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Becoming an SEN bus driver – how our training programme works

From the moment we receive your application to your first day out on the road and beyond, HCT Group has a great programme of training and development for our trainee SEN bus drivers.

A trainee under instruction

Step 1: The selection assessment

Once we receive your application and have checked you meet our basic criteria, we’ll invite you along for a selection assessment. This is in two parts – an interview and a driving assessment.

The driving assessment is in a minibus that can be driven by someone with a car licence – it helps to show whether you have a good basic level of driving skill.  It’s worth noting that a drugs and alcohol test is carried out before the driving assessment – and, as you’ll be working with vulnerable people, we’ll also need to conduct a criminal records check.  

Step 2: A job offer

If you’re successful in the interview and the assessment, we’ll make you a conditional offer of employment as a bus driver. It’s worth noting that in exchange for your training – worth around £2000 – you’ll be making a commitment to working for two years with us as a bus driver. Your employment begins when you start your training – so you’ll earn while you learn.

Step 3: Training

To drive a bus in the UK you need something called a Category D PCV licence and the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). This requires specialist training, so we’ll refer you to PCV Training School – our training partner.

The first part of qualifying as a bus driver is a theory test. Our training partner will provide advice and resources to prepare for this. They will also book this test on your behalf. Preparing for the theory test normally takes a couple of weeks.

The second step is practical training directly with the training school. Most likely, this will take place at their site in Enfield. Once you’re ready, you’ll be booked in for your practical test – and on-road driving assessment. The practical training normally takes around one week .

They will also be booked for their practical tests. I believe this comprises of a traditional on-road assessment and a reversing test conducted at an approved off-site location.

Step 4: Starting out on the road

Once you passed your theory and practical test and have gained your licence, you’ll be ready to start work at HCT Group. You’ll be invited to our next available induction.

Induction includes a full health and safety briefing, the issue of uniform and safety equipment. The induction also includes practical vehicle familiarisation and an introduction to our routing system – imagine a really advanced satnav, so you’ll have the support you need to get going.

As you’ll be working with vulnerable people, we also provide additional training to make sure you’re ready. This includes the vital topic of safeguarding – which is all about protecting children from harm, abuse and mistreatment. It’s a formal set of responsibilities and processes designed to keep children safe.  We’ll also provide training on the specialist equipment on the vehicles, like wheelchair clamps and harnesses, that allow us to carry disabled children in safety and comfort.

If this sounds like something you’ve been looking for – apply today.