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What you need to be a CPC Qualified Coach Driver

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Whether you are a professional Coach driver who is already working or are new to the licence and looking to begin a career in the industry, it is important to make sure you fully comply with the most up to date CPC regulations. Every Coach driver in the industry must be fully CPC qualified while working professionally, choosing not to keep up with this qualification means you risk losing your licence. Don’t Panic! CPC has all the information you need to check that you are compliant, and if you still need training, we have over 30 training locations nationwide running comprehensive JAUPT (Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training) approved CPC Training Courses which we can book you on at a time to suit you.

The CPC is the Certificate of Professional Competence. It was introduced to the UK for PCV licence holders in 2008, as a result of the European Union Directive 2003 which streamlined licencing across the EU and ensures all drivers have the same training and therefore should have the same level of understanding regarding the importance of the rules of the road. The CPC comes in two parts, Initial Qualification and Periodic Training:

Initial Qualification

You will need to complete the Initial Qualification, involving a theory and a practical test, if you gained your Category D and / or D1 licences after 10th September 2008. Once you have completed the Initial Qualification, your 5 years for gaining Periodic Training begins. If you passed your Category D and / or D1 before 10th September 2008 you can skip this qualification and move straight on to Periodic Training.

Periodic Training

Every Coach driver must complete 35 hours of Period Training on a rolling 5 year basis. If you passed your Category D and / or D1 test before 10th September 2008 your first 5 years started that day and renewed on 10th September 2013. If you passed your Category D and / or D1 after 10th September 2008 your first five year period starts the day you pass your Initial Qualification.

Now you should have a clear picture of whether you are fully qualified or not

Still not sure?  Need more training?  Give us a call on 0808 168 7922

Legally, any employer in this industry has to check that their drivers are fully CPC Qualified as they are not permitted to employ a driver who is not. The easiest way for an employer to check a drivers CPC status is to look at your Drivers Qualification Card, this shows that you are CPC compliant as well as the date by which you need to have completed your next 35 hours of Periodic Training. Although some employers will provide the training for you, it is always better to get as much training done independently as possible. Being able to show an employer that you are fully compliant and do not require more training for a minimum of 5 years is extremely desirable, especially compared to someone who hasn’t done any training yet and only has a short amount of time to get it done.


This Drivers Qualification Card is not only essential for people looking to gain employment but also those who are already employed. It is an offense for a company to send out a driver for it not fully CPC qualified, even though you are already employed doesn’t mean you do not need to get your hours completed, speak to your employer about putting you through the training, if they can’t help give us a call and we’ll see what we can do in your area. Either way, make sure those hours are completed in sufficient time or it could see your employment suspended or even terminated.


You will obtain a Drivers Qualification Card in one of two ways, if you require the Initial Qualification you will be sent your card roughly 5 working days after passing both tests, if you are exempt from the Initial Qualification you will be sent your licence as soon as you have complete your first 35 hours Periodic Training. Once you have obtained your Drivers Qualification Card it is important that you keep it on you when driving, if is an offense not to have it on you and can result in a fine.


DQC Card

If you are a long term driver, who passed your Category D licence prior to 10th September 2008, you should have already completed your first 35 hours periodic training by 10th September 2013. A lot of people think that’s their training completed, please be aware that the timeframe is rolling, that means that once the first 5 years finishes, another 5 years begins. So, if you completed 35 hours before 10th September 2013 that extends your qualified period to 10th September 2018 by which time you must complete another 35 hours of periodic training, and so on.


IMPORTANT NOTE – Due to the CPC being introduced to PCV and HGV drivers 1 year apart the government has decide to extend PCV drivers qualifying period to 6 years as a one off. This means PCV drivers haver until 10th September 2019 to complete their 35 hours. The reason for this is that it allows PCV and HGV drivers to have the same deadline and therefore make it easier to follow, especially for dual licence holders. This applies only to drivers who are exempt from the Initial CPC Qualification. If you are not sure if this applies to you give us a call on 0808 168 7922 and one of our highly trained advisers will help you work it out.

If you do not complete all 35 hours by the time the deadline rolls around you must stop working until you have become fully CPC qualified again. You will not lose your licence or have to retake any tests but you will not be legally able to work. The 5 year period works in 1 year blocks, so, once the 5 year deadline passes the 1st year no longer counts, and as the 6th year ends the 2nd year no longer counts. See below:


Case Study

Drivers CPC

Ian is working as a coach driver in the UK driving excursion groups to France, below is his tracker of Periodic Training hours:

Year 1 – 7 hours complete

Year 2 – 7 hours complete

Year 3 – 7 hours complete

Year 4 – 0 hours complete

Year 5 – 0 hours complete – This is the deadline but only 21 hours have been completed, Ian now cannot continue to drive the coach

Year 6 – 14 hours completed – As the deadline has passed, the hours Ian completed in 2013 no longer count so he now needs to retake those hours before restarting work

Year 7 – 14 hours completed – As another year has passed since the deadline, the hours Ian completed in 2014 no longer count so he has had to retake 2013 and 2014’s hours and is now fully CPC qualified and able to start working again

As you can see, Ian has now gained 35 hours training but in order to do so he had to redo 14 hours’ worth of training due to allowing the deadlines to pass. This would have been extremely costly for Ian not just due to the cost of training and retraining but also due to all his time out of work. Ian could make good money as an EU excursion driver and due to not keeping up with his training he has not been earning and has most likely lost his job.


This is a confusing topic, if you’re not getting your head round it give us a call 

 We will help you figure it out!! 0808 168 7922


Although having to repeat training this often might seem laborious, there is good reason behind it. The European Union and the government want to make sure that all Coach Drivers fully understand several key elements of professional driving. Having a Coach Driver possess all of this knowledge makes Coaches a much safer way to travel right across the EU.

As a Coach Driver it is important that you understand the following;

  • Safety procedures when carrying passengers
  • First aid
  • Health and safety at work
  • Handing heavy luggage and correctly loading it
  • Correct EU regulations
  • Correct procedures and paperwork needed when crossing a country border
  • Disability Awareness
  • Digital Tachograph regulations
  • And so much more…

Each one of the above is an element of one or more of the Periodic Training Modules, you just need to decide what skills you want to learn, or in the case of a long time driver, brush up on. Periodic Training is completed in 5 sets of 7 hour training blocks. You can choose which modules you complete in each of those 7 hour blocks depending on what you need.

If you are a dual licence holder you will need to consider the modules which are most relevant for both your HGV and PCV driving. Luckily for dual licence holders you do not need to complete 35 hours per licence. You only need to complete 1 set of 35 hours Periodic training which will cover both licences, but, as a dual licence holder it is important you think carefully about the modules you select for your training you want to make sure you know the most up to date information regarding any changes in place for both licence types.

Need to get some training booked? Realised you’re on a tight deadline?

See below or call us on 0808 168 7922 to see how we can help is here to take the headache out of CPC compliance. We understand that it can be an extremely confusing area and it would be all too easy to believe you were qualified and it turns out you’re not, or to sign yourself up for a course just to then find out you didn’t need it to start with! We also appreciate how important it is, especially these days, to gain and be able to sustain an enjoyable and well paid job.

Our highly trained advisors are here to help you figure this entire thing out. We will advise you on which part of the training you need to do first, what your deadlines are and offer reasonably priced training in your local area, should you need it. We have over 30 locations nationwide in which we can offer CPC training to suit you, all our centres are run by highly experienced, qualified and friendly instructors there to help you understand the training and be fully compliant. We can offer:

The Initial CPC Qualification 

  • An online revision package, to study and complete practice the tests.
  • A Module 2 Theory Test, taken in a DVSA Pearson test centre local to you
  • High level training with a qualified instructor in one of our nationwide locations
  • A Module 4 Practical test, taken in a DVSA test centre local to you

Is this what you need? Call us on 0808 168 7922 or complete our enquiry form to get a quote.

Periodic Training

  • Informative training with a fully qualified instructor
  • 7 hour classroom based sessions
  • Choice of modules
  • Training organised to suit you
  • Training offer 1 day at a time or several days in a row

Want to know the price for this in your area? Call us on 0808 168 7922 or complete our enquiry form to get a quote.

Direct Access Course

  • Top quality training with a highly experience and qualified instructor
  • Courses run by the Road Haulage Association, depending on your location
  • Choice of several locations nationwide, with new locations being added all the time
  • Run in 2 day blocks so you can gain 14 hours training in one go
  • Classroom based training
  • Large selection of dates to choose from
  • Certificate given on completion

Ready to book? Call us on 0808 168 7922 or complete our enquiry form to get a quote.



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