The new driver CPC – the hidden costs for non-compliance

The LGV driver CPC requirements come into effect on 10 September 2009; those who already have a vocational licence will be granted acquired rights but nevertheless will need to complete 35 hours training within 5 years of the introduction to the driver CPC. Much has been said about the costs of the training and who will bear those costs, there are however significant costs for both the driver and employer for non-compliance.

Once a newly qualified driver has passed the initial CPC test or an existing driver has completed the 35 hours periodic training, then the driver must apply for a driver qualification card. This means that by 10 September 2014, then unless exempt from the training requirements, all vocational licence holders must have applied for and carry a driver qualification card. It will be an offence to drive without one or as an operator to permit a driver to drive a vehicle without holding the qualification. Vehicle examiners and police constables can, on demand, request to see evidence of the qualification. Failure to comply with this could result in a fine of up to £1000.

It is an offence to alter or forge a driver qualification card. If the driver details are no longer correct because of a change of the driver’s name, then the card must be returned for a new one to be issued. Failure to return the card where the details are no longer correct could result in a fine of up to £1000.

It is also an offence to lend the driver qualification card to another driver or to knowingly make false statements in order to obtain a driver qualification card. The government consider that doing either of these or forging or altering a driver qualification card are serious enough to warrant a prison sentence of up to 3 months, if dealt with by a magistrates’ court or up to 2 years if sentenced by a crown court. The seriousness of these offences is confirmed by the fact that the owner of a vehicle can be summoned before a magistrates’ court to account for why a forged driver qualification card was found in one of his vehicles. Operators need to make sure that they have a robust system for checking not only that drivers have and carry the qualification card but also that it is genuine.

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