Professional bus and coach drivers have 364 days left to complete their 35 hours of periodic training needed for their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
Driver CPC for bus and coach drivers was introduced on September 10 2008 and was established for HGV drivers three years ago. Under Driver CPC, professional bus, coach and lorry drivers have to complete 35 hours of accredited training every five years. Drivers who acquired their vocational licence before the introduction of Driver CPC have five years from its introduction to complete the required 35 hours. This means the deadline for bus and coach drivers is September 10 2013, and for HGV drivers it is September 2014. If you drive professionally without a Driver CPC, you will be committing an offence. Any operators that allow their drivers to drive without Driver CPC are also committing an offence.
According to DfT over half a million professional drivers across the goods and passenger sectors have undertaken accredited periodic training since Driver CPC was introduced. However training providers are claiming that take up of CPC has been slow with less than 20% of drivers completing their training. It could be that many drivers are partway through the 35 hours accredited training required. In the current economic climate it will be difficult for some operators to commit to training. Not because of the cost of the course but the opportunity cost of the drivers’ time. Whilst they are training they are not generating income and who can afford to lose a driver for 35 hours despite the potential benefits of the training?
There is likely to be a big increase in demand for CPC training in the final few months up to September 2013 and 2014. If demand exceeds supply you can expect training providers to increase the price of the CPC courses. The number of drivers available for work may be reduced making those with CPC more valuable to employers who may have to pay more in order to retain them. In these circumstances some operators may be tempted not to bother with CPC at all.
Some training providers are attempting to minimise the impact of a massive potential increase in demand by making special offers available now. Shop around and take advantage of the best offers whilst they are available.
There are over 3,000 approved training courses available to drivers. All courses and providers have to meet strict criteria and are subject to quality standards. You can find courses and check your CPC training record on the Directgov website.