NFU SCOTLAND has successfully lobbied for agriculture to be exempt from Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) requirements.

Driver CPC has been introduced across Europe with the aim of improving road safety and driving standards and is a necessary additional qualification for the likes of professional bus and lorry drivers.

Responding to a recent consultation held by Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and Department of Transport, NFUS strongly supported an exemption for mandatory CPC training for drivers of vehicles in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and farming. The exemption applies when driving does not constitute the driver’s principle activity and when they are driving as part of their own entrepreneurial activity.

The union also successfully opposed the introduction of a maximum radius that a driver can travel to conduct their activity, arguing that the application of a maximum radius would disadvantage farming and crofting businesses located in communities which are geographically remote, or island based.

On the issue of recording drivers’ hours, the union urged the government to avoid placing an unnecessary regulatory burden on farmers and crofters who qualify for an exemption. In response, the DVSA has stated there will be no new mandate to record working time to demonstrate compliance with this exemption.

Commenting on the lobbying success, the union's Tom French said: “CPC exemptions for qualifying farmers and crofters has been on the Committee agenda for several years. This change is testament to the work of our committee members – past and present."