CPC Training

What is CPC Training and do I need it? People new to HGV driving often ask What is CPC? This page aims to answer any questions about CPC you may have, such as What is CPC? Do I need CPC? Or What is a CPC Card?

What is CPC?

The Driver CPC (which stands for Driver Certificate of Professional Competence) is a qualification required by anyone wanting to drive an HGV, Bus or coach, professionally.
You must have Driver CPC if you drive an HGV, LGV, coach or bus for a living. You must maintain your CPC by taking 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years.

It was brought in to improve driving standards and road safety. It ensures that the driver is up to date with all health, safety and legal requirements.

It is a legal requirement for most Category C or D licence holders, but there are some exceptions, which are outlined later.

New drivers who pass the initial qualification will obtain a DQC (Driver Qualification Card, otherwise known as a CPC Card). There are 2 types of Driver CPC – Initial Driver CPC, and Driver CPC Periodic training.

It is illegal to drive professionally without CPC, and you can be fined up £1000 for driving without it.

CPC Training Courses

initial cpc

Drivers CPC Initial Qualification
If you are driving for personal use you will not have to complete the Initial CPC Qualification.

If you passed your car test before Jan 1997 and have ‘Grandfather’ rights for a C1 vehicle, you DON’T need to do this. If you passed your Category C1, C or C+E test before Sept 2009, you DON’T need to do this.

Everyone else MUST do this. If you are required to do the Initial Qualification and you FAIL to do it, you are DRIVING ILLEGALLY and can have your licence revoked / face fines or imprisonment.

periodic cpc

Periodic CPC Training
To be completed after the Initial Qualification and is the drivers’ responsibility to ensure it’s done.

Consists of 35 Hours classroom retraining every 5 years (7 hours per year). If you fail to complete your 35 hours at the end of the 5 year period, your licence will become INVALID until the hours are completed.

If you passed your Category C, C1 or C+E test before Sept 2009, you have until Sept 2014 to complete this requirement. All other drivers will have 5 years to complete this from the date of their Module 4 pass.

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What is Initial CPC?

Initial Driver CPC is required for newly qualified drivers, and non-compulsory for those with ‘acquired rights.’ Initial driver CPC can only be done as your first DQC (Driver Qualification Card).

It is made up of 2 sections with tests, which must both be passed in order to obtain your CPC card.

If you’re new to HGV driving, you will go through a full training programme which is split into 4 parts. These are made up of Theory and Practical side of HGV Training and tests, and these both include initial CPC modules. If you are looking to drive professionally, you’ll need to complete all 4 sections.

If you’re looking to drive for personal reasons (ie horsebox driving) you should not need the CPC qualification, and will only need to complete parts 1 and 3. There are other exemptions, which are outlined below.

By completing all 4 sections, you will gain full Driver CPC at the same time as gaining your HGV driving licence.

The 4 sections are:
module one theory test

Driver CPC Theory
1. Module One – Theory test

This is made up of 2 parts:

  1. Multiple choice: this has 100 questions and lasts around 2 hours. Current pass rate for this is around 85%.
  2. Hazard perception: candidates are presented with a sequence of 19 videos, and each hazard noted is worth 5 points maximum. The pass mark is 67%.

2. Module Two – Case studies

This is an online test, which presents around 7 case studies that represent likely scenarios as an HGV driver. Each scenario has related multiple-choice questions.

The pass mark is 80% and the entire test lasts less than 2 hours.

moduel three practical test

Practical Tests
3. Module Three – Practical test

Practical test for Licence acquisition; as per a car practical test; this is to test your driving ability and includes practical road driving, off road driving, and vehicle safety questions.

It lasts approx. 90 minutes.

4. Module Four – Driver CPC Practical test

This is a practical test which involves the driver demonstrating and explain various operations, besides driving. For example:

  1. emergency processes
  2. loading correctly
  3. vehicle safety check demonstration.
module four driver cpc practical test

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What is Periodic CPC?

Periodic CPC Training is for professional, established HGV drivers. Once you have obtained your Initial Driver CPC, you are required by law to maintain it by taking 35 hours Periodic Training, every 5 years.

It was introduced in 2008 as a legally required ‘Continual Professional Development’ and should reflect the type of work you as a professional HGV driver undertake, to ensure your skills and knowledge are current and up to date.

In order to maintain the DQC or CPC card, you’re required by law to complete 35 hours of Driver CPC Training over the course of 5 years.

This can be taken all together or broken up into single days.

Driver CPC Periodic Training includes varying aspects of commercial HGV driving and training modules must be approved by the governing body – JAUPT, plus the DVSA. Make sure any provider you use is JAUPT Approved.

Most providers should now offer Online CPC, meaning that you can keep your CPC updated from your own home. This has been very well received by the HGV driving community and feedback has been generally good – make sure that the provider you choose has good feedback for their online course offering.

Anyone can check the status of their Driver CPC Periodic Training at

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When is my Driver CPC due?

Existing HGV drivers who qualified before 2009 must complete their periodic training during a defined 5-year Training cycle.
when is my driver cpc due

The current cycle started 2019 and is due to finishes on 9th September 2024.

HGV Drivers who completed their Initial CPC qualification after 10th September 2009 must maintain their training within 5 years, which start on the date of their initial qualification. 

It’s important to make time to schedule in your Driver CPC training over the five-year period – driving without valid CPC is an offence can result in a maximum fine of £1000 for the driver and operator.

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Exemptions from Driver CPC

Do I need CPC? is a question we hear a lot from HGV drivers. We have spoken about horsebox drivers being exempt when driving for personal use, but there are other reasons you may be exempt.

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVLA), you will not need Driver CPC if you’re driving for the following reasons:

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

These examples from the DVLA are a guide to Driver CPC responsibilities, but ultimately only a court can decide on Driver CPC rules. We would always recommend you take legal advice if you are unsure on any aspects of whether you need Driver CPC.

The cost of the Period CPC qualification is dependent on location and school, but we have found the national average to be approximately £350.

The CPC qualification is a legal requirement for anyone looking to drive commercially, in addition to their licence. It ensures that the driver is up to date with all health, safety and legal requirements and is taken in a classroom environment or online, with no test afterwards.

After you have taken your ‘Initial CPC’ qualification, you will need to complete your periodic CPC qualification every 5 years. This amounts to 7 years ‘Classroom’ or ‘remote classroom’ training every year, or 35 hours training in total, over 5 years.

It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure it is done and your licence will be invalid until these hours are done.

Since Covid social distancing measures were introduced, a lot of CPC training is now delivered remotely. This has been well received by HGV drivers, who have enjoyed taking the course from their own homes.

If you are just starting out, and looking to drive an HGV commercially, you will need to take your Initial CPC Qualification.

After you have taken your ‘Initial CPC’ qualification, you will need to complete your periodic CPC qualification every 5 years. This amounts to 7 years ‘Classroom’ or ‘remote classroom’ training every year, or 35 hours training in total, over 5 years.

Some exemptions apply:

  • If you passed your car test before Jan 1997, you will have ‘Grandfather rights’ and do not need a CPC qualification to drive a Class 1 vehicle.
  • If you passed a Cat C1, Cat C or C+E test before Sept 2009, you also will not need to take the CPC qualification to drive.
  • If you are driving for personal use, such as driving a horsebox, you do not need a CPC qualification.
  • The gov.uk website outlines all situations where you may be exempt

You’ll get your DCPC (Driver Certificate of Professional Competence) when you have completed your training. You have to carry this card with you while HGV driving professionally, and you have to replace your card if it is stolen or lost. You can be fined up to £1000, if you drive professionally without Driver CPC.

Make sure you update your address with the DVLA if you move to a new house, as new / replacement cards will be sent to the address they have on record.

You can still drive professionally if you’re waiting for your new CPC card to arrive after you’ve completed your periodic training.

After you have taken your ‘Initial CPC’ qualification, most professional drivers will need to complete their periodic CPC every 5 years.

Some exemptions for CPC apply, so make sure you check your circumstances with your training provider before booking. Some exemptions include

  • If you passed your car test before Jan 1997, you will have ‘Grandfather rights’ and do not need a CPC qualification to drive a Class 1 vehicle.
  • If you passed a Cat C1, Cat C or C+E test before Sept 2009, you also will not need to take the CPC qualification to drive.
  • If you are driving for personal use, such as driving a horsebox, you do not need a CPC qualification.
  • If you are carrying material or equipment you need for your work, so long as driving is no greater than “30% of your rolling monthly working time.”

If you are driving for personal use (“non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods”) such as driving a horsebox, you will not need a CPC qualification.

After you have taken your ‘Initial CPC’ qualification, you will need to complete your periodic CPC. This amounts to 7 years training every year, or 35 hours training in total, over 5 years.

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