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.
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.
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?
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.
Community Transport Association UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in Cardiff no. 1985361 Registered office: 12 Hilton Street M1 1JF. Registered as a charity in England and Wales no. 1002222. Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC038518.