DVSA - Driver CPC Consultation

Lorry on country road_11387
DVSA has launched a consultation on the implementation of the amendments to the EU directive on Driver CPC including the new exemptions available and a number of other provisions. The NFU is preparing a response and we want to hear from you.

Professional drivers of goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and passenger carrying vehicles with more than nine seats are required to possess a certificate of professional competence (Driver CPC) designed to improve drivers’ knowledge and skills throughout their working lives.

There are two parts to Driver CPC:

  • An initial qualification to get Driver CPC for new drivers along with passing their truck or bus license, to enable them to use their licence professionally
  • A periodic training programme of 35 hours of training every 5 years for all professional drivers to keep Driver CPC

There are some exceptions to the general rule that drivers of goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are required to hold a Driver CPC qualification e.g. an agricultural tractor and trailer is exempt. Guidance on Driver CPC requirements and exemptions is available here.

The EU directive which introduced Driver CPC requirements was amended in 2018 following a review of how well it achieved its policy aims. Under the amendments made to the EU directive, member states now have the option to introduce further exemptions to the requirement that drivers of goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes hold a Driver CPC qualification.  Member states can, if they wish, exempt:

  1. Drivers of vehicles operated in rural areas to supply the driver’s own business where
    1. Drivers do not operate transport services
    2. Transport is occasional
    3. There is no impact on road safety
  2. Drivers of vehicles used, or hired without a driver by agricultural, horticultural, forestry or farming undertakings on condition that:
    1. Goods are only carried as part of an undertaking’s own entrepreneurial activity
    2. Driving is not the driver’s principal activity
    3. Driving does not exceed a distance set by national law

Although the UK has now left the EU there is still a requirement to implement the changes to Driver CPC rules during the transition period.

A copy of the new DVSA consultation is available here.

The NFU is preparing a response and we want to hear from you and gather opinions on the following:

  1. Do you agree that a new exemption from the requirement to hold Driver CPC should apply to drivers of vehicles operated in rural areas used to supply the drivers’ own business only?
  1. Do you agree that the exemption should not apply to vehicles used by rural businesses which are driven on motor ways?
  1. Do you agree that a new exemption from the requirement to hold Driver CPC should apply to drivers of vehicles used, or hired without a driver by agricultural, horticultural, forestry or farming undertakings?
  1. Do you think that a maximum radius that a driver can travel under this exemption should be set?

Members who wish to contribute to the NFU consultation response should send their comments to Thomas Price no later than 26 April 2020.




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