CPC Licencing — A requirement for commercial Driving
What is the CPC?
New regulations in the commercial driving licensing sector came into play in September 2009. Under these regulations, anyone wishing to drive a goods vehicle for employment has to have completed thirty-five hours of Driver CPC, or Driver Certificate of professional competence.
This certificate is a qualification for professional bus, coach and lorry drivers. A certification that is valid across Europe, this certification seeks to improve road safety and maintain high standards of driving amongst professional drivers who form the majority of road traffic.
How can one acquire a CPC licence?
Commercial driving is a risky profession, one where a slight miscalculation can result in injuries or lost lives. Through the acquisition of a CPC licence after a CPC training course, one can prove their professional competence and qualification for a commercial driving job.
Under the requirements of the CPC Licence, anyone seeking to obtain their driver CPC must pass a series of initial qualification tests with both theory and practical components. Once these qualification tests are passed the driver must undergo periodic training with 35 hours of training every five years or the certificate will lapse requiring the driver to start the CPC training process all over again.
Drivers who had a relevant vocational licence already (D, D1, D+E and D1+E for Bus drivers and C, C1, C+E and C1+E for Lorry drivers) before September 2009 do not need to take the initial tests as they are deemed competent through acquired rights. However, they do still need to undergo the 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years or their certificate will lapse. In summary, the periodic training of 35 hours is mandatory for all personnel wishing to hold a CPC licence.
The periodic training, however, doesn’t need to be completed in one shot. Rather, it is recommended that drivers attend one 7-hour session a year, completing their 35 hours every 5 years. Some CPC courses divide this further, offering the 7-hour module across 2 3.5-hour modules for maximum convenience. The CPC makes for better drivers in terms of road safety, fuel economy, load security, and first aid.
What topics does the CPC course cover?
The CPC Course’s modules broadly cover the following subjects
Safe, and fuel-efficient driving
These include factors relating to the reduction of harm to the vehicle. This includes the behaviour of the vehicle, such as torque, power, and fuel consumption curves, gearbox ratio diagrams, and are of optimum use of the tachometer. This results in more safe and fuel-efficient driving.
It also includes the optimum requirements of speed, load distribution, and ability to ensure passenger comfort and safety.
Legal Requirements and application of regulations
This includes all of the rules and regulations that a driver must know in order to obtain the CPC licence.
These regulations include
For Load-The rules concerning the carriage of goods, transport permits, ability to handle border crossings and the paperwork required.
For Passengers- The rules concerning the safety of passengers, such as safety equipment onboard the bus, seatbelts, sharing the road and others.
Health, safety, service and logistics requirements.
By far the most significant personally to the driver, this portion of the CPC includes adherence to the Health and safety norms of the CPC, which include but are not limited to
The types, risks, statistics, and consequences of traffic accidents
The prevention of criminality and human trafficking
Ergonomics, posture, and personal protective equipment for the driver
Awareness of the importance of fitness, both mental and physical
Training in the assessment of emergency situations to minimise consequences, ensure safety, and not react in the face of aggression
The personal behaviour of the driver in regards to customer interaction and company image.
Maintenance and upkeep of the vehicle
Finally, the CPC also includes an overview of the economic situation of the driving industry, including its contribution to the global economy, competitors, and upcoming developments in the industry to keep ahead of upcoming legislation and development.
The CPC is a holistic approach to driver licencing and is a professional asset when a CPC course is taken and a licence obtained. It is highly recommended that any driver seeking to operate an LGV or HGV obtain one post haste.