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Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)

By: Tabitha Mishra
| Last updated: March 6, 2019

What Does Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) Mean? Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) is a legally required certification for all operators of heavy vehicles across Europe. The vehicles that fall under the CPC requirement include:

  • Buses, coaches, and other vehicles with a passenger capacity of nine or more seats
  • Commercial heavy goods vehicles (HGVs)
  • Large goods vehicles (LGVs) with a weight capacity exceeding 3.5 tons

It is required over and above the driver or operator's license.

The CPC came into effect for bus and coach drivers on September 10, 2008 and for HGV and LGV operators the following year, on September 10, 2009.

Safeopedia Explains Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)

To become a professional heavy vehicle operator, a candidate must have a full driver's license, and either be over the age of 18 (to get a truck driver CPC) or 21 (for the bus driver CPC).

Those who operated heavy vehicles in a professional capacity prior to the introduction of the CPC could obtain their certification through "acquired rights," meaning that their prior experience would qualify them for the CPC and they could become certified without sitting through an exam. However, these operators still had to complete regular refresher training to maintain their certification.

To become CPC certified, operators must undergo 35 hours of training. The certification and training are for the specific type of vehicle the driver will be operating. If they move to a new type of heavy vehicle, they must acquire further certification.

To earn the CPC, operators must complete a series of examinations:

  • Theory test
  • Case study test
  • Driving test
  • Walk-around test

Once a candidate has passed theses tests, they receive a full driving license and can then apply for the CPC card by filling and submitting a Driver CPC declaration form. Those with a full, valid truck or bus-driving license only need to take the case study and walk-around tests to become eligible for a Driver CPC card.


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