CPC - Certificate of Professional Competence
To each his own?

The letters CPC stand for Certificate of Professional Competence.


Professional drivers of large vehicles are considered to have increased responsibilities regarding their fellow road users. When driving a passenger-carrying vehicle, you are responsible for not only yourself, but also for those travelling on your vehicle, as well as those around you on the road. You will be expected to set an example and demonstrate skill in handling your vehicle while anticipating the actions of non-professional drivers around.

It is a new qualification that all professional coach and bus drivers in the EU will have to get in addition to their driving license. The aim of the qualification is to raise the bar for standards in the industry by improving the knowledge and skills of PCV drivers, both before they start their profession and throughout their career.

The EU Directive passed in 2003 aims to

  • Improve road safety and reduce casualties
  • Assist the transport industry with recruiting and retaining better qualified staff
  • Obtain more economical vehicle usage and reduce the environmental effects
  • Update existing professional drivers on changes in legislation

Implementation will take place across the entire EU, but the timing and specific way of introduction varies between the member states. This site focuses on the implementation in the UK.With the Initial test, the Periodic Training and now also the Operator’s License being re-branded as Management CPC, it is easy to lose track of what’s what and which one applies to you.

Who needs what?

Initial test: all new drivers undertake it as part of their vocational license.

Periodic Training: for all professional drivers; a total of 35 hours of approved training needs to be completed over 5 years.

Transport Management CPC: replaces what was called the national and international operator’s license for operators and Transport Managers.

What does it cover?

The scheme aims to improve road safety by looking at the various elements that are part of a professional driver’s job:

  • eco-safe and fuel efficient driving
  • defensive driving techniques
  • health and safety
  • loading a vehicle safely
  • driving regulations
  • complying with relevant rules and regulations such as driver's hours
  • being aware of the risks on the road and accidents at work
  • first aid

There is no test involved with the periodic training, which makes many operators question the usefulness of the current scheme. It is indeed easy to pick just any training, whether it applies to your situation or not, as long as it comes cheap and it signs off on the 7 hours at the end of the day.

Especially drivers and operators who have been in the business for many years feel like there is little left for them to learn. Legislation is however changing continually. In the past year, we saw increased VOSA powers to hand out fixed penalties, a new Passenger Bill of Rights, a tightening of the Corporate Manslaughter Bill and a major change to the operator licensing to name just a few.

All in all, enough new material to warrant 1 day a year to update yourself!


Return from CPC to Driver CPC


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Coach drivers have great responsibilities

Coach drivers have great responsibilities.

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VOSA has increased powers to issue fixed penalties

VOSA has increased powers to hand out fixed penalties.

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Driver Qualification Card is part of mandatory documentatio

Driver Qualification Card now part of required documents for professional drivers.