Every driver of a bus, Mini – bus, large truck or small truck is affected by the driver CPC rules introduced by the European Union known as the “Driver CPC EU Directive (2003/59/EC)”. This legislation means that every professional bus or truck driver must complete an extra training course, every year to keep their entitlement to drive.
This works a bit different in Northern Ireland and the UK so keep that in mind when you are reading material from the web or UK based publications.
The course basically certifies that you are still certified to drive a large vehicle every year on an ongoing basis.
The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (driver cpc) applies to all drivers with the following categories on their driving licences:
C1, C, D1, D, E+ C1, E+ C, E+ D1, E+ D
New drivers must first pass their Driver CPC along with the theory test and the practical driving test before they will receive their licence. Existing drivers, who already had their licences by the 10th of September 2008 for bus drivers or 10th September 2009 for truck drivers, must complete all driver CPC modules by the 10th of September 2013 for Bus drivers or 10th of September 2014 for truck drivers.
The Driver CPC consists of 5 classroom based modules and, for existing drivers, can be completed each year unlike the UK and Northern Ireland. If you are driving both trucks and buses you must have six modules done by September 2014. See the article Driver CPC Kilkenny Does the order matter for further explanation of this point.
After you complete each individual module, your details will be uploaded onto the RSA database. After you have completed all your modules you will be issued with another driver card from the RSA. This one is called the “Driver Qualification Card” (DQC) and must be carried with you at all times along with your full driving licence and your digital tachograph card.
The Gardai and RSA have been given new powers to check you have your card with you and you can face heavy fines for not carrying your new piece of plastic around with you. For more information about fines and penalties for not having a valid driver CPC check out Driver CPC Penalties.