D Bus


PCV Training for a Category D Licence

The Academy is Northern Ireland’s leading provider of PCV training. Our locally tailored courses aim to streamline the pathway and help you obtain your desired licence, with expert support in place to help guide you.

Our team of fully accredited driving instructors stand ready to provide unparalleled direction and guidance as you pursue your category D licence. Rest assured, when you choose us, you’re choosing the best PCV training provider in Northern Ireland.

Why choose the Academy for PCV training?

The Academy delivers comprehensive PCV training courses that are specifically designed to help you succeed in acquiring a category D licence. Our certified and highly experienced instructors provide unparalleled mentorship and a practical approach that ensures you’re fully equipped with the necessary driving skills.

The complex licensing process is simplified under our guidance, making your journey to securing your Category D licence as seamless as possible. At The Academy, we not only offer superior training but also a supportive environment, providing the best foundation for your career in professional driving.

PCV training for the public and private sector

At The Academy, we provide comprehensive PCV training for both public and private sector individuals and organisations. We understand the distinct requirements and operating environments of each sector, and our training programmes are tailored accordingly.

For both public and private sector bus training, we emphasise safety and adherence to regulations, whilst also including customer service and the smooth operation of various vehicle types. Route planning forms part of our training where required, and we always customise the learning based on the sector and the needs of the individual.

In all cases, our goal is to equip our candidates with the knowledge and skills needed to excel as professional drivers, regardless of their specific sector.

What is a category D licence entitlement?

A Category D licence entitlement allows you to drive any bus with more than 8 passenger seats with or without a trailer up to 750 kg maximum authorised mass (MAM). This includes vehicles such as large buses and coaches.

Why consider obtaining a D licence?

This process of acquiring a Category D licence can take some time and commitment, but it is ultimately worth it for enhancing your professional career growth. This type of licence can open up a wide range of employment prospects, helping you to increase earnings, progress within the transportation industry and ultimately enhance your driving skill set.

How to obtain a Category D licence?

In order to obtain a Category D licence, you must meet the initial requirements:
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have held a full driver’s licence for at least 12 months without any endorsements.
If you meet these criteria you can start the process for applying for a provisional Category D licence. Once you receive this licence, you can start preparing for the upcoming modules, which will include a mixture of both theoretical and practical testing. 

Applying for a provisional Category D licence

Before you can enrol in a PCV training course, you need to first obtain a provisional D licence. Follow the steps below for this process.

Attend a Medical

The provisional licence application requires you to undergo a medical in order to ascertain a driver’s overall fitness to drive. This medical must be performed by a registered GP, you can arrange your own, or we can arrange one for you at our Mallusk training centre.

Please note there is an additional cost for a medical provided by The Academy. 

Complete a DL2 form

You also need to complete a DL2 form and submit your provisional licence application to the DVA Coleraine;
  • Driver Licensing, DVA
  • County Hall, Castlerock Road, Waterside, 
  • Coleraine, BT51 3TB 
In this application, you should also include the fee, both parts of your current licence and the medical form (DLM1 ) that has been completed by a registered GP.

What does the Category D examination involve?

There are four modules in total that you need to pass in order to obtain a Category D licence.

At The Academy, we will support you in the preparation for each module. We have developed a range of online learning resources for the theoretical tests, where you can practise the style and format of these questions.

Our fully-qualified instructors will help prepare you for the practical aspects of the driving examination, ensuring that you can safely and confidently drive a large bus, coach or any other PCV vehicle.

Module 1 (Theory Test and Hazard Perception Test)

There are two tests in Module 1, a theory test and a hazard perception test, you need to successfully complete both in order to pass this module.

Theory Test (Module 1a)

You will answer 100 multiple-choice questions within 1 hour and 45 minutes. You need to score at least 85% in order to pass.

Hazard Perception Test (Module 1b)

You will be shown 20 different video clips and you need to identify road and traffic hazards as they appear. You need to score at least 67% in order to pass.

If you happen to fail one test, you can repeat that part, without having to retake the test you already passed.

Module 2 (CPC Case Study Test)

The CPC case study test requires you to answer 6-8 questions on each case study. You have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete this part of the examination, and the case studies will be based on real-life scenarios that you may encounter when driving a bus or coach.

Module 3 (Practical Driving Test)

The practical driving test will require you to demonstrate your ability to drive a PCV vehicle in front of a DVA examiner. This module lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes

Areas that you may be assessed on include; driving the PCV vehicle downhill, uphill and at an angle, giving appropriate signals when driving, how to control the vehicle’s speed, use of mirrors, braking exercises, etc.

You will also be required to perform off-road driving exercises, such as an S-Shaped reverse into a bay. Some of these manoeuvres and driving techniques can be challenging to master, but with our team of experienced driving instructors, you will have the best support at hand.

Module 4 (CPC Practical Demonstration Test)

Module 4 requires you to answer a set of ‘Show Me, Tell Me,’ questions. It will last for approximately 30 minutes and you must achieve at least 80% in order to successfully pass the module.

The PCV training course will prepare candidates with the relevant knowledge and skills needed for answering these questions, ensuring that they know how to check the fluid levels, open the bonnet, check tyre pressure, etc. 

Test fee price available on request.

CPC Card

If you plan on driving a bus or coach with your Category D licence professionally, you will need to obtain a CPC card, which is also known as DQC (Drivers Qualification Card). You will automatically receive this card upon the completion of the modules listed above.

PCV training and Category D licence cost

The Academy offers a 5-day PCV training course to help you pass Module 3 and obtain a Category D licence. Price available on request.

We also have a range of other packages available if you require additional support in the initial application process, i.e.) for the medical and for industry-leading support when preparing for modules 1, 2 and 4.

Obtain your Category D licence

We do not recommend using an HGV/PCV training broker to book your tests as this can become costly, for the most accurate quote based on your individual needs and preferences, we recommend getting in touch with us. The Academy is here to support you in securing your Category D licence, with professional advice and guidance that you can trust.

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