Certificate of Professional Competence Examination

The Certificate of Professional Competence is a formal qualification relating to Road Transport Management. It is often referred to as the CPC, CPC Cert or occasionally the Transport Manager CPC. Holders of the Certificate of Professional Competence are often known as the CPC Holder or the Transport Manager CPC Holder.

The qualification can be obtained from a number of professional bodies such as the CILT(UK), the Road Haulage Association (RHA), Freight Transport Association, or numerous independent training companies.

There are two types of Certificate of Professional Competence; One is in regards to the management of Road Haulage Operations & the Other is for the management of Passenger (Road) Transport Operations.  

Its origins are from the implementation of the Regulation (EC) No 1071/20091. (Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009 of the European Parliament, along with the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing common rules & conditions to be complied with. When individuals & business entities wish to pursue occupations relating to road transport operations. The above regulations also had the effect of repealing Council Directive 98/76/EC.)

Matters pertaining to Certificate of Professional Competence qualification such as administration & awarding of the certificates is done by the Oxford, Cambridge & RSA Examinations Authority (OCR). On behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT)

The objective of the Certificate of Professional Competence qualification is for those individuals wishing to enter the Transport Manager profession. To be able to demonstrate what is known as Professional Competence in matters pertaining to Road Transport Management & in a number of subjects related to the business of Road Transport Management, when those Road Transport Operations are carried out within the EU market.

Other qualifications or diplomas, can be used for the demonstrating of Professional Competence, details of which are available by using the highlighted link. However ultimately it is the for the regulatory body which in the UK is the Office of the Traffic Commissioner, to decided what certificate, diploma, or other methods.

The demonstrate of Professional Competence is an important element of the Operator Licencing Regulations. The holding of a Certificate of Professional Competence or CPC & therefore demonstrating Professional Competence is one of the requirements. That all applicants must satisfy the regulatory body, which is the Office of the Transport Commissioner. If the application is to be successful in obtaining a Standard Operators Licence.

Certificate of Professional Competence: What Are the Entry Qualifications & Requirements

Certificate of Professional Competence qualification has no academic entry requirements & is considered as being an open examination. Therefore, there is no requirement for an applicant, to have prior knowledge, skills, understanding or qualifications relating to the Road Transport Industry. There are also no fixed rules in relation to the method of study for the examination.   

There are requirements in regards to the study syllabus, examination, & how a certificate may be awarded, & demonstrating the holder as, “holding” Professional Competence. Also, any certificate must demonstrate that the holder is Professional Competent in regards to the management of both national & international Road Transport Operations within the EU market.

Certificate of Professional Competence: Study Syllabus

The examination syllabus must contain the following, main list of subjects. These subjects must also be in any examination for the obtaining of a Certificate of Professional Competence Qualification. This is as per the EU regulations (Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009

  • Commercial law
  • Social law
  • Fiscal law
  • Civil law
  • Road safety
  • Access to the Market (The term “market” refers to the European Economic Area, or EEA)
  • Technical Standards & Technical Aspects in Relation to a Road Transport Operation
  • Business & Financial Management of the Undertaking (The term “undertaking” refers to a Standard Operators’ Licence that the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder is acting on, as the nominated Transport Manager)


Certificate of Professional Competence: Examination Process

The Certificate of Professional Competence or CPC Cert examination is made up of two open book written examinations. (An “open book examination” means that the applicant is allowed to have either class notes summaries, textbooks, or other approved material to refer to when answering the examination questions). Each exam has two sections, the total time given to an applicant to complete each of the examination papers is two & half hours.

The pass mark is a straight pass or fail, there is no grading system. For an applicant to gain a pass on either of the two exam papers, they must have a minimum score of 60%.

For an applicant to be awarded the full Certificate of Professional Competence Qualification & therefore be considered as “Holding” Professional Competence in the management of Road Transport Operations. The applicant needs to pass each examination paper, with an average of at least 60% across the two examination papers.

Certificate of Professional Competence: Examination Paper Format

Each Certificate of Professional Competence examination papers is made up in two parts. Please see below details on each of the sections.

Section No.1: This section contains 20 mandatory questions which are considered as being short-answer type questions. Short answer being the answers should be in the form of a single sentence of no more than few words, or the answer could be shown as a simple calculation. Questions within this section will cover both national & international of transport regulation. Please find below an example of the areas of the study syllabus which will be covered in the Section No.1 of both of the examination papers.

Section No.1 of Examination Paper 1: All questions to be short-answer questions & all questions to be answered.

  • Civil Law Total Number of Questions: 3
  • Commercial Law Total Number of Questions: 2
  • Business and Financial Management of the Undertaking Total Number of Questions: 5
  • Access to the Market Total Number of Questions: 10

Section No.1 of Examination Paper 2: All questions to be short-answer questions & all questions to be answered.

  • Social Law Total Number of Questions: 4
  • Fiscal Law Total Number of Questions: 4
  • Technical Standards Total Number of Questions: 6
  • Road Safety Total Number of Questions: 6


Section No.2:
Section two will have 4 questions in a case study format. The questions will require longer & more detail answers. Only three of the four questions need to be answered. The answers requiring to be longer than in section one. The answers can be in the form of an essay, calculations may be required as part of any answer. The type of calculations required will be lengthier, than those required in section one. This part of the examination paper will also cover both national and international areas of transport regulations. Please find below an example of the areas of the study syllabus which will be covered in the Section No.1 of both of the examination papers.

Section No.2 of Examination Paper 1: All questions to be long-answer/case study type questions. Three questions out of four to be answered.

  • Civil Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Business and Financial Management of the Undertaking
  • Access to the Market


Section No.2 of Examination Paper 2:
All questions to be long-answer/case study type questions. Three questions out of four to be answered.

  • Social Law
  • Fiscal Law
  • Technical Standards and Technical Aspects of Operation
  • Road Safety


Please Note:
The examples shown above, in relation to both Certificate of Professional Competence examination papers. Are for examples purposes only. 

Certificate of Professional Competence: Allocation of Marks Between the Examination Papers

Each Section of the two examination papers for the Certificate of Professional Competence have the following allocation of the total number of examination marks

Each short-answer question in Section 1 of each of the exam papers, they are worth a maximum of 2 marks per question. The total number of marks available is 40. Giving Section No.1 a maximum valve of 40% overall marks in each of the exam papers.

For the long-answer/case study questions in Section 2 of each of the exam papers, they are worth a maximum of 20 marks each. The total number of marks available is 60. Giving Section No.2 a maximum valve of 60% overall marks in each of the exam papers.

Therefore, each exam paper section has the following split for the marks available.

Section 1 for both exam papers worth 40% of the overall marks available
Section 2 for both exam papers worth 60% of the overall marks available

Certificate of Professional Competence Related Services Offered by Oplas Transport Consultancy

Oplas Transport Consultancy offers a number of services & solutions, related to the Certificate of Professional Competence. Along with information for those individuals looking to obtain a Certificate of Professional Competence qualification. Please see below those services & if you wish for more information, you can by using the highlighted links. Which will take you to a dedicated page or website for that service & the solutions offered.

1: Those parties looking to engage the services of an individual who is the holder of a Certificate of Professional Competence To act as the nominated Transport Manager on the either their Standard Operators Licence application, or the current Standard Operators’ Licence. The conditions under which the Certificate of Professional Competence/CPC Holder will be engage, are to be those considered as being an External Transport Manager. Please use the link indicated, to our On-line CPC Holder Finder Service.

2: Parties(s) who are the holder of a Certificate of Professional Competence qualification & are interested in External Transport Management work. Along with willing to offering those skills, & services, in a sub-contract / self-employed manner. Which matches the current requirements, known as the 4/50 regulations & willing to registering their details on the Oplas Transport Consultancy database. So that they may consider offers from interested parties after being contact by said described parties, from their use of Oplas Transport Consultancy On-line CPC Holder Finder Service. Please use the link indicated, to our On-line CPC Holder Database Registration.

3: Parties who are Restricted Operator’s Licence Holders. How are looking for a professional advice from a holder of a Certificate of Professional Competence. On matters of Operator Licensing compliance. Please use the link indicated, to our dedicated Restricted Operator’s Licence Management Website.

4: You are after more information as a holder of a Certificate of Professional Competence. Acting as the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operators’ Licence. In such areas as the role, responsibilities, & regulations. Please use the link indicated.

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Transport Managers

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This Website and the information shown on it, has been produced as a basic guide, to show the relationship between a CPC Holder, & the Operator Licence Regime. Therefore, it cannot be considered as formal legal advice.