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The Transport Operations & Commercial Driving Apprenticeship allows for entry into the Freight Distribution and haulage Sector, with a broad exposure to day to day operations.

Apprentices are employed by a Business for the duration of the Programme (2 years) and will earn as they learn! As part of this full-time employment, Apprentices are released one day per week during College (26 weeks per annum) to attend Lectures in ATU Sligo.


The core subjects for each year are as follows

Year 1
On the job Modules
Off the job Modules

Semester 1

No specific on the job modules

Personal Effectiveness and ICT Skills (Online)

Introduction to Supply Chain Management (Online)

Principles of Professional Driving (Online)

Introduction to HGV Technology CVRT
(Workshop Based)

Semester 2

Driver Test Comletion and CPC Training

Customer Care(Online)

Work Based Portfolio

Warehousing and Distribution (Online)

Introduction to Finance

Year 2
On the job Modules
Off the job Modules(all delivered online)

Semester 1

No specific on the job modules

Road Freight Operations and Route Plan

Customs and International Trade

Legal Studies for the Transport Industry

Health and Safety at work( vehicale safety)

Semester 2

Work Based Portfolio

Introduction to Management (supervision and Organisation Behaviour)

Enterprise and Market Development

Sustainable Transport Operations and Technologies

What makes an ideal Applicant for this programme?

An interest in Commercial Driving.
Succession planning for haulage operations.
A desire for knowledge driven work with problem solving.
A career focus with an open mind on progression possibilities.

There are many roles available along the Freight, Logistics, Shipping and Distribution industries. The Transport Operations & Commercial Driving Apprenticeship will provide academic knowledge of the connecting parts of the Irish Logistics industry and experience within the workplace.

Upon completion, Graduate Apprentices will be able to choose their own path to further their career, with experience and qualification on the national framework of qualifications as solid foundation to spring from.

Course Structure

This is a two year, earn while you learn apprenticeship programme with an approved employer. It combines on the job training with academic study.

Year 1

CPC Trainig and Driving Test Completion
Five Business modules
HGV and CVRT Workshop

Year 2

Road Freight Operations and Health and Safety
Sustainable Transport Operations
Four Business modules

Higher Certificate in Business in Transport Services

Driving Qualification
Academic Qualification
Apprenticeship complete

The academic programme is delivered over two years (September – May inclusive). You will spend four days per week during the academic term, working with your employer, on the job. You will spend one day per week attending online classes. There is one intake each year in September.

4 days in the workplace

Complete all employer requirement for role

Complete work based learning

September to May

1day in online classes

Lecture 1

1.5 hours


15 minute

Lecture 2

2.5 hours


1.5 hours

Lecture 3

1 hour

Case study time

30 minute

Who is it for?

If you want to pursue a career in commercial driving, and want to learn about the wider aspects of the role of the commercial driver, this apprenticeship will be of interest.

It is suitable for school leavers and career changers who meet the programme entry requirements.

What does an apprentice commercial driver do?

There are many roles that you can have as an apprentice commercial driver.

You will learn about the industry, your employer’s business and the role of the driver while you are preparing for your driving qualifications.

Driver’s Helper

Loading and Unloading Vehicles
Route Planning

Transport Operations

Distribution and Deliveries
Import/Export Operations

Warehouse Operations

Freight Forwarding

What Qualification will I achieve?

The academic award for this apprenticeship is a Higher Certificate (NFQ level 6) in Business in Transport Services. You will also achieve the C/CE driver license.

Entry Requirements(All applicants must)

Hold a Full ‘B’ Driver Licence
Be at least 18 years of age
Meet medical requirements for driving

Minimum entry requirements are a grade H7/O6 or above in five Leaving Certificate (or equivalent) subjects

A minimum of grade O6 must be obtained in English

A minimum of grade O6 or a B2 or above in Foundation level must be obtained in Mathematics.

Holders of a QQI Level 5 or Level 6 (or equivalent) in cognate areas (e.g. business, logistics and distribution, supply chain management, etc.) can apply for entry onto year 1 of the programme

A mature candidate, over the age of 23, who does not hold qualifications as set out above, but who:

Has a minimum of two years’ experience working as a commercial driver

Recommended by their employer and

Demonstrates the correct attitudes, behaviours and literacy skills

Holders of Existing C/CE licences

If you already hold a valid full C / CE licence category (for the duration of the programme) you can apply for exemption from the 5 credit Driving Test Module TECH06023.


English Proficiency

All lectures, tutorials and practical work are delivered through English. It is vitally important that students who are not native English speakers have the required standard prior to programme entry.

The required minimum proficiency score in English for entry is IELTS 5.5 overall, with a minimum score of 5 in each component.


Programme Fee

Apprentices are required to pay €800 per annum student registration fee to ATU.


On Road Driver Training information

The Preparation and completion of the HGV ‘C & CE’ Driving test will take place during Year 1 of this apprenticeship. The On Road Training will be provided by an approved panel of private driver training providers. All will be registered with the Road Safety Authority and certified to provide this training to a high standard. Funding from the HEA has been agreed to cover the costs of the training.


A subgroup of CSG committee has been formed to cover

Oversee quality monitoring of training providers
Decide on the hours required for training (on road lessons)
o All agreed between 12-16 hours 1:1 for Rigid ( C )
o Additional 12-16 hours 1:1 for Artic (CE)
Training providers to undertake on road assessment of each apprentice
Training to be completed in approx. 8 x 1.5-hour bocks of training
The training provider must include training in a Gearshift Vehicle as well as providing minimum number of hours training (to be agreed) in an automatic vehicle
The training service providers to provide modern trucks for the purpose of the on-road training (minimum age of vehicles to be agreed)

There are many elements to consider in preparing for the driving test

  1.  Apprentices must have a full ‘B’ licence
  2. Apprentices will have to complete a theory test to attain a learner permit for a’C’ Licence
  3. Apprentices will have to complete a medical in order to attain a learner permit
  4. Driving lessons must take place with approved training providers
  5. Driver CPC – Case Study test will take place before the driving test
  6. Walkaround element of the Driver CPC will take place on the same day as the driving test
  7. Once you pass the ‘C’ licence the apprentice will then apply for a learner permit for a ‘CE’

CSG timeline and requirements for preparing for the driving test


The CSG have agreed an indicative plan (roadmap) for employers and apprentices to understand the timeline and requirements for preparing for the driving test as follows

 Driver training (test) centres

The CSG have agreed that initially the apprentices will complete their on-road training from defined centres (this will be updated based on the location apprentices are based on an annual basis) These centres are chosen as they are RSA driver test centres where the apprentices will undertake the driving test. Completing the on-road training from these centres will assist apprentices in being familiar with the driver test route and have the space for learning various manoeuvres of the truck. This will be reviewed based on the location of the students. The initial locations are as follows


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