Under a EU Directive, professional bus, coach and lorry drivers need to hold a Driver CPC in addition to a vocational driving licence. Any drivers of lorries over 3.5 tonnes and minibuses with 9 seats or more must usually obtain a Driver CPC. See exemptions below.
New drivers obtain their Driver CPC by passing a series of initial qualification tests – theory and practical. This must then be followed by 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years if they want to keep their Driver CPC after that period.
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. This is because they are deemed to hold “grandfather rights”. However, they will still have to complete periodic training to keep their Driver CPC.
New drivers who have qualified via the initial qualification route will receive a Driver Qualification Card (DQC).
Existing drivers with acquired rights will receive their DQC when they have completed their first 35 hours of periodic training. Drivers with licences for both PCV and LGV will be covered by one DQC.