Getting your CPC

Questions answered on Driver CPC: who needs it, how to get it, how to keep it.

What is Driver CPC ?

Driver CPC was introduced across the EU in 2008 for professional bus drivers and 2009 for professional truck drivers to set and maintain high standards of road safety, health and safety and driving among professional drivers of buses and trucks.

Three key aims:

  • Ensuring all professional drivers have good driving and safety standards and that those standards are maintained throughout their career
  • Creating a common standard for the training and testing of drivers throughout the EU
  • Reducing fatalities and serious injuries on Irish roads. The RSA’s target is for Ireland to have one of the lowest casualty rates in Europe.

The Driver CPC and you

Professional drivers fall into two categories from a Driver CPC perspective:

  1. those who were already working as professional drivers when the scheme was put in place, and
  2. those who are new to the profession.

'Acquired rights' to Driver CPC

If you got your bus licence on or before the 9 September 2008, or your truck licence on or before 9 September 2009, you are automatically entitled to Driver CPC. This is called “acquired rights”.

To keep your Driver CPC, you must do 35 hours of periodic training over the next five years. Training is on a one-day-per-year basis.

Periodic training is compulsory and will help you be:

  • A better and safer driver
  • More environmentally aware and cost conscious
  • Physically healthier

Training is provided in RSA-approved training centres by approved trainer providers.

If you don't qualify for 'acquired rights' for Driver CPC

If you had your bus licence on or after 10 September 2008 or your truck licence on or after 10 September 2009 you don’t qualify for acquired rights.

To become a professional bus or truck driver you must pass:

  • Two-hour multiple choice theory test
  • Two-hour case study theory test
  • 90-minute driving test
  • 30-minute practical test.

In addition, to maintain your Driver CPC, you must complete 35 hours of periodic training for five years following qualification (one day per year)

Test locations

The Driver CPC bus/truck test and practical test can be carried out in any existing bus/truck test location. But not every type of vehicle can be tested at all centres. Find out which type of vehicle that can be tested in each test centre.

Theory tests

The Driver CPC theory tests are part of the Driver CPC process, which is mandatory for all new professional drivers.

Step 1: Drivers must first pass the learner permit theory test and obtain their learner permit.

Step 2: Drivers then must take pass theory tests.

  • Test 1 - 100 multiple choice question (61 correct answers needed to pass)
  • Test 2 - 3 case studies are short scenarios that describe various situations a driver might face. There are 15 questions in each case study (45 in total). To pass, you must correctly answer 28 of the 45 questions - a minimum of 5 questions on each case study.

Each stage takes two hours and it's possible to take both tests on the same day.  Study material including advice on how to prepare for both CPC Theory tests is available from Prometric Ireland, who also run the learner permit theory tests, the Driver CPC theory test cost €72 each.

Important note: Bus drivers aged between 21 and 24 years and Truck drivers aged between 18 and 21 years must complete steps 1 and 2 above, before they can obtain their learner permit.

The CPC practical test

This test is conducted in the driving test centre and is usually taken directly after the driving test. A vehicle is required for this session. It is a practical knowledge test lasting 30 minutes. It covers areas such as

  • safety
  • passenger comfort 
  • legal matters relating to driving
  • vehicle loading and stability
  • ability to deal with an emergency
  • physical risks involved in driving

Booking a test

Driver CPC theory test: Lo-call: 1890 60 61 06 or go to www.theorytest.ie.

 Driver CPC driving and practical test: Lo-call: 1890 50 60 80 or go the RSA’s online booking facility.

If you wish, you can attend training in RSA-approved training centres to help you prepare for your Driver CPC examination.

Proof of certification

Drivers with acquired rights:

Your licence will have an issue date before the Spetember deadlines in the relevant category as proof of your acquired rights. When you complete your periodic training, you will be issued with a Driver CPC qualification card.

New drivers:

When you have passed the two Driver CPC theory tests, the driving test and practical test you will be issued with a Driver CPC qualification card.

Exemptions

 Driver CPC certification is not required for drivers of vehicles used:

  • For non-commercial purposes, eg driving as a volunteer; drivers of emergency or rescue vehicles
  • For a registered RSA approved Driving Instructors who are giving driving instruction
  • In the course of someone’s work, provided that driving the vehicle is not the driver’s principal occupation, eg, a plumber using a light truck to transport their materials.
  • Vehicles with a maximum speed not exceeding 45 km/h

More information on Driver CPC

CPC Unit
Road Safety Authority
Primrose Hill
Moy Valley Business Park
Ballina
Co Mayo
Email: cpc@rsa.ie
Tel: 096 25015