All of our frontline, ECA and qualified clinician roles include driving and this means a category C1 (medium goods vehicle) driving licence is a prerequisite for anyone wishing to pursue one of these roles. Before 1997 C1 category was included as part of a standard driving license so you may already have this, depending on when you passed your driving test. Take a look at your driving licence to double check if you are unsure. After 1997 the C1 category was awarded following successful completion of a separate test (including an additional theory test) and so those who have taken their driving tests since this time will need to undertake this separately. The purpose of these pages is to assist you with accessing this.

So what is a C1 licence?

A C1 licence enables you to drive a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes and up to 7.5 tonnes. Our Ambulance vehicles weigh between 4.2 and 5 tonnes and so fall into this category.

The C1 licence application process consists of a medical examination conducted by a GP. You will also need a DVSA D4 medical form for the GP to fill out during this medical. You can obtain these from the DVSA website. After you have been deemed medically fit, you can apply for your provisional licence by sending the D4 medical form along with a D2 licence application form to the DVSA. Once you receive your provisional C1 licence back, you can then apply to sit a theory assessment and hazard perception test at your local DVSA theory test centre.

Once you have passed the theory and hazard perception test you can then start your practical training. This is normally conducted over several days in a small lorry or very large van.

At the end of your training you will be required to sit a test similar to your car driving test at a DVSA driving test centre. The test lasts about an hour and includes a reversing exercise and safety questions.

More information on the test can be found on the DVSA website.

For further information contact


One independent theory and one independent practical test conducted by the Driving Standards Agency at an external site. This course is taken on a pass/fail basis.


2 to 4 days dependent upon ability


£710 for SWAST staff

£850 for external customers

Course available on request.

If you would like to attend this course, mutually convenient times will be arranged.