The driver Certificate professional competence is a professional qualification for bus, coach and lorry drivers. The qualification has been introduced across Europe with the purpose of improving safety on our roads and higher standards of driving.

In 2003, a directive was passed that needed professional drivers of goods vehicles over 3.5 tones and minibuses with nine seats and more to possess a certificate of professional competence planned to improve the knowledge and skills of drivers throughout their working life. 

There are two parts to the legislation:-

  • An initial qualification to take the Driver CPC training is for new drivers along with their passing their truck or bus license to enable them to use their license professionally.
  • A periodic training program of thirty-five hours of training every five years for all professional drivers to keep the driver CPC.

Farmers are being remembered that it is important for drivers of goods vehicles over 3.5 tones and minibuses with over eight seats and to undertake at least 35 hours of continued professional competence training.

This must be undertaken by 9th September 2003 for drivers of minibuses and on 9th September 2014 for lorry drivers. Driver CPC is important for lorry and minibus drivers.

Driver CPC doesn’t apply to those towing a livestock trailer beyond a tractor or a 4*4 as these are driven on a different category of license. It doesn’t apply to tractor or trailer.


  • Is holding material or equipment to be used by the driver in the course of his or her work, offered that driving the vehicle is not the driver’s principal activity.
  • Is used for non-commercial carriage of passengers or merchandize for private use
  • Has maximum authorized speed not exceeding 45km/h.
  • Is undergoing road tests for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes and is a new vehicle or re-built vehicle which has not yet been put into service.
  • Is used in states of emergency or allocated to rescue missions
  • Is used in the course of driving lessons for any person wishing to acquire a driving license and a driver CPC 
  • Vehicles driven within 50Km drivers base and not carrying passengers and goods

VOSA has declared that the material or equipment would have to be used by the farmer or farmworker as part of their job. So, this exemption couldn’t be used for taking goods or livestock to market. Only a court would be able to provide a definitive legal interpretation.

The NFU has called for greater clarity as to when the exemptions in the legislation apply to agriculture. The driver standards agency has claimed that there is no flexibility to provide a blanket exemption for agriculture activities or issue any guidance particularly aimed at agriculture. 

Timely training

Driver CPC course desires all skilled bus and truck drivers to finish a minimum of 35 hours of periodic coaching every five years for as long as they need to still to drive professionally.

The minimum period of training is seven hours. Where a course of seven hours is divided into two parts the second part must start within 24 hours after the completion of training.