Returning drivers have an alternative to periodic training

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Initial CPC modules two and four can be taken instead of 35 hours Driver CPC for drivers making a return to the industry

Drivers looking to return to the industry are now able to do so without undertaking Driver CPC periodic training, after an alternative was offered by DVSA.

Drivers who have passed their PCV D or D1 before September 10, 2008 or LGV Drivers who passed their C1 or C tests before September 10, 2009 now have two alternatives if they wish to return to the industry as ‘commercial drivers.’ They can either take and pass modules two and four (initial driver CPC) to obtain their DQC, or complete 35 hours of periodic training.

The DVSA has said: “It has been brought to our attention that there is some concern about full licence holders gaining their first DQC either through completion of modules two and four or completion of 35 hours periodic training.

“In 2013, when we provided clarification of the exemptions, we also considered the position of full licence holders who were driving under an exemption but who might in the future need to hold a DCPC, a condition highlighted to us in a number of the industry responses to our consultation. It was agreed at that time that we would make arrangements for drivers with a full licence to gain their first DQC either through completion of modules two and four or completion of 35 hours periodic training.

“Since the passing of the acquired rights deadlines, we have received a number of representations from individuals who wish to return the vocational driving markets seeking clarification of how they can get their DCPC. We have considered those requests in the context of the government’s desire to support driver recruitment; we would not want DCPC qualification to be a log jam in that process.

“This provision will apply only to a driver’s first DQC; subsequent renewal will require periodic training to be completed.

“In practice, we envisage this will have very limited impact. I would not accept that training companies will be put at risk by this policy; indeed by ensuring there are more drivers entering the industry, the demand for periodic training will be increased.”

Alec Horner, CEO of the Association of Trainers, said: “This is quite a departure from the previous position whereby they could only complete 35 hours periodic training to obtain their DQC.

“Although the DVSA state this was contained in the clarification they issued in 2013, the entire industry has been oblivious to this fact. I suspect it’s actually come about following the representations from the industry about the chronic LGV driver shortage, particularly after the RHA meeting the Minister.

“I have requested that DVSA issue some ‘official’ guidance on this issue and also update the .GOV website accordingly. The current guidance at https://www.gov.uk/driver-certificate-of-professional-competence-cpc/having-driver-cpc-through-acquired-rights makes no reference to the above.”

Alec added: “Of course it may not be quite the ‘gift horse’ that some might think as the pass rate on module two is still only around 43%  and for drivers who do not have English as their first language it is particularly difficult as module two contains many technical terms and some colloquialisms. Module four requires a vehicle.

“This change of policy might affect some trainers who currently offer five consecutive days of periodic training courses as the new position gives those wishing to return to the industry an alternative to completing 35 hours of periodic training.”