Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment (HVCBA)
Planning to take the HVCBA? Find out what you need to do for the assessment to get your heavy vehicle licence.
What is the HVCBA?
The main way to get a heavy vehicle licence is to complete a Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment (HVCBA) with a Transport for NSW accredited Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
The HVCBA has a training element and an assessment element called the Final Competency Assessment.
An accredited Transport for NSW assessor will determine your ability to drive a heavy vehicle under a wide range of driving conditions.
The HVCBA provides the flexibility for you to choose your own trainer. You can also learn, and be assessed, in a vehicle of your choice, and arrange your own appointment times with your trainer.
What if HVCBA is not available in my area?
The HVCBA may not be available in all areas of NSW.
In areas where the HVCBA is unavailable, you can take a heavy vehicle driving test with a Service NSW testing officer. If you are applying for an MC class licence, you cannot take the heavy vehicle driving test. You must complete the HVCBA.
To find an HVCBA provider near you, see Registered Training Organisations (RTO).
HVCBA Learner Log Books and Handbooks
Heavy Vehicle Driver Handbook
The Heavy Vehicle Driver Handbook is an informative resource that helps you understand the rules for heavy vehicles. It also outlines the obligations for heavy vehicle drivers.
Before attempting the Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Test you must read:
Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Test
Before you can book your HVCBA, you must pass the Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Test.
You only need to attempt 1 of the Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Tests:
Heavy vehicle rigid – take this test if you're applying for a Light Rigid (LR), Medium Rigid (MR) or Heavy Rigid (HR) class licence.
Heavy vehicle combination – take this test if you're applying for a Heavy Combination (HC) or Multi Combination (MC) class licence.
To find out about the test and how to practice, see Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Test.
HVCBA Learner Log Book
Your HVCBA Learner Log Book shows your progress in building the skills you need to upgrade to a heavy vehicle licence. You'll need to log your mandatory training and assessment hours to take the final assessment.
You must keep your log book until you’ve completed all the criteria and passed the Final Competency Assessment in your HVCBA.
Applying for the HVCBA
Before applying for the HVCBA you'll need to go to a service centre in person and:
- provide a completed Licence Application form (PDF, 395.47 KB)
- provide acceptable proof of identity
- pass an eyesight test (unless you're exempt)
- provide a medical assessment report (if applying for an MC licence)
- pass the Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Test
- pay the appropriate fee.
Once you've completed these requirements you will be issued with an HVCBA Learner Log Book.
Once you have your log book, you can select an RTO to arrange your training and assessment.
You'll also be given the Guide to Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment publication. The guide outlines the tasks you need to perform to complete the training course and the assessment.
Assessors and instructors
You can only be assessed by a Transport-accredited RTO assessor. All accredited assessors are licensed driving instructors, so they can train and assess you.
To find a list of Transport-accredited RTOs, see Registered Training Organisations.
You can change assessors at any time, just like you can change driving instructors.
Under the HVCBA, you can learn to drive a heavy vehicle either:
- under the supervision of a person with the appropriate class of NSW driver licence, or
- with a licensed driving instructor.
Once you complete all of the mandatory training and assessment hours, you'll need to take a Final Competency Assessment.
It is a requirement that training and assessment are conducted by different assessors. This means that the assessor who delivers your training course must not be the same assessor who conducts your Final Competency Assessment. Your RTO will organise this.
Information for assessors
If you are an HVCBA assessor or are interested in becoming accredited as an assessor, see Driving Instructors - HVCBA Scheme.
Final Competency Assessment (FCA)
The Final Competency Assessment is the final practical test you must complete at the end of your HVCBA training.
In order to pass the assessment, you must demonstrate the skills you have learned in your HVCBA training and show that you can handle a heavy vehicle safely.
Once you pass this assessment, the assessor will submit your results to Transport for NSW and keep your log book.
You can then attend a service centre in person to upgrade or obtain your new heavy vehicle licence.
When you attend a service centre you'll need to:
- complete the Licence Application form (PDF, 395.47 KB)
- provide acceptable proof of identity
- pay the licence fee.
For more information see guide to Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment (PDF, 761.88 KB).
You can learn and be assessed in your own vehicle, as long as it is registered and roadworthy, and the right type of vehicle for the licence class you’re applying for.
The vehicle you use for the test must also have a lap-sash retractable seat belt fitted to the front passenger seat for the assessor or testing officer. This requirement is not needed for MR and HR buses.
Vehicles for HR, HC and MC licence tests must meet these additional minimum requirements:
HR – the test vehicle must be at least a 3-axle rigid vehicle with a GVM of more than 15 tonnes, excluding bobtail prime mover.
HC – the test vehicle must be at least a 3-axle prime mover with a minimum 2-axle semi-trailer, or a heavy rigid vehicle plus trailer over 9 tonnes GVM.
MC – the test vehicle must be at least a 3-axle prime mover with an A and B trailer, each with bogie axles. The vehicle must be B-double rated and a minimum of 22 metres in length, in B-double configuration.
Test vehicles must also be loaded to at least 75% of the maximum mass allowable for the vehicle, except for buses. For whichever is lowest, at least 75% of:
- legal mass limit
- the Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) for rigid vehicles, or
- the Gross Combination Mass (GCM) for articulated or heavy trailer combinations.
Vehicles that cannot be used for the test or assessment
The following vehicles must not be used for a driving test or HVCBA:
- armoured security vehicles
- vehicles carrying dangerous goods
- vehicles carrying livestock
- vehicles displaying Traders' number plates
- vehicles that are not suitable for safe use
- any heavy vehicle fitted with a dual accelerator or a dual steering wheel
- buses carrying passengers
- Special Purpose Vehicles.
If you’re assessed in a vehicle with an automatic or synchromesh gearbox, a condition will be added to your licence. This means you’ll only be allowed to drive vehicles with a similar transmission.
To drive a vehicle with a constant mesh gearbox, you'll need to be tested or assessed in that type of vehicle.
In-cabin cameras are a requirement for any HVCBA Final Competency Assessment (FCA).
Applicants will be filmed when undergoing the FCA. This footage may be reviewed by an RTO.
RTOs are required by Transport for NSW to:
- install a video camera in the cabin of the heavy vehicle to record the start and end of your FCA
- notify you of the beginning and end of each FCA.