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Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be behind the wheel of a sleek, modern bus? Have you ever considered the skill and concentration it takes to be a safe and successful bus driver? We think about those things all the time. As one of the leading providers of bus driving training in the UK, we are constantly thinking about bus drivers and the great work they do every single day. To get more drivers working in the field, we have developed an industry-leading training programme that enables new drivers to get their licence and complete their initial CPC certification together.

bus-driving-licence

The bus driving career is not the right career choice for everyone. As most of our students learn early on, commercial driving is a task that is not as easy as it appears. Being safe with a large commercial vehicle requires a specific skill set along with concentration, knowledge, patience, and the ability to be flexible. Those who do it well go on to be some of the best bus drivers in the industry.

If you have a desire to earn a bus driving licence, you have come to the right place. The HGV Training Centre can teach you everything you need to know to get your licence and get to work. In a matter of just a few weeks, you could be ready to start applying for local or regional bus driving jobs.

PCV and CPC Together

Some parts of our bus driving licence programme have remained largely unchanged over the years. Other parts have changed significantly due to the introduction of CPC regulations. Bus driver training used to focus solely on obtaining the Category D licence; it has now been expanded to include additional training based on the EU Certificate of Professional Competence.

The CPC scheme was introduced in the EU as a means of standardising some of the requirements for commercial drivers. It was believed that upon implementation, the CPC standards would produce drivers who were both safe and competent, thus improving the haulage and transport industries throughout Europe. We began implementation of CPC here in the UK in 2008 for PCV drivers and 2009 for HGV drivers.

You can see evidence of the new emphasis on CPC just by looking at the testing regimen bus drivers go through to get their licences. There used to be only two tests that candidates had to pass during the training; there are now four or five, depending on how you look at it. All of the tests are now included under the CPC banner. These are:

  1. Theory Test – The theory test has always been part of PCV training. Under the new CPC scheme, the test is split into two parts consisting of multiple-choice and hazard perception. The multiple-choice section features 100 questions of which the candidate must get 85 correct. The hazard perception section involves 19 videos with 20 developing hazards that need to be identified.
  2. Case Studies – The case studies test is a new addition that was not previously required. It presents a candidate with six or seven case studies involving real-life scenarios he or she is likely to encounter in the workplace; there are a few questions relating to each study that must be answered. Successfully passing this test results in the candidate receiving his or her initial CPC qualification card.
  3. Driving Skills – This is the test we are all familiar with. It involves proving one’s skill and ability to drive a bus professionally. This test is conducted both on the road and on a closed course at the testing facility.
  4. Practical Demonstration – This test is typically given during the same session as the driving skills test. It gauges the candidate’s knowledge and ability to complete routine tasks that would be expected of the bus driver. The tasks are based on the government’s Driver CPC syllabus.

Our training accounts for all four tests inasmuch as we prepare students to take and pass them. We impart knowledge, give students the opportunity to practice, build confidence in them, and then book their tests for them when they are ready to pass.

Ongoing CPC Training

The other big thing that has changed in bus driving training since the implementation of CPC is that training is no longer a ‘one and done’ experience. Training is now an ongoing exercise that continues as long as the bus driver continues working. But don’t worry, training requirements are not so burdensome as to make it impossible to complete.

When a new student trains with the HGV Training Centre to obtain a bus driving licence, he or she also earns an initial CPC qualification card at the same time. That qualification card is good for five calendar years. That means if you acquired your card in March 2016, it would be valid until the end of 2021. You would have to undergo additional CPC training at some point during the 2021 calendar year in order to get a new qualification card.

CPC training requirements are relatively liberal for companies like ours that develop and conduct training courses. As long as our courses meet minimum requirements and achieve the goals of the CPC syllabus, we are free to design CPC training courses around a long list of topics. As for drivers, they have but one requirement: receive 35 hours of qualified training during the final year of their current qualification card.

We provide the ongoing CPC training that licenced drivers need to continue working. That means you could train with us to obtain your bus driving licence initially, then return to the HGV Training Centre in five years to get your 35 hours of additional CPC training. You could continue training with us throughout your career.

Five Steps from Start to Finish

So, what does it take to become a professional bus driver? It takes the right kind of training, the help and support you need to succeed, and a commitment on your part to learn. The HGV Training Centre utilises an easy-to-follow, five-step process that most students can complete in just a few weeks. Those steps are:

  1. Get a Medical Exam – Your health does not have to be perfect in order to get a bus driving licence. However, you do need to be in reasonably good health. Your first step towards obtaining a licence is undergoing a medical exam with your GP or a private doctor. Your doctor will submit medical paperwork on your behalf.
  2. Apply for Your Entitlement – You will need a provisional entitlement in order to begin training as a bus driver. We provide the application paperwork and any assistance you need to correctly complete the forms and submit them to the right agencies.
  3. Pass the Theory Test – Your first test will be the PCV theory test. While you wait for your provisional entitlement to arrive in the post, it is a good idea to prepare for this test. As soon as you pass it, your real training can begin in earnest.
  4. Practical Skills Training – The fourth step in the process is to undergo the practical skills training that you will need to pass your final tests. This training is conducted in the classroom and by way of actual driving sessions.
  5. Pass Your Final Two Tests – At the conclusion of your training, you will take the final two tests in the CPC regimen. Pass those tests and you will have that bus driving licence you have worked so hard for.

Changes to driving licence requirements in the UK now mean that PCV driver training and CPC training go hand-in-hand. The good news for new drivers is that the HGV Training Centre combines all of the requirements into a single, affordable training programme offered at the more than four dozen facilities we operate throughout the UK.

If you have ever wondered what it’s like to be behind the wheel of a sleek, modern bus, we can make it happen by helping you acquire your bus driving licence. Contact us to learn more about our courses and locations.

Further Information

If you would like to find out more about Bus driving the following articles may be of assistance:

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