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Ultimate Guide to Driver CPC

What is Driver CPC?

Driver CPC training is a mandatory qualification for professional drivers in the UK. It aims to enhance drivers’ skills and knowledge, covering topics such as road safety, health and safety, and environmental considerations.

Lorry, bus, and coach drivers must complete 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to keep their Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).

Who needs Driver CPC?

Drivers of lorries (over 3.5 tonnes), buses, and coaches must complete Driver CPC training if they drive professionally.

Although most drivers will need to complete and maintain their Driver CPC, there are a small number of exemptions.

You do not need Driver CPC if you’re using the vehicle for:

  • non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods
  • carrying material or equipment you use for your job, as long as driving is less than 30% of your rolling monthly work
  • driving for someone you work for, or your own agriculture, horticulture, forestry, farming or fisheries business, as long as driving is less than 30% of your rolling monthly work
  • driving within 62 miles (100 kilometres) of your base – but the vehicle cannot be carrying passengers or goods, and driving a lorry, bus or coach cannot be your main job
  • driving to or from pre-booked appointments at official vehicle testing centres
  • driving lessons for anyone who wants to get a driving licence or a Driver CPC
  • maintaining public order – and the vehicle is being used or controlled by a local authority
  • rescue missions or in states of emergency

You also do not need Driver CPC if the vehicle is:

  • is being road tested for repair, maintenance or technical development purposes
  • either new or rebuilt and has not yet been taxed
  • being used or controlled by the armed forces, police, fire and rescue service, emergency ambulance service, prison service or people running a prison or young offender institution
  • limited to a top speed of 28mph

Always consult the DVSA if you’re unsure whether you require Driver CPC.


Your Driver CPC qualification lasts for 5 years. All 35 hours of periodic training needs to be completed before your 5 year deadline. It is illegal to drive professionally if your training is not completed by your deadline.

Your deadline will be stated on your CPC card.

If your card has two deadlines (one for lorries, one for buses), complete your training by the earliest deadline. The next card you get will have the same deadline for both.

You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving professionally without Driver CPC.

Drivers with ‘acquired rights’

Having ‘acquired rights’ means that you did not have to take the Driver CPC initial qualification because of your existing driving experience. Acquired rights are given to those who gained their vocational licence before specific dates. Drivers with acquired rights still need to complete periodic training but there are set deadlines.

Visit the GOV website to check if you have acquired rights and what your deadline is.

Training courses

The minimum length of a Driver CPC training course is 7 hours. Drivers can choose to complete the training in one week or take individual courses over a period of time as long as all 35 hours are completed before your 5-year deadline.

You can only take the same course more than once in each 5-year period if you have a good reason to repeat it – for example, maintaining a dangerous goods qualification.
If you do not have a good reason, DVSA can cancel the hours you got from the course. You might lose your Driver CPC card if cancelling the hours takes your total back under 35 hours.

Once you have completed a CPC training course, the training provider must upload this to your CPC training record within 5 days of the course.

You must ensure that bring a photocard drivers licence or CPC card along to each course.

Types of training

There are various Driver CPC training courses you can undertake. At Ouch, we offer the following courses:

The above courses can be delivered face-to-face at your company premises for a maximum of 12 learners per trainer. This is most suitable for larger groups or for those looking to have training delivered to a number of people at the same time. It’s also useful for those that are based further away from our training venues as Ouch can come to your premises on a convenient date for you.


After successfully completing any of our fire safety courses, you will receive a digital certificate.

Your CPC card

If you complete your training in the 12 months before your deadline, you will receive your new CPC card straight away. If you complete your training more than 12 months before your deadline, you won’t receive your new card until closer to your expiry date.

Your CPC card will be sent to the address on your driver’s licence so please ensure this is updated if you move.

Further Information and Guidance

The DVSA and GOV websites provide comprehensive guidance on Driver CPC, including regulations, guidance documents, and frequently asked questions.