Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) Proposed Changes

Monday March 2023

Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) Proposed Changes

 A consultation regarding a review of the Driver CPC qualification is currently taking place Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) changes – GOV.UK ( to seek views on the proposed changes.

These changes will only be applicable to those existing drivers who travel within the UK only.  There are no proposed changes to the Initial qualification.

The following Q & A format will help summarise the content of the consultation.

Why the Changes

  • To make the qualification more flexible
  • Increase choice for renewing DCPC
  • Faster re-entry for returning drivers
  • Reduce costs and time burden
  • Increase focus on quality of knowledge obtained

What are the Changes?

  • To remove the mandatory duration of 7 hours – there will be no minimum duration but the requirement of 35 hours over 5 years will remain
  • 3 routes to follow:
    • I-DCPC – as per current requirement
    • N-DCPC Reformed Training – the removal of mandatory duration of 7 hours
    • N-DCPC Periodic Test
  • New options with a view of enticing drivers to re-join the sector who may have previously left
  • Periodic testing duration will last between 1-1.5 hours, costing in the region of £40-£70
  • Tests will focus on a core range of materials
  • Shorter duration of courses may encourage better learning retention

Other Changes Available

  • Extensions to the validity of a DCPC qualification for a limited period (exceptional circumstances)
  • Exemptions from the need to hold a DCPC qualification for drivers who previously held it but let it lapse, for a limited period (exceptional circumstances)
  • Scheme to recognise non-UK qualifications for driving within the UK
  • Removing the need to hold a physical card for N-DCPC only

What will N-DCPC Reformed Training potentially look like?

  • Still required to attend 35 hours of training every 5 years however:
    • No minimum duration
    • No minimum time within which to complete (no need to spread over 5 years)
    • Returning drivers will need to complete 7 hours before being able to drive with the remaining 28 hours to be made up once driving
  • Valid for 5 years

What will the N-DCPC Periodic Test potential be?

  • 1-1.5 theory test
  • Multiple choice and situational judgement questions
  • Or Theory test elements of the Initial DCPC
  • Valid for 5 years

Issues with the Proposed Changes:

New proposal would result in more complexity within the DCPC regime, which will create confusion. Additionally, if a driver then wants to operate Internationally and they have followed the National route they will then be required to switch to the International route.

When are the changes going to be Implemented?

Implementation timelines are yet to be confirmed, due to the lack of legal mechanism available to implement the changes proposed.  The proposed changes will have no impact of the current DCPC periodic renewal cycles of drivers.

Respond to the Consultation before 27th April 2023 by completing the online survey Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) changes – GOV.UK ( or by emailing