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CPC Training Guide For UK HGV & Bus Drivers

CPC Training

If you’re a professional truck, bus or coach driver in Europe, odds are you’ve heard about the Driver CPC training. To be fair, you have to because you can’t drive for pay without a Driver CPC. However, if you’re planning to become a professional driver and have some questions on this topic, you’re in the right place. Keep reading, as we cover everything you need to know about this training.

What Is CPC Training?

CPC training is a mandatory training programme for people who drive minibuses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles (HGV) for a living in Europe. The training focuses on enhancing road safety by keeping drivers’ knowledge and skills up-to-date while ensuring they’re fit to operate these large vehicles safely. Since the Driver CPC is an ongoing requirement, professional drivers who have obtained the certificate have to undergo routine training to keep it.

See here for our detailed guide on heavy goods vehicles and what qualifies as one.

Categories Of Driver CPC Training

Semi Trailer Truck On The Highway

Now let’s get into the categories of the Driver CPC training. This training is divided into two parts.

Initial Training

The initial CPC training, also known as the CPC test, comprises four modules. You’ll need to complete all four modules to secure your Driver Qualification Card (DQC) or CPC card and drive professionally. The first module is a theory test with multiple-choice questions and a hazard perception test, while the second is based on case studies. The third and final modules are practical tests focusing on driving ability and safety.

Continuation/Periodic Training

After securing your CPC by passing the initial training, the Driver CPC periodic training begins. The thing is your Driver Certificate of Professional Competence is slated to expire and you will lose your Driver Qualification Card after five years unless you complete 35 hours of training within that period. This training is usually split into shorter seven-hour sessions, spread over five years and can usually be taken in the form of online courses or in-person training.

This Driver CPC training mainly covers subjects relevant to the professional HGV, bus and coach driving industries. Common topics covered in the training include:

  • Road safety and driving regulations
  • Health and Safety
  • Environmental awareness
  • Customer service
  • Vehicle systems and safe operation
  • First aid

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) oversees the Driver CPC periodic training in the UK, so you must be registered under a DVSA-approved training centre. This training centre keeps records of your completed training sessions and reports to the DVSA to update your qualification status. You also maintain the responsibility of checking your CPC status to see that it has been updated.

Aside from the CPC certification, see the licence requirement for 7.5t lorry.

How Much Is CPC Training?

White Bus On City Streets

The CPC training costs around £200 on average, but the exact amount depends on the training centre. Most training centres charge per Driver CPC course and each course, usually seven hours long, costs around £40.

To complete the five seven-hour modules for a total of 35 hours, you’ll have to spend around £200. In addition to the Driving CPC periodic training, you also have to take the cost of the initial training or CPC test into account if you don’t already have a DQC, and this will set you back about £300.

How Do I Get My First CPC Card?

To get your first CPC card, you need to complete the initial qualification process, which includes the four modules of Driver CPC tests. Use your driving licence to apply for the test and after completing them, the DVSA will send you your first CPC card. The CPC card or DQC should arrive via mail within 20 working days. Keep in mind that the DVSA sends it to the address on your driving licence, so make sure to update this address first.

Benefits of Driver CPC Training

We already know Driver CPC training helps professional drivers maintain their DQC, but what are the other benefits?

  • Enhanced skills and knowledge: For one, the Driver CPC training helps you better understand road safety and driving techniques that can reduce the risk of accidents. The training also helps you stay up-to-date on driving laws.
  • Environmental awareness: The CPC training also includes courses on eco-friendly driving, which helps reduce environmental impact when driving and lower fuel costs.
  • Health and well-being: Physical and mental health aren’t left out. CPC courses also teach drivers how to better manage fatigue and stress. On top of that, there’s also basic first aid training, which can be useful in emergencies.
  • Law compliance: Having and maintaining your CPC keeps you compliant with the law and helps you avoid penalties. Driving without a valid Driver CPC in the UK is illegal and you may be fined up to £1,000.

Challenges and Criticisms Associated With CPC Training

As beneficial as the Driver CPC training is, it’s not without its flaws. This programme faces a few challenges and criticisms from drivers, employers and the driving industry in general.

  • Cost: There’s the talk of cost. Both the initial and periodic training can be expensive for self-employed drivers.
  • Time commitment: Dedicating 35 hours to the Driver CPC periodic training every five years can be a lot, especially if you have a busy schedule.
  • Repetitive: Some drivers may find the training repetitive or generic. This is particularly a problem if you’ve completed the 35-hour training in multiple five-year periods.
  • Limited focus on practical skills: Some drivers may have concerns that the Driver CPC course is more theoretical than practical, leaving them unprepared for real-world situations.

Factors To Consider When Choosing CPC Training Provider

Lorries Moving On A Wet Road

Despite the criticism, the CPC remains beneficial and it is also mandatory, so if you must do it, your focus should be on choosing the right training provider. Here are some factors to consider before doing that:

  • Accreditation: Before anything else, you have to be sure that your chosen training provider is approved by the DVSA. This guarantees that the training meets regulatory standards and that you’re not wasting your time or money.
  • Driver CPC course content and relevance: Next, check to see that the training covers the specific modules required for your Driver CPC qualification.
  • Trainer experience: You’d also want to pay attention to the trainer’s experience. If you can, it’s best to opt for trainers with experience and a track record of delivering successful CPC training.
  • Cost: Your budget also matters. Compare costs from different providers to see which is best. Ensure any provider you choose offers clear and transparent pricing.

Hire a 26-tonne lorry from SDVH today for highly demanding cargo transport needs. For passenger transportation, we offer a spacious 17-seater minibus hire.

Frequently Asked Questions

Driver CPC is a driving qualification for anyone who drives heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches for a living in the UK and European Union. The certification, also known as the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence, includes Driver CPC training courses and tests aimed at ensuring professional drivers are competent and have great knowledge about their duties.

A Driver Qualification Card lasts five years. You get the Driver Qualification Card, also known as DQC or CPC card, after passing the initial CPC training. This card is only valid for a limited time and to maintain its validity and continue to drive professionally, you need to complete 35 hours of periodic training every five years.

You can find Driver CPC training courses through DVSA-approved providers. The DVSA website provides a list of approved training centres and courses. You can search for accredited providers and find details about available courses. These CPC courses are not to be passed or failed but rather to keep your skills up-to-date.

Yes, you can take the Driver CPC training online, but before you do so, make sure the online course meets the specific requirements for your Driver CPC qualification. It’s also worth noting that not all modules may be available online. Some require in-person attendance for practical elements. There’s also the fact that online Driver CPC courses may not be suitable for everyone, so make sure you have the necessary self-discipline and access to a stable internet connection before signing up.

If you fail a CPC test, you have to retake it. Sadly, CPC tests have pass marks, which you must attain to be successful. You’ll usually receive a score report showing where you have underperformed, which makes it easy to prepare for the retake. You can book another test immediately if you fail but you’ll have to wait another three days before retaking it.


There’s everything you need to know about CPC training. From the initial tests to the periodic Driver CPC course, training never ends with the CPC. Thankfully, this article helps you be better prepared. The most important thing is to be sure you’re training with a DVSA-approved provider. The provider should be able to guide you through other details.

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