Lorry drivers will have to retrain under new European regulations which come into force this month.
The European qualification means that from September 10 new drivers need to pass the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) Initial Qualification, as well as holding the relevant vocational driving licence.
Drivers who hold a full licence prior to September 10 will not need to take the Driver CPC Initial Qualification.
However, all drivers will need to complete 35 hours of training every five years to maintain their Driver CPC status.
Environment Minister Edwin Poots said: "The qualification aims to improve road safety and will ensure that all new drivers coming into the industry have the necessary knowledge and skills to cope with the ever-increasing changes and demands facing the industry."
Tests for lorry drivers will include a theory test involving case studies, and a practical test requiring drivers to demonstrate their knowledge of vehicle safety and security issues.
© Press Association 2009