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.
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
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?
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.
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