Certificate of Professional Competence: Public Inquiry

Certificate of Professional Competence Holders, are often known as the CPC Holder, when named on a Standard Operators Licence as the nominated Transport Manager, may find themselves involved, & having to attend a Public Inquiry, or Transport Manager’s Hearing. This typically is because, the Standard Operators’ Licence that the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder that they are acting as the nominated Transport Manager on, has come to the attention of ether the enforcement, or regulatory bodies, for possible none compliance to the Operator Licensing Regime. Those bodies being either the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency more commonly known as the DVSA. Or Office of the Traffic Commissioner.

Therefore, although no Certificate of Professional Competence Holder wishes to be called to a Public Inquiry or a Transport Manager’s Hearing. So being aware of what actions needed to be taken, should be seen as nothing more than planning for the worst-case scenario, which like most areas of transport compliance. Is always part of any CPC Holder’s system of work, when being the nominated as a Transport Manager on a Standard Operator’s Licence.

  1. After getting the call up letter, keep calm & do not go into panic mode! Read the correspondent from the Office of the Traffic Commissioner & more than once to make sure, you fully understand the reason why you are being called, to Public Inquiry. Confirm if the holder(s) of the Standard Operator Licence(s) which you are nominated as the Transport Manager has also been called to the same Public Inquiry? If it is just yourself, it is most likely, you have been called to what is known as a Transport Manager’s Hearing.
  2. Talk to the Standard Operator’s Licence Holder(s), on which you are nominated on. This is essential, as even if you the only person being called, this may still have an influence on the Standard Operators’ licence(s) you are nominated on.

Even if you feel your relationship with the Standard Operators Licence Holder is strained, you should make the effort to talk (see the comments, below) as this will viewed by the Traffic Commissioner as the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder acting as the nominated Transport Manager as having a proactive approach. Remember to document the conversation itself, so that all parties understand their position in relation to the upcoming Public Inquiry.

  1. Should the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder acting as the nominated Transport Manager contemplate resigning his or her position, if they feel the Standard Operators’ Licence Holder has been, or is being uncooperative?


This is a problematic question to answer & there is no easy answer, as each situation is different. But if the Standard Operator’s Licence holder continually refuses to operate in a compliant manner & not recognise the seriousness of the position for a period of time, even before the Public Inquiry. That has put both the CPC Holder & the Standard Operators Licence in the position, of having to attend a Public Inquiry. Then the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder should look at resignation, as being a serious possibility

But the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder acting as the nominated Transport Manager, needs to be sure & have evidence. That they highlighted the compliance shortcomings to the Standard Operators Licence Holder, along with reasons why they did not resign their position earlier & well in advance of the receiving notice of the Public Inquiry. Otherwise it will look like the CPC Holder only took action, due to having to attend a Public Inquiry. 

Certificate of Professional Competence Public Inquiry: Frequently asked questions

Rights of the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder at Public Inquiry

The Certificate of Professional Competence Holder is permitted to give evidence, make submissions, & make representations. The CPC Holder will also have the chance to speak, & to ask questions. The Traffic Commissioner will then decide what evidence given by the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder is relevant for the purposes of the Public Inquiry/proceedings. Anyone giving evidence to the inquiry can expect to be asked questions by the CPC Holder, or by a representative acting on their behalf. The Traffic Commissioner will also put questions to all parties, at the Public Inquiry.

Certificate of Professional Competence Holder Obligations at Public Inquiry

The Certificate of Professional Competence Holder evidence is not given under oath, but he/she is required to be honest & truthful when giving their evidence. If it is found that the CPC Holder has not been honest, & truthful they risk their fitness/professional competence, & their good repute to act as a nominated Transport Manager. Plus, the influence the weight of the evidence given by the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder. Furthermore, there is the possibility that giving false evidence at a Public Inquiry by the CPC Holder. The Office of the Traffic Commissioner may consider referring the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, to the police and criminal charges could follow.

How should a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder Handle Themselves at Public Inquiry

As previously stated, any Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, should be candid about their evidence. Telling the Traffic Commissioner everything they did or did not do, to ensure compliance to the Operator Licensing Regime i.e. the actions they took, during their time as the nominated Transport Manager, when addressing any difficulties with compliance, along with any refresher training undertaken by the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder.

All the above questions are important and the CPC Holder needs to have answers, but the most pressing question a Certificate of Professional Competence Holder will need to consider is whether he or she requires representation when appearing at the Public Inquiry.

Certificate of Professional Competence Public Inquiry: CPC Holders & Separate Representation at Public Inquiry

When both the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder who is acting as the nominated Transport Manager on a Standard Operators Licence, & the holder of that Standard Operators’ Licence holder are called to Public Inquiry. It is not uncommon for both parties to have the same representation, & in a lot of cases the cost of that representation is covered by the Standard Operator’s Licence Holder.

However, if the relationship between the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder, & the Standard Operator’s Licence Holder is under pressure then the above may not be the case. So, the CPC Holder needs to think very carefully about defending and protecting his or her own position, as their Professional Competence, & their Good Repute could be lost. Therefore, they should be looking at using all available tools in doing just that.   

Instructing an experienced transport solicitor or transport consultant will help the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder in a very difficult and stressful situation. Is one of the ways in which separate representation can help the CPC Holder. As previously stated, it is a good idea to have a meeting with the Standard Operators Licence Holder to discuss the public inquiry, & for the representation to be present at such a meeting.

This is especially true if the professional relationship between the Certificate of Professional Competence Holder and the Standard Operators Licence Holder, has become strained. It may actually help to repair the relationship, which in turn may help to restore the compliance of the Standard Operators Licence before the Public Inquiry is held. The Good Repute of both parties will be at risk, so it must be ensured that all systems of work for compliance are fit for purpose were possible, before attendance at the Public Inquiry.

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: Oplas Transport Consultancy offers a full Public Inquiry Service for the holders of a Certificate of Professional Competence, who have acted as a nominated transport manager. Along with Operator Licence Holders. Who have been called to public inquiry, service includes, consultation, public inquiry preparation, & representation.

2: 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.

3: 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.

4: 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.

5: 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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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.