If you’ve never encountered the term “grandfather rights” before, it may sound unfamiliar to you. However, this term holds significant importance in relation to CPC and driving. The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) serves as a mandatory qualification for all HGV drivers. Surprisingly, there are some drivers who do not possess the actual CPC qualification. These individuals are those who have been working on the road long before the implementation of the CPC. As a result, they are eligible for a concept known as “grandfather rights.” Read on to have drivers CPC grandfather rights explained.
Understanding the Driver CPC: Explained
Previously, we have extensively discussed the concept of Driver CPC and the prerequisites for obtaining it. However, to save you the trouble of searching through our previous blog posts, here’s a brief recapitulation. Driver CPC, an abbreviation for ‘Certificate of Professional Competence,’ has been obligatory for all HGV and LGV drivers since 2009. Any driver who obtained their licence after this specified date had to undergo rigorous training and examination to demonstrate their proficiency in driving a HGV at a professional level before being eligible to receive a licence in their chosen category. While the initial impetus for this requirement stemmed from an EU directive, it was promptly embedded into UK legislation and has since been considered the norm. The process entails training, medical evaluations, and assessments, with additional refresher training mandated every five years.
Who Needs One?
If you hold a licence for operating large goods vehicles and obtained it before September 10th, 2009, you are entitled to Grandfather/acquired rights. This rule applies to licences for Cat C, C1, C+E, and C1+E. Similarly, if you obtained your licence for driving buses or coaches, specifically D, D1, D+E, or D1+E, before September 10th, 2008, you can also avail of Grandfather/acquired rights.
In order to legally operate as a professional driver of goods and passenger vehicles, it is mandatory for all individuals to meet the requirements for a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence. This certification applies to everyone, except for those who fall under certain exemptions.
However, there is a caveat. If you are a driver who qualifies for grandfather rights, you may be exempt from the test requirement. However, you are still required to complete the training component. This entails undergoing a minimum of 35 hours of training from an accredited provider every 5 years. The purpose of this training is to demonstrate that you remain competent in driving and to keep you informed about any regulatory or safety procedure updates. So, while you may have some leeway, you still have to put in the effort.
Unravelling the Significance of Grandfather Rights
Grandfather rights played a crucial role in preventing a complete shutdown of the haulage industry. The implementation of Driver CPC training and testing in 2009 would have required every driver to stop driving and undergo the necessary training and examinations. This would have resulted in a complete halt in the transportation of goods, both domestically and internationally, and would have had severe repercussions on our economy. However, thanks to the existence of grandfather rights, this catastrophic scenario was averted.
Instead, the concept of grandfather rights was implemented, permitting existing drivers to continue their work on the roads without undergoing additional qualifications. Their previous experience was deemed sufficient to cover their competence. However, they were required to complete 25 hours of training every 5 years to ensure they remained updated. On the other hand, newly licensed drivers had to undergo the full CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) as part of their training. This approach ensured the industry could continue without losing any drivers or disrupting its regular operations.
The Consequences of Neglecting Training: A Closer Look
Failing to complete your Driver CPC holds significant consequences. Specifically, it disqualifies you from being recognized as a professional HGV driver. Engaging in driving activities without a valid CPC is deemed illegal, thereby resulting in substantial penalties and potential imprisonment. However, if you are eligible for grandfather rights, you need not be concerned. Simply pursue obtaining grandfather rights status or initiate the process of earning your Driver CPC from the beginning.