Drivers acquiring a vocational licence for the first time, and who wish to drive for a living, will have to complete the 'initial qualification' for Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC).
The initial qualification can be taken at the same time as your vocational driving test. If you pass, you will be issued with a Driver Qualification Card (DQC), which looks similar to a photo driving licence. For more information, see our guide on Driver CPC initial qualification for lorry, bus and coach drivers.
Once you obtain the Driver CPC, you must complete 35 hours of periodic training within the next five years to continue to drive professionally. More about which module.
Drivers who undertake an approved National Vocational Training (NVT) programme can drive professionally for up to 12 months while they complete their initial qualification tests. For more information, see the page in this guide on temporary concessions from Driver CPC for new drivers taking National Vocational Training courses.
Bus and coach drivers who hold a relevant vocational licence gained before 10 September 2008, and lorry drivers who obtained their licence before 10 September 2009, do not need to take the initial qualification. This is because they are deemed to hold 'acquired rights'. However, they will have to complete 'periodic training' to keep their Driver CPC.
You will be issued with a DQC on completion of your 35 hours of periodic training. Until this time, or until the deadline to complete the periodic training passes, your driving licence will be accepted as proof of your Driver CPC status.
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