What is the Driver CPC? Do I need a CPC?

These are the two most frequently asked questions if you are interested in getting your Lorry or Bus licence.

So you set out on your journey to become a Lorry or a Bus driver, should be easy right? Well, it is! But there is a little more involved than just doing your Multiple choice and Hazard perception theory tests, learning to drive your chosen vehicle and driving test. The CPC !

What is the Driver CPC?

The Driver CPC was introduced in 2008 under a European Union directive. It was bought in to increase Road Safety, Professionalism and Environmental awareness amongst LGV & PCV drivers in the industry. CPC stands for The Certificate of Professional Competence.

Do I need a CPC?

If you will be driving a vehicle that is over 3.5 tonnes or holding over 9 passengers and want to receive payment for doing so, then yes you do need a CPC.

I’ve already passed my Lorry or Bus licence, do I need a CPC?

Bus and coach (PCV) drivers who hold a relevant vocational licence (D, D1, D+E and D1+E) gained before 10 September 2008, (including restricted vocational licence D(101) issued after 1991 and D1(101) issued before 1997) and lorry (LGV) drivers who obtained their licence (C, C1, C+E and C1+E) before 10 September 2009, do not need to take the initial qualification as they are deemed to hold ‘acquired rights‘. What this means is they have already acquired a good level of driving experience. However, they must still complete periodic training to maintain their Driver CPC.

We have made a training video for each the LGV CPC Module 4 & PCV CPC Module 4 that can be found on our YouTube channel!

How do I get my CPC?

If you have passed your chosen Lorry or Bus licence before the dates described above then you have two options. You can choose either to complete the Initial CPC or the Continuation (35 hours). If you are brand new to becoming a professional driver then you can only do the Initial CPC.

Initial CPC vs Continuation/ Periodic (35 hours)


This is the Case study theory test (Module 2) and Module 4 Practical test form of achieving your CPC. The Case study test is multiple choice and is made up of 7 case studies you work through on a computer. The case studies are short stories based on situations that you’re likely to come across in your working life. You’ll then be asked between 6 and 8 multiple-choice questions on each case study.

The test is a maximum of 1 hour and 30 minutes and you need to achieve a pass mark of 40/50! Once passed you have 2 years to complete your Module 4 practical test.

Module 4 Practical- ‘Show me Tell me’

This is with a DVSA examiner and will typically be booked in at the same time as your driving course and test. You’re tested on being able to:

  • load the vehicle following safety rules and to keep it secure
  • stop trafficking in illegal immigrants
  • assess emergency situations
  • reduce physical risks to yourself or others
  • do a walkaround vehicle safety check

The test is made up of these 5 topics from the Driver CPC syllabus. You can score up to 20 points for each topic. To pass you have to score at least 15 out of 20 in each topic area and have an overall score of at least 80 out of 100.

Continuation/ Periodic training (35 hours)

Is predominantly classroom based and involves no actual tests. Each Module is 7 hours. 7 hour Module x 5 = 35 hours! Once you have completed the 35 hours Driver CPC training you are then qualified. This process is simpler with no revision required and good availability across the UK for Driver CPC classroom training. However it requires a full 5 days! So it is up to the individual of whether they would prefer no tests vs 5 days sitting in a classroom where that annual leave could be used elsewhere!

The Continuation/ Periodic training

Once you have received your DQC (Driver Qualification Card) after passing either your Initial or Continuation/ Periodic, your Driver CPC qualification lasts for 5 years, in order to keep your Driver CPC, you must complete 35 hours of training before your 5-year deadline. Not sure how many hours you have completed, have a look on the Government website here.

Exemptions to requiring a CPC

Maybe I don’t need a CPC? What are the Exemptions?

Just because you have your LGV or PCV licence doesn’t necessarily mean you need a CPC. We have a short list below of common exemptions but to see the full list to find out whether you need a CPC or not follow this link to the DVLA website here.

  • Mechanic,
  • School Teacher,
  • Driver Training,
  • Scaffolder,
  • Agriculture
  • Emergency Services
  • Military

What if you are caught driving without a valid CPC?

Rule number one, don’t take the chance! If you are unsure then check the DVLA website. If still unsure, CALL THEM! It is their job to provide you with the right information to help.

If found driving without a valid CPC then it can be up to a £1000 fine. Even if you don’t have your DQC card on you at the time when asked to produce it, it can be a £50 fine. Don’t take the chance!

If you need your CPC, we can help here at National Driving Centre! Give us a call or drop us a message on our ‘Contact Us’ page to speak to one of our friendly team.

We have made a training video for each the LGV CPC Module 4 & PCV CPC Module 4 that can be found on our YouTube channel!

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