Drivers with the category C or D range of licence entitlements who drive for commercial gain and held their licence prior to 10 September 2008 (bus and coach), or 10 September 2009 (lorry) do not need to undergo the initial drivers CPC training.
As a new driver, you will need to pass the Driver CPC theory and practical tests in addition to the licence acquisition theory and practical tests if you intend to drive professionally. After obtaining your PCV or LGV licence you will also need to complete periodic training to keep your Driver CPC qualification.
Drivers of lorries over 3.5 tonnes, and minibuses with nine seats or more, must obtain a Driver CPC.
The initial qualification has been divided into 4 modules, as follows:
Module 1 – Multiple Choice questions and Hazard Perception clips
Module 1 consists of two separate tests. The first is 100 multiple choice questions (of which the pass mark is 85) and the second 19 hazard perception clips with 20 score-able hazards (of which the pass mark is 67 out of 100).
The two tests take a total of 2 ½ hours to complete, but can be taken separately and in either order.
Module 2 – Case Studies
In addition to passing module 1, to obtain your Driver CPC you will also need to pass module 2. This module is a computer based test and uses case studies, each one based on real-life scenarios you may encounter in your working life. It aims to test your knowledge and how you put it into practice. Written by experts from the industry, questions are based around the case study and you will be asked to answer in a number of different ways such as multiple choice answers or clicking an area on a photograph / image. Each test is made up of seven case studies, each one with six to eight questions, with a possible maximum score of 50. The pass mark for the PCV test is 40 and the pass mark for the LGV test is 38 (to be reviewed September 2010). The test will take 1½ hours to complete and can be taken at the same test centre as module 1. Drivers who already hold a Driver CPC for one category of vehicle (i.e. PCV or LGV) and wish to obtain a Driver CPC for the other category, will need to take a Module 2 conversion test consisting of 10 case studies with a total of 50 questions. Modules 1, 3 and 4 will need to be completed in full.
Module 3 – Practical Test
The practical test is made up of two parts. The first is a reversing exercise and is carried out at the test centre. The second takes place on public roads and may include driving on motorways, depending on where you take your test. You will carry out exercises specific to the type of vehicle you drive. The practical test also includes an eco-safe driving assessment which involves the examiner taking note of how you control the vehicle and plan your driving. This assessment does not count towards the result of the test, however the examiner will give you feedback at the end of your test. The test takes 1½ hours, with at least an hour of driving.
Module 4 – Driver CPC Practical Test
In addition to passing module 3, to obtain your Driver CPC you will also need to pass module 4 a practical test focussing on vehicle safety which was developed with the support and advice of the industry. In this ½ hour test you will be required to demonstrate your knowledge and ability in the areas listed below:
• Ability to load the vehicle with due regard for safety rules and proper vehicle use
• Security of the vehicle and contents
• Ability to prevent criminality and trafficking in illegal immigrants
• Ability to assess emergency situations
• Ability to prevent physical risk
• Demonstrate your ability through a physical, walk round vehicle safety check
LGV tests may also use a piece of equipment which will allow you to demonstrate your ability to secure loads. The test consists of 5 topic areas which cover the Driver CPC syllabus and in order to pass the candidate has to score 15 out of a possible 20 points in each topic area (75%) and an overall score of 80%.
Can I take the modules in any order?
You must pass module 1 before you take module 3 and you must pass module 2 before you take module 4. In other words, the theory test must be passed before the practical part. However, modules 1 and 2 (theory) can be taken in either order, as can modules 3 and 4 (practical).
How will I prove I hold Driver CPC?
After you have passed all 4 modules you will be sent a Driver Qualification Card (DQC). There will be no charge for the card at the point of issue. The DQC will be sent to the address on your driving licence. It is important that you keep your details up to date with DVLA. You must carry your DQC whilst driving and there will be penalties if you are
found to be driving professionally without one. If your DQC has been lost, stolen or damaged, you must report it to the DSA as soon as possible and apply for a replacement card. There will be a fee to replace and issue new cards.
Once I have passed my initial qualification, is that it?
No. A Driver CPC lasts for five years. To retain your Driver CPC you will need to complete 35 hours of periodic training every five years to continue to drive professionally.