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Professional drivers

What it is

The Certificate of Professional Competence explained. 

Driver CPC is a Certificate of Professional Competence for professional bus and truck drivers. It sets and maintains high standards of safety and driving among drivers of trucks and buses.

It is illegal to drive professionally without a Driver CPC card and there are penalties if you do not comply

To become a professional bus or truck driver you need to:

  • have a full car licence
  • be over 18 to get truck Driver CPC
  • be over 21 to get bus Driver CPC
  • be  medically fit  fit to drive a bus or truck

Who needs Driver CPC?

You must have a Driver CPC card if you are a professional driver, driving a truck or bus as your principal occupation.

Who does not need full Driver CPC?

You do not need a Driver CPC card if you drive:

  • for non-commercial purposes, such as driving as an unpaid volunteer
  • for emergency or rescue services such as Gardai, Defence Forces, Ambulance and Irish Prison Service
  • as a registered RSA Approved Driving Instructor giving driving instruction
  • during your work, if driving the vehicle is not part of your principal occupation. For example, tradesman using a light truck to transport their materials or a farmer transporting their own animals

To obtain a CPC bus or truck qualification you must hold a full valid, category B (car or light van) driving licence and successfully complete all the relevant driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) requirements. You will also have to pass your RSA practical driving test in the relevant category of vehicle.

Drivers with acquired rights

There are a number of circumstances where an established driver with acquired rights is not required to sit any exams. However, you still need to complete Driver CPC complete Driver CPC periodic training training to maintain your Driver CPC qualification and drive professionally.

The steps

There are 10 steps involved in becoming a professional CPC driver:

  1. Prepare
  2. Theory test
  3. Case study test
  4. Learner permit
  5. Professional Driving lessons
  6. Driving test
  7. Walkaround test
  8. Driving licence
  9. Driver CPC card
  10. Compliant driving and staying qualified

You can start your certification journey as a new bus or truck driver, taking all of the steps. You only need to take and pass the case study and walkaround tests to become eligible for a Driver CPC card if you already have a full, valid truck or bus driving licence. 

The RSA recommends that you take a course of driving lessons with one of our Approved Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) in preparation for your practical driving test. As every driving school set their own fees for tuition, we suggest that you shop around for the most suitable training program for your needs.

Once you have qualified for Driver CPC, you must maintain it by taking annual CPC CPC Training Modules over a five year cycle to continue to be qualified.