Frequently Asked Questions

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    On this page you can find a list of some of our most frequently asked questions. The information is provided for organisations that hire, own, or operate minibuses (9 to 16 passenger seats plus driver) or MPVs (less than 9 passenger seats) as part of their activities.

    The information in the FAQs is available to everyone, but some answers may link to more in-depth information that is only accessible to members of the CTA. 

    If you need more information, or if you can’t find the information you’re looking for, you can call CTA’s Advice Service on 0345 130 6195.

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  • Operator Licensing

    • What is an operator’s licence and do we need one?

      An operator’s licence allows a person or an organisation to operate passenger carrying vehicles in return for any kind of ‘Hire or Reward’.  You are likely to require an operator’s licence of some type because “hire or reward” will exist in the majority, if not all, transport operations.

      Public Service Vehicle (PSV) Operator Licence

      Private or commercial companies that operate transport will need to apply for a PSV operator’s licence.  Where only one or two minibuses are run a restricted operator’s licence may be sufficient.  These are issued by the Traffic Commissioner through their Central Office in Leeds, their contact number is 0300 123 9000.

      If your organisation is a not-for-profit organisation you will be eligible to operate passenger transport using section 19, section 22 or section 10B permits and to charge for transport, but at a not-for-profit rate.

    • What is a section 19 Permit and do we need one?

      There are two forms of section 19 permits, Standard and Large Bus.

      Section 19 permits are issued for use in Great Britain, these permits cannot be used to provide transport to members of the general public and organisations must ensure that they are only carrying passengers that their organisation is set up to benefit.  If your organisation is operating transport then ‘Hire or Reward’ probably exists and you will need to obtain a section 19 permit.

      Section 19 Standard permits

      A standard permit allows an organisations to operate a vehicle such as an MPV or a minibus – a vehicle with up to 16 passenger seats. The legislation which allows these two types of vehicles to be operated is different and operators are advised to read our Advice Leaflet on Operating small vehicles under s19 permits to ensure they are operating within the law.

      Section 19 Large Bus permits

      A large bus permit allows an organisation to operate a vehicle with more than 16 passenger seats.

      Where can we obtain a section 19 permit?

      Application forms for section 19 and 22 permits can be obtained from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, you can contact them by telephone on 0300 123 9000.

      Section 19 standard permits can also be issued by the CTA as we are a Designated Body, we are only allowed to issue these permits to our members.  Members can download the CTA section 19 permit application form by logging in to the Members Area of this website, log in details are shown on your Membership Certificate.

      How much do they cost?

      Section 19 standard permits cost £11.00 if you obtain them from the DVSA.

      Section 19 standard permits cost £11.00 if you obtain them from the CTA and you will need to ensure that your organisation continues to be a member as we retain the right to revoke/remove a S19 permit should your membership lapse.

    • What is a section 22 permit and do we need one?

      A community bus permit is issued for use in Great Britain and does allow organisations to provide transport for members of the general public by way of a local registered bus route.  The local registered bus route has to be registered with the Traffic Commissioners.  The operator can request the Traffic Commissioner to allow them to also operate ‘other services’, this will allow them to offer services, such as private hire, to enable them to subsidise their local registered service if it is operating at a loss.

      Where can we obtain a section 22 permit?

      Application forms for section 22 permits can be obtained from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, you can contact them by telephone on 0300 123 9000.

    • What is a section 10B permit and do we need one?

      Section 10B small bus permits are issued for use in Northern Ireland, these permits cannot be used to provide transport to members of the general public and organisations must ensure that they are only carrying passengers that their organisation is set up to benefit.

      A permit allows an organisations, who own or have a minibus on a hire contract, to operate a minibus – a vehicle with up to 16 passenger seats, for ‘Hire or Reward’.

      Where can we obtain a permit?

      The Department of Infrastructure can issue section 10B permits in Northern Ireland to not-for-profit organisations.  You can contact them on 028 9054 0540.

      Section 10B permits can also be issued by the CTA as we are a Designated Body, we are only allowed to issue these permits to our members.  Members can download the CTA section 10B permit application form by logging in to the Members Area of this website, log in details are shown on your Membership Certificate.

      If you are not a CTA Member but would like to know more about the CTA and our membership offer please view our CTA Membership section.

      How much do they cost?

      Section 10B permits cost £11.00 if you obtain them from the CTA and you will need to ensure that your organisation continues to be a member as we retain the right to revoke/remove a S10b permit should your members lapse.

      Do they have an expiry date?

      No, section 10B permits do not have an expiry date however, operators must ensure that permit discs are legible and that they do not overwrite any information on them.

    • What do permits look like and how long do they last?

      All permits are in two parts.

      • The A4 paper permit, which should be stored safely in the office
      • The disc, which must be displayed in the windscreen of the vehicle

      For your minibus operation to be legal you must have both parts and the disc must remain readable.  If either part is missing, or if the writing on the disc fades the permit issuer should be informed and replacements obtained.  You must not overwrite any of  the information on a permit disc and you must not display photocopied discs.

      The old section 19 small bus permits issued prior to April 2009 did not have an expiry date. Under the Local Transport Act 2008, all these permits expired on 6 April 2014 and should have been replaced.

      Section 19 standard permits issued from April 2009 are valid for up to five years and must be renewed before the expiry date shown.

      Section 10b permits in Northern Ireland do not currently have an expiry date. It is possible that this arrangement may change in the future with the introduction of new legislation.

    Drivers

    • Who can drive our MPV operated using section 19 permits?

      If you operate MPVs using section 19 permits your drivers are required to have held a full car, category B, driving entitlement for at least two years and be aged 21 or over.  These drivers can be paid to drive or be providing their services as a volunteer.

    • Who can drive our minibus using section 19 or 22 permits?

      Category D1 101 entitlement

      Minibus drivers who passed their car driving test before 1st January 1997 will normally have a D1 with a 101 code – minibus, not for hire or reward – entitlement on their licence.  This will remain on the licence until it expires when the driver reaches 70 years old or unless removed by DVLA (DVA Northern Ireland), usually for medical reasons.  Even though the licence code stands for ‘not for hire or reward’ these licence holders can drive a minibus operated under a section 19 or 22 permit without additional conditions.

      Drivers who hold a category D1 101 on their driving licence can drive a minibus of any weight, provide their services as a volunteer or be paid directly to drive it.

      See section 8.1 Driving entitlement requirements of the Department for Transport’s Guidance Section 19 and 22 permits: not for profit passenger transport for more information.

      Category B entitlement

      Drivers who passed their driving test from 1 January 1997 were not granted the D1 101 entitlement on their licence and they will only have a B entitlement. If a driver with only a category B entitlement can comply with all of the following conditions they may drive, on behalf of a non-commercial body for social purposes but not for hire or reward, if they:

      • are the holder of a full licence authorising the driving of vehicles in category B;
      • have held that licence for an aggregate period of not less than 2 years;
      • are aged 21 or over, but under 70 (unless the driver has passed a PCV medical and has gained the restriction code 79 (NFHR);
      • receive no payment or consideration for so doing, other than out-of-pocket expenses;

      may drive a vehicle included in sub-category D1 which has no trailer attached and has a maximum authorised mass-

      • not exceeding 3.5 tonnes, excluding any part of that weight which is attributable to specialised equipment intended for the carriage of disabled passengers, and
      • not exceeding 4.25 tonnes otherwise.

      The two conditions that cause most problems are the vehicle weight restriction and not being able to pay drivers.  The fourth bullet point above is normally interpreted as meaning that the driver is a volunteer.  However, there is a legal opinion that where an employee does not have driving as part of their job description and they receive no more pay as a result of their driving duties; they could be considered to be meeting the condition set out above.  This opinion has not been tested in a court but has been accepted within the voluntary sector.

      The additional 750kg weight attributed to ‘specialised equipment’ is the maximum allowance permitted to directly offset the additional weight of any ‘specialised equipment’ which is intended for the carriage of disabled passengers, therefore, any allowance claimed over the 3.5 tonnes limit must be attributed to this equipment.  The gov.uk website provides an example of ‘specialised equipment’ as being a ramp however, operators and drivers must ensure that any ‘specialised equipment’ stays on the minibus for this concession to apply, if there is no ‘specialist equipment’ on the minibus then the Maximum Authorised Mass cannot exceed 3.5 tonnes.

      Maximum Authorised Mass

      Both operators and drivers need to take care with the maximum authorised mass of any vehicle they are operating or driving.  The Maximum Authorised Mass, or Gross Vehicle Weight as it is also known, is the maximum carrying capacity of the vehicle; this is the vehicle when it is full of diesel along with all the passengers and driver.  It may be possible to overload a vehicle where heavy wheelchairs are carried or where the payload is small.  For more information, CTA members can log into the Members’ area and view our advice leaflet in the Operational section – Minibuses and Overloading.

      Where any of the above conditions cannot be met, the driver will need to pass a second driving test in a minibus including, medical and theory, hazard perception and practical tests.  This will gain them a full PCV D1 entitlement.  For more information, CTA members can log into the Members’ area and view our advice leaflet in the Training section – Gaining a PCV D1 Entitlement.

    • Who can drive our minibuses operated using section 10B permits?

      Category D1 101 entitlement

      Minibus drivers who passed their car driving test before 1st January 1997 will normally have a D1(101) – minibus, not for hire or reward – entitlement on their licence.  This entitlement will remain on the licence until it expires, usually when the driver reaches 70 years old or unless removed by Driver and Vehicle Agency in Northern Ireland, usually for medical reasons.  Even though the licence restriction says ‘not for hire or reward’ these licence holders can drive a minibus operated under a section 10B permit with the following conditions:

      • They are only able to drive a minibus on a voluntary basis and they can receive out-of-pocket expenses.
      • There is no weight restriction attached to the size of the minibus the driver can drive however, they must not overload a minibus which has had its weight restricted.

      Drivers, such as teachers, health workers and caretakers who drive a minibus as part of their employment are deemed to be paid drivers.  These drivers will need to hold:

      • a full PCV D1 driving licence gained by taking a second test.
      • a Driver Qualification Card to demonstrate that they have taken the required periodic training, called Driver Certificate of Professional Competence or Driver CPC.

      Category B entitlement

      Drivers who passed their driving test from 1 January 1997 were not granted the D1 101 entitlement on their licence and they will only have a B entitlement. If a driver with only a category B entitlement can comply with all of the following conditions they may drive, on behalf of a non-commercial body for social purposes but not for hire or reward, if they:

      • are the holder of a full licence authorising the driving of vehicles in category B;
      • have held that licence for an aggregate period of not less than 2 years;
      • are aged 21 or over, but under 70 (unless the driver has passed a PCV medical and has gain the restriction code 79 (NFHR); and
      • receive no payment or consideration for so doing, other than out-of-pocket expenses;
      • drive a vehicle included in sub-category D1 which has no trailer attached and has a maximum authorised mass-
      • not exceeding 3.5 tonnes, excluding any part of that weight which is attributable to specialised equipment intended for the carriage of disabled passengers, and
      • not exceeding 4.25 tonnes otherwise.

      The two conditions that cause must problems are the vehicle weight restriction and not being able to pay drivers.  The fourth bullet point above is normally interpreted as meaning that the driver is a volunteer.  However, there is a legal opinion that where an employee does not have driving as part of their job description and they receive no more pay as a result of their driving duties; they could be considered to be meeting the condition set out above.  This opinion has not been tested in a court but has been accepted within the voluntary sector.

      The additional 750kg weight attributed to ‘specialised equipment’ is the maximum allowance permitted to directly offset the additional weight of any ‘specialised equipment’ which is intended for the carriage of disabled passengers, therefore, any allowance claimed over the 3.5 tonnes limit must be attributed to this equipment.  The gov.uk website provides an example of ‘specialised equipment’ as being a ramp however, operators and drivers must ensure that any ‘specialised equipment’ stays on the minibus for this concession to apply, if there is no ‘specialist equipment’ on the minibus then the Maximum Authorised Mass cannot exceed 3.5 tonnes.

      Maximum Authorised Mass

      Both operators and drivers need to take care with the maximum authorised mass of any vehicle they are operating or driving.  The Maximum Authorised Mass, or Gross Vehicle Weight as it is also known, is the maximum carrying capacity of the vehicle; this is the vehicle when it is full of diesel along with all the passengers and driver.  It may be possible to overload a vehicle where heavy wheelchairs are carried or where the payload of the vehicle is small.  For more guidance, please see our advice leaflet on Minibuses and Overloading available to CTA members.

      Where any of the above conditions cannot be met, the driver will need to pass a second driving test in a minibus including, medical and theory, hazard perception and practical tests.  This will gain them a full PCV D1 entitlement, for more guidance see our advice leaflet on Gaining a PCV D1 Entitlement available to CTA members.

    • Can our 70 year old driver still drive our minibus?

      In Great Britain

      In Great Britain when drivers reach 70 years old they will only be able to continue to drive a minibus operated under a section 19 or 22 permit if they pass a medical to PCV standards.  Drivers will have to complete the D2 form (Application for Lorry, Bus or Minibus driving licence) and also get their doctor to complete a D4 (Medical Examination Report) There is no longer a recommended fee that doctors can charge for completing the medical form so it is wise to check when making an appointment. Both the D2 and D4 then have to be sent to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to enable them to renew the driving licence.  Certain health conditions will mean that an application has to be approved by a medical panel and in certain circumstances a licence will not be issued which enables the driver to drive minibuses.  There is no renewal fee to DVLA at this point; however, if the driver seeks to regain D1 after it has been lost, the DVLA will charge a fee of £6.00.

      The above process will have to be repeated every 3 years in order for a driver to continue driving minibuses under Permits.  Retention of a D1 is indicated by a restriction code of 79 (NFHR) as shown below.

      In Northern Ireland

      In NI when drivers reach 70 years old they will only be able to continue to drive a minibus operated under a section 10B permit if they and new their entitlement with the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA).  The driver will need to complete a DL1R form and return it to the DVA along with their photocard driving licence and counterpart; and include a new passport type certified photograph which must be signed and dated on the back by either an MP (member of parliament), Justice of the Peace, minister of religion or a professionally qualified person (eg: engineer, lawyer, teacher, shop-keeper, librarian, local business person, local councillor, bank official, established civil servant, police officer or someone of similar standing) who has known them for at least two years and must not be related to them.  They will have to send original identity documentation only if their name has changed since their last licence was issued.

      Drivers under 70 years old with a medically restricted licence may take the medical, as for drivers at age 70 or over.  It should be noted, however, that people with certain conditions will not be able to pass the medical, insulin-controlled diabetes, for example.  It is possible for these drivers to continue to drive a minibus without the D1 entitlement as long as they are able to meet all of the conditions which apply to new drivers.

    • Do we need to carry out Driver Licence Checks?

      It is important in all cases that a driver’s licence is checked by a knowledgeable person at least every six months to ensure they still comply with the legal, insurance and organisational requirements.  It is important that all drivers understand that they are required to inform the operator if anything changes such as any medical conditions or they get points or are disqualified from driving.

      Operators should be aware that driving licence counterparts are no longer issued and that they were abolished.  In order to correctly check a drivers driving entitlement they need to ask the driver for a ‘check code’ which the driver can request using the link below, once the driver has provided the operator with this ‘check code’ operators can then use the service provided on the gov.uk website to see the DVLA records for that driver.

      Drivers can go online, using the service provided on the gov.uk website to check the details that the Driver and Vehicle Licence Agency holds on them.  They can also use this link to obtain a ‘check code’ that they can give to their employer or organisation they are volunteering for, this ‘check code’ gives the operator permission to check the drivers driving entitlements.

      Further reading

      CTA’s leaflet entitled ‘Driver Licensing – Permit Vehicles’, provides comprehensive information on this topic and can be found in the Advice Leaflet section of the website.

    • Is there any additional training our drivers should receive?

      In all cases, but particularly where an additional driving test in a minibus has not been required, it is good practice to have drivers assessed and trained in minibus driving and passenger safety before they take passengers out. MiDAS – Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme – provides a structured programme for the assessment and training of drivers.

      If your drivers or passenger assistants are expected to operate a passenger lift on your vehicles it is a legal requirement that they receive training to do so correctly.

      Further information can be found in the training section of CTA’s website. Under the MiDAS arrangements drivers are reassessed every four years to ensure they remain competent. Reduced insurance premiums are available to CTA Member organisations that adopt the MiDAS training scheme.

      A similar scheme is available for MPV drivers.

    Maintenance

    • Do our drivers need to do a daily vehicle check?

      These are very important.  There are a range of items that can be easily checked on a regular basis and this will ensure that potentially costly faults are picked up at an early stage, before serious damage occurs.  A responsible person must undertake a daily walk around check before a vehicle is used.

      Drivers must be aware that they are legally responsible for the vehicle whilst they are driving it and it is in their best interest to complete the vehicle check before they drive it rather than rely on another person.  It is best practice that operators should provide training for their drivers to show them what checks are required and how items should be checked.  These checks are best carried out using a form which itemises things that need to be checked with a ‘tick box’ that the person undertaking the check can tick to indicate that they have checked each item.  The form should also have a space for a signature and the date to be used by the person carrying out the checks (remember, you will need two people to check the brake lights).  This paperwork can then be kept as an accurate record of preventative maintenance carried out on the vehicle.

      An example Daily Checklist is provided in our Maintenance Schedules Advice Leaflet, this can be downloaded from the Leaflets section of our website.

    • Do we need to report vehicle defects?

      Yes, even with regular servicing and a rigorous checking system, other faults or defects will still occur from time to time.  In order to ensure that these are rectified as soon as possible a formal defect reporting system should be established.  Every driver should have access to a vehicle defect report form or defect book (many organisations use the reverse side of the drivers log sheet).

      When a fault or defect is identified, the form should be filled in, signed and dated.  It should then be returned to the Fleet Manager, co-ordinator or other responsible person for action.  There should be a clear process by which drivers, who have identified a defect, know whether it makes the vehicle un-roadworthy, such as a non-working horn.

      Defect report forms should be monitored on a regular basis (at least weekly), to ensure when faults are reported they have been actioned promptly.

      Any report form where a defect has been noted must be kept, along with remedial action taken, the defect should be signed off by the person lifting the defect and kept for at least 15 months.

    • What are safety inspections?

      A nominated person should be responsible for ensuring that a full schedule of inspections takes place on all passenger vehicles that you operate.  The operator of a vehicle has a legal duty of care to ensure that vehicles they operate are safe and do not pose a danger to anyone.

      Safety inspections are similar to an MOT and check the road safety items of the vehicle, they should be carried out by a competent person who is able to sign the inspection document to state that in their professional opinion the vehicle will remain safe and legal until the next scheduled safety inspection.

      A person undertaking safety inspections must be technically competent and operationally aware of the safety standards that apply to the vehicles they examine.  They should have been trained in the techniques of vehicle examination, diagnosis and reporting, and possess a sound working knowledge of the relevant inspection manuals produced by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) in Great Britain and the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland.  A Safety inspector could prove technical competence by solely time served experience; however with modern vehicle systems and working practices it is strongly recommended that inspectors obtain relevant technical qualifications and achieve an automotive technical accreditation or meet a recognised quality standard for the vehicles they inspect.

      A safety inspector should not be expected to carry out repair or servicing work during the course of the safety check.

      In Northern Ireland a safety inspection must also include a brake test.

      Safety inspections should be carried out with a maximum interval between inspections of 10 weeks.  Vehicles that are 12 years old or older should be being safety inspected every 6 weeks.

    • Do we need to check our passenger lifts?

      Passenger lifts are required by law to be inspected least every six months and it is recommended that they are load-tested annually by a competent person.  The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) cover the use of all lifts.

      Following an inspection, a report must be given to an appropriate person in your organisation to ensure that the relevant action can be taken to repair any faults or defects.  These inspection reports must be kept for a minimum of two years.

    Operational

    • Can we use a bus lane?

      Bus lanes on general purpose roads and “Buses only” roads are reserved for ‘buses’ and also, where indicated, on the signs, pedal cycles and taxis.

      A ‘bus’ in the context of these regulations includes all passenger vehicles with more than 8 passenger seats as well as any local buses not so constructed or adapted when operating a registered local service.

      The lanes are clearly marked with special signs which indicate times of operation and it is an offence for other vehicles to use them at these times except for taxis and cyclists if the sign so indicates.

      County councils, unitary authorities’ councils, metropolitan county councils and in Scotland, regional councils may make local traffic regulations orders, inter alia, to restrict lane use to “local” buses and to control picking up and setting down points used by buses providing local and/or other services and excursions and tours services.

      If a bus lane is marked as ‘Local’ then only buses operating on a local registered bus service may use the lane, if this is the case a minibus or bus operated using a section 19 permit cannot use it.

      Minibuses and buses operated using section 19 permits are allowed to use bus lanes as they are within the definition of a ‘bus’.  An accessible minibus which has had seats removed for the carriage of passengers who are using their wheelchair as a seat will still be, by definition, a bus as the legislation states that they have to be constructed or adapted to carry more than 8 passengers.

    • Can we use school bus signs?

      Yes, buses being used to carry children under the age of 16 to and from school at the beginning and end of the day must display a special prescribed sign both at the front and the rear of the vehicle.

      Minibuses operated using section 19 permits which provide home-to-school transport should display school bus signs.

      The signs must have a black border enclosing a silhouette of two children on a yellow reflective background.  There should be a sign displayed at the front of the vehicle which must be at least 250mm × 250mm with the black border not more than 20mm wide and one displayed at the rear of the vehicle at least 400mm × 400mm with the black border not more than 30mm wide.

    • Can we advertise on our minibuses?

      Yes, you can advertise your own services on your minibuses when they are operated using section 19 permits if these services are not operated for profit, this is because section 19 permits cannot be used ‘with a view to profit nor incidentally to an activity which is itself carried on with a view to profit’.

      Commercial Advertising or Sponsorship

      Section 19 permit vehicles:

      As a vehicle operated using a section 19 permit cannot be used ‘with a view to profit nor incidentally to an activity which is itself carried on with a view to profit; then care has to be taken when considering commercial advertising or sponsorship on your vehicles.  These types of deals are common these days and lawyers for the Department for Transport have clarified that it is the relationship between the permit bus operation and the sponsor that must be taken into account when deciding whether the requirements of ‘with a view to profit nor incidentally to an activity which is itself carried on with a view to profit’ are met.

      The purpose of section 19 as a whole is to enable certain types of non-commercial service to be operated without the need for an operator’s licence. For example, a section 19 service supported by a supermarket, could not provide a service to the store because the use of the bus would be incidental to a profit-seeking activity.  However, other types of sponsorship unconnected with the operation of the vehicle may not violate section restriction.  Examples would be a vehicle supplier or manufacturer donating vehicles in return for the operator carrying their sponsorship details on the vehicle, or a vehicle carrying general advertising (e.g. of commercial products) unconnected with its operation. In both cases, the operation of the permit vehicle is independent of the sponsors or advertisers, who only gain a fringe benefit from the display of their name or advertising message.

      Section 22 permit vehicles:

      The rules which enable section 22 permits contain no restrictions on the use of commercial sponsorship or advertising.

    • What is the Maximum Authorised Mass of a vehicle?

      Both operators and drivers need to take care with the maximum authorised mass of any vehicle they are operating or driving.  The Maximum Authorised Mass, or Gross Vehicle Weight as it is also known, is the maximum carrying capacity of the vehicle; this is the vehicle when it is full of diesel along with all the passengers and driver.  It may be possible to overload a vehicle where heavy wheelchairs are carried or where the payload is small.  For more information please see our Advice Note on Minibuses and Overloading available in the Registered Users area of the Advice and Information section.

      Where any of the above conditions cannot be met, the driver will need to pass a second driving test in a minibus including, medical and theory, hazard perception and practical tests.  This will gain them a full PCV D1 entitlement.

    Training - MiDAS

    • What is MiDAS?

      MiDAS is the Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme, organised by the Community Transport Association U.K. (CTA) which promotes a nationally recognised standard for the assessment and training of minibus drivers. It is a membership based scheme that has been designed to enhance minibus driving standards and promote the safer operation of minibuses. The scheme is owned by Hampshire County Council and they run they own MiDAS scheme within the county of Hampshire. If you are looking for MiDAS training within Hampshire you will need to contact Hampshire County Council’s Passenger Transport Group.

    • Who is MiDAS aimed at?

      MiDAS is applicable to any organisation operating or using minibuses. Member organisations range from small voluntary organisations operating one vehicle, to local authorities operating large fleets of minibuses as well as schools, colleges and universities.

    • How does MiDAS work?

      MiDAS operates on a “cascade” approach. CTA has appointed a number of training agents, who provide training for minibus Driver Assessor/Trainers (DAT’s) nominated from member organisations.

      A DAT can then assess the competence of minibus drivers, and provide them with training on how to safely use a minibus.

    • How long will my MiDAS certificate last for?

      A Driver Assessor Trainer’s certificate lasts for two years after which you will need to attend a refresher course. A driver’s certificate lasts for four years after which which you will need to attend a refresher course.

      Please note that there is some confusion regarding a ‘three month grace period’, there is no grace period after a certificate expires and drivers and driver assessor trainers (DATs) will need ensure that they have either attended a refresher course before their expiry date or applied for an extension. If you do not apply for an extension before your certificate expires you may need to attend a full induction course in order to continue to hold a current MiDAS certificate.

    • Is MiDAS a legal entitlement?

      Completing a MiDAS assessment does not give a driver an additional legal entitlement on their driving license. MiDAS is a good practise scheme which allows drivers who already have the legal requirement on their driving license an opportunity to be assessed to drive a minibus to a national standard.

    • How can I organise MiDAS training for me or my drivers?

      To organise MiDAS training for yourself or your drivers you will need to register as a member of the MiDAS training scheme and contact a Driver Assesor Trainer. You can do both on our ‘Do you want MiDAS Training’ page.

      Each Driver Assessor Trainer charges their own price so we would therefore recommend that you contact more than one from the list for the best price and dates to suit your organisation. If you are based in Hampshire you will need to contact Hampshire County Council’s Passenger Transport Group to arrange training for your organisation.

    • How do I become a Driver Assessor Trainer?

      If you are interested in becoming a Driver Assessor Trainer (DAT) or appointing a DAT from within your organisation please read the pre-course information for DATs which gives an outline of what is expected from someone in the DAT role.

      You can contact any of the Training Agents on our list for DAT training; each training agent charges their own price, we would therefore recommend that you contact more than one from the list for the best price and dates to suit your organisation. If you are based in Hampshire and are looking to become a DAT you will need to contact Hampshire County Council’s Passenger Transport Group.

    • Do I need to be MiDAS registered?

      MiDAS is a membership scheme where every organisation who interacts with the training programme, regardless of which point in the cascade, needs to become MiDAS registered. MiDAS registration is free and you only need to fill out a short form online to be issued with a MiDAS registration number. As part of the MiDAS registration process the organisation agrees to sign up to the MiDAS commitment which includes a commitment to things like ensuring all your drivers receive MiDAS training and recognising the MiDAS certificates of drivers from other MiDAS registered organisations. The registration number is unique to your organisation and should be quoted whenever you contact the CTA, on resource order forms and certificates. CTA use the unique registration number to ensure that training records are allocated to the correct organisation. If you are a DAT delivering training you must ensure that every organisation you deliver training to has their own registration number.

    • How much does MiDAS training cost?

      MiDAS trainers charge their own prices which is why we would always recommend that you contact more than one trainer so that you get the best price for your organisation. Prices can vary depending on the number of staff members you have attending and your location.

    • What training will I receive when I attend a driver training course?

      A standard driver’s course should last four hours; during the course you should receive classroom training on a number of topics including the role of the driver.  You will also receive an assessment of your driving skills, the Driver Assessor Trainer (DAT) delivering the course will do a demonstration drive which will demonstrate to you the standard of driving MiDAS expects. You will also receive a theory paper to check your understanding of the topics delivered.

      If you attend the additional accessible module this training will last a minimum of four hours, where you will receive classroom training, a practical skills assessment where you will be assessed on your ability to use a passenger lift or ramp and secure a wheelchair user in a minibus and practical demonstrations on how to assist passengers who have walking difficulties, and have a sight or hearing loss. You will also answer additional theory paper questions to check your understanding of the topics delivered.

    • What training will I receive when I attend a DAT course?

      A standard DAT course should last three days; during the course you should receive classroom training on a number of topics including the role of the DAT.  You will also receive an assessment of your driving skills and an assessment of your ability to assess others to a national standard. The training agent delivering the course will do a demonstration drive which will demonstrate to you the standard of driving MiDAS expects. You will also receive a presentation assessment where you will be asked to deliver a short presentation on a MiDAS topic and a theory paper to check your understanding of the topics delivered.

      If you attend the additional accessible module this training will last a minimum of one day, where you will receive classroom training, a practical skills assessment where you will be assessed on your ability to use a passenger lift or ramp and secure a wheelchair user in a minibus and practical demonstrations on how to assist passengers who have walking difficulties, and have a sight or hearing loss. You will receive an assessment of your ability to assess others to a national standard.

    • How can I apply for a certificate extension?

      We would advise that you attend refresher training before your certificate expires. If you aren’t able to attend your refresher training before your certificate expires in certain circumstances CTA will issue a certificate extension. In most circumstances an extension will not be issued for more than a three month period and you will need to have a date pencilled in with a trainer before you apply for an extension. You can apply for an extension here and applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

      Please note that there is some confusion regarding a ‘three month grace period’, there is no grace period after a certificate expires and drivers and driver assessor trainers (DATs) will need ensure that they have either attended a refresher course before their expiry date or applied for an extension. If you do not apply for an extension before your certificate expires you may need to attend a full induction course in order to continue to hold a current MiDAS certificate.

    • What do I do if I am not happy with the training I have received?

      If you are concerned about the training which you have received or the trainer who delivered your course, please get in contact with the CTA here. Any reports of substandard training will be taken very seriously and investigated fully.

    • How do I find my organisations MiDAS registration number?

      Your MiDAS registration number is a unique number which is allocated to you when your organisation registered. If you have misplaced your number you can contact the CTA’s central support office on 0161 351 1475 or training@ctauk.org

    • What is my DAT ID number?

      Your MiDAS registration number is a unique number which is allocated to you when your organisation registered. If you have misplaced your number you can contact the CTA’s central support office on 0161 351 1475 or training@ctauk.org

    Training - PATS

    • What is PATS?

      PATS is the passenger assistant training scheme, organised by the Community Transport Association (CTA). It provides a nationally recognised standard of training to people whose role it is to provide care and assistance to passengers travelling by road. It is a membership based scheme that has been designed to improve passenger safety by providing the skills and information for passenger assistants to understand and meet the needs of their passengers. The scheme is owned by Hampshire County Council. If you are looking for PATS training within Hampshire you will need to contact Hampshire County Council’s Passenger Transport Group.

    • Who is PATS aimed at?

      PATS is applicable to any organisation operating or using minibuses, it will usually be organisations who use an accessible minibus. Member organisations range from small voluntary organisations operating one vehicle, to local authorities operating large fleets of minibuses as well as schools, colleges and universities.

    • How does PATS work?

      PATS operates on a “cascade” approach. CTA has appointed a number of training agents, who provide training for passenger assistant trainers (PAT’s) nominated from member organisations.

      A PAT can then assess the competence of passenger assistants, and provide them with training on how to safely use accessible equipment and care for the needs of their passengers.

    • How long will my PATS certificate last for?

      A passenger assistant trainer’s certificate lasts for four years after which you will need to attend a refresher course. A passenger assistant’s certificate also lasts for four years after which you will need to attend a refresher course.

      Please note that there is some confusion regarding a ‘three month grace period’, there is no grace period after a certificate expires and passenger assistant and passenger assistant trainers (PATs) will need ensure that they have either attended a refresher course before their expiry date or applied for an extension. If you do not apply for an extension before your certificate expires you may need to attend a full induction course in order to continue to hold a current PATS certificate.

    • How do I become a Passenger Assistant Trainer?

      If you are interested in becoming a Passenger Assistant Trainer (PAT) or appointing a PAT from within your organisation you can contact any of the Training Agents on our list; each training agent charges their own price, we would therefore recommend that you contact more than one from the list for the best price and dates to suit your organisation. You can do that here 

      If you are based in Hampshire and are looking to become a PAT you will need to contact Hampshire County Council’s Passenger Transport Group.

    • How do I find a Passenger Assistant Trainer to train my passenger assistants?

      You can contact any of the Passenger Assistant Trainers (PATs) on our list for passenger assistant  training; each PAT charges their own price, we would therefore recommend that you contact more than one from the list for the best price and dates to suit your organisation. You can do that here.

      If you are based in Hampshire you will need to contact Hampshire County Council’s Passenger Transport Group to arrange training for your organisation.

    • Do I need to be register with PATS?

      PATS is a membership scheme where every organisation who interacts with the training programme, regardless of which point in the cascade, needs to become PATS registered.

      PATS registration is free and you only need to fill out a short form online to be issued with a PATS registration number.

      As part of the PATS registration process the organisation agrees to sign up to the PATS commitment which includes a commitment to things like ensuring all your passenger assistants receive PATS training and recognising the PATS certificates of passenger assistant from other PATS registered organisations.

      The registration number is unique to your organisation and should be quoted whenever you contact the CTA, on resource order forms and certificates. CTA use the unique registration number to ensure that training records are allocated to the correct organisation. If you are a PAT delivering training you must

      You can register for the PATS training scheme here.

    • How much does PATS training cost?

      PATS trainers charge their own prices which is why we would always recommend that you contact more than one trainer so that you get the best price for your organisation. Prices can vary depending on the number of staff members you have attending and your location.

    • How do I order training resources?

      Training resources can only be ordered by either training agents or passenger assistant trainers. You can place your order and pay online, this will be received by CTA and the resources will be with you within 28 working days. Visit the online store here.

    • How can I apply for a certificate extension?

      We would advise that you attend refresher training before your certificate expires. If you aren’t able to attend your refresher training before your certificate expires in certain circumstances CTA will issue a certificate extension.

      In most circumstances an extension will not be issued for more than a three month period and you will need to have a date pencilled in with a trainer before you apply for an extension.

      You can apply for an extension using this online form and applications will be considered on a case by case basis. Please note that there is some confusion regarding a ‘three month grace period’, there is no grace period after a certificate expires and passenger assistants and passenger assistant trainers (PATs) will need ensure that they have either attended a refresher course before their expiry date or applied for an extension. If you do not apply for an extension before your certificate expires you may need to attend a full induction course in order to continue to hold a current PATS certificate.

    • What do I do if I am not happy with the training I have received?

      If you are concerned about the training you’ve received or the trainer who delivered your course, please get in contact with the CTA via this form on our website. Any reports of substandard training will be taken very seriously and investigated fully.

    • What is my PAT ID number?

      Your PAT ID number is a unique number which is allocated to you when you complete your PAT induction course. If you have misplaced your PAT ID number you can contact the CTA’s central support office on 0161 351 1475.

    • How do I find my organisations PAT registration number?

      Your PAT registration number is a unique number which is allocated to you when your organisation registered. If you have misplaced your number you can contact the CTA’s central support office on 0161 351 1475.

    Training - Car and MPV

    • What is Car and MPV?

      Car and MPV is organised by the Community Transport Association (CTA) which promotes a nationally recognised standard for the assessment and training of community transport drivers. It is a membership based scheme that has been designed to enhance community transport driving standards and promote the safer operation of community transport vehicles. The scheme is owned by Hampshire County Council and they run their own Car and MPV scheme within the county of Hampshire. If you are looking for Car and MPV training within Hampshire you will need to contact Hampshire County Council’s Passenger Transport Group.

    • Who is Car and MPV aimed at?

      Car and MPV is applicable to any third sector organisation operating or using cars or MPV’s to transport passengers. Member organisations range from small voluntary organisations operating one vehicle, to local authorities operating large fleets  as well as schools, colleges and universities.

    • How does Car and MPV work?

      Car and MPV operates on a “cascade” approach. CTA has appointed a number of training agents, who provide training for Car and MPV Observers nominated from member organisations.

      An Observer can then assess a driver’s competence, and provide them with training on how to safely transport passengers.

    • How long will my Car and MPV certificate last for?

      An Observers certificate lasts for two years after which you will need to attend a refresher course. A driver’s certificate lasts for four years afternoon which you will need to attend a refresher course.

      Please note that there is some confusion regarding a ‘three month grace period’, there is no grace period after a certificate expires and drivers and Observers will need ensure that they have either attended a refresher course before their expiry date or applied for an extension. If you do not apply for an extension before your certificate expires you may need to attend a full induction course in order to continue to hold a current Car and MPV certificate.

    • How do I become a Car and MPV Observer?

      If you are interested in becoming an Observer you can contact any of the Training Agents on our list for Observer training; each training agent charges their own price, we would therefore recommend that you contact more than one from the list for the best price and dates to suit your organisation. You can do that here. 

      If you are based in Hampshire and are looking to become an Observer you will need to contact Hampshire County Council’s Passenger Transport Group.

    Training - PATS

    • How do I find a Car and MPV Observer to train my drivers?

      You can contact any of the Observers on our list for MiDAS for Car and MPV training; each Observer charges their own price, we would therefore recommend that you contact more than one from the list for the best price and dates to suit your organisation. You can do that here.

      If you are based in Hampshire you will need to contact Hampshire County Council’s Passenger Transport Group to arrange training for your organisation.

    Training - Car and MPV

    • Do I need to register for Car and MPV?

      Car and MPV is a membership scheme where every organisation who interacts with the training programme, regardless of which point in the cascade, needs to become registered.

      Car and MPV registration is free and you only need to fill out a short form online to be issued with a registration number. You can do that here.

      As part of the registration process the organisation agrees to sign up to the Car and MPV commitment which includes a commitment to things like ensuring all your drivers receive Car and MPV training and recognising the Car and MPV certificates of drivers from other registered organisations. The registration number is unique to your organisation and should be quoted whenever you contact the CTA, on resource order forms and certificates.

      CTA use the unique registration number to ensure that training records are allocated to the correct organisation. If you are an Observer delivering training you must ensure that every organisation you deliver training to has their own registration number.

    • How much does Car and MPV training cost?

      Trainers charge their own prices which is why we would always recommend that you contact more than one trainer so that you get the best price for your organisation. Prices can vary depending on the number of staff members you have attending and your location.

    • What training will I receive when I attend a driver course?

      During the course you should receive classroom training on a number of topics including the role of the driver.  You will also receive an assessment of your driving skills, the Observer delivering the course will do a demonstration drive which will demonstrate to you the standard of driving expected (If you are driving your own car as part of a voluntary car scheme the driving assessment is optional). You will also receive a theory paper to check your understanding of the topics delivered. You should also receive a practical skills assessment where you will be assessed on your ability to use a passenger lift or ramp and secure a wheelchair user in a minibus and practical demonstrations on how to assist passengers who have walking difficulties, and have a sight or hearing loss. You will also answer additional theory paper questions to check your understanding of the topics delivered.

    • How do I order training resources?

      Training resources can only be ordered by either training agents or Observers You can place your order and pay online, this will be received by CTA and the resources will be with you within 28 working days. You can reach the online store here.

    • What do I do if I have lost my Car and MPV certificate?

      If you have lost your certificate you should contact the training agent or Observer who delivered your training. They will be able to issue you with a replacement certificate; this will have a new certificate number on it but will expire at the same time as the original certificate.

    • What do I do if I am not happy with the training I have received?

      If you are concerned about the training which you have received or the trainer who delivered your course, please get in contact with the CTA via this form on our website.

      Any reports of substandard training will be taken very seriously and investigated fully.

    • How do I find my organisations Car and MPV registration number?

      Your registration number is a unique number which is allocated to you when your organisation registered. If you have misplaced your number you can contact the CTA’s central support office on 0161 351 1475.

    Training - 5 Steps to Safety

    • What is 5 Steps to Safety?

      5 Steps to Safety is a fire safety and evacuation course organised by the Community Transport Association (CTA). It is a membership based scheme that has been designed to enhance community transport standards and promote the safer operation of community transport vehicles.

    • Who is 5 Steps to Safety aimed at?

      5 Steps to Safety is applicable to any third sector organisation operating or using vehicles to transport passengers. Member organisations range from small voluntary organisations operating one vehicle, to local authorities operating large fleets as well as schools, colleges and universities.

    • How does 5 Steps to Safety work?

      5 Steps to Safety operates on a “cascade” approach. CTA has appointed a number of training agents, who provide training for 5 Steps to Safety trainers nominated from member organisations.

      5 Steps to Safety trainers can then assess a driver or passenger assistants competence, and provide them with training on how to avoid vehicle fires and what do to in the event of a vehicle fire.

    • How long will my 5 Steps to Safety certificate last for?

      5 Steps to Safety trainer’s certificates are linked to either their DAT or PAT certificate. As long as the trainer holds a current DAT or PAT certificate their 5 Steps to Safety certificate will remain current. There is currently no refresher course for drivers or passenger assistants who attend this course.

    • How do I become a 5 Steps to Safety Trainer?

      If you are interested in becoming a 5 Steps to Safety trainer you can contact any of the Training Agents on our list; each training agent charges their own price, we would therefore recommend that you contact more than one from the list for the best price and dates to suit your organisation. You can do that here.

    • How do I find a 5 Steps to Safety trainer to train my drivers or passenger assistants?

      You can contact any of the 5 Steps to Safety trainers on our list; each trainer charges their own price, we would therefore recommend that you contact more than one from the list for the best price and dates to suit your organisation.

      You can do this here. 

    • Do I need to register with 5 Steps for Safety?

      5 Steps to Safety is a membership scheme where every organisation who interacts with the training programme, regardless of which point in the cascade, needs to become registered.

      Registration is free and you only need to fill out a short form online to be issued with a registration number. As part of the registration process the organisation agrees to sign up to the 5 Step to Safety commitment which includes a commitment to things like ensuring all your drivers and passenger assistants receive 5 Steps to Safety training and recognising the certificates from other registered organisations.

      The registration number is unique to your organisation and should be quoted whenever you contact the CTA, on resource order forms and certificates. CTA use the unique registration number to ensure that training records are allocated to the correct organisation. If you are a trainer you must ensure that every organisation you deliver training to has their own registration number.

      You can register here. 

    • How much does 5 Steps to Safety training cost?

      Trainers charge their own prices which is why we would always recommend that you contact more than one trainer so that you get the best price for your organisation. Prices can vary depending on the number of staff members you have attending and your location.

    • How do I order training resources?

      Training resources can only be ordered by either training agents or 5 Steps to Safety trainers. You can place your order and pay online, this will be received by CTA and the resources will be with you within 28 working days.

      You can order training resources here.

    • What do I do if I have lost my certificate?

      If you have lost your certificate you should contact the training agent or 5 Steps to Safety trainer who delivered your training. They will be able to issue you with a replacement certificate; this will have a new certificate number on it but will expire at the same time as the original certificate.

    • How do I find my organisations 5 Steps to Safety registration number?

      Your registration number is a unique number which is allocated to you when your organisation registered. If you have misplaced your number you can contact the CTA’s central support office on 0345 130 6195.