- If you are a new driver you will have to undertake the Driver CPC theory and practical driving tests before getting a Driver CPC.
- If you already have a licence for a bus or truck (C/D licence) you will automatically be entitled to a Driver CPC and will not have to take a test.
- These mandatory rule changes were introduced in Ireland on the 10th September 2008 for bus drivers, and the 10th September 2009 for truck drivers.
- ALL professional bus/truck drivers must be the holder of a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
QUALIFICATION CRITERIA FOR BUS AND TRUCK DRIVER CPC
- A person holding a valid full licence in the bus licence category on or before 9th September 2008 is automatically entitled to the CPC (acquired rights).
- A person who qualifies for a bus licence on or after 10th September 2008 must pass an Initial CPC theory test and a CPC driving test, as well as the existing theory test and driving test.
- A person holding a valid full licence in the truck licence category on or before 9th September 2009 is automatically entitled to the CPC (acquired rights).
- A person who qualifies for a truck licence on or after 9th September 2009 must pass an Initial CPC theory test and a CPC driving test, as well as the existing theory test and driving test.
- A training programme of 35 hours must be completed in the following five years in order to retain the CPC. This will consist of a one day training session in each of the five years.
Periodic training is training you need to do every year to keep your Driver CPC. All professional drivers must do at least 35 hours training every five years and do at least seven hours a year to keep their Driver CPC. The training is in seven hour blocks which you must do in one day.The training covers areas such as road safety, environmental driving and issues involving the health and well being of professional drivers. It does not involve a driving test or assessment.
Periodic training will help you improve your knowledge and skills to make sure that you are a driver of the highest professional standard. It will also help you to keep up to date with the changes in the industry and to benefit from training throughout your professional career.
If you want to become a professional bus driver after the 10th Sept 2008 or a professional truck driver after the 10th Sept 2009 you will have to do an Initial Driver CPC examination.
The examination includes:
- Two hour multiple choice theory test
- Two hour case study theory test
- 90 minute driving test
- 30 minute practical test
You can go on training in RSA approved training centres to help you pass your Driver CPC examination.
Once you have completed and passed the four parts of the Driver CPC examination you can apply for a driving licence and Driver CPC card in that category.
Should you fail any part of the test you will have to resit that part of the test again.
This is the training you need to do every year to keep youræDriver CPC. All drivers must complete a minimum of 35 hours Driver CPC Periodic Training every five years, with a requirement to do a minimum of seven hours of training per year.
Failure to comply with this requirement will result in a penal offence. The training modules will be divided into seven hour blocks which will have to be taken over one day.
All professional bus drivers, who hold a valid category D, D1, D+E, or D1+E licence by 10 September 2008, must complete one day of periodic training every year for five years until 10 September 2013, when they will be issued a Driver CPC Card by the RSA.
In order to retain the Driver CPC qualification after 10 September 2013, the drivers will be required to undertake a further 35 hours of training every five years, with a minimum of seven hours/one day per year.ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE
It will be an offence to drive a bus or truck if you do not hold a valid Driver CPC and you will be subject to a fixed penalty if you drive a bus or truck without it. The amount of any fines or penalty points will be determined before the Driver CPC comes into force.
As with all laws in Ireland, the Gardaí_ enforce the regulations with assistance from the Vehicle Standards Inspectorate of the RSA.
PROOF OF THE DRIVER CPC
The RSA will issue a Driver CPC card to each new driver who has successfully completed the examinations, the card will be issued before the student commences periodic training, the card must be kept by the driver at all times.
If you are already a professional bus driver on the 10th September 2008 /professional truck driver on the 10th of September 2009, you will get acquired rights for Driver CPC. Your licence should have the date of issue before the 10th September 2008 (for bus drivers), or 10th September 2009 (for truck drivers), which will be evidence of your Driver CPC. Your CPC card will be issued on completion of periodic training.
- If you cannot show your Driver CPC, you are breaking the law and you could get a fine of up to äå2,000.
- If you fake documentation you could get a fine of up to äå5,000.
- If you drive without a valid Driver CPC you could get a fine of up to äå2,000.
- If you or an employer causes or lets another driver who does not have a valid Driver CPC drive a relevant vehicle you / they could get a fine of up to äå5,000.
Both professional drivers and the transport and road haulage industries will benefit from the introduction of Driver CPC in Ireland. It does place an extra amount of training on professional drivers but the overall benefits are clear to see.
BETTER, SAFER DRIVERS
Driver CPC means that professional drivers will have better driving skills.
This will lead to less casualties on our roads, and protect more vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists, children and older people. It will also save employers the costs of vehicle repair and loss of trade.
CAREER PATHS FOR PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS
The driversäó» profession will be regulated to make sure that all professional drivers have the skills they need to work in the industry. The introduction of Driver CPC will create a level playing field for the road haulage and passenger transport industry. Quality standards will improve and they will be monitored and maintained to a high level which matches the best in Europe.
There are concerns for all professional drivers about their health, lifestyle, eating habits, symptoms and effects of fatigue and stress and work/life balance. Periodic training will help address these issues.
ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS
The äóìMomenta Reportäó for the Department for Transport in the UK (on the Safe and Fuel Efficient Driver Training Programme Autumn 2005) showed that the right driver training would reduce fuel consumption by an average 9.5%. Even reducing it by 5% would save 169,000 tonnes of oil a year, or about 192 million litres @ äå1.50 a litre. Reduced fuel consumption combined with better use of load transportation will reduce costs. Every tonne saved would save about äå1,750.