As we mentioned in our last post, one of the key things you will need to get your LGV license is a Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence). There are a few exceptions of course, but if you are driving a heavy goods vehicle professionally you must hold a valid and up to date Driver CPC. If you don’t, you could be fined up to £1,000. Your Driver CPC must be kept up to date, with medical examinations every 5 years and 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years in order to keep your license valid. But let’s rewind a bit – what is a Driver CPC, and what’s involved in the Driver CPC test?
What Is A Driver CPC?
Under a European Union directive, any professional bus, coach or lorry driver needs to hold a valid Driver CPC license in addition to their vocational and standard driving license. This also applies to any driver of a lorry over 3.5 tonnes or mini busses with 9 seats or more. In order to obtain a Driver CPC license, applicants must complete 4 separate tests to judge their theory and practical capabilities. Drivers who obtained their license before the 10th of September 2009 however don’t need to take the initial qualification. This is because they are deemed to hold ‘acquired rights’. However, they will still have to complete the periodic training and medical checks every 5 years to keep their Driver CPC valid.
Part 1 – Theory
There are 2 parts to the theory section of your Driver CPC – the multiple choice and the hazard perception. These tests are very similar to the standard theory test you take for your basic driver’s license, but with footage and questions applicable to larger vehicles, manoeuvrability and safety. You will be placed in front of a screen and asked to answer questions, with your result being instantly available at the end. Each section can be done separately or at the same time depending on your preference. The multiple choice segment costs £26, and the hazard perception costs £11.
Part 2 – Case Studies
Before you can progress on to the driving ability or practical demonstration sections of the qualification, you need to pass the case study test. This test takes place on a screen as an interactive process. The case study test lasts for 75 minutes and cover 7 key case studies. You are required to answer 50 questions altogether about the 7 case studies. In order to pass this test, you need to score at least 40 out of 50. You are allowed to take a 15-minute practice session before you start to get yourself in the mind-set and used to the programme. The total cost for the case study test is £23.
Part 3 – Driving Ability
This is the first practical part of your Driver CPC testing. By this stage, you should have logged many hours with an instructor learning how to operate and safely drive a HGV. This test will feel a lot like your initial driving test, with an examiner sitting in the vehicle with you giving directions and instructions. This test will assess your practical driving ability with a heavy goods vehicle. The driving ability test costs £115, or £141 on evenings, weekends and bank holidays.
Part 4 – Practical Demonstration
While it may sound like a similar test to the driving ability test, the practical demonstration is more directed towards practical demonstrations of vehicle safety knowledge. During this test you will need to show that you can keep your vehicle and its contents safe and secure. You will be asked about the safe use of your vehicle and what checks need to be made before it can be driven. You will also be asked to demonstrate how to load and unload your vehicle safely and securely. The test will also cover assessing emergencies and risks, as well as checking for risks from criminal acts and trafficking in your vehicle. The test lasts for 30 minutes, and you will need to score at least 80 out of 100 points in order to pass (at least 15 out of 20 for each topic area). The practical demonstration test costs £55, or £63 on evenings, weekends and bank holidays.