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Driver CPC Initial Qualifications FAQs



Questions

  1. Are all drivers required to undertake initial qualification?
  2. What does the initial qualification for new drivers involve?
  3. Will there be vocational training schemes such as the City and Guilds or will the Young Driver’s Scheme be introduced in NI?
  4. If someone passes the PCV test after 2008 or the LGV test after 2009 can they drive professionally before they get their CPC?
  5. If you hold a CPC for either category C or D will you need to take the extra parts for the other category?
  6. Do you have to get another CPC to draw a trailer (category E)?
  7. Where can I get study material for the theory test?


Answers

  1. Are all drivers required to undertake initial qualification?

No. If you hold a bus licence prior to 10th September 2008 and a lorry licence prior to 10th September 2009 you will have ‘acquired rights’ which means you will not have to pass the initial qualification. However, you will still be required to complete periodic training every 5 years. This periodic training will consist of 35 hours of training to be taken over the 5 year period and will be in blocks of 7 hours. Drivers with ‘acquired rights’ will be required to complete their first 35 hours of periodic training within the first 5 years following implementation of CPC if they wish to continue to drive professionally.

New drivers who pass their theory and practical driving test after the date of implementation of CPC will be required to complete a CPC theory and practical test. A Driver CPC lasts for 5 years and drivers will need to complete 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to retain their Driver CPC which entitles them to drive professionally.

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  1. What does the initial qualification for new drivers involve?

It will involve 4 hours of theory testing and 2 hours of practical testing.

The Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) are introducing modular tests so that drivers can obtain their driving licence and CPC at the same time. The CPC syllabus covers the additional knowledge a professional driver needs to have; it is not just about practical driving skills.

The Theory test will be in 3 parts:
  • Module 1a - licence acquisition - 100 multiple choice questions;
  • Module 1b - licence acquisition - 19 hazard perception clips;
  • Module 2 - initial driver CPC - 3 case studies.

The 'Case studies' will be designed to suit the profile of the candidate and DVA is meeting both sectors to help develop the new tests. DVA envisages that the questions would be of the format where a situation or scenario was defined for the driver, and they are then asked questions relating to this situation. Case studies wherever possible will use diagrams, pictures and graphics.

The test will be delivered from existing theory test centres and will be screen-based, like the current theory test for driving licence acquisition.

The Practical test will be in 2 parts:
  • Module 3 - licence acquisition - 1.5 hours of on-road practical testing;
  • Module 4 - initial driver CPC - 0.5 hours of practical 'show me, tell me' test using a vehicle.

"The increase in theory test questions and hazard perception clips, and subsequent splitting of the test, will apply to both PCV and LGV test candidates and will be introduced at the end of November 2008".

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  1. Will there be vocational training schemes such as the City and Guilds or will the Young Driver’s Scheme be introduced in NI?

There are currently no vocational training schemes available in NI for LGV or PCV drivers. However the Directive does leave this option open. Setting up such schemes would not come under the scope of the work of DVA – other government agencies and educational bodies might be involved in this.

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  1. If someone passes the PCV test after 2008 or the LGV test after 2009 can they drive professionally before they get their CPC?

No, they cannot drive professionally except in a vehicle covered by an exemption. All new PCV / LGV drivers after 2008/2009 must pass both their driving test and their initial qualification to gain their CPC before they can drive professionally on public roads. Drivers cannot drive any vehicle professionally in any EU member state until this training is fully completed. The only exception to this is attendees of a vocational training scheme. Such drivers will be permitted to drive domestically on restricted journeys while they train for their CPC.

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  1. If you hold a CPC for either category C or D will you need to take the extra parts for the other category?

If you hold a CPC for category C (LGV) and want to drive a category D vehicle (PCV) training is only required on the additional 4 objectives within the Directive’s syllabus that deal only with category D licences. The Directive also sets out shorter course attendance for such drivers for their initial qualification. The situation is the same vice versa

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  1. Do you have to get another CPC to draw a trailer (category E)?

One CPC covers all category C licences (LGV) and the other covers all category D licences (PCV). So if a driver holds a CPC for any of these categories they do not need a further one to draw a trailer for this category. This does not affect their requirement to pass the current driving test for the additional category.

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  1. Where can I get study material for the theory test?

Information on where to obtain study materials can be found at www.dsa.gov.uk (link opens in new window) Training material can also be found at the Stationery Office, 16 Arthur Street, Belfast (Tel: 028 90 238451) or any good bookshop

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