The Practical Assessment
Once you have been declared medically fit, the Road Safety and Sustainable Travel Unit will send you an 'Authorisation' letter. This explains how to book a practical assessment and contains the contact number of all our Practical Assessors. It is your responsibility to contact the Assessor.
Please do not under-estimate the need for adequate preparation.
Some of you may already be familiar with driving a minibus, or with driving a similar type of vehicle, but this assessment is likely to be quite different from any driving test you have taken before. Your assessment involves both practical and theory elements.
Carefully read the manual 'Driving a Minibus' together with a current version of the highway code, and any relevant literature at your establishment.
download a copy of Driving a Minibus |
If you have any questions, check first with other Minibus Permit holders that you know, or with your line manager. You can also ring the Road Safety and Sustainable Travel Unit.
Do you have access to a vehicle? It must be a minibus, not a people carrier, and should preferably be the one you will use for your assessment.
Make sure you are insured to drive it and see if you can arrange for an existing Minibus Permit holder to give you some initial guidance.
Make sure you are familiar with all the controls, you know or can find basic information about the vehicle (eg height, weight, type of fuel, tyre pressures, etc), and you can access the engine bay for basic checks (2.5).
Practise until you are thoroughly confident about the vehicle and your ability to drive it well. Section 4 on Driving Skills will give you a good idea of the standard of driving we expect. You will need to drive on all types of roads - country lanes to motorways - and in all types of traffic conditions.
Practise manoeuvring as a way of becoming familiar with the dimensions and limited visibility of the vehicle.
Develop your positive attitude to safety. Be very alert and aware, allow good safety margins, but make progress when it is appropriate. A good driver is not usually hesitant.
Even an experienced driver who is familiar with a minibus is likely to need several hours with the vehicle. If you have not driven this type of vehicle before you are likely to need longer.
Check the regulations that apply to Minibus Permit holders (this manual), and general driving law / good practice (highway code).
Read and re-read the manual until you are sure you know it all. You will be asked a number of questions about its contents. If the publication date is more than a couple of years ago, check if there have been later revisions.
Check the highway code again - it's surprising how much we can forget and, of course, the code itself changes over time.
Get a colleague to check your driving. Test your theory knowledge.
Book your assessment.