The deadline to complete training for the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification is less than four months away, yet reports have highlighted that 75% of drivers still need to complete the mandatory training.

The CPC qualification was first introduced in 2009 for professional bus, coach and lorry drivers, with the aim of improving road safety and maintaining high standards of driving.

It states 35 hours of periodic training must be completed every five years.

Drivers with acquired rights – those with vocational licences pre-September 2009 – have a deadline of
September 9 to complete the next phase of their training.

Andrew Fletcher, Senior Divisional Manager at Encore Personnel is warning drivers to check how many hours they have completed now, before it’s too late.

He says: “Encore Personnel places high-quality drivers in work across multiple industries, yet it has found that 75% of its drivers still need to complete their CPC training before September and many of those are still unaware of how many hours they have completed.

“This may be for several reasons. Firstly, a number of drivers had relied on previous employers to organise training and after leaving their place of work, this was not continued.

“Secondly, with Brexit on the horizon, some drivers have felt the European requirement would no longer imply, so simply choose not to spend the money on sufficient training.

“However, these excuses will just not cut it. If they do not complete the training, come October, it will be illegal for them to continue as a driver.

“They could face a £1,000 fine or worse still lose their job. As a result, businesses will suffer, with a significantly reduced workforce.”

To combat this problem, Encore offer free training to drivers under its Approved Driver Scheme which to date has invested £14,000 in ensuring 250 of its drivers complete their 35 hours of CPC training.

Adds Andrew: “The £400 cost to complete 35 hours training can be a hindrance to some so, by offering free training, we are helping drivers and businesses benefit, without being out of pocket.

“Through this support, our clients will see better worker retention and a high level of quality drivers through their doors.

“However, as the evidence would suggest, the lack of drivers completing their CPC training is an industry-wide problem, so it is not only our drivers that need support.

“We also provide training for the drivers of our clients across the Midlands, including workers at a national supermarket chain; giving drivers easy access to training in a professional environment.

“But, as the deadline looms, the number of people looking for training is increasing, and it will soon become a case of first come first served as we can’t facilitate everyone.

Moving forward, businesses can support its own drivers by advising them how to complete the qualification, and can work with agencies like Encore Personnel to gain advice and support where needed.

Andrew concludes: “However, it is ultimately the driver’s responsibility to ensure they are taking every action required.

“It is important they make a note of the deadline and take every opportunity to find training near them.

“They can also find out how many hours they have completed by visiting www.gov.uk/check-your-driver- cpc-periodic-training-hours