The Department for Transport is consulting on proposed changes to the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC). If these changes are implemented, they will only apply to drivers completing journeys within Great Britain, and Northern Ireland if authorities there agree, as DCPC is a devolved matter.
Drivers wishing to drive to, from or within the EU will still need to comply with the existing requirements due to arrangements within the UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), as well as other relevant UK international obligations.
Proposed changes will therefore create two parallel qualifications for driving in GB and, potentially, NI:
A national DCPC (N-DCPC) – the subject of this consultation.
An international DCPC (I-DCPC) – the existing TCA-compliant regime.
The key changes include offering in parallel to the existing lengthy training format, which will be reformed, more flexibility with e-learning and a shorter ‘new periodic test’ which could save employees time and companies up to £460 per test in early estimates.
Reforms to training as well as the new cheaper and shorter periodic test will offer an accelerated route for former drivers to return to the sector more easily.
DCPC is currently obtained by passing four tests and renewed by completing 35 hours of training every five years, which can cost up to £500 for each individual training.
While supportive of DCPC in principle, the industry has raised concerns that in its current form the qualification is making it more difficult to retain and attract drivers to the sector, with high costs, poor flexibility and extended length of training among the main barriers to progress.
Safety is at the heart of the proposals, as the new periodic test will be delivered by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and will continue to meet existing training standards to ensure that UK’s roads remain among the safest in Europe.
The consultation closes on 27 April 2023.
Department for Transport March 2023
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