CPC deadline looms for heavy and light goods vehicle drivers

Terry Hiles, General Manager at Licence Check

Companies that operate heavy and light goods vehicles that are ‘in-scope’, including hauliers, logistics and transportation providers, are being reminded that the deadline for their professional drivers to complete their mandatory training and renew their CPC licences is fast approaching.

The reminder comes from Derby-based Licence Check, the UK’s fastest growing provider of fleet licence checking and compliance services, which says that operators need to ensure their professional drivers have completed their necessary training in good time.

The current training period ends in just eight weeks on 9th September 2019. By this date, drivers must have completed 35 hours training – a mandatory qualification period every five years – to be issued with a new Driver Qualification Card (DQC) to prove they are CPC-qualified.

If the training is not carried out by this date, the CPC will no longer be valid and these drivers will not be legally permitted to drive an HGV or LGV professionally from that date.

The training renewal is applicable to those drivers whose usual activity of professional driving is ‘in-scope’ and covered by the legislation. Those drivers that hold a vocational entitlement, but don’t actually drive are not in-scope.  Similarly, those vehicles used for non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods or used for carrying personal goods are also out of scope.

The Driver CPC was introduced in 2009 for lorry drivers, and a year earlier for bus and coach drivers, as part of a Europe-wide initiative with the aim of improving road safety and maintaining high standards of driving.

The September 2019 deadline is the second for lorry drivers since the scheme was first introduced, with the first being September 2014 when the DVLA reported that 664,000 drivers had completed their professional training by the deadline from a maximum estimated pool of 675,000 drivers.

In the last 15 months since March 2018, more than 360,000 drivers have successfully renewed their Driver CPC, according to the latest figures from the DVSA.

A fine of up to £1,000 for driving professionally without a valid CPC can be levied on both the driver and their employer.

To help in the task of checking that drivers have renewed their professional licences, Licence Check has developed an automatic re-check feature within its existing cloud-based Driver and Vehicle Information Solution brand, DAVIS so that companies can automatically carry out a licence check of their drivers when the certificate expires.

This markedly reduces the amount of administration required in checking that professional drivers have renewed their Driver CPC as it takes away all manual tasks associated with carrying our driver checks.

If any drivers have not renewed their CPC by the five year anniversary of acquiring the certificate, the system automatically flags up on the DAVIS dashboard that urgent action is required. It is also sends an email to the system administrator reminding them that action needs to be taken.

The re-check is mainly aimed at drivers who driver professionally for a living but could apply equally to fleet and transport managers who occasionally need to move heavy goods vehicles, say from one depot to another, for business purposes and require a driver CPC qualification to do so.

Terry Hiles, general manager at Licence Check, part of the Ebbon-Dacs group, explained: “All professional drivers, including HGV/LGV and PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicles) drivers who are in-scope, need to complete 35 hours of periodic training every five years on an ongoing basis to keep driving for a living.

“As the deadline for the next period of CPC training approaches in September, there is set to be an influx of professional drivers whose existing CPC cards are due to expire and must complete their mandatory training by this date.

“All new drivers who obtained their HGV/LGV licence after 10 September 2009 or PCV drivers who obtained their licence after 10 September 2008, are required to complete the training and carry a DQC card when in vehicle.

“If these drivers are actively driving for your business, a re-check should be carried out the moment the card expires to ensure a new CPC card has been issued and the driver continues to be permitted to drive professionally.

“By activating the automatic re-check of a CPC card in DAVIS, a check will be carried out the moment the card expires, ensuring the driver is still eligible to drive as well as updating the driver record to the new date.  So, taking a few minutes now to alter the settings in DAVIS will save companies a lot of time and effort later.”

The automatic re-check is just one of many user-friendly functions within DAVIS which are designed to make users’ working lives easier.

The latest new feature, Onsite, which was introduced in recent weeks, allows users to ‘onboard’ drivers to the DAVIS system more quickly so that they can, in turn, carry out licence checks more rapidly and any issues with their licences be quickly identified.

Terry Hiles added: “Our sole raison d’être with DAVIS is to make our users’ operating livers simpler and more straightforward. That’s why we have built in so many features aimed at making the licence checking process faster and more efficient.

“Compliance is an extremely important issue and companies need to make sure they tick all the legal boxes they are required to. The automatic re-check for Driver CPC is just one example.”

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