Thinking of doing Driver CPC? Read This First
If you are already driving a bus or truck before 2008 / 2009
The EU says you need to do what they call ‘vocational training’ as well as holding a bus or truck licence.
So if you drive a mini – bus or bus with more than 9 seats or a truck over 3 1/2 tonnes this applies to you.
If you’re a new driver who wants a bus or truck licence
You must undergo what they call ‘Initial CPC’ as part of their initial qualification.
This involves a series of theory and practical tests.
This is separate from the actual Bus or Truck Driving Tests.
Then you’ll have to do 7 hours of driver training every year, if you wish to maintain your driver CPC qualification.
In some countries you can do all your Driver CPC Training together in one single year. It has been decided in Ireland however that this training must be completed each year.
Yes, but why do I still need training?
According to the Road Safety Authorities and the EU. They think that driver CPC training will lead to:
- Improved road safety
- Improved driving skills
- Less casualties on our roads
- Lower running costs
- Reduced costs of vehicle repairs and therefore loss of trade.
- Greener driving, presumably because you drive differently
- Studies suggest that good driving can deliver a 12% saving on fuel costs.
- Professional benefits, they don’t say what these are but the thinking I assume was that you are now more qualified and therefore should have more benefits.
So this new Irish and EU law has changed the way of working in the bus or truck industry as a driver.
Now just like in other professions such as training, health you have to attend training courses between set time limits just to continue driving for a living, driving for work or driving to earn a crust. The fact you have the driving licence for a truck or bus is not really enough anymore.
So what does this driver cpc training involve?
~Now this is the bit `that there’s a lot of confusion about with rumors spreading like nobody’s business. So I’ll try to explain it as best I can.
Overall Driver CPC is a 5 year qualification or a 5 year course. In Ireland it had been decided by the authorities namely the RSA that there’s 6 training modules.
If you only drive a bus or mini bus you do 5 set modules one module per year.
Similarly if you only drive a truck you do 5 specific modules. That’s one for each of the five years.
If you drive for work in both a truck and bus you must do the 6 modules in 5 years.
Right, there’s 6 training modules in total, each lasting seven hours, with additional reading material to cover specific areas.
You don’t have to write or read all that much on the course so anyone with difficulties shouldn’t be worried but if you want to you can, there’s loads of reading material.
There’s also a set presentation which trainers have to go through.
A lot of drivers say its rubbish and certainly it wasn’t received very well, but look it’s here now and surprisingly enough the feedback that drivers actually give the RSA is somewhat different than what you might hear on the road.
Driver CPC Training Modules:
- Module 1: Control of the vehicle and Eco-driving techniques
- Module 2: Minimising risks and managing emergencies in the transport industry
- Module 3: Health and safety for the professional driver
- Module 4: Role of the professional driver in the transport industry
- Module 5: The professional truck driver
- Module 6: The professional bus driver
Some training organisations differ with the number system in the above list so be sure what modules you have completed before you book another module. It’s no good and doesn’t count if you repeat a module within a five year period.
Bus, mini bus and coach drivers who hold a licence before 10th September 2008, or truck drivers who held a licence before 10th September 2009 are exempt from the initial qualification. They have what is called ‘acquired rights’ , but they must maintain these rights by keeping up with periodic driver CPC training.
Drivers CPC Card
New drivers whom undertake initial CPC are issued with a Driver CPC qualification card.
Existing drivers will get such a card once they have completed all their periodic training in a five year period.
Why do Drivers talk a lot about 5 years?
The EU directive which introduced this training said that 35 hours of training had to be done within a five year period.
Module 1, Module 2, Module 3, Module 4 have to be done by all drivers.
Modules 5 and 6 are specific to Truck and / or Bus Drivers. So they have to do one or the other.
Over Five years then they will have completed the whole course and are entitled to their Driver CPC.
After the initial five years is up the next period of training starts on 10th September 2013 for Bus drivers, and 10th September 2014, and their 5 year period begins again.
This means you will have do a module each year for as long as you wish to work in the bus or truck industry.
It also means that you must ensure you do all modules within a five year time period. I know it’s a bit confusing.
Won’t I then be repeating a Module?
Yes, that’s the point and it’s a sore one among some drivers.
The Irish system has specific modules and specific course material. This is done differently in other member states. You will be repeating a module but hopefully that module content will be updated and refreshed. Therefore it may be same module name and title but with different content.
It’s a bit like a first aid refresher course, when you go back to do a refresher on anything the core material is probably the same – but there will be new rules, regulations and facts and sometimes advances in technology, but it still might be called a first aid refresher course.
Will there be much changes? It’s hard to say, if there is a lot of changes someone got the first material really wrong, so it’s my belief that no there won’t be much changes. The RSA have though to give their side of the argument, updated some of the modules above since Driver CPC was introduced with some minor additions. On a personal rant they update the training organisations about these changes but not the actual trainers delivering the course, which I think has caused confusion at times. But, look driving is still driving and if your doing it as long as I am or even longer it’s still just driving.
Are any drivers exempt?
According to the RSA website, Driver CPC certification and therefore Driver CPC Training, is not required for drivers of vehicles used:
- For a registered RSA approved Driving Instructors who are giving driving instruction
- In the course of someone’s work, provided that driving the vehicle is not the driver’s principal occupation, eg, a plumber using a light truck to transport their materials.
- For non-commercial purposes, eg driving as a volunteer; drivers of emergency or rescue vehicles
- Vehicles with a maximum speed not exceeding 45 km/h
You can use this website to book a Driver Training CPC course and check availability and pricing, whatever you think of it if you’re working professionally as a bus or truck driver, do the training and get legal and stay legal.
If you want training as well from a driver working in the industry, (I work as a Bus Driver and have driven trucks over the years) give me a try. You won’t be disappointed, I’ll go through the course from a drivers perspective and using my own experiences highlight what parts of the course are really useful, useful and nice to know. No one knows everything and most times a lot of learning is done by sharing stories and experience with other drivers.