Driver CPC Drivers Legal Obligations

Driver CPC Drivers Legal Obligations - Module 1 of Your CPC Driver Training.

Driver CPC Drivers Legal Obligations is Module 1 of your CPC Driver Training. Get in touch with DriveTrain Solutions Ltd today to book your CPC Drivers Course.

The Vehicle Drivers (Certificates of Professional Competence) Regulations 2007

That is the official and snappily titled regulation which covers this quite momentous piece of legislation. It was first introduced in September 2008 for PCV drivers and 2009 for LGV drivers.

Never before have PCV or LGV drivers had to sit in a classroom and study for a total of 35 hours over a five-year period.

So, what were the reasons for introducing such a ground breaking piece of regulation?

1st was for improved road safety.

2nd to improve drivers existing knowledge.

3rd to build upon drivers existing experiences.

Reason 1. Improving Road Safety.

Number 1 might seem totally obvious but what do we think it means? The European Directive 2003/59 EC syllabus provides for the detailed examination of:

  • Vehicle Systems (vehicle transmission)
  • Vehicle Systems (safety controls)
  • Safe & Fuel-Efficient Driving
  • Loading/Unloading (LGV)
  • Customer Service/Disability Awareness (PCV)
  • Loading/Unloading (PCV)
  • Legislation (including Driver’s Hours Rules, Road Transport Working Time Directive)
  • Regulations for Carriage of Goods (LGV)
  • Regulations for Carriage of Passengers (PCV)
  • Health, Safety & Emergencies
  • Prevention of Criminality & Trafficking
  • Personal Health & Wellbeing
  • Physical/Mental Health & Wellbeing
  • First Aid
  • Professional Driver & Company Issues
  • Economic Environment for Carriage of Goods (LGV)
  • Economic Environment for Carriage of Passengers (PCV)
  • Vulnerable Road Users (VRU)

The thinking behind the legislation is that during a 35-hour period (split into five, 7 hour sessions which can be further split into two, 3.5 hour sessions) many of these subject headings can be covered helping drivers to understand more deeply the effects and causes of certain actions and attitudes. Thus, this should lead to safer skills being employed by drivers whether they are LGV or PCV.

Reason 2. Improve Drivers Current Knowledge.

Reason 2 assumes that drivers will have gained knowledge about their job from various means. Their initial training when they gained their LGV/PCV licence will be one such method. Subsequent training by various employers throughout their careers. Or from the “University of the Transport Café” which may not necessarily be accurate but nevertheless, a source of information. So, the “Periodic Training” given during their Driver CPC attendance will aim to add to their existing knowledge.

Reason 3. Build On Drivers Existing Experience.

And the third point similarly will hope to build on experiences but importantly will have the benefit of cross fertilization to other drivers attending the course. It is an opportunity to discuss experiences and for others (including Instructors) to benefit from lessons learnt or just amusing tales of the road!

The course will differentiate between “new drivers” and drivers with “acquired rights” or “grandfather rights”.

New Drivers and CPC Driver Training
Driver CPC Drivers Legal Obligations (Module 1).

New drivers are those who have only had Category B (car) on their licence at 9th September 2008 for PCV drivers or 9th September 2009 for LGV drivers, or gained their Cat B after these dates. They will, as a result have gained their Cat C1 (7.5 tonne), Cat C (rigid LGV), Cat D1 (mini-busses) or Cat D (large mini-buses or bus/coaches) after these dates making them new drivers.

Their route to gaining their LGV/PCV and Driver Qualification Card (DCPC) will be as follows:

  • They will need a medical first.
  • Then pass Module 1 at a test centre. Includes a theory test and the Hazard Perception Skills test.
  • Followed by Module 3 which is the practical road test with the examiner. Passing these two modules gains the category of licence that is required, but will only allow the driver to drive such a vehicle for “private” use. It will not allow them to drive commercially yet.
  • To do that, the driver must go on and pass a further theory test (Module 2) at the test centre and a practical (Module 4) at the test centre.
  • Module 4 typically involves demonstrating to the examiner how to do a “safety walk round check” of the vehicle, explaining what they are checking and why. There will be “tell me” and “show me” questions by the examiner. Some test centres who have a jig will ask the driver to demonstrate how to use ratchet straps, chains and tensioners and ropes. Successfully passing Modules 2 and 4 will gain the driver his Driver Qualification Card (DQC) which will now allow the holder to drive LGV/PCV vehicles commercially.
  • The card has an expiry date of typically five years. By the time the expiry date is reached the driver must complete 35 hours of “Periodic Training” to ensure that their DQC remains valid.
  • Consequences of not holding a valid DQC and driving an in-scope vehicle will involve a penalty fine and in the event of the vehicle being involved in an accident, will invalidate the insurance!
  • The DQC, like the Driver’s Licence, must be carried with the driver at all times when they are driving an in-scope vehicle. A graduated penalty will be incurred if the driver is found to be driving an in-scope vehicle without their DQC in their possession.

Driver’s with “acquired rights”.

To qualify, drivers will have had Cat C1 or C on their licence before 9th September 2009 or D1 or D on their licence before 9th September 2008 for PCV drivers.

Generally, drivers with “acquired rights” have to attend 35 hours of “periodic training” before the date on the back of their DQC runs out. The 35 hours can be completed all at once or spread out over the five-year period i.e. 7 hours every year. Once a driver gets their DQC they will need to complete 35 hours of Periodic Training and this will have to be repeated every five years. Even if you have years of driving experience you need to refresh your knowledge of the Driver CPC Drivers Legal Obligations.

Check Your Drivers Details Online

All drivers are encouraged to ensure they have an account set up on this Government website. Having one will allow a driver to check all their training completed since the start date.

The process:

Go to the website illustrated above to set up an account. The applicant will need their Driving Licence number and the post code for their address that is on their licence. Once the account has been set up, DVLA will send a password in the post. Once you receive the password to get into your account, change it to something more memorable. You will then see all the training you have completed for Driver CPC since the first 7 hours you attended.

Reasons for doing this and why it is so important:

  1. It will enable drivers to keep track of their Periodic Training.
  2. It is very important to note that any hours completed in excess of 35 hours will not count to anything. They cannot be carried forward to the next five-year period.
  3. The reasons for avoiding completing more than the 35 hours required are:
  • If the driver is paying for the CPC course themselves, it will be money they did not need to spend;
  • If the driver has taken a day off work to attend a course and is not being paid, they will lose money again.
  1. Additionally, by checking whether the training you have just attended has been uploaded by the training organisation to the DVSA evidencing and recording system, you will know that they have not forgotten to do so.

Make sure you are fully aware of the Driver CPC Drivers Legal Obligations and how they effect you.

Driver’s hours

The EU rules (Regulation (EC) 561/2006) apply to drivers of most vehicles used for the carriage of goods – defined as goods or burden of any description – (including dual purpose vehicles) where the maximum permissible weight of the vehicle, including any trailer or semi-trailer, exceeds 3.5 tonnes and where the vehicle is used within the UK or between the UK and other EU and EEA countries and Switzerland.


  • Driving time is the time spent at the wheel of the vehicle for the purpose of controlling its movement. This can be moving or stationary (waiting at a red traffic light).
  • Non driving duty time is any other work activity which is not driving.
  • Break is a minimum period of 15 minutes, where the driver is on duty, but not working or driving.
  • Rest period is a period where the driver is “free to dispose of his/her own time” i.e. off duty.
  • Working day is any period of 24 hours from coming on duty.
  • Fixed week is a fixed period every week commencing at 00:01 Monday until 23:59 the following Sunday.
  • Working week is any days worked which are between two weekly rest periods.

Daily Driving Under The Driver CPC Drivers Legal Obligations

4 ½ hours is the maximum time that can be driven before a break must be taken.

A Break of 45 minutes is required by the time 4 ½ hours of driving has been reached. Alternatively, the driver can take two shorter periods that add up to 45 minutes, the first period must be a minimum of 15 minutes and the second period must be a minimum of 30 minutes. It is possible for a co-driver in a double manned vehicle to take a break in a moving vehicle.

4 ½ hours can then be driven. Thus, the normal driving limit per day is:

9 hours. (i.e. 2 x 4.5 hours). However, on two occasions in a fixed week, the driver can extend the driving period to:

10 hours. (Remember that a driver cannot drive for more than 4.5 hours without a break of 45 minutes, so if they choose to drive for 10 hours, the appropriate breaks must be taken.

Weekly driving limits:

A driver may work for a maximum of 6 shifts a week. Therefore, if two driving periods can be 10 hours, the rest must be 9 hours, so it can be shown in the following way:

10 hours driving

9 hours driving

9 hours driving

10 hours driving

9 hours driving

9 hours driving

56 hours

Two weekly driving limits:

A driver can drive for a maximum of:

90 hours in any two-week period. Therefore, if a driver drives for the maximum of 56 hours in one week, they will only be able to drive for 34 hours in the second week.

Rest Periods:

A “Rest Period” is described as a period where the driver is able to freely dispose of his/her own time, i.e. they are off duty.

It is possible for a driver or co-driver to take a “Rest Period” in a vehicle, provide that bunks are fitted and the vehicle is stationary. The exception to this is the ‘normal’ weekly rest period of 45 hours which must not be taken in the cab, irrespective if it is fitted with bunks. Such a “Rest Period” must be taken at the driver’s home or a suitable alternative such as a Hotel/Guest House.

Daily rest periods:

The normal Daily Rest period should be:

11 hours. This period can be reduced on three days in the fixed week to:

9 hours. Care should be taken when choosing to take a reduced Daily Rest period when at home. Think about the travel time from work to home and back again. Then whether you will be going straight to bed or having something to eat and a short while to relax before going to bed and then the time it takes to fall asleep. The rest period of 9 hours may be massively reduced and not give sufficient rest for a full day’s work to follow.

A “Daily Rest” period can be split into two shorter periods that add up to:

12 hours. The first period must be a minimum of:

3 hours and the second period must be a minimum of:

9 hours.

Weekly rest periods:

The “normal” weekly rest period is:

45 hours. A 45-hour rest period, in general, should be taken every week. However, the 45 hour rest period can be reduced to as few as:

24 hours once a fortnight. Any such reduction from 45 hours must be compensated by taking the reduced amount, en bloc, and attaching it to another rest period of at least 9 hours, by the end of the third week following the reduction.

Double Manning:

This arrangement can be advantageous for journeys which are being carried out over large distances.

* The first hour can be single man only in order to allow for the second driver to be collected en route.

* The working period is calculated over 30 hours rather than the 24 hours used for single driver operation.

* Provided both drivers have 10 hour driving periods available, the vehicle will be able to travel for 20 hours. Remember, the co-driver can take his “Break” in a moving vehicle.

* Both drivers must then take a minimum “Rest Period” of 9 hours. If it is be taken in the vehicle, it must be fitted with the appropriate bunks and be stationary.


Provided the tachograph is placed in “ferry mode” the driver can interrupt a full daily “Rest Period” of 11 hours, up to two times for a total of 1 hour. The driver must have access to a bunk or a couchette. This allows for embarkation and disembarkation without the interruption being an infringement.

Road Transport Working Time Regs. 2005

Driver CPC Drivers Legal Obligations And Periods of Availability (POA).

  • There is no minimum or maximum time for a POA.
  • The driver must know how long the period of waiting will be prior to a POA commencing.
  • The driver should not have to stay with the vehicle.
  • The driver must be available to return to work upon request.

Rules to apply:

  • An average of 48 hour of work a week, averaged over a suitable reference period (usually 17 or 18 weeks. This can be varied, with a workforce or collective agreement, to a maximum of 26 weeks).
  • No opt out available.
  • A maximum of 60 hours can be worked (driving, any other non-driving work) in any week.
  • A maximum of 10 hours night work limit (may be varied by relevant agreement only)


  • Working time must not exceed 6 hours without a break.
  • If working for between 6 hours to 9 hours, the break must be 30 mins.
  • If the work period last over 9 hours, the break must be extended to 45 mins.
  • These breaks can be sub-divided into 15-minute slots.

Digital Tachographs

Digital Tachographs have been fitted in vehicles since 2005. They are increasingly replacing the old analogue tachograph and charts. It will be unusual these days to find a vehicle fitted with an analogue tachograph, but they are still out there and are legal to operate as long as they work and have been calibrated.

Since June 2019, all new vehicles have been fitted with the new “smart tachograph”.

They are part of EU legislation to reduce fraud and must be capable of the following:

  1. “Global Navigation Satellite System” records vehicles position. It will record the starting position when the ignition is switched on then update the position every 3 hours.
  2. “Dedicated Short Range Communication” will allow enforcement agencies to download certain information remotely.


  1. No personal information regarding driver will be downloaded – comply with data protection.
  2. Eventually, new driver cards will be issued.
  3. DVSA have until 2030 to have the equipment fitted in their vehicles to carry out all the functions listed above.

This process will allow for a more targeted approach to enforcement. So those drivers who are following and abiding by the law and rules will normally be able to carry on. Those who are not are more likely to be caught.

The Driver Card
  • The driver card is personal to the driver.
  • They generally need replacing every 5 years.
  • The driver card is the record for the driver’s activities and must be carried at all times, even if driving an “out of scope” vehicle.
  • On the card will be the driver number (driving licence number) and the digital card number. Driver’s should keep a note of these somewhere as they will be needed if the Driver’s Card is Lost or Stolen.
  • In this event, the driver must make an application for a new card within 7 days. He can drive, under these conditions, without a card for up to 15 days.
  • A printout must be produced at the start and end of the shift. They will be kept by the driver for 28 days to form their records and then handed into the Operator (within 40 days) who must keep them for up to 12 months.
  • On the back of the printout, the driver must put their “name”, “Driver Number”, “Driver Card Number” and “signature”.

The digital tachograph must have a printer roll in the head. The driver must ensure that there are at least two spare rolls in the vehicle. This would normally be checked during the initial vehicle checks.

The printer roll is phot-sensitive paper. It can be affected by sunlight, oil and water. Eventually any print can fade if they are not taken care of.

Drivers Hours For Goods Vehicles

Drivers Hours For Passenger Vehicles

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