EP Training

Fri, May 24, 2024

Fast Track HGV Training: The Government Initiative

Fast Track HGV Training: The Government Initiative


The fast track hgv training initiative was a real governmental effort aimed at quickly addressing the shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and large goods vehicle (LGV) drivers. This initiative was not merely political propaganda; it involved concrete legislative changes designed to expedite the process of getting qualified drivers on the road to maintain the country's supply chain and minimize economic disruption.


Government Fast-Track HGV Training Programs



Explanation of government initiatives and funding for fast track HGV training


To achieve this, two major changes in legislation concerning the acquisition of HGV licence entitlements were implemented on November 15, 2021:

One significant change that affected the public was the removal of the requirement to pass a category C test (rigid vehicles) before being eligible to take the category C+E test (articulated and draw-bar vehicles). Previously, drivers had to:

1. Pass a test in category C.

2. Send their licence to the DVLA to have the new category added.

3. Wait for their licence to be returned before booking a course for the category C+E test.

This process could take weeks or even months, causing considerable delays. Under the new system, those wishing to obtain a category C+E entitlement can do so directly, significantly speeding up the process.


Fast Track HGV Training Requirements



Steps involved in obtaining a fast track HGV licence


Now, to qualify for the category C+E licence, you must:

1. Be 18 years of age.

2. Pass a medical fitness test.

3. Hold a category B licence (car).

Additionally, if your category B licence includes the entitlement to drive cars with a manual gearbox, your new HGV licence will also allow you to drive goods vehicles with a manual gearbox, even if you take the test in an automatic vehicle.

This shake-up in the licensing system has streamlined the process, making it quicker and more efficient for new drivers to obtain their HGV licences and start working, thereby addressing driver shortages and supporting the economy.


Overview of the fast track HGV licence process


The other significant change that came into effect on November 15, 2021, was the removal of the off-road manoeuvring test, or reversing exercise, from the official HGV test conducted by the DVSA examiners. This element of the test became known as the 3a Driver CPC test. The responsibility for conducting the 3a tests was handed over to approved driving instructors who had passed scrutiny by the DVSA.

Since November 15, the practical tests have been split into two parts: 3a and 3b. The 3a test, which involves the manoeuvring exercises, is conducted by an instructor/assessor at the chosen training center. Importantly, the instructor who trains you cannot be the one to test you; instead, one of their colleagues must administer the 3a test. The driving element, known as the 3b test, consists of a minimum 60-minute road drive, including driving exercises specific to the vehicle category.

This change also impacted the DVSA examiners. Previously, they conducted four HGV tests a day, including the manoeuvring exercise. With the off-road element removed from the official test, examiners can now conduct five tests per day. This increase in the number of tests per day initially met some resistance from the examiners, who were now expected to do more tests within their working hours.

For example, at the Guildford driving test center, with five examiners, the ability to conduct one extra test per day per examiner translates to 25 additional tests per week. This increases the capacity to provide over 1,200 extra tests per year at Guildford alone.

In response to an August 2021 study, the DVSA announced the recruitment of an additional 40 vocational driving test examiners. This recruitment drive included upgrading car examiners to vocational examiners and hiring new employees from outside the DVSA. The goal was to provide more than 46,000 extra vocational tests per year.

Interestingly, a study by the Logistics Skills Network (LSN), published on May 7, 2021, indicated that 118,000 HGV tests were needed over the following 12 months to avoid a skills shortage exacerbated by the pandemic. Therefore, the DVSA's recruitment initiative aimed to address this pressing need.

The national shortage of HGV drivers, highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, has long been an issue. Drivers often leave the profession due to retirement, ill health, promotions, or dissatisfaction with the job. Additionally, the departure of over 20,000 Eastern European drivers after Brexit further exacerbated the shortage.

These changes to the testing and recruitment processes were critical steps in addressing the HGV driver shortage and ensuring the stability of the supply chain and the economy.


Fast Track HGV Driving Lessons



Overview of what to expect during fast track hgv licence training


Any professional and reputable driver training organization, like EP Training Services Ltd, also contributes to fast-tracking the licence application process. Here’s how we do it at EP Training:

1. Application Forms: We maintain a large stock of forms at our office in Great Bookham, so there’s no need to wait for them to arrive by post.

2. Medical Exams: We have our own GP who visits every two weeks, sometimes more frequently, specifically to conduct medical exams.

3. Provisional Licence: Once you’ve passed the medical and completed the necessary forms, we’ll submit your application for the provisional licence on your behalf. We even have someone available to ensure all paperwork is completed correctly and that the correct boxes are ticked.

4. Revision: We provide access to an online account with “Theory4All” for you to revise for your theory tests. You’ll need to inform us when you receive your provisional licence from the DVLA so we can book your theory tests at a center of your choosing.

5. Practical Training: We can schedule your practical training as soon as you pass your theory test. At EP Training, we’ve invested in additional vehicles to keep the waiting list as short as possible, ensuring you won’t have to wait long.

  • Now that the off-road manoeuvring element of the test is our responsibility, we’ll train and test your reversing skills at our own manoeuvring area in Normandy.
  • On the road with your instructor, you’ll learn essential skills like moving off uphill, downhill, at an angle, in traffic, and finding a safe place to park.
  • The test includes an independent driving element where an examiner will give you one or more destinations to follow.

6. The Test: The practical on-road test lasts a minimum of 60 minutes. Upon successful completion, the examiner will offer to upgrade your licence for you, but…

7. Module 4: If you are taking the Module 4 test (the practical CPC test), you will need to keep your licence, so do not let the examiner upgrade it. The training for Module 4 lasts approximately two hours, with the test itself taking around 30 minutes.

By offering these comprehensive services, EP Training helps streamline the licence acquisition process, ensuring that you can get on the road as quickly and efficiently as possible.


Fast Training LGV Cost


At EP Training Services Ltd, we believe in transparency. All of our prices are clearly displayed on our website. This ensures you know exactly what to expect and can plan your training without any hidden fees or surprises.


Course Options at EP Training Services Ltd


Option 1 (Best Seller) - £2,200.00
Pass Protection (£450.00)

This comprehensive course covers everything needed to become a commercial LGV Class 2 driver, including a medical assessment, provisional application, 3 theory tests, 1 practical CPC test (or 35 hours Periodic CPC), and 4 days of driver training. The entire process takes about 8 weeks. Optional 'Pass Protection' provides two free practical driving retests if needed. Prices include VAT and test fees.

Option 2 (From Car to Class 1) - £3,400.00
Pass Protection (£450.00)

This course allows you to go directly from a car licence (Cat B) to a Class 1 licence (Cat C+E) without first obtaining a Class 2 licence. It includes a medical assessment, provisional application, 3 theory tests, 1 practical CPC test (or 35 hours Periodic CPC), and 8 days of driver training. The process takes about 8-10 weeks. Optional 'Pass Protection' provides two free practical driving retests if needed. Prices include VAT and test fees.




With the stage testing system being abolished, the clear winner is the driver who wishes to go straight for the Class 1 licence, category C+E, for articulated vehicles. This can now be done from the age of 18, as long as they pass the medical fitness to drive.

The abolition of the off-road manoeuvring exercise and the DVSA’s recruitment drive means they can now offer more testing for vocational drivers and greatly shorten the waiting list for vocational tests.

In short, I do think that the Fast Track driver licensing scheme has worked, but I also believe it has some way to go before it’s perfect.


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