Certificate of professional competence: how to obtain a road carrier certificate of competence?
Running a transport and shipping company is a business, logistics and administrative challenge. Even before starting a business, an entrepreneur must obtain appropriate permits, certifications and certificates required by law. One of the key, obligatory documents is the road carrier professional competence certificate. How do you obtain it, how much does it cost and why is it so important?
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Road Carrier Professional Competence Certificate
The certificate of professional competence is a document confirming the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the duties of a road carrier. Its subject scope is very wide, because it takes into account the qualifications held, substantive knowledge and practical skills in managing a transport company.
The European Parliament guidelines, in force since December 2011, indicate that at least one person managing a transport company must have a certificate of professional competence. The Polish body responsible for issuing certificates is the Motor Transport Institute. Future carriers apply for a certificate in the field of international transport, because it also authorizes them to carry out transport services within the country. Without a certificate, the transport company will not receive the appropriate forwarding license.
Who needs a certificate of professional competence?
The catalogue of entities required to have a certificate of professional competence is limited to natural persons who manage the enterprise. They must be directly connected to the functioning of the transport company and make binding decisions. This could be the:
- chairman of the board
- company shareholder
- transport manager
Some companies simply decide to hire an employee who has the appropriate document and acts as a manager. This person is actually responsible for managing transport, and as such fulfils the legal requirements. However, it is necessary to draw up a detailed contract that defines the scope of duties and employee competences. A person applying for a certificate of professional competence in the transport of people/goods must be authorized to undertake binding legal actions on behalf of the enterprise.
Which carrier does not need to be certified?
The third article of the Road Transport Act lists enterprises that are exempt from holding a competence certificate. These are carriers who:
- transport in vehicles that are structurally designed for no more than 9 people, including the driver, in non-profit road transport of passengers,
- perform non-profit road transport of goods in domestic road transport of goods, if the GVM of the vehicle does not exceed 3.5 tonnes
- are part of emergency medical teams or health transport services
- act as a taxi driver
How to obtain a certificate of professional competence
The document is issued after obtaining a positive result in the state examination organized by the ITS. This works in a similar way to the driving test, with the details set out in Chapter 7 of the Road Transport Act. To write the certificate of professional competence exam you must be 18 or older and no additional education or experience in transport services is required. You need to submit the application by letter or in person at the ITS at least 14 days before the planned date of the exam.
The application should indicate the scope of professional competences being applied for – road transport of people or goods. If you would like both certificates, then you have to submit two separate applications. You also have to pay the appropriate fee to the Institute’s bank account. While the seat of the Motor Transport Institute is located in Warsaw, it is possible to take the exam in other cities.
Certificate of professional competence exam – practical information
Exams are held periodically in select cities. So far, they have taken place in such locations as: Warsaw, Kraków, Gdańsk, Kielce, Katowice, Łódź, Poznań, Bydgoszcz, Wrocław, Szczecin and Tęgoborze. Usually, the exams take place in conference rooms or hotels. Each candidate is notified in writing by priority letter about the scheduled date and place of the examination for the certificate of professional competence. Letters are sent out on the Friday that precedes the week of the exam. There is therefore little time to react, so it is worth getting acquainted with the exam schedule in advance. A designated examination board operating at the Motor Transport Institute (ITS) is required to create comfortable conditions for the examinees.
The examination for the certificate of professional competence in road transport is divided into two parts. Each of them is 120 minutes long, which means that the entire exam lasts 240 minutes. In order to pass the exam, you need to obtain at least 60% of the total number of points. The score obtained in each of the parts cannot be less than 50%. The CKZ exam consists of:
- the theoretical part, i.e. a written test consisting of 64 multiple-choice test questions with four possible answers
- the problem-solving part, with two practical situations to be solved. One of the fixed tasks is to calculate the driver’s working time, but there are also accounting issues, or even those related to civil law and vehicle technical standards
The second part of the exam is also worth 64 points, whilst for each answer you can get from zero to four points. If you pass the exam, the ITS will send you the road carrier certificate of professional competence within 28 days from the date of the exam.
While is not necessary to have a degree to take the exam, it may allow you to be exempt from the exam or part of it. If the core curriculum of your completed second-cycle studies, long-cycle masters studies or post-graduate studies covers all the topics listed in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No. 1071/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, you may apply for an exemption from the theoretical part. If the examination topics only partially overlap with the core of the completed degree courses, then you can expect to get an exemption from at least part of the examination. You have to document your degrees. All you need to do is attach a diploma or a confirmation of graduation to the application submitted to the ITS. You cannot be exempted from the second part of the exam if you have 5 years of professional experience, as was the case in the past.
There are two fees related to the issuance of the certificate of professional competence:
- PLN 500 for the exam
- PLN 300 for the certificate issuance
Thus, the total amount required to obtain a certificate of professional competence is PLN 800. Fees may be reduced accordingly in the event of exemption from part of the exam. The exam fee may be reduced by PLN 50 for each subject module included in the exemption. The required fee should be paid to the account of the Motor Transport Institute. If the letter is submitted by a proxy, then a stamp duty for the proxy is also required, in the amount of PLN 17. The stamp duty is payable to the account of the Praga-Północ District Office of the Capital City of Warsaw. There are no additional foreseen costs. If you need to retake the exam, you will have to pay only PLN 500 for the exam.
For how long is the road carrier certificate of professional competence valid?
The certificate of professional competence in road transport is issued for an indefinite period. Therefore, there is no validity date or requirement to reobtain the certificate after a certain period. It is only possible to have the certificate revoked through a court decision if a crime or offense was committed. As a rule, the document is valid for life.