Driver CPC Faq

Q. When do I NOT need Driver CPC?

A. If you drive any of the vehicles listed below, you do not need Driver CPC.
These are:

  • vehicles not allowed go more than 45 kilometres per hour;
  • vehicles used or controlled by the Defence Forces, Civil Defence, the Fire Service and forces responsible for maintaining public order;
  • vehicles undergoing road tests for technical development, repair or maintenance, or new or rebuilt vehicles which have not been put into service;
  • vehicles used in states of emergency or for rescue missions;
  • vehicles used for driving lessons for anyone who wants to get a driving licence or a CPC;
  • vehicles used for carrying passengers or goods for personal use and not for business; and
  • vehicles carrying materials or equipment that the driver uses as part of their work, as long as driving the vehicle is not the * driver’s main activity.

Q. Certain drivers in the bus licence category are exempt from the changes, can you give me examples of who is exempt?

A. Drivers of vehicles for non-commercial purposes eg. driving as a volunteer, drivers of emergency or rescue vehicles, drivers of vehicles while delivering driving instruction, drivers of vehicles used by a driver in the course of his/her work provided that driving the vehicle is not the drivers principal occupation eg. after September 2009 when trucks are covered by CPC rules this would apply to a plumber who uses a light truck to transport his/her materials.

Q. I have a licence for a minibus (D1 Licence Category) which I got on or before 9 September 2008, how do the new rules affect me?

A. You are automatically entitled to the CPC (acquired rights) and if you want to continue as a professional driver you have to do a minimum of 35 hours training over the following five year period. Doing the training entitles you to retain the Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). This is done on a one day per year basis over the five years.

Q. I would like to drive professionally as a bus driver and will not have held a bus driving licence on or before 9 September, what must I do to get a CPC to enable me to drive professionally?

A. Firstly, you will have to pass the existing learner permit driver theory test followed by a CPC theory test the existing driving test and a CPC driving test.

Q. I do not want to drive professionally (or I believe I have an exemption from CPC) but I want to get a bus driving licence, what do I do?

A. Nothing has changed for you; you can apply for the learner permit theory test and for the standard driving test and when you pass both you can apply for a bus driving licence in the normal way.

Q. Tell me more about the test of practical knowledge test which will form part of the driving test?

A. The driving test for those getting a bus licence on or after 10 September 2008 and wanting to drive professionally will include a CPC practical knowledge test.
This will last for about 30 minutes and will involve a number of questions covering different aspects of driving relating to knowledge of safety, passenger comfort, legal matters relating to driving, vehicle loading and stability, ability to deal with an emergency, physical risks involved in driving-see Appendix A for headings relating to the questions. The driver tester will ask the questions
and will give you a report at the end of the test. It will be possible to take the normal driving test and the CPC practical knowledge test together or separately as you wish. However, you will need to have a vehicle present for the CPC practical knowledge test and the test can be taken at all driving test centre currently doing bus tests.
The CPC test will be carried out by driver testers and special training has been provided to enable them to do this work.

Q. Tell me more about the CPC driver theory test?

A. The theory test for those getting a licence on or after 10 September 2008 and wanting to drive professionally is significantly changed. Firstly, the person must pass the normal theory test that is currently in place to get your learner permit, following this a special CPC theory test must be taken. The CPC theory test has two parts- the first part has 100 multiple choice questions, with 61 correct answers needed to pass. Part two consists of three Case Studies, these give descriptions of situations that a driver might face and puts 15 questions on each Case Study to the test candidate. To pass correct answers must be given to 28 of the 45 questions with a minimum of at least 5 questions passed in each of the Case Studies.

The entire CPC theory test will last four hours and will be broken into two separate parts, it will be possible to take both parts of the CPC theory test on the same day. Prometric Ireland who currently carry out the learner permit theory test will also carry out the CPC theory test – more information will be available on their website at shortly.

Q. Where can I get information to help me take and pass the extra tests?

A. Careful study of the Rules of the Road and manuals such as the The Official DSA Guide to Driving Buses and Coaches will give you all the information you need to help you take and pass the CPC tests. Detailed information about both the CPC driving test and the CPC driver theory test will also be given to each applicant when they apply for the tests. A sample copy of the marking sheet for the CPC driving test is at Appendix A below and this sets out the areas on which questions will be asked during this test. You will also be given information relating to both the multiple choice questions and the Case Studies when you apply for the theory test. On the day of the theory test you will have time for a practice session before you start the actual test.

Q. What will be the cost of these extra tests?


Theory Test

Part 1 (Multiple Choice)

Part 2 (Case Study)




Practical Test

Part 1 (Driving Test)

Licence Category- D, D1

Licence Category- ED, ED1


Part 2 ( Practical Knowledge)







Q. To keep my CPC I must take a training programme of 35 hours every five years. What does this involve?

A. The purpose of the training is to keep drivers up to date on safety issues relating to vehicles, safe driving, environmentally friendly driving, assessments of risk, health and safety and vehicle technical developments. For best effect the training is to be taken in seven hour blocks once a year for all of the five years. If at the end of five years you have not completed the 35 hour training programme your CPC will not be renewed and you will not be able to work as a professional driver.
The training will be delivered by trainers from companies approved by the RSA using a syllabus developed by the RSA. An organisation wanting to deliver training must apply to the RSA, and meet the requirements set out by the RSA to become an approved training body.

Q. What has the RSA done to advise the public about the changes?

A. In August 2007 the RSA published CPC- A Consultation Document advising of the changes being brought about by the introduction of CPC and seeking feedback on the preferred options outlined in the document. The RSA immediately commenced engagement with the bus and truck industry explaining the impact the changes would bring about and the reasoning behind the introduction of CPC.
More recently the RSA has completed a series of briefings for driving instructors across the country to ensure that they are aware of the changes and understand the nature of the extra tests that form part of CPC and know of the manoeuvres to be completed as part of the tests.

Q. How will the new rules be enforced?

A. The rules will be enforced across Ireland and the EU. For a person with a bus category driving licence issued on or before 9 September 2008 the licence is accepted as evidence that s/he is covered by the CPC rules. For a person getting a licence on or after 10 September 2008 s/he will be issued with a CPC card to show that they have met the necessary requirement

Q. Is the Driver CPC similar to the Road Transport CPC?

A. No-The Road Transport CPC is a qualification held by Fleet Managers and is different to the Driver CPC which focuses particularly on driving and road safety.

More information on the Fleet Managers CPC can be found at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Ireland at 01-6763188. A CPC process also applies to drivers who transport livestock more information on this can be found from the Department of Agriculture and Food at 01- 5053400.

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