Does your employer have to provide Driver CPC training?
Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (or Driver CPC / DCPC for short) is a mandatory qualification for the majority of drivers operating vehicles over 3.5 Tonne or 8 passenger seats for work.
There are some exemptions from the rules (more details on DCPC exemptions here) but generally speaking if you’re being paid to drive a lorry/bus, or you’re making any form of gain from doing it – financial or otherwise – you’ll need it.
So if I need it for work, surely my employer has to pay for it?
There are penalties in place for both drivers and operators if they break the rules.
For example, even if you have a DCPC but you don’t have the card on you when you’re driving professionally, you can be landed with a £50 fine. If you don’t have the DCPC and it’s established that you should, the potential fine increases to £1,000 and this can be applied to BOTH the driver AND the operator.
However, DCPC is the driver’s qualification. The card gets sent to the driver’s address and carries with them should they decide to switch jobs for any reason. It is for that reason that some employers – notably some of our main competitors, including the ‘big names’ – have opted not to cover the cost for their drivers. In fact, some of them have gone one step further and offered to arrange it, before changing their mind just a couple of months before the deadline. This has left some drivers struggling to find available courses and/or paying more, thanks to some providers taking advantage of the impending deadline and bumping prices up.
Can the employer do that, you might ask?
Well, strictly speaking, yes. There is no specific requirement for any employer/operator to provide the training for you, despite it clearly being in their interest to do so. I mean, if an operator or employment business supplying drivers has no drivers that can drive – it might make them a little less efficient, right?
We’ve been in the Transport & Logistics industry for a long time – over 30 years! – so we appreciate just how important good quality drivers are, and how hard they can be to find! It’s precisely for this reason that we’ve always chosen to provide our drivers with free of charge CPC training (amongst a host of other benefits!).
The fact we’ve got a fully-fledged training division within our business certainly makes this easier. Other similar companies either have fragmented business models (i.e. the training division is just one of 10’s or 100’s of different companies all using the same logo) or they just don’t have the scale to run sufficient courses.
What about the hauliers/operators?
With the wide client base that we enjoy, we see a variety of approaches when it comes to driver training.
Some opt to pay for the training, but insist that the drivers do it in their own time. Others will give them the time off to get it sorted, but the drivers will need to source and pay for the training themselves.
If you’re particularly unlucky, you’ll have to pay for the training and sort it out in your own time – a surprising number of companies take this approach. And for the rest (we’d guesstimate around 20%), the company are willing to pay for the training and pay the driver’s wages for the day.
There really isn’t a consistent approach across the industry.
So if you do have to meet the cost yourself, what can you do?
- Shop around! Don’t just take the first price you’re given. It might be the best one, but if you don’t ask elsewhere – how will you know?
- Strength in numbers: you’re bound to get the best deal available if you can get a few of you together. We’ll always see what we can do on price for a group booking.
- Two Birds, One Stone. Why not make most use of the time and get your HIAB, Forklift, ADR or First Aid training done at the same time? We can include Driver CPC hours with all of these and it will save you money overall!
- Plan ahead. We haven’t taken advantage of the deadline by bumping prices up, but many companies do. If you’re leaving it until the last minute, you reduce your options which means you’ll probably end up paying over the odds. You can sign up to our FREE reminder service which will send you notifications when it’s time to book so you don’t get caught out.
- Join Backline! We invest heavily in training our drivers, so you could not only avoid having to shell out just to do your job, but you could pick up extra skills, too. If you’d like to know more – complete the enquiry form below.