28 May 2022

Driver CPC - Who needs it? How to get it.

Driver CPC - Who needs it? How to get it.


What is a Driver CPC?

Driver CPC is a Certificate of Professional Competence. It was first introduced across the EU in 2008 for professional bus drivers and 2009 for professional truck drivers. 

Its objective is to set and maintain high standards of road safety, health and safety and driving among professional drivers of buses and trucks.

A Driver CPC Qualification Card is not a driving licence.

Once you are fully CPC qualified you can apply for and receive your Drivers CPC card. Both your driving licence and Drivers CPC qualification card must be carried by you whenever you are driving your truck or bus professionally.



Periodic Training is Compulsory

In Ireland CPC Periodic refresher training is only provided by RSA approved trainers at RSA approved training centres.  When booking training check to make sure your trainer and centre are approved.  Unapproved training will not count towards your Drivers CPC.

To become a professional bus or truck driver and obtain your ‘initial CPC’ you first must pass:

1.The new truck, the new bus or the new Combined Truck and Bus theory test as appropriate.  (This new test permits successful candidates to apply for their learner permit as well as counting as a Pass for CPC Step 1)

2.Two-hour case study theory test (Known as CPC Step 2)

3.The standard 90-minute driving test (Known as CPC Step 3)

4.30-minute practical test (Known as CPC Step 4)

Please note: If you obtained your bus or truck learner permit before 30th September 2014 you will need to complete the CPC Step 1 theory test (set out at No 1 above).

In addition, you must then maintain your Driver CPC by completing the periodic refresher training of at least 35 hours of training over each five year period.  If you are maintaining both a bus and a truck CPC you must complete 42hours training over each five year period.


Theory Tests

The Driver CPC theory tests are part of the Driver CPC process, which is mandatory for all new professional drivers.

• Step 1: Drivers must first pass the relevant theory test and obtain their learner permit

• Step 2: Drivers then must take pass their CPC Case study theory test/s.

CPC Step 1:

You have a number of options depending on what licences you want to get and what you have already completed.

Option 1 – applies for either a bus or truck theory test This test consists of 100 multiple choice questions - you must correctly answer at least 74 of them to pass either the bus or the truck exam.

 Option 2 – applies for either a bus and truck theory test This test consists of 140 multiple choice questions if you want to drive buses and trucks, you may opt to take the combined bus and truck exam which costs €84. You must correctly answer at least 104 to pass this combined bus and truck exam.

If you have already passed either one of the new bus or truck theory tests since 30th September 2014 - you may then choose to add the alternate category by passing the bus module or truck module test (as appropriate) the cost of the Module test is €45. These Module tests consist of 40 questions to pass you must correctly answer at least 30.

CPC Step 2:

3 case studies are short scenarios that describe various situations a driver might face. There are 15 questions in each case study (45 in total). To pass, you must correctly answer 28 of the 45 questions - a minimum of 5 questions on each case study.


Booking a test

Driver CPC theory test: Lo-call: 1890 60 61 06 or go to

 Driver CPC driving and practical test: Lo-call: 1890 50 60 80 or go the RSA’s online booking facility.

If you wish, you can attend training in RSA-approved training centres to help you prepare for your Driver CPC examination.



Driver CPC certification is not required for drivers of vehicles used:

• For non-commercial purposes, eg driving as a volunteer; drivers of emergency or rescue vehicles eg Gardai, Defence forces, Ambulance and Irish Prison service.

• For a registered RSA approved Driving Instructors who are giving driving instruction.

• In the course of someone’s work, provided that driving the vehicle is not the driver’s principal occupation, eg, a plumber using a light truck to transport their materials.

• Vehicles with a maximum speed not exceeding 45 km/h

If you have any queries about whether your driving duties require you to hold a drivers CPC check with your Transport Manager, legal advisor or consult the RSA.


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