Driver CPC

Driver CPC magnifier If you drive a bus, coach or lorry for a living, you must hold a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC).

Driver CPC has been introduced throughout the European Union. Its aim is to maintain high standards of driving and improve road safety. Driver CPC covers anyone who drives buses, coaches and minibuses with nine or more passenger seats, and lorries weighing over 3.5 tonnes, for a living.

To keep your Driver CPC, you will need to do at least 35 hours of periodic training in each five-year period. Periodic training involves attending courses on various aspects of professional driving. 

An individual's circumstances will determine how they acquire the Driver CPC:

  • New drivers who acquire a PCV vocational entitlement (D1, D1+E, D, D+E licence) after the 10th September 2008 and/or an LGV vocational entitlement (C1, C1+E,C or C+E licence) after the 10th September 2009 will have to obtain the Initial Qualification in addition to their licence to drive professionally.
  • New drivers who undertake a National Vocational Training programme are still able to obtain a vocational licence but can defer the Initial Qualification by up to a maximum of one year whilst, still being able to drive professionally. An example of a National Vocational Training programme would be an Apprenticeship in Driving Goods Vehicles. Drivers intending to use this concession will have to register with the Driving Standards Agency.
  • Existing drivers who held a vocational licence prior to the 10th September 2008 (PCV) or the 10th September 2009 (LGV) are exempt from the Initial Qualification. This is known as "acquired rights".

All professional drivers (new and existing drivers) must complete a total of 35 hours Periodic Training every 5 years following their "acquired rights" or Initial Qualification  to keep their Driver CPC valid.  Existing drivers must complete their Periodic Training by September 2013 (PCV) and September 2014 (LGV).


There are a number of Driver CPC exemptions associated with the Directive. These are listed below:

  • Vehicles with a maximum speed not exceeding 45 Kph
  • Vehicles used by or under control of the armed forces, civil defence the fire service and forces responsible for maintaining public order
  • Vehicles undergoing road tests for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes, or of new or rebuilt vehicles which have not yet been put into service
  • Vehicles used in states of emergency or assigned to rescue missions
  • Vehicles used in the course of driving lessons for any person wishing to obtain a driving licence or Driver CPC
  • Vehicles used for non-commercial carriage of passenger or goods – for personal use
  • Vehicles used for carrying material or equipment to be used by the driver in the course of his or her work, providing that driving the vehicle is not the drivers’ principle activity.  

 Ultimately, it is up to the driver and their employer to decide if they are covered by these exemptions, and if necessary, justify it to the competent authority.  Therefore the Drive Shetland would strongly advise that if a driver believes they are exempt from the Driver CPC that they should seek independent legal advice.

Course we currently offer

  • Defensive Driving & Accident Prevention (7 hours)
  • Safe Loading of Vehicles & Daily Walk-Around (7 hours)
  • Risk Assessment for Professional Drivers (7 hours)
  • Customer Care (7 Hours)
  • Manual Handling & Disability Awareness (7 hours)
  • Basic First Aid (7 hours)

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