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Preserved Buses and the Driver CPC

There has been concern and confusion about the Driver CPC, effective from 2008.

The initial confusion arises from the unfortunate use of the term CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence), which already exists for bus and coach operators. The Driver CPC is something new, and different, requiring regular examinations and demonstrations of experience to achieve and retain it.

The Transport Office web site outlines the basic arrangements:
The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) will be evidenced by issuing drivers with a Driver Qualification Card (DQC), similar to the driving licence. The DQC will be issued by the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

It will be mandatory for drivers to carry evidence that they hold Driver CPC when they are driving professionally.

Drivers with acquired rights will not be issued with a DQC until they have completed their first 5 years of periodic training. They will be able to show they have acquired rights by the date on their driving licence showing when they acquired their vocational driving licence.

It will be offence for drivers to work professionally without Driver CPC from Sept 08 for bus and coach drivers and from Sept 09 for lorry drivers, unless they fall into one of the exempt categories.

Driver CPC is being introduced across all European Union member states and will be enforced on other EU drivers in the same way as it will be on UK drivers.

Not surprisingly, this has caused some concern amongst bus preservationists. However, the Transport Office web site lists exemptions from the above requirements:
Drivers of the following vehicles will not be required to hold a Driver CPC:

i. a vehicle with a maximum authorised speed not exceeding 45 km/h;
ii. a vehicle used by, or under the control of, the armed forces, a police force, a fire and rescue authority;
iii. a vehicle undergoing road tests for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes, or of new or rebuilt vehicles which have not yet been put into service;
iv. a vehicle used in a state of emergency or assigned to a rescue mission;
v. a vehicle used in the course of driving lessons for the purpose of enabling that person to obtain a driving licence or a Driver CPC;
vi. a vehicle used for non-commercial carriage of passengers or goods for personal use;
vii. a vehicle carrying material or equipment to be used by that person in the course of his or her work, provided that driving that vehicle is not that person’s principal activity.

An example of a driver under exemption vii (also known as “incidental driver”) would be a brick layer who drives a load of bricks from the builder’s yard to the building site and then spends their working day laying bricks. In this case, driving a lorry is incidental to their main occupation.

However, drivers can move in and out of an exemption, depending on the circumstances in which they are driving. For example, a bus mechanic would be exempt while driving a bus to check that it had been repaired, but would need to hold a Driver CPC if they also drove a bus on a passenger carrying service.

Item vi in the above list of exemptions appears to cover bona fide preservationists using their vehicles non-commercially, so they will not be affected by these new arrangements. Commercially operated vintage vehicles are outside the scope of this article.

 

Useful sources

Disclaimer

I hate disclaimers, but it has to be said:
These notes were originally compiled in October 2007 and are believed to be both accurate and current, but should not be construed as legal advice. The interpretation of the law is a matter for the courts and is open to any individual to take legal advice on their behalf.

This page was last updated on Wednesday, 13-Apr-2016 11:25:35 BST

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