What Do Grandfather Rights Mean For The Driver CPC?

Posted on 17th September 2019 By Charlotte Haye

Depending on your age and industry, you may not be familiar with the term ‘grandfather rights’. It’s a legal term that goes across multiple industries, and essentially means that when a new standard or law is brought in around skills needed for a job, people already doing that job are protected and considered qualified, rather than forced to down tools and train to meet the new standard. It’s designed to keep things moving smoothly and allow change to happen at a reasonable pace. Today, we want to talk about how grandfather rights apply to the HGV industry, particularly in terms of the Driver CPC qualification.


What Is The Driver CPC?

CPC stands for “Driver Certificate of Professional Competence”. It is a qualification for professional drivers of goods and passenger vehicles and was developed as a result of EU Directive 2003/59, which requires drivers to be continuously trained throughout their working lives. Drivers must only be trained using approved training courses and should complete 35 hours of approved training in every period of five years.


Why Do Grandfather Rights Matter?

Because if grandfather rights weren’t applied when the Driver CPC was introduced, the haulage industry may not have survived. Think about it – in 2009 the Driver CPC was created, stating that all HGV and LGV drivers needed to hold the qualification in order to legally work as professional drivers. This would have meant that all drivers currently working would have had to stop, immediately, and go through training and testing. This would have meant the whole industry ground to a halt, goods didn’t get moved around the country and general pandemonium.

Grandfather rights mean those drivers who were already working didn’t need to stop working – they were protected and considered qualified under the new law. The Driver CPC only needed to be earned by any new drivers moving into the industry. This means haulage could continue, and new drivers simply had a bit more training to do before they could start work.


So Who Actually Needs A Driver CPC?

Everyone who wants to drive a HGV professionally, in one way or another.

If you’re a large goods vehicle driver and you gained your licence prior to 10th September 2009, then you have Grandfather/acquired rights. This applies to Cat C, C1, C+E and C1+E licences. If you gained a bus or coach driver and gained your licence D, D1, D+E or D1+E before 10th September 2008, you also apply for Grandfather/acquired rights. This means you don’t have to do the full Driver CPC, but you are still fully qualified. But don’t think you’re completely off the hook! You still have to complete your 35 hours of training every 5 years in order to keep that status up.

Everybody else, especially new drivers after this date, needs to fulfil the requirements for a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence to legally be allowed on the road as a professional driver of goods and passenger vehicles. This means training, medical exams, tests and regular ongoing training to gain your license.



What Happens If You Don’t Do Your Driver CPC?

If you are a new driver looking to take your first steps into the world of HGV driving, then the Driver CPC is your first port of call. If you try to do any other kind of training without it, then you will be turned away. The Driver CPC is the baseline that all other training is built on, so you can’t do anything without one. If you do get a job as a professional driver without doing one, you are committing a crime, and opening yourself up to some pretty hefty fines and maybe even prison time.

If you’ve been driving since before the Driver CPC implementation date, then you don’t have to go and do your Driver CPC, and you can still stay on the road. However, you will need to apply for grandfather rights (since they are not granted automatically), and make sure you complete your 35 hours of training every 5 years to stay qualified. If this lapses, then you may have to go and do the Driver CPC after all!!


At The Surrey and Hampshire Training Centre, it’s our job to make sure everyone who passes through our doors is as well educated and trained as possible, ready to make the most of their new carer. Our advisors are on hand to help you work out what you need to do, guide you through the process of applying for grandfather rights or get you started on your Driver CPC training. If you would like to know more, just get in touch today.


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