Driver CPC Reform Announced | Smith Bowyer Clarke % %

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Driver CPC Reform Announced

On 11 December 2023, the Government has announced a set of reforms for the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC), which is the qualification required for a vocational driver to drive a HGV or PSV in most professional or commercial circumstances.

The Driver CPC became mandatory from 2008 for PSV drivers and 2009 for HGV drivers. The initial qualification currently is attained with completion of 4 modules, with a 2 part theory test and a practical driving test and vehicle operation demonstration. There then follows a requirement to complete 35 hours of recognised training, in 7 hour slots, at any point over the following 5 years to qualify for renewal.

The scheme has brought a lot of criticism as being ineffective and inflexible with a plea for training to be more relevant and modern. However, the statistics show that since the introduction of the DCPC, there has been a 68% reduction of RTAs involving HGVs.

The Reform will bring a creation of 2 parallel systems – National (N-DCPC) and International (I-DCPC) depending on the nature of driving being undertaken.

There were mixed responses relating to the changes required for the ongoing training requirements for the N-DCPC and it has been determined that further consultations and in depth analysis is required before a change is made. Proposals may include a periodic test rather than a renewal earned solely by meeting a training hours target.

The Government has committed to change the minimum course training time to 3.5 hours rather than 7 hours, and will remove the requirement to complete a 7 hour split course over 2 days . These changes are designed to allow for more effective learning and for more flexibility around work life balance. There will also be a relaxation to allow for more flexible e-learning. Whilst there will be no requirement for drivers to use e-learning, the maximum number of e learning hours will be increased to 12 of the 35 hours.

‘Core Content’ was the third most supported proposal from the Consultation. DVSA have been tasked to work with the transport industry in order to develop an agreed core content to support continual improvement in training quality.

There will also be a new pathway introduced for returning drivers, whose CPC has lapsed. The proposal includes a 7 hour ‘return to training’ module, which will be available from Spring 2025 and may be twinned with a test for those wishing to regain their CPC. The driver will need to complete the remaining 28 hours training in the following 12 months to ensure there is no two tier standard.

Many of the proposals have been welcomed by bodies such as the RHA but with caution regarding the ongoing consultation of the period training vs testing at renewal.

The full consultation response can be viewed here.

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