All professional lorry drivers must have completed their first block of Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) periodic training by today (10th September) to continue working.
Evidence suggests that the vast majority of drivers have met the deadline, with 664,000 bus, coach and lorry drivers now having completed the 35 hours required to continue driving professionally.
Industry estimates suggest there are between 425,000 and 675,000 professional drivers in Great Britain. DVSA’s Chief Executive, Alastair Peoples, said: “I would like to thank the bus, coach and haulage industry for their support, including the drivers and operators who have committed to the training and the wider industry who have been invaluable in helping with the introduction of Driver CPC.
“Driver CPC has a lot to offer and by keeping their skills up to date professional drivers are helping to make Britain’s roads amongst the safest in the world.”
Joan Aitken, lead Traffic Commissioner on Driver CPC, said: “Traffic commissioners want to congratulate the HGV industry on reaching this milestone. Trainers, drivers and employers have worked hard to ensure drivers are qualified in time and traffic commissioners look forward to seeing the same high level of compliance that was shown by the bus and coach deadline a year ago.
“For those operators and drivers who have not caught up with this deadline, then the message has to be - get this sorted now. Failing to complete the hours and be equipped with drivers holding the driver qualification card (DQC) runs the real risk of action being taken against drivers and operators.”
The haulage industry has also shown support for the scheme and has helped to encourage operators and drivers to meet the deadline. James Firth, the Head of Road Freight and Enforcement Policy for the Freight Transport Association (FTA), said: “HGV drivers operate in a safety-critical environment, and it is important that they are well informed about the rules surrounding the industry.
"Driver CPC provides the framework to deliver appropriate and correct information to every single driver in the haulage industry.
“FTA is congratulating its members who have ensured their drivers are compliant with the new obligations and have recognised the importance of continued professionalism and training.”
Jack Semple, the Director of Policy for the Road Haulage Association (RHA), said: “Five years on, we can see a progressive evolution in attitudes to Driver CPC. Hauliers increasingly talk in terms of benefits to their businesses and, following these comments, the RHA has launched a competition to promote value in DCPC training.
“The industry has the opportunity to progress towards genuine continuing professional development, which enhances drivers’ skills and knowledge and helps to transform both the perception and reality of the profession of lorry driving within a progressive service industry."
Driving without the DQC, or failing to produce it, carries a maximum fine of £1,000 – for both the driver and the operator licence holder. These offences will be referred to the Traffic Commissioner. The Traffic Commissioner will then consider what action to take and this could include suspending the driver’s licence and/or the operator’s licence.