It’s an inevitable part of being a professional driver – as of 2015, all commercial drivers on the road are expected to have a valid Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC), which has to be kept up-to-date with periodic training every 5 years. The training, which must total 35 hours, consists of how to:

· load vehicles safely and securely
· make sure passengers are comfortable and safe (if a coach or bus driver)
· apply the rules of professional driving
· assess emergency situations and give first aid
· optimise fuel consumption
· prevent trafficking in illegal immigrants

But, how do you prepare to redo your CPC training after a lengthy 5 years have passed since you last did it? It’s good to know that you can take the training courses when you want, as long as you do them within the 5-year period.

Finding a course

There are loads of training providers out there to choose from, so you can be picky about where and when to take certain courses. It’s also worth knowing you don’t need to take all your training with the same provider – so it’s good to shop around and find courses (and costs!) that suit you and your needs.

Only approved Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) courses count towards periodic training. You can find approved courses by using the Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training website.

If you feel like you need a refresher on a particular course in the 5-year period, you can. For example, you could take a first aid course in the first and last year of the 5-year period.

What you need to take

You don’t need to take reams of identification to a Driver CPC course. All you are required to take is one of these:

· A photocard driving licence
· A valid passport
· A digital tachograph
· A Driver CPC card

What happens afterwards

You will receive a certificate of attendance at the end of each course. You don’t have to give this to your employer, it belongs to you!
The training centre will also put your training on your Driver CPC training record, so you don’t need to worry about a thing (unless of course, the training doesn’t appear within 5 days, then you will need to contact the training centre).

Once you have completed 35 hours of training, you will receive your new Driver Qualification Card (DQC). This will be sent to the address that appears on your driving licence close to the time your current DQC expires. Don’t worry if you need to drive professionally and you haven’t received your card – you can still drive while you’re waiting for it.

If you’re looking for your next driving job, why not check out our latest vacancies.