The government has hinted at reforming the Driver CPC following calls from the industry for it to be suspended in order to attract back professional drivers.

Government minister Trudy Harrison said there were “merits in modifying the processes” and she acknowledged that the costs involved for HGV drivers could be “difficult”.

In response to a question in the House of Commons about the Driver CPC, Harrison said: “The driver certificate of professional competence was introduced to improve road safety and provide economic and environmental benefits.

“Our assessment is that there are merits in modifying the processes, although change to key process issues would require regulatory and legislative changes.

“We also appreciate the cost of renewing the Driver CPC can be difficult for some drivers,” she said.

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“That is why, at the discretion of local DWP work coaches, the flexible support fund is available to those who are currently unemployed or are in receipt of universal credit who need to renew their DCPC, where appropriate.

“In addition, many employers are offering training packages so even if a driver’s CPC has lapsed, they can be supported in updating this through classroom or online courses.”

Harrison added that the government was also supporting HGV training through apprenticeships and it was developing a driver training pilot through Jobcentre Plus to help jobseekers retrain as truck drivers.

Criticism of the Driver CPC has been growing in recent weeks, with many in the haulage industry saying it needed to be reformed or abolished.

The Association of Pallet Networks said it had prompted a mass exodus of drivers, due to the quality of courses being inconsistent and not adding value.