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It is a qualification concerning new drivers which aims to improve road safety. It is additional to category C and D driving licence and is compulsory from 10.09.2008 (category D driving licence) and 10.09.2009 (category C driving licence). It is certified by a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
CPC stands for "Certificate of Professional Competence". The CPC certifying the initial qualification is issued to drivers who have attended the training and succeeded the test or who have succeeded the test, according to the system in place in their country. All new drivers have to obtain such a certificate.
The CPC certifying the periodic training is issued to drivers who complete a 35-hour periodic training.
The periodic training must be followed by new drivers within five years after the issue of the CPC of initial qualification and by drivers who hold acquired rights following the calendar set by their Member State.
No, the drivers who hold a category C driving licence issued before 10.09.2009 are exempted from the initial qualification. However, such drivers are expected to attend the periodic training. This periodic training should be taken depending on the choice made by your Member State of work or of normal residence by September 2016 or earlier.
No, the drivers who hold a category D driving licence issued before 10.09.2008 are exempted from the initial qualification. However, such drivers are expected to attend the periodic training. This periodic training should be taken depending on the choice made by your Member State of work or of normal residence by September 2015 or earlier.
According to Article 9 of Directive 2003/59/EC, the initial training should be attended in the Member State where the driver has his normal residence and the periodic training should be followed in the Member State in which he has his normal residence or the country in which he works.
No, you do not fall within the scope of the Directive, which applies to holders of category C1, C1+E, C or C+E and D1, D1+E, D or D+E driving licences. If you drive a vehicle equipped to carry no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver and whose weight is less than 3.5 tonnes, a B category driving licence is sufficient.
If you are employed by an undertaking established in a non-EU country, you are not subject to Directive 2003/59/EC; if you are employed by an undertaking established in a Member State, you are subject to the same provisions as nationals of a Member State. This means that you are subject to the same qualification and testing requirements as drivers who are nationals of Member States.
In some countries the initial qualification is combined with the training to obtain the driving license.
According to Article 5, the access to the initial qualification does not require the corresponding driving license to be obtained beforehand. However, you can be requested to hold at least a B driving license.
The Directive does not regulate this subject. Therefore, each Member State can opt for a different solution. Please check with your competent national authorities.
According to Section 5 of Annex 1, the training centres taking part in the initial qualification and periodic training must be approved by the Member States' competent authorities. Approval may be given only in response to a written application. The application must be accompanied by documents including a suitable qualification and training programme specifying the subjects taught and setting out the proposed implementing plan and teaching methods; the instructors' qualifications and fields of activity; information about the premises where the courses are given, the teaching materials, the resources made available for the practical work, and the vehicle fleet used; the conditions regarding the participation in the courses (number of participants). The competent authority must give approval in writing provided that the training is given in accordance with the documents accompanying the application. It is entitled to send authorised persons to assist in the training courses of the approved centres and to monitor such centres, with regard to the resources used and the proper running of the training courses and tests. The approval may be withdrawn or suspended if the conditions of approval are no longer complied with.
The approved centre must guarantee that the instructors have a sound knowledge of the most recent regulations and training requirements. As part of a specific selection procedure, the instructors must provide certification showing knowledge of both the subject material and the teaching methods. As regards the practical part of the training, instructors must provide certification of experience as professional drivers or similar driving experience, such as driving instructors for heavy vehicles.
The training programme must be conceived in accordance with the approval given by the competent authorities and must cover the subjects listed in Section 1 of Annex 1 of Directive 2003/59.
According to article 7 of the Directive, periodic training shall be designed to expand on, and revise some of the subjects referred in section 1 of annex 1 to update the knowledge of drivers which is essential for their work, with specific emphasis on road safety and the rationalisation of fuel consumption. Within this framework Member States may leave drivers the possibility to choose the courses of the training they follow.
Driving on a special terrain or on simulators is not an obligation: point 2.1, Section 2, Annex 1 of the Directive states that each driver may drive for a maximum of eight hours of the 20 hours of individual driving on special terrain or on a top-of-the-range simulator.