The deadlinefor the Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) is looming large and professionaldrivers that are yet to complete the necessary training risk licencesuspensions for themselves and their operators.

Professionaldrivers are required to complete their training by 9th September toretain their existing Driver Qualification Card (DQC). It’s illegal for fleetdrivers to operate without a valid DQC, with fines of up to £1,000 possible fordrivers and their operators, as well as potential suspensions of driver andoperator licences.

Reportssuggest that around a third of professional drivers are yet to complete theirfull 35 hours of periodic training needed to retain their DQC.

The CPCqualification has been active for a decade now, giving professional drivers achance to prove their high standards of driving and road safety. Every fiveyears drivers must complete 35 hours of periodic training to maintain their DQClicence.

Some 700,000DQC licences will expire on 9th September and a recent survey offleet professionals found that 29% of transport managers confirmed theircontracted drivers were yet to complete the full 35 hours of training.

BobHannigan, head of national standards and accreditation, Driver and VehicleStandards Agency (DVSA), said: “We encourage all drivers to plan ahead andcomplete their training in good time.

“Don’t leaveit to the last minute when demand for training courses will be high.

“Missing thedeadline will mean time off the road or being faced with a £1,000 fine fordriving illegally, without a valid DQC.”

Keith Gray,general manager for training, audits and standards at the Freight TransportAssociation (FTA), has noted the decline in driver training in recent years. MrGray claims there has been some two million less training hours undertaken bydrivers across the UK in the last five years.

Graysuggests that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit may be partly at fault, assome drivers have wrongly assumed that Brexit would mean the CPC requirementwould be null and void.

Nevertheless,the DVSA and the UK government have both reiterated that valid CPCs will benecessary for professional drivers to continue to operate at the wheelpost-Brexit.

“One of theproblems for the industry is that those passing the licence after 2009 gettheir own five-year period – it’s an administrative nightmare,” added Gray.

However,Gray hopes that given many drivers with ‘acquired rates’ share the five-yearperiod ending 9th September could leave the industry, this periodic‘peak’ should soon “flatten out”.