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Driver CPC Grandfather Rights: What Are They?

22 April 2021

What is driver CPC and what are grandfather rights?

If you’re new to the world of haulage, HGVs and fleets, these terms might be unfamiliar to you. So this is your essential guide to a critical part of the HGV world.

What is the Driver CPC?

The Driver CPC is a qualification that all HGV drivers need to attain before they can get behind the wheel. CPC stands for “certificate of professional competence”. To get this certificate, you need to commit to a long period of training and testing. And once you get your certificate, you need to take another formal driving test to get your HGV driving licence.

The Driver CPC isn’t a one-and-done thing either. You need to take top-up training every five years to prove that you’re still competent behind the wheel of an HGV.

What are Driver CPC Grandfather Rights?

The UK first adopted the Driver CPC standard in 2009. Essentially, if you got a certain type of category C HGV licence before September 10, 2009, then you have grandfather rights. Which, in short, it means you don’t have to take the CPC test that all new HGV drivers have been required to take since 2009.

So it means you don’t have to take a test to prove your competence before you can legally hit the road.

But don’t worry – this doesn’t mean that there are legions of older drivers out there driving unchecked! Even if you have CPC grandfather rights, you still have to commit to at least 35 hours’ training every five years. You still have to periodically prove that you’re safe behind the wheel, and you still have to keep up to date with the latest regulations for HGV drivers.

Why do Grandfather Rights Exist?

When the UK first adopted the Driver CPC in 2009, grandfather rights ensured that the UK’s many existing haulage drivers could continue to drive without worrying about taking a new test. Without grandfather rights, the UK haulage industry would have ground to a halt in 2009. Grandfather rights kept everything moving!

But grandfather rights can still cause confusion. Many still wonder just what they mean when it comes to ongoing Driver CPC commitments.

Who Needs a Driver CPC?

Almost everyone who drives an HGV or an LGV as part of their job needs a Driver CPC. However, some drivers are largely exempt from Driver CPC requirements. These are the veteran drivers, and in the industry, they’re said to have “acquired rights” – or grandfather rights.

So who needs a Driver CPC? Let’s take a closer look at the rules:

  • If you drive an HGV professionally, then in one way or another you need a Driver CPC.
  • You have grandfather rights if you got your Category C, C1, C+E or C1+E licence before September 10, 2009. You also have grandfather rights if you got your Grandfather D, D1, D+E or D1+E licence before September 10, 2008.
  • If you have grandfather rights, you don’t have to take the Driver CPC test before you can legally drive an HGV. However, you must commit to at least 35 hours’ training every five years.
  • If you qualify for grandfather rights, you must let the government know. You need to apply for your grandfather rights. Your fleet manager, or your HGV training provider, can let you know how.
  • All other drivers need to commit to the full Driver CPC requirements before they can legally drive an HGV. This includes the initial training, the initial test, and the ongoing training every five years.

Keep Your Fleet Safe and Compliant!

It’s against the law to operate an HGV without a Driver CPC, and there are severe penalties for anyone who breaks this law.

Road regulations change all the time, and it can be hard for fleet managers to keep up. Even the Driver CPC can cause confusion if you employ a mix of old and new drivers. How can you ensure that your entire fleet remains compliant in the face of constant change?

At Hazelton Mountford, our haulage experts are dedicated to staying up to date with the latest relegations for drivers and fleets. So our haulage insurance will truly meet your fleet’s needs and your legal obligations, while our dedicated client service portal will help you stay up to date with everything you need to know.

Head here to learn more about our expert haulage insurance, and to get a quote.