Driver CPC: what it is

You must have a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) before you can drive a large- or medium-sized goods vehicle for a living.

The Driver CPC test has 4 modules

Driver CPC modules and cost
1a Multiple choice £26
1b Hazard perception £11
2 Case studies £23
3a Off-road exercises up to £40
3b On-road driving £115 weekdays (£141 other)
4 Practical demonstration £55 weekdays (£63 other)

Module 1 CPC theory test

Resources - CPC theory

Module 2 CPC case studies

  • 7 case studies (short stories based on situations)
  • 50 questions (6-8 multiple choice questions on each)
  • You have 1 hour 15 minutes
  • questions may be single response, multiple response, audio or click on a hot-spot
  • Score at least 40 out of 50 to pass

Resources - Case studies

You do not need to pass the Driver CPC Part 1 theory test before you book Part 2.

If you're re-qualifying contact DVSA to book Parts 2 and 4.

Module 3 CPC driving ability

Part 3a: Off-road exercises

  • Lasts up to 30 minutes
  • Includes an ‘S’ shaped reverse into a bay
  • Show uncoupling and recoupling procedure (if taking a test with a trailer)

Part 3b: On-road driving

  • Vehicle safety questions (see GOV.UK 'show me, tell me' links below)
  • 1 hour of driving including 10 minutes of independent driving

Resources - CPC driving ability

Module 4 CPC demonstration test

The test covers 5 topics from the CPC syllabus

  • Score at least 15 out of 20 for each topic
  • Score at least 80 out of 100 to pass

You’re tested on being able to

  • load the vehicle following safety rules and to keep it secure
  • stop trafficking in illegal immigrants
  • assess emergency situations
  • reduce physical risks to yourself or others
  • do a walkaround vehicle safety check

When you've passed all 4 modules

You’ll receive a Driver Qualification Card (DQC) which you must carry with you whenever you’re driving an HGV.

Acquired rights

If you’re already a professional driver, you may have ‘acquired rights’ to the CPC (see GOV.UK link below) if you got your vocational licence (C, C1, C+E and C1+E) before 10 September 2009.

Having acquired rights does not exempt you from periodic training.

Renewing your DQC

All professional HGV drivers must complete at least 35 hours of approved periodic training every 5 years.

Periodic training covers various aspects of professional driving and is delivered by independent training bodies.

What’s covered in your training is up to you and your employer, but it might include:

  • fuel-efficient driving
  • defensive driving techniques
  • first aid
  • health and safety
  • drivers’ hours regulations
  • using tachographs.

One day’s training every year is ideal. It allows you to respond to each year’s priorities for your own continuing professional development and your employer’s changing business needs.

It can severely impact business planning and keep you off the road if too much of your training is left to the end of your card’s validity period. You also might not be able to find a trainer if demand is high.

It is illegal to drive professionally if you fail to complete your 35 hours periodic training by the deadline.

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