PCV Training in northern ireland

Canning Driving School Bus

To become a lorry or bus driver you first need to pass both Theory and Hazard perception tests

You’ll then need to complete the following four sections:

Category D1 Licence.

Minibus – this is a small PCV with more than 8 but not more than 16 seats (in addition to the driver) with a trailer up to 750 kg. People who passed their car test before January 1997 may already hold a D1 restricted licence for social and pleasure use. However, anyone driving a vehicle with more than 7 seats for hire or reward will need to pass their D1 driving test to have the full PCV entitlement.

To drive a minibus which has 9 or more passenger seats for hire or reward you will normally need passenger carrying vehicle entitlement [PCV] (category D1 or D). To obtain this you must meet higher medical standards and take a further driving test.

Category D Licence

Coach or Bus – this is a large bus for hire or reward with more than 8 passenger seats with a trailer up to 750 kg. Once this licence category is obtained, any size of PCV can be driven for hire or reward and can be either a single or a double decker bus.

To become a PCV driver you must possess a high degree of skill in the handling of your vehicle and also be prepared to make allowances for the behaviour of others.

The right attitude and approach to your driving, together with a sound knowledge of professional driving techniques and the ability to apply those techniques, are essential.

You will be required to undertake a medical examination to comply with the higher medical regulations that this licence category requires which we can arrange for you. Once you have had your medical you will need to apply for your provisional vocational licence.

Once your licence has been approved and returned to you your theory test can be arranged, the theory test is made up of two parts; the multiple-choice part and the hazard perception part. The multiple choice part is delivered using a touch screen computer and mouse and the hazard perception part records your responses through the use of a computer mouse button.

You need to pass both parts to pass the theory test. If you pass one part and fail the other you will fail the whole test, and you will need to take both parts again.

Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)

A new qualification for professional bus, coach and lorry drivers - the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) - has been given the Government go-ahead. In future, just holding a vocational driving licence will not be sufficient for someone who wishes to drive such vehicles for a living.

The Driving Standards Agency is taking the lead in implementing EU Directive 2003/59 which requires all professional bus, coach and lorry drivers to hold a CPC in addition to their vocational driving licence. It came into force across all European Union member states on 10 September 2008 for bus and coach drivers and 10 September 2009 for lorry drivers.

The main benefit is road safety and better qualified drivers to help reduce road casualties. Driver CPC also brings an improved professional and positive image to the profession, attracting more people to drive buses, coaches and lorries for a living. It is aimed not only at improving the knowledge and skills of LGV and PCV drivers when they start work, but also at ensuring these skills are maintained and developed throughout their working life.

Driver CPC require all category C and D licence holders (including C1 and D1) to take part in 35 hours training every 5 years in order to maintain their CPC. It also introduces a new initial qualification process that new drivers must complete before they can drive professionally.