After Brexit, why do we still have the CPC?

The CPC was first put in place by the European Union in 2009. It is designed as a regulation to enhance road safety and ensure professional standards across the continent. Although the UK is no longer part of the EU, the CPC has remained a requirement within the British HGV licence testing process. So, why is this the case? After Brexit, does the UK really require the driver CPC and is it worthwhile? 

What is the initial CPC?

The CPC qualification focuses on both theoretical knowledge and practical skills which are essential for the safety, efficiency, and compliance of professional road transport activities. The CPC is an official qualification that all professional HGV drivers need to have. It’s part of the testing process to gain your initial licence, and is an ongoing requirement you need to continue driving professionally.

Test Process

The initial CPC qualification is gained as part of passing all the parts of your HGV driving test. Parts 2 and 4 are specific to the CPC, but you will need to pass all of the parts below to gain your drivers licence and initial CPC. 

  • Theory (part 1) – Hazard perception and multiple choice. You can begin studying before you receive your provisional licence and your pass certificate is valid for 2 years. 
  • Case studies (part 2) – Again, you have 2 years to complete the practical parts of the test after this additional theory based test. 
  • Off road exercises (part 3a) – This tests your knowledge of the vehicle and lasts around 30 minutes. You must have passed part 2 before you can take this test.
  • On road driving (part 3b) – You must have passed part 3a before moving on to this part. It involves safety questions and around an hour of driving.
  • Practical demonstration (part 4) – This is the most intensive test and covers 5 areas of the CPC syllabus. 

What is the DQC?

Your driver qualification card, or DQC, is the proof that you have completed the required initial CPC tests, and then maintained your CPC as below. Professional drivers should carry their DQC at all times when working. You may incur a £50 fixed penalty for driving professionally without your card. If a card gets lost or damaged, you must apply to replace it immediately which will cost £25. You can, however, carry on driving professionally while you wait for the replacement to arrive.

What is periodic CPC?

Periodic CPC training is an ongoing requirement for learning which involves 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years. This training can be in person or online, and covers updated topics, skills, and legislation for professional HGV drivers. If you fail to complete the 35 hours and continue driving you can incur up to a £1000 fine. 

Why does the UK still use CPC?

The initial CPC qualification gives drivers their DQC, and validity of this card is maintained through periodic CPC training. Since a DQC is required across Europe, it makes sense to maintain the consistency of this professional standard. But it’s more than just a pragmatic piece of legislation. There are actually many practical benefits to the CPC.

Professional Development

The topics covered in CPC periodic training are as diverse as they are relevant. Subjects range from defensive driving and emergency protocols to fuel-efficient techniques and the latest on legislation and compliance. Each module provides insights and tools that not only make drivers better at their job but also more able to develop and progress in their career.


Disciplines such as load security, first aid, and health and safety are not just part of the CPC curriculum; they are integral to maintaining a secure work environment. With a proactive stance on safety, drivers help to reduce accidents and injuries on the job, contributing to a positive safety record for both the individual driver and their company.

Vehicle technology

Technology within vehicle operation is developing at speed. Understanding and using up to date tools allows drivers to work smarter, not harder. By staying ahead of the technological curve, drivers can manage their time, resources, and safety protocols with greater clarity and efficiency, ultimately delivering a higher level of service to their customers.

Environmental impact

Encompassing subjects like reducing CO2 emissions, optimising vehicle performance, and the operation of low-emission zones, this training equips drivers to contribute positively to environmental initiatives. In doing so, they not only fulfil their legal obligations but also play a part in contributing to a greener, more sustainable industry.

Improved productivity

CPC is important for businesses as well as individuals. This means that it makes sense for an employer to invest in their drivers. Well-trained drivers require fewer resources to do their jobs effectively and are critical in reducing downtime due to accidents or vehicle maintenance issues. In essence, periodic CPC training is a business enabler. It enhances drivers’ abilities, making them more reliable, efficient, and productive members of logistics teams.

Personal development

Beyond the corporate benefits, CPC training can have a profound impact on the personal development of HGV drivers. Personal growth translates into a more fulfilled life and a sense of professional pride. Drivers who invest in their personal development tend to be happier in their jobs, leading to higher job satisfaction and freedom to enjoy the road!

The role of a training provider

From initial qualification to ongoing training, the CPC is more than a ‘tick box’ exercise. When you work with an HGV training provider, the management of your CPC is smoother and more comprehensive. At HGV Training, we support our drivers throughout their training and beyond. We want our drivers to understand the possibilities that CPC opens up for them. We strive to provide accessible, quality, affordable CPC training. So with the foundation of knowledge and on the pulse updates, our CPC training process gives drivers additional value that sees them beyond the most basic of EU requirements. 

While the initial implementation of the CPC process was part of EU legislation, it’s important to see the benefits of maintaining this framework. Since logistics is a very specific industry that works across borders, it makes sense to maintain a common standard. To begin or continue your CPC training with the help of our experts at HGV Training, just get in touch.