FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Here are some common questions we often get, mostly regarding the Driver CPC qualification:

Do I need the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC)?

Not everybody that drives a HGV/LGV/PSV/PCV needs DCPC. There are some exemptions. These include vehicles:

  • Undergoing road tests for technical purposes e.g. MOT/ repair.
  • Used in state of emergency or rescue missions.
  • Used by or under the control of the armed forces, civil defence or fire service.
  • That have a maximum authorised speed of less than 45 mph.
  • Used for non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods **
  • Used exclusively for driver training.
  • Carrying material or equipment to be used in the course of their work.

This is not intended to be a full list, so if you are not sure, then please check the Gov website or give us a call and we’ll let you know whether you are exempt or not

For a full list of inclusions and exemptions visit:

gov.uk/driver-cpc-exemptions-examples

If you accept any kind of payment towards the cost of transporting goods or people, it is considered a commercial transaction and you will need a DCPC – even if someone just gives you a contribution towards your fuel.

What will happen if I don’t have DCPC?

If you drive professionally without having your Driver Qualification Card (DQC) on your person, you could face an on-the-spot £50 fixed penalty.

If you drive without having a DCPC qualification, or fail to produce your DQC when required, you could find yourself facing a maximum fine of £1,000. That goes for the Operator’s licence-holder too..

The traffic commisioner may even suspend your licence.

The bottom line is, if you haven’t got a DQC now, you cannot drive professionally.

I’m a newly qualified driver – do I need to do DCPC as well?

This is an area where many newly qualified drivers seek advice.

If you passed the category D1 or D practical test on or after 10th September 2008, or the C1 or C practical test on or after 10th September 2009, then you will need to complete the ‘Initial Qualification’. If you passed the practical tests before the respective dates shown, you need only complete the periodic training requirements.

Passing a PCV or LGV test today is a little different from days gone by, and the entire test is broken up into four modules.

  • Module one – Theory Test (A multiple choice test and hazard perception test).
  • Module two – Case Study (On-screen multiple choice test based on case studies).
  • Module three – Practical Driving Test (A practical road drive and manoeuvres with a DVSA Driving Examiner).
  • Module four – Vehicle Safety Demonstration (A 30-minute practical ‘show me / tell me’ demonstration with a vehicle).

You can pass modules 1 and 3 and drive the vehicle category in a private capacity.

Successful completion of modules 2 and 4 will grant you permission to drive the vehicle professionally and you will receive a Driver Qualification Card (DQC) to show this. This is the DCPC initial qualification, which is valid for five years.

To keep your DQC and your right to drive professionally, you must complete 35 hours of relevant periodic training delivered by an approved Driver CPC training provider before the expiry date shown on the back of the card. This will be five years from the date you passed your Module 4 test.

You can complete the 35 hours’ periodic training at any time during the five-year period as long is it is before the expiry date shown on the back of your DQC.

We have seen many drivers given incorrect and misleading advice about what is required of them to drive professionally. If you are a new driver and do not pass modules 2 and 4, you cannot drive professionally and completing the 35-hour periodic training will not grant you a DQC.

If you are unsure then call us.

We will ask you some questions about your licence and when you passed your driving tests, then advise you accordingly.

CAS Training Wales offers approved DCPC training courses for BOTH LGV and PCV drivers

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I’ve done a few days of training, but am unsure if I need any more?

You need to do 35 hours of driver CPC, and this must be done in blocks of seven hours over five days and delivered by a JAUPT-approved centre. You can check how many hours of driver CPC you have done so far by clicking on the following link:

https://gov.uk/check-your-driver-cpc-periodic-training-hours

It will take you directly to the Government webpage where you can access your information.

I drive a horsebox – will I need DCPC?

A horsebox is a specialised vehicle.

They come in various configurations, weights and dimensions and are used in an array of circumstances.

It is these variations that mean some drivers require different licences or qualifications. Without the correct qualification, there are fines to pay of £1,000 or more.

As the driver of a specialist vehicle, it is your responsibility to comply with the law and operate safely. But finding out which regulations and legislation applies to your individual circumstances can be tricky. We recommend that you take stock of your operation and establish a few facts.

1) Identify your vehicle

You should hold the correct licence category for the vehicle you are driving. Look in the vehicle’s operator manual and establish its Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM), also called Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW).

Visit .Gov – Licence Categories to see which licence category your vehicle falls into. Many rigid-bodied horseboxes typically fall into categories C1 or C. For a car and horse trailer, it is usually B+E.

Be aware, if you passed your car driving test after 1st January 1997, you will have only category B, not B+E (car and trailer).

Visit .Gov – Comparing Driving Licences for information about comparing old and new driving licences

An excellent publication from DVSA (formally VOSA) can be found here – A guide for horsebox and trailer owners

2) Be sure of the weight of your horse or animal

A car and horse trailer could be fine for a small horse. But larger animals can weigh in excess of 1 ton and easily overload the vehicle you may be using.

Using the operator’s manual for your vehicle, establish its permissible payload and consider whether your animal’s weight is appropriate. The DVSA fines heavily for overloaded vehicles.

3) Consider why you are transporting your horse or animal

Transporting your horse for private reasons is usually fine. A trip to a vet or other stable should be OK. But transporting for reasons which make your journey a commercial venture mean you are then driving professionally. Examples include entering your horse in a show where you could gain financially from a prize or reward, delivering a horse for payment or even transporting one for a friend if they offer you any type of payment including a contribution to fuel.

If you are using a vehicle that is owned by a business, including one owned by a farm. then you could need an Operator’s Licence or a DCPC.

A DCPC isn’t just for truck or coach drivers. It’s a valuable qualification for all types of professionals who use their vehicles for commercial purposes.

Your circumstances could be unique and there are too many to list here. We would be happy to hear from you if you require advice. Our aim is to promote professionalism among drivers and help them to stay safe and legal on the road.

Call us today, tell us about your circumstances – and we will be happy to help!