On 10 September 2008 new legislation came into effect regarding UK bus and coach drivers. On 10 September 2009 this legislation was further extended to include UK lorry drivers. This new legislation is known as Driver CPC or driver certificate of competence and is aimed at improving the standard of professional driving within the UK and the EU, particularly at improving overall safety standards. It is important that all UK bus, coach and lorry drivers familiarise themselves with the new legislation and take the appropriate action to comply with UK law.
The new legislation means that all new professional drivers who pass their respective tests after the aforementioned dates when the new legislation was implemented will have to complete a driver CPC in addition to their vocation drivers’ test. Furthermore, drivers must complete periodic training every five years in order to retain the Driver CPC qualification. This periodic training consists of 35 hours of training over those five years which can be completed at the driver’s convenience. It must be noted that this new legislation is not optional and is now incorporated within UK law.
Since 2008 and 2009 respectively existing bus, coach and lorry drivers have been exempt from periodic training due to ‘acquired rights’. This means that anyone holding a license to drive any of these vehicles professionally prior to the introduction of the new legislation could continue to do so without a Driver CPC. However, current drivers who do not hold a Driver CPC must complete periodic training by new deadlines established by legislation. For PCV license holders this deadline is 10 September 2013 and for LGV license holders this deadline is 10 September 2014. All drivers regardless of previous experience must have completed their periodic Driver CPC training before these deadlines.
The Driver CPC programme is aimed at improving road safety by improving the standards among professional drivers throughout the UK and the EU. By completing periodic training professional drivers refresh the skills and abilities which are essential to their trade. By ensuring that all drivers are evaluated and provided with training every five years the new legislation will improve the standard of professional drivers on UK roads and improve road safety. Due to the number of professional drivers on UK roads every day the Driver CPC programme will not only benefit professional drivers but also the general public.
It is important for all professional drivers to be clear what is required of them in order to comply with Driver CPC regulations. All new drivers must not only complete the appropriate drivers’ test but also must complete the Driver CPC in order to driver professionally. Thereafter, new drivers must complete 35 hours of periodic training every five years. Drivers who were already qualified when the new legislation was introduced must complete periodic training by the deadlines already mentioned. It must be noted that a Driver CPC training course must be completed in order to comply with both UK and EU law.