Training firm Driver Hire has welcomed changes to the Driver CPC that are intended to make it more flexible and attractive to professional drivers.

The DVSA said regulations have been laid in parliament for the planned reforms to the qualification, which include introducing a new National Driver CPC and allowing training courses to be done in blocks of three-and-a-half hours rather than the current seven.

The National Driver CPC will be offered as an alternative to the International Driver CPC, which will become the new name for how the existing qualification currently operates.

There will be no changes to how the International version works, meaning courses will still be seven hours long and e-learning in a trainer-led course will be limited to two hours.

However, the National version, for drivers who only intend to drive in the UK, will offer more flexibility, with shorter courses on offer, split courses no longer needing to be completed on two consecutive days and drivers able to take an approved three-and-a-half hour e-learning course at their workplace or home.

The DVSA added that the changes are due to come into force later this year, but the date cannot be confirmed until parliamentary approval is granted.

Driver Hire said the Driver CPC was good for people in logistics and also the public, so the fact that the government intended to maintain and enhance the qualification should be supported:

“The changes will make it a more flexible, accessible qualification,” said John Keelan Edwards, Driver Hire Training MD.

“The changes will make it easier for former drivers to get back into driving professionally and easier for current drivers to renew training.

“The updates will also make sure those considering a career in logistics know that there is a pathway for them, and there is ongoing investment in personal development.

“The fact that it will now be possible to do modules non-consecutively makes Driver CPC more flexible for drivers, with three-and-a-half hours of learning a good way to keep people engaged with the training.”

Edwards added: “We will continue to monitor and work closely with the relevant authorities on any future changes. In the meantime - for many drivers, these changes will only be relevant for the next cycle of their Driver CPC.

“Drivers need to check their driver qualification cards and if they are due to expire in the next few months, they need to get on and do their training hours as soon as possible.

“Demand will ramp up as the September deadline approaches so it’s best to get the training in now.”