The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) is a new qualification for professional bus, coach and lorry drivers. It has been introduced across Europe with the aim of improving road safety and helping to maintain high standards of driving. Under a new European Union Directive, professional bus, coach and lorry drivers need to hold a Driver CPC in addition to a vocational driving licence. Any drivers of lorries over 3.5 tonnes and minibuses with 9 seats or more must obtain a Driver CPC.
Bus and coach drivers who hold a relevant vocational licence gained before 10 September 2008, and lorry drivers who obtained their licence before 10 September 2009, do not need to take the initial qualification. This is because they are deemed to hold 'acquired rights'. However, they will have to complete periodic training to keep their Driver CPC.
Driver CPC is valid for five years. New drivers who have qualified via the initial qualification route will receive a Driver Qualification Card (DQC), which they can show as proof that they hold Driver CPC. Existing drivers will receive their DQC when they have completed their 35 hours of periodic training.