Driver CPC Training

The Driver CPC Qualification is now a standard part of professional driving when that driving involves operating a lorry, bus, or coach. What is Driver CPC? We will answer that question in more detail as we progress through this guide, but for now it is enough to know that Driver CPC is a set of standards applied to initial driver training and career-long vocational licence holders. It is a set of standards established by the European Union to ensure all professional drivers are both competent and proficient.

CPC certification is now legally required for almost all professional drivers holding Category C or Category D licences. There are some exceptions to the rule, which will be explained later in this guide. Having said that, the government recommends all professional lorry, bus, and coach drivers assume they must have the CPC certification in order to drive legally. Any individual or entity who believes the possibility of an exemption exists should consult with a transport lawyer.

What is Periodic Training

New drivers who completed the initial CPC qualification are presented with a CPC card demonstrating they have met their legal requirements. That card is valid for five years. All drivers licenced prior to 2008/2009 were afforded acquired rights that gave them an additional five years to complete their CPC training. In 2015, all commercial drivers now on the road are expected to have a valid CPC card.

Remedial training, also known as periodic CPC training, is required in order to renew an expiring card every five years. This training is intended to be both professional development and competency training that keeps the professional at the top of their game. It involves 35 hours of classroom work offered through an approved training provider such as JCS Transport Consultancy Ltd.

Remedial training does not have to be orientated to a limited list of just a few topics.  Companies like ours that develop CPC courses are given the flexibility and latitude to custom design training courses to meet the needs of each of our clients. One client may want drivers to be trained in emergency road safety while another may prefer training in the safe transport of petroleum products. There are dozens of options in terms of the topics we can cover, however our primary courses are aligned to the FORS Ethos of Road Safety, Fleet Efficiencies and General Driver Health and Wellbeing.

What Is CPC: Who Needs It

One of the most common questions we get from our students is, “who needs CPC training?” The simple answer for professional lorry, bus, and coach drivers is ‘everyone’. The key word here is ‘professional’.

There are some exceptions to the CPC requirements, which will be discussed later, but most of those exceptions involve non-professionals.

If you drive any of the following as a means of your principal source of income, you must be CPC certified:

  • Articulated lorries
  • Tipper trucks
  • Bin lorries
  • Heavy construction equipment
  • Buses – both regional and local
  • Coaches – both regional and continental.

Furthermore, all operators (i.e., haulage and transport businesses) of HGV and PCV vehicles must also be CPC certified. Their training is slightly different due to their status as operators rather than drivers. However, the differences are minimal for practical purposes.

CPC Certification Exceptions

There are CPC certification exceptions built into the law. These are divided into two basic categories: exceptions for professionals and exceptions for non-professionals. Allow us to explain both.

You may be a professional driver operating a qualifying vehicle under the control of the armed forces, a police agency, a fire service, a civil defence organisation, or another entity tasked with maintaining public order. Such uses of commercial vehicles do not always require CPC certification. Such exceptions are not necessarily uniform, so it is always wise to get legal counsel before claiming one. As for non-professionals, the list of exceptions is quite a bit longer.

You do not need CPC certification under any of the following scenarios:

  • You are driving a minibus with a seating capacity of less than 19, for which you do not need a category C1+ E licence, and for which you receive no remuneration in exchange for your driving
  • You are driving the vehicle for the non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods for your own personal use
  • You are driving a vehicle for the purposes of rescue during states of emergency
  • Your vehicle is being used to transport material or equipment necessary for your work in a job in which driving is not your principal activity
  • You are driving for the purposes of testing a newly developed vehicle or a vehicle under repair
  • You are driving for the purposes of taking lessons or being tested
  • Your vehicle is being driven within 100 km radius of your base and carries no passengers or goods.

The broad-based exemptions are intended to allow limited driving of commercial vehicles by non-professionals without requiring CPC certification. A few examples might help you understand the purpose here.

Let us assume you are a former HGV driver who retired prior to 2009, planning to rent an HGV to move house. Because the rental vehicle will be used to transport your own goods, for personal use, you would not need to be CPC certified to operate the lorry for house moving. You could not do the same on behalf of someone else, however.

A second example is that of the farmer who may use commercial vehicles to transport materials and equipment necessary for farming. Because the individual’s principal activity is not professional driving, CPC certification would not be needed to transport his or her equipment. The exemption does not apply to things such as transporting cattle to auction. Why? Because the carriage of cattle is a direct money-making enterprise rather than an indirect means of completing one’s primary work.

A third example applies directly to HGV mechanics. And, in fact, this exemption was inserted specifically to help mechanics. They are allowed to drive commercial vehicles they are repairing for the purposes of testing or delivery. They do not need CPC certification.

We hope all of the information provided in this guide answers the question, “what is CPC and who needs it?” 

We have attempted to be as thorough as possible without giving you information that may be potentially inaccurate. We remind all of our readers that the regulations surrounding commercial driving are subject to routine changes. While we make every effort to ensure the information in our guides is completely up to date, there may be times when we have not yet caught up with regulatory changes here on our website.

Rest assured that even if the material in our guides is outdated, all of our training programmes are in full compliance with regulations at all times. We make a point to stay abreast of the regulations in order to ensure all of our drivers receive the training required to remain in compliance. We take great pride in the accuracy and completeness of the training programmes we offer.

JCS Transport is your one-stop training solution for all periodic CPC training.  What is the CPC if not an opportunity for us to help you become the most competent and proficient driver you can be?

Current courses we deliver

Staying Legal

The Staying Legal course is designed to inform all HGV drivers of the requirements to remain compliant when driving an HGV commercially on public roads. The learning aims are to raise the overall HGV compliance standards, along with the protection of the actual Operators Licence. Staying Legal is fully Driver CPC accredited and amounts to a seven-hour Driver CPC training module, towards a driver’s graduated total.

The course syllabus includes the following topics:

  • Operator licensing requirements
  • A regulatory framework that governs the road transport industry
  • Enforcement agencies that police non-compliant operations
  • Enforcing regulations – the targeting methods used and the common offences
  • Driver offences and the consequences of non-compliance
  • A compliant driver
  • A compliant vehicle
  • A compliant journey
  • Industry-led initiatives to reduce Work Related Road Risk (WRRR)

LO-City Driving

LoCITY Driving is a classroom-based course that focuses on minimising the environmental impact of vans and HGVs by reducing emissions through the use of pre-journey planning and vehicle checks, fuel-efficient driving, and alternative fuels. The seven-hour CPC-accredited course which is aimed at drivers gives attendees the knowledge and skills needed to cut costs and minimise the environmental impact of fleet operations.

The course was also the recipient of the prestigious Education in Transport award at the 2017 National Courier Awards for “demonstrating a commitment to education for the advancement of those working in the express industry”.

The course covers the following topics:

  • The relationship between driving style, fuel consumption and environmental impact
  • How regular maintenance and vehicle checks can cut costs and emissions
  • Fuel efficient driving techniques
  • Use of in-vehicle technology to improve fuel economy
  • Benefits of journey planning
  • Alternative fuels in commercial vehicles

Safe Urban Driving

Safe Urban Driving (SUD) is essential training for all commercial drivers operating HGVs regularly in the urban environment and where there are high volumes of vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians.  SUD Training is Driver CPC accredited and fully aligned to meet the requirements of:

  • Work Related Road Risk (WRRR)
  • Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) Silver level
  • Construction Logistics & Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) Standard

SUD is delivered in two sections, a classroom theory module and a practical cycling module, where drivers experience a cyclist’s view of the road. The two modules are delivered on the same day, and courses are run around the country by a number of training providers

This course is DCPC approved by licensed training providers and runs for seven hours in accordance with periodic training regulations.  Drivers attending this course will need to be physically able to ride a bicycle in order to complete the course and receive a certificate.

Theory content:

  • The changing streetscape and the urban environment
  • Vulnerable road users and sharing the road safely
  • Defensive driving techniques and understand vehicle safety equipment and how to maintain its effectiveness

Practical content:

  • Exchanging places, driver attitude and perception
  • Introduction to active travel, driver fitness and health
  • Hazard recognition: understanding the issues faced by vulnerable road users

Truck Smart

TruckSmart driver training is a seven-hour training course for all commercial HGV drivers, with a supporting toolkit for Fleet Managers equipping them with the knowledge and skills to operate and manage safe and roadworthy vehicles. To view all funded dates available, please scroll down the page.

TruckSmart focuses on the importance of driving roadworthy HGVs and the role of the driver in ensuring that vehicles and loads are safe and legal at all times. Alongside TruckSmart driver training, there is an eLearning module. The accompanying TruckSmart Fleet Manager Toolkit provides tools, guidance and resources for managers looking to develop and implement an HGV safety system within their organisation. TruckSmart tracks a series of five themes. These five simple messages are echoed throughout both the TruckSmart training course and the accompanying fleet manager toolkit.

They are:


  • Know it: a safe vehicle matters
  • Check it: walk around before, during and after journeys
  • Load it: plan and position your load safely
  • Secure it: secure your load correctly
  • Report it: record problems and take action