Any line of work that requires a valuable skill is likely to have fluctuations in supply and demand. There has been a shortage of skilled lorry drivers in the UK for several years, so investing in a professional driving qualification could pay career dividends. If you want to become a HGV driver in the UK, you need to obtain a Driver’s Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), as well as having a standard full UK driving licence and be over the age of 18. After applying for a provisional lorry driver’s licence, here are four parts to the Driver CPC: Theory, Case Studies, Driving Ability Practical Demonstration
- CPC Theory test, featuring multiple choice questions and a hazard perception test
- Case studies with multiple-choice questions
- Vehicle safety, practical road driving and off-road exercises
- Practical demonstration of safety checks and good practice
Once a driver has passed the Driver CPC, they must complete a further 35 hours of training every 5 years to remain legally qualified to drive heavy goods vehicles. Those with ‘acquired rights’ from existing driving experience still have to undergo periodic training.
Critics of the CPC argue that the amount of training and certification needed to become a HGV driver are barriers to entry for prospective workers. The pool of available qualified drivers in relation to demand has reduced since the legislation came into effect in 2009.
However, a more technically aware and highly skilled workforce on Britain’s roads is contributing to a reduction in the number of accidents. In 2015 there were 78 serious accidents per billion vehicle miles involving HGVs, whereas in 2009 the figure was 86.
Your decision to become a heavy goods vehicle driver could be the key to a stable career where your skills are always in demand. Whenever someone buys something, that item will have been on two or more journeys to and around Britain before it reaches the hands of the customer. As consumerism increases, so too does the demand for qualified drivers to get the goods safely from the manufacturer or importer to the distribution centre and branch of the retailer. For more information about becoming a lorry driver, see gov.uk/become-lorry-bus-driver.