David Higginbottom of the RTITB reckons there is widespread confusion among drivers over what the CPC entails, saying “what drivers do know tends to be inaccurate”.
Under the directive all commercial drivers will need to attain a Certificate of Professional Competence in addition to their vocational licence. For new drivers this includes a four-hour theory test and two-hour driving and practical test. They will then need 35 hours of periodic training within five years of completing the initial Driver CPC and then a further 35 hours every subsequent five years to ensure their Driver CPC remains valid.
Existing drivers are exempt from the initial qualification but the training will become an immediate requirement, so they need 35 hours of periodic training by 10th September 2014, and then a further 35 hours every five years after that.
Although the final deadline for training completion is 2014, it is vital that training is not left until the last minute. Otherwise, SfL has estimated that some 2.5 million training days will be needed in 2014. Chris Hall, network transport manager for Asda Central Logistics, says: “If operators are to be sure of meeting their obligations under the new legislation, early adoption of Driver CPC training is essential. For us, our re-invigorated training programme started earlier this year, to enable our newly selected and assessed driver training instructors to gain valuable experience.”