Driver CPC exemptions made

Following feedback from the industry, the government has announced two exceptions from the Driver CPC requirements affecting around 76,000 licence holders who drive PCVs or HGVs for the purpose of repairing or delivering them. To be implemented in the Autumn, the move is expected to save UK businesses £29m and covers most of the issues raised by the industry although the 50km rule could provide a challenge.

The first exemption benefits both mechanics and valets delivering vehicles. It applies as long as no goods or passengers are being carried, the vehicle is not being used for hire or reward, driving heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) or public service vehicles (PSVs) is not the driver’s main job and the vehicle remains within 50km of the driver’s base. The second exemption benefits mechanics, covering the vehicle being driven to an official test at a VOSA or authorised testing facility and appears to revoke the guidance previously given by VOSA.

In addition, the government will be re-issuing guidance to clarify the situation for drivers with grandfather rights minibus entitlements, to enable them to progress straight to the periodic training element of Driver CPC. So where their driving role requires CPC, D1 (NFHR) and D (NFHR) licence entitlement holders will now be able to progress straight to the CPC periodic training requirement of 35 hours training per five years, rather than needing to take the initial licence acquisition and CPC test as well.

Roads Minister, Stephen Hammond, said, ‘Driver training is essential to ensure that lorry and bus drivers keep their skills up to scratch and keep our roads safe. But making the training compulsory for those who only drive HGVs over short distances, because they are delivering them for repair or testing, is costly and time-consuming. That is why we are making these exemptions which will reduce costs and administration for businesses.’

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