If you want to become an HGV driver, you’re picking a strong, flexible and rewarding career path. But there is a lot of work ahead of you in order to get there. Among all of the various tests and medical exams, all HGV drivers must study for and pass their Driver CPC test before they can progress. But what is the Driver CPC, and why is it so important?
What Is The Driver CPC?
The Driver CPC stands for Driver Certificate Of Professional Competence and is a qualification every professional bus, coach and lorry driver must have. Under a European Union directive, any professional bus, coach or lorry driver needs to hold a valid Driver CPC license in addition to their vocational and standard driving license. This also applies to any driver of a lorry over 3.5 tonnes or minibuses with 9 seats or more. In order to obtain a Driver CPC license, applicants must complete 4 separate tests to judge their theory and practical capabilities. Drivers who obtained their license before the 10th of September 2009, however, don’t need to take the initial qualification. This is because they are deemed to hold ‘acquired rights’. However, they will still have to complete the periodic training and medical checks every 5 years to keep their Driver CPC valid.
What’s Involved In Taking It?
The Driver CPC isn’t just your average test – it’s split into 4 different parts, each of which examines a different element of HGV driving. The first part is all about theory, with a multiple choice and hazard perception section to test your knowledge. This is the most similar to a standard driving test. Next, you have the case studies section, where drivers are presented with 7 case studies and asked questions about them in detail. After the theory sections are done, you move on to the driving ability section, which tests the drivers’ practical ability to drive an HGV with an instructor sitting next to them, much like the standard driving test. Finally, you come to the practical demonstration, in which the driver must demonstrate their knowledge of safety procedures, of the composition of the vehicle and how to prevent crimes occurring in their vehicle. Overall, these tests tend to take a few months to complete and costs do vary.
Why Is It So Important?
The Driver CPC is so crucial because it is a provable baseline of knowledge and ability within the industry. Millions of people drive cars every single day, but there is no governing rule about how well they must drive. All you have to do is know the basics and perform well on one day to be given you licence, and never even reviewed. But when you drive for a living, there needs to be some level of oversight in place. The Driver CPC ensures that all HGV drivers are brought to the same basic skill level, with the same knowledge and abilities. This ensures the safety of the driver and of other road users and helps ensure the future of this essential industry.
For more information about what’s involved in your Driver CPC, or to book onto your training course today, get in touch with us today.