In essence, everyone who drives your minibus should be assessed and where necessary trained. Generally, incidental drivers pose a greater risk, someone who drives the minibus perhaps only once a month will be less used to how the vehicle handles particularly with regard to braking, cornering and accelerating and is more likely to try to drive it like their car.
Even regular drivers will benefit from periodic refresher training to ensure their skills and knowledge are still current. How often this training is undertaken is something you will need to consider and may depend upon the type of training, the driver’s record, and how often they drive. There are no hard and fast rules as to how often training should be provided so this needs to be part of your risk assessment.
The most popular type of training for minibus drivers is MiDAS, this is a nationally recognised course operated by the Community Transport Association (CTA).
D1 licence acquisition is the training required to pass the minibus driving test and will add the category D1 to the driving licence.
In most cases, the training can be carried out at your premises. In the case of MiDAS and Assessments, normally the on-road training will be carried out in your vehicle. In the case of D1 training, a vehicle will normally be provided.
Driver training is an integral part of safe minibus operation. Ensuring your drivers are competent and confident to drive a vehicle that is likely to be more than twice as heavy as a car and obviously much longer, higher and wider not to mention the increase in passenger numbers. Therefore initial and ongoing assessment and training are essential.