Unite, the UK’s leading union, has welcomed the announcement today (Tuesday 9 November) from the Department for Transport (DfT) that the Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), which all professional drivers are required to undertake, will be reformed.

Unite lobbying

The DfT announcement is a direct result of Unite’s lobbying. The union, which represents over 70,000 lorry drivers, published its Drivers’ Manifesto in the spring which set out the steps needed to tackle the lorry driver shortage and make the sector more attractive to both existing and new drivers. A key demand in the manifesto is reform of the CPC regime.

Unfair CPC rules

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: The government has listened to Unite’s concerns and has at long last moved to reform the CPC rules, which are blatantly unfair to professional drivers.

 “It is entirely immoral for drivers to be required to pay for this mandatory training. The CPC must be fully reformed and employers must be required to pay for the training.”

Five days training

As part of the existing CPC regime professional drivers are required to undertake five days of training every five years in order to demonstrate that they are fully competent to drive their vehicles. Currently it is the responsibility of the driver to keep their CPC up to date, which can be prohibitively expensive, with drivers reporting that it costs them up to £4,500 to undertake the training.

The details of the government’s intended reforms are currently sparse, but Unite believes that CPC training must be undertaken during work time and that the employer must pay for the training and pay the worker while the training is undertaken.

Reform needed

Unite also believes that the CPC modules need to be reformed so that they are both industry and job specific, making them relevant to all drivers in the sector. There should be an assessment at the end of each module to ensure that drivers have fully understood the module.

Unite is also calling for the drivers’ voice to be fully included in all discussions and decisions about how the CPC will be reformed.

Workers' voice needed

Unite national officer Adrian Jones said: “Unite has set out a clear path of the steps needed to reform the lorry driving sector to make it attractive to workers. It is welcome that the government is finally listening to Unite’s concerns and acting on them.

 “If the reforms to the CPC are to be effective and embraced by drivers then it is absolutely essential that drivers themselves, or their representatives, are fully engaged in the process.”

Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers' living standards.


Notes to editors:

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.