You might have heard of the phrase “grandfather rights” if you like reading widely or have been around for a long period; and their meaning in the professional driving industry, in relation to the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC), to be more specific.
Allow us to clarify their meaning to you if it is your first time hearing these words. Whenever the law changes with reference to a certain system, grandfather rights, referred to as acquired rights
in some circles, are granted to protect special interests. To put this into perspective, if a new law requires people in a certain industry to seek qualification to do a certain task, something that was not required before, under grandfather rights, individuals that were already doing the task before the introduction of the new law will be left to continue without seeking the new qualifications.
In essence, grandfather rights save large groups of people from investing their money and time in training for something they have already mastered as well as preventing the sudden onset of large scale job losses. While we are only going to look at the HGV industry, and the effect of these rights with respect to the Driver CPC, grandfather rights can come up in just about any industry.
The Driver CPC Defined
It’s important to cover this subject again, just to refresh your memory, even though we have covered it many times before. Designed to be a qualification for those who meet the standards to safely operate heavy goods vehicles, the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence qualification
is shortened to Driver CPC. Drivers are required to operate with the highest standard of safety and must receive continuous training throughout their professional lives, according to this qualification. To keep their qualification up to date, drivers must complete a 35-hour approved training course every five years. To demonstrate that you have attained the required standards when applying for a HGV driving job, you must pass some evaluations.
Where Do Grandfather Rights Come In?
In order to qualify for operating an LGV or HGV, all new looking to join the industry were required to take and pass the Driver CPC for HGV
after the introduction of the new qualification. However, the transportation industry would have come to a stop had all the drivers who had been in the industry for years also been required to seek this qualification. To undergo training and evaluation, drivers would have been required to spend a huge amount of time away from the road.
To solve this issue, in came grandfather rights. There was no requirement for any of the drivers who had been operating in the industry or years to seek the qualification. The only requirement was for them to continue driving safely, they did not have to take any courses or undergo any evaluation. After the expiry of the implementation deadline, back in September 10 2009, only new drivers looking to join the industry were affected by the Driver CPC. As such, new drivers would be trained and evaluated to ensure that they met the required standards and the industry continued operating seamlessly through the transition. With time, drivers governed by the Driver CPC would be the only ones on the roads as those under grandfather rights continued to retire.
The Driver CPC is Mandatory For:
You have grandfather rights if you got your license before the expiry of the Driver CPC implementation deadline mentioned above and had been operating an LGV before this date as well. All Category C1+E, C+E, C1 and C licenses are included here. You also have acquired rights if you got your D1+E, D+E, D1 or D license before September 10th 2008 and was operating a coach or bus before this date as well. As such, you do not have to take a Driver CPC course to continue driving. But, those who do not fall in this category must take Driver CPC courses before joining the industry as a driver.
For a long time, a variety of industries, including the Heavy Goods Vehicle industry, have been covered by the grandfather rights concept. These rights protect workers from feeling like they are being punished by new laws, even as they adapt to the changing circumstances.