course is a Certificate of Professional Competence as is a legal requirement for all LGV and PCV drivers in the UK and across Europe. The aim of the Driver CPC is to improve road safety by maintaining high standards of driving from those who professionally drive buses, coaches or lorries.
The initial Driver CPC training courses are divided into four sections, two of which are the theory and practical parts of gaining a driving licence, and the other two involve case studies and vehicle safety demonstrations. Once a professional driver has successfully passed their Drivers CPC, they gain a Driver Qualification Card (DQC) which allows them to drive large passenger or goods vehicles professionally.
The DQC lasts for five years and holders are required to undertake 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years in order to renew their Driver Qualification Card. The periodic CPC training courses are designed to refresh and improve driver awareness through case studies and practical examples. There is no pass or fail element to the periodic CPC courses, however the full 35 hours must be attended in order to retain ones Driver Qualification Card, which is necessary for all professional drivers of passenger carrying vehicles (PCV) carrying nine or more passengers and large goods vehicles (LGV) which exceed 3.5 tonnes.
For both PCV and LGV drivers, periodic CPC training courses involve a variety of elements including understanding the vehicles mechanics and technical characteristics in order to to minimise wear and tear, prevent malfunction and to optimise fuel consumption. Awareness regarding the risks of the road and assessing emergency situations is also covered as well as refreshing current and new driving regulations and the general rules of the road.
Periodic training also covers day-to-day driving modules for bus and coach drivers and large goods vehicle drivers. For PCV drivers, modules covering the carriage of passengers is included and for LGV drivers, regulations and practicalities regarding the carriage of goods is covered in detail. In addition, both LGV and PCV drivers are given defensive driving training, first aid and health safety, a refresher in drivers’ hours regulations and using tachographs is also covered for all drivers.
The periodic CPC courses are designed to eliminate some of the bad habits many drivers acquire after gaining their driving licence. Using case studies and a variety of examples of common driving habits, highlighting potential danger areas and promoting good driving practices for all professional drivers required to carry a driver qualification certificate (DQC). Although most drivers are fully competent and safe drivers, refreshing themselves on a regular basis can only improve their driving skills and professional competence further.