Heavy goods vehicles require their drivers to hold an HGV license. To obtain an HGV license, you first must take the four-part Driver Certificate of Professional Competence test, also known as the CPC test.
Currently, there is an insufficient amount of HGV drivers in the UK. In 2021, 100,000 were required, and these needs weren't met. This suggests that if you were to obtain a HGV license you would be putting yourself in a high-demand position with employers.
If this sounds tempting to you, you will first need to obtain a provisional HGV licence. This process tends to take around three weeks. After this, you will be able to take the four-part CPC test.
What does the CPC test involve?
If you wish to drive a heavy goods vehicle, then you will need to take the CPC test. This test consists of four parts: theory, case studies, driving ability and the practical exam. Once you have passed all four parts, you will obtain your HGV license.
The theory section includes two parts, Multiple-choice and Hazard perception. They must be passed within two years of each other to pass this part of the test.
After obtaining your provisional license you can book this part of the test. It involves seven case studies related to situations you may come across when driving a large vehicle.
This practical test lasts an hour and a half. It includes safety questions, practical road driving and off-road exercises.
Finally, you will take part in a practical demonstration where you will be tested on multiple different factors.
If you were to fail any parts of the tests, you would be able to book another test. You will have to work at least three working days between each test, however.
What happens when you pass all four parts?
When you pass all four parts of the CPC test you will be posted out a Driver CPC card. This can also be referred to as a DQC.
When driving professionally you should carry your DQC card with you at all times. Be aware that there is a £50 fine if you are caught without your card.
According to GOV.UK, HGV Drivers must take 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to stay qualified. In addition, when you reach 65 years of age you will have to renew your HGV licence every year.
If you’re looking for guidance on obtaining your licence or applying for your first HGV role, get in touch with Abacus.