***DSA warns on Driver CPC training deadlines***
You must do Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) periodic training if you’re a lorry, bus or coach driver.
You face being fined up to £1,000 and even losing your livelihood if you don’t finish your training in time, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has warned.
The Office of the Traffic Commissioner has also reminded operators to be aware of their drivers’ training hours and deadlines to avoid penalties.
Driver CPC rules
Driver CPC was introduced in:
- 2008 for bus and coach drivers
- 2009 for lorry drivers
New drivers who drive for a living had to start taking the Driver CPC initial qualification from then.
Existing drivers were given ‘acquired rights’ which took their previous experience into account.
To stay within the rules, all drivers must do 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years.
Bus and coach drivers with acquired rights had until 10 September 2013 to finish their first 35 hours of periodic training.
The deadline for lorry drivers with acquired rights was 10 September 2014.
Dual category drivers
Drivers with acquired rights and a licence to drive both buses/coaches and lorries have until 10 September 2013 to finish their first block of training. They’ll then keep their rights to drive buses and coaches professionally.
As a one-off arrangement, DSA has agreed that after the September 2013 deadline, these drivers will have 6 years to do their next block of training – from September 2013 to September 2019.
Majority taking periodic training
DSA’s Chief Executive Rosemary Thew said:
Great Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world and one of the ways we aim to keep them so is by encouraging all drivers to keep their skills up to date. This is particularly important for professional drivers.
It is encouraging to see that the majority of bus, coach and lorry drivers who need Driver CPC are participating in periodic training. We urge all professional drivers and their employers to be aware of the deadlines and make sure they will be able to comply.
Joan Aitken, lead Traffic Commissioner on Driver CPC, said:
This is a critical time for any bus or coach driver who has not started or completed their Driver CPC. It is not an optional extra for drivers – it is a must.
Operators must make sure that their drivers have done the training. The consequences of not doing this could be loss of livelihood and action against operator licences.
**What is hire and reward?**
A vehicle which is operated for hire or reward is one where payment is made, in cash or in kind, for the carrying of passengers, or matters which include the carrying of passengers, irrespective of the person to whom the payment is made. This includes direct payments such as a fare or an indirect payment which gives a person an opportunity to travel. It does not matter whether or not the operator is a profit-making entity.
For instance, minibuses is used for hire or reward it there is a clear and logical link between payment and transport provided and that link is not too remote. Whereas a minibus is not being used for hire or reward, for example, where the pupils are not obliged to pay in exchange for the right to be passengers. This applies where independent schools with charitable statue, Free Schools and academies use a minibus not for a passenger service on a commercial basis but to take pupils off-site for trips within the school day or as an extra-curricular activity, where the pupils do not pay for their transport. Independent, fee-paying schools which lack charitable status could be viewed as commercial bodies that operate minibuses for hire or reward; the hire or reward element being school fees.