TfL’s PCO Licence English Language Requirements
On the 14th October 2016 Transport for London officially announced that they will be implementing new English Language requirement for all NEW and RENEWAL Private Hire Drivers’ Licence applications. This is now known as the PCO English Test, B1 English Exam or some call it the PCO English Exam.
This new English language Test affects ALL NEW and RENEWAL applicants.
The new requirement means you will have to provide TfL with a form of documentary evidence which shows that you can speak, listen, read & write in English. This will have to be done by providing proof of having successfully obtained a qualification certificate with an equivalent of the B1 level of English on the CEFR (Common European Framework). This is an internationally recognised qualification.
If you cannot get this certificate, then TfL will NOT issue you a Private Hire Minicab Licence.
Who will need to do the B1 English Language Test?
The requirement is for ALL drivers regardless of their nationality or place of birth. If you do not already hold a B1 or equivalent qualification then you can take the B1 English Language Course or simply enrol on another course which meets the same B1 Level of English.
Examples Of Acceptable Qualifications
This is a list of examples of suitable evidence you can supply to prove you meet the requirement. Please note, the list is not exhaustive. The subject of the qualification does not matter as long as it was taught in English.
UK GCSE/O level (or equivalent) certificate at grades A* to G
UK AS-Level/A level certificate
UK NVQ*/B-Tech/City & Guilds qualification, along with confirmation from the awarding body that the qualification provided is equivalent to GCSE or above (for example, a Blue Badge Guide qualification)
UK BA Hons, BSc Hons degree or higher i.e. master’s, PhD
UK HNC/HND qualification
SELT certificate at B1 level or higher, issued by Trinity College London or IELTS showing proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening
Where can I do the PCO English Test?
You can go directly to Trinity College for the B1 Test. However, we strongly recommend you prepare for this. That said, we have teamed up with a Nationally Recognised Training & Exam Centre. They are based in East London. You’re probably already aware that there are many firms out there offering set training packages which quite frankly costs the earth!
Our affiliate company deals with each and every client on an individual basis. English Training Classes are FREE and the exams are FREE too. For further details please call us on 020 3780 1055
It’s safe to say with the major changes coming into play there will be a clean up phase where all those unable to meet the new requirements will drop out leaving less drivers who will be making more money. If you are thinking of becoming a Private Hire Driver in London, this is best time to do so. The potential to earn more money will increase. At the moment there are close to 100,000 Private Hire Drivers in London alone! If you compare this to the 30,000 Hackney Carriage drivers no wonder the Black Cabs are up in arms about UBER!
Our advice is simple, the industry continues to be very lucrative both for Private Hire and Hackney Carriage drivers. If you have made your mind up to become your own boss, just do it! We’ll assist you all the way.