HGV Driver Career development tips; think CPD

What do we mean by CPD? CPD stands for Continued Professional Development. Simply put it is the training and activities you take to help advance yourself along your driving career.
Not to be confused with CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence), it’s a term used by professionals to describe the training they undertake to stay ahead of the game.  For some professions, e.g. doctors, CPD is mandatory but just because it’s not for you, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing it.
It can be anything from listening to industry relevant podcasts to undergoing official training, whether that’s simply to help you move one step up the ladder or to help you advance in a different branch of the sector.
Like most things in life, your HGV driving career is what you make of it. The more you put in, the more you’ll get back in terms of money, opportunities and, importantly, job satisfaction.
So, with that in mind, here are some ideas for further training you can undertake to help you develop your career further:

Driver CPC

This makes it to number 1 on our list for one simple, obvious reason: it’s one element that is mandatory.
HGV drivers must complete 35 hours of DCPC training every five years (except newly qualified drivers, who need to do their Initial CPC first) or they are unable to drive professionally.
If you’re not sure what you need, you can use our CPC checker . There are a few driver CPC exceptions, but the vast majority will need it.
You can find out all about it on our Driver CPC pages. Keeping on top of your CPC is the bare minimum, though.
If you want to really get ahead, there’s a whole lot more you can investigate.

First aid

Showing a keen awareness for safety, be that in the warehouse or of others on the road, is a characteristic that a lot of employers really appreciate.
It is a simple thing and whilst we hope you’ll never need to use these skills, preparation is always the best policy.
Getting a First Aid certificate is pretty straightforward and a good sign of what we like to call, ‘high calibre’ applicants.
There are different options – a general First Aid awareness course, such as our Driver CPC module, an Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) course which comes with a certificate or a full-blown First Aid at Work qualification – usually over 3 days.

Upgrade your licence

This may seem obvious but getting more ticks on your driver’s licence will make you a more valuable employee. You may have seen that we regularly do this for our best drivers.
So why wouldn’t you?
You become more flexible around the jobs you take on, and so more valuable to have as part of the team.

HIAB training

A great addition to your HGV driving career is a licence for operating lorry mounted cranes.
This is one of these things where the best way to learn is by doing.
The more experience you have in this field the better, but to be allowed to develop your skills as a crane operator you first need to get qualified.
Thinking about getting your HIAB qualification? Make sure you check out 7 Myths About HIAB training before you do!

Dangerous goods

ADR training, also sometimes referred to as Hazmat training (hazardous materials), covers the carriage of dangerous goods and is a legal requirement for drivers carrying “in-scope” loads.
It is aimed at drivers who will be transporting the goods.
This is a good way to begin specialising your HGV driving career, which will likely lead you to better paying more niche jobs.
For more information, check out our ADR Training section, and start the process of becoming a specialist driver today.
Good to know: We also offer ADR awareness training. This is aimed at drivers who might be carrying out-of-scope loads that are still hazardous, warehouse operatives who are handling the loads or supervisors that are overseeing the staff dealing with the stuff.

Management and/or logistics training

This is for those wanting to move away from driving into a more office orientated role.
It’s a big change of direction. However, the years of experience gained from operating lorries will be invaluable in management and logistics roles in the industry.
Undergoing the right training is the first step. Make sure you speak to a member of our team about how you can develop your career with us.

Become an Instructor

Some people are natural born teachers.
Becoming an instructor also offers a few other perks. You get the opportunity to make a real difference to some people just beginning their careers, the pay is usually better and you don’t get asked to do “just one last collection” on your way back!
It’s not for everyone, just like being an HGV driver, but for some it can be an immensely rewarding career move.

Is all this training really necessary?

Some old hands will argue that the best way to learn is through experience. And they aren’t wrong.
However, in today’s world to even be given the opportunity to develop experience you need to first display your interest and ability, and in many cases get yourself qualified.
This is by no means a full list of ways to start advancing your driving career.
One of the first steps you should take is finding an employer who will value you and provide the training and career opportunities that you deserve.
Working with the right employer is often the only thing you need to do to develop your career as they should be the ones supporting and encouraging you to upskill and improve all the time.
If you feel that you have more to offer and could do with making a change to a more supportive employer, check out some of the benefits we offer our drivers on our Elite Drivers’ Platinum Driver Scheme. We’ve designed it to offer you the best benefits and opportunities in the industry.