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Driver Certificate of Professional Competence
A new qualification for professional bus, coach and lorry drivers - the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC)



Driver CPC for bus, coach and lorry drivers

A new qualification for professional bus, coach and lorry drivers - the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) is coming. In future, just holding a vocational driving licence will not be sufficient for someone who wishes to drive these vehicles for a living.

The Driving Standards Agency is taking the lead in implementing EU Directive 2003/59 which requires all professional bus, coach and lorry drivers to hold a Driver CPC in addition to their vocational driving licence. It comes into force across all European Union member states on:

10 September 2008 for bus and coach drivers

10 September 2009 for lorry drivers

In order to maintain their Driver CPC, all category C and D licence holders (including C, C1, C1E and D, D1, DE, D1E) will be required to undertake 35 hours Periodic Training every 5 years.

Driver CPC also introduces a new Initial Qualification for drivers entering the industries after these September dates which they must complete in order to drive professionally.

The main aim behind Driver CPC is to improve road safety; providing better qualified drivers to help reduce road casualties. Driver CPC should also bring an improved professional and positive image to the industries, attracting more people to drive buses, coaches and lorries for a living. It is aimed not only at improving the knowledge and skills of LGV and PCV drivers when they first start work, but also ensuring those skills are maintained and developed throughout the driver’s working life.

The DSA is working closely with trade associations for the freight, bus and coach industries, the Sector Skills Councils and other government agencies to ensure Driver CPC is implemented in a way that suits the needs of the industries.

Please Note:

Any lorry of 3.5 tons and upwards and minibuses with 9 seats or more are covered by Driver CPC.



Driver CPC will enable young people to enter these sectors in a safe and professional manner, from 18 years of age, subject to any licence restrictions for category D drivers (see ‘Minimum ages’ section under Driver CPC evidencing, enforcement and exemptions).

The existing ‘Transport Manager’s CPC’ also known as the ‘Operator’s CPC’ is a separate qualification and anyone holding one, who still drives professionally as part of their job, will also need to hold a Driver CPC.




Driver CPC syllabus 2 and 3

Driver CPC applies to drivers of vehicles on roads open to the public and for which a driving licence in any of the following categories is required:

i. C1, C1 + E, C or C + E

ii. D1, D1 + E, D or D + E

All drivers of the above categories who are either:

i. nationals of an EU member state or

ii. nationals of a non-EU member state but who are employed or used by an organisation based in an EU member state

will have to hold Driver CPC if they wish to drive professionally.

Driver CPC Syllabus 1
Both the initial qualification and periodic training for Driver CPC will be based on the same syllabus.

The syllabus has three main subject areas. These are:

• Advanced training in rational driving based on safety regulations

• Application of regulations

• Health, road and environmental safety, service, logistics

Periodic training should revise and expand on the subjects and should suit the needs of the driver at that time.

For the initial qualification, a test plan has been developed that shows in which module the various syllabus areas will be tested (See link to PDF at bottom of the page).

Advanced training in rational driving based on safety regulations
All licences
1.1 Objective: to know the characteristics of the transmission system in order to make the best possible use of it:

• curves relating to torque, power, and specific consumption of an engine, area of optimum use of revolution counter, gearbox-ratio cover diagrams

1.2 Objective: to know the technical characteristics and operation of the safety controls in order to control the vehicle, minimise wear and tear and prevent disfunctioning:

• specific features of hydraulic vacuum servobrake circuit, limits to the use of brakes and retarder, combined use of brakes and retarder, making better use of speed and gear ratio, making use of vehicle inertia, using ways of slowing down and braking on downhill stretches, action in the event of failure

1.3 Objective: ability to optimise fuel consumption:

• optimisation of fuel consumption by applying know-how as regards points 1.1 and 1.2

Licences C, C+E, C1, C1+E
1.4 Objective: ability to load the vehicle with due regard for safety rules and proper vehicle use:

• forces affecting vehicles in motion, use of gearbox-ratios according to vehicle load and road profile, calculation of payload of vehicle or assembly, calculation of total volume, load distribution, consequences of overloading the axle, vehicle stability and centre of gravity, types of packaging and pallets; main categories of goods needing securing, clamping and securing techniques, use of securing straps, checking of securing devices, use of handling equipment, placing and removal of tarpaulins

Licences D, D+E, D1, D1+E
1.5 Objective: ability to ensure passenger comfort and safety:

• adjusting longitudinal and sideways movements, road sharing, position on the road, smooth braking, overhang operation, using specific infrastructures (public areas, dedicated lanes), managing conflicts between safe driving and other roles as a driver, interacting with passengers, the needs of certain groups of passengers (disabled persons, children)

1.6 Objective: ability to load the vehicle with due regard for safety rules and proper vehicle use:

• forces affecting vehicles in motion, use of gearbox-ratios according to vehicle load and road profile, calculation of payload of vehicle or assembly, load distribution, consequences of overloading the axle, vehicle stability and centre of gravity;

Syllabus 2
Application of regulations

All licences

2.1 Objective: to know the social environment of road transport and the rules governing it:

• maximum working periods specific to the transport industry; principles, application and consequences of Regulations (EEC) No’s 3820/85 and 3821/85; penalties for failure to use, improper use of and tampering with the tachograph; knowledge of the social environment of road transport: rights and duties of drivers as regards initial qualification and periodic training;

Licences C, C+E, C1, C1+E
2.2 Objective: to know the regulations governing the carriage of goods:

• transport operating licences, obligations under standard contracts for the carriage of goods, drafting of documents which form the transport contract, international transport permits, obligations under the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road, drafting of the international consignment note, crossing borders, freight forwarders, special documents accompanying goods;

Licences D, D+E, D1, D1+E
2.3 Objective: to know the regulations governing the carriage of passengers:

• carriage of specific groups of passengers, safety equipment on board buses, safety belts, vehicle load;

Syllabus 3
Health, road and environmental safety, service, logistics
All licences


3.1 Objective: to make drivers aware of the risks of the road and of accidents at work:

• types of accidents at work in the transport sector, road accident statistics, involvement of lorries/coaches/buses, human, material and financial consequences;

3.2 Objective: ability to prevent originality and trafficking in illegal immigrants:

• general information, implications for drivers, preventive measures, check list, legislation on transport operator liability;

3.3 Objective: ability to prevent physical risks:

• ergonomic principles; movements and postures which pose a risk, physical fitness, handling exercises, personal protection;

3.4 Objective: awareness of the importance of physical and mental ability:

• principles of healthy, balanced eating, effects of alcohol, drugs or any other substance likely to affect behaviour, symptoms, causes, effects of fatigue and stress, fundamental role of the basic work/rest cycle;

3.5 Objective: ability to assess emergency situations:

• behaviour in an emergency situation: assessment of the situation, avoiding complications of an accident, summoning assistance, assisting casualties and giving first aid, reaction in the event of fire, evacuation of occupants of a lorry/bus/coach passengers, ensuring the safety of all passengers, reaction in the event of aggression; basic principles for the drafting of an accident report;

3.6 Objective: ability to adopt behaviour to help enhance the image of the company:

• behaviour of the driver and company image: importance for the company of the standard of service provided by the driver, the roles of the driver, people with whom the driver will be dealing, vehicle maintenance, work organisation, commercial and financial effects of a dispute;

Licences C, C+E, C1, C1+E
3.7 Objective: to know the economic environment of road haulage and the organisation of the market:

• road transport in relation to other modes of transport (competition, shippers), different road transport activities (transport for hire or reward, own account, auxiliary transport activities), organisation of the main types of transport company and auxiliary transport activities, different transport specialisations (road tanker, controlled temperature, etc.), changes in the industry (diversification of services provided, rail-road, subcontracting, etc.);

Licences D, D+E, D1, D1+E
3.8 Objective: to know the economic environment of the carriage of passengers by road and the organisation of the market:

• carriage of passengers by road in relation to other modes of passenger transport (rail, private car), different activities involving the carriage of passengers by road, crossing borders (international transport), organisation of the main types of companies for the carriage of passengers by road.