There isn’t really any set pco license training or training providers for getting your PCO license but there are certain things you can do to make the process run a lot smoother and ensure you have a good chance of getting your license first time.
First off make sure you fulfil the requirements for becoming PCO licensed (Age, Character, Medical fitness, Route finding skills, Driving ability) then the only training you will need to take is to help you pass the topographical skills assessment. This is for the ‘route finding’ requirement of the job as most of what you will be doing is driving, something which you will have probably been doing for quite a while.
Route Finding Skills
You can see the exact specification for the topographical skills assessment on the topographical skills specification list page which will give you an insight into what you will need to know and there are . This will give you an idea of the type of questions you will be asked and you can prepare for these buy buying an A-Z map and a Road Atlas. If you want more coaching and training then most approved testing centres will offer training and advice before your test although you will often have to pay for this service.
A list of accredited topographical testing centres can be downloaded here and this includes their details, costs, and also whether they provide training. Costs for your topographical test range from £25-£50 for a half-day session including training, the assessment, and the pass certificate.
Apart from this there is no other formal training apart from when you get a job with a licensed operator who may have their own training and also your own personal training in order to keep to certain standards so that your customers get the best service.
Before you apply, you’ll need to meet all the following PCO License requirements:
To be a licensed driver you must be at least 21 years of age and there are no exceptions to this rule. There is no upper age limit though, provided you meet the other licensing requirements, so you can look forward to a long career in the private hire business.
To ensure that the drivers it licenses are safe, honest and trustworthy you will have to undergo an Enhanced Disclosure check from the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) before being licensed. Having a record won’t necessarily prevent you from being licensed though as it depends what type of offence it was for and how long ago it was. The PCO will also look at your driving license to see if you have any driving convictions but again this won’t necessarily discount you from the application process.
Private hire drivers are professional drivers carrying passengers for hire and reward and so the PCO requires that you will need to have a similar medical check-up to those required for drivers of large goods vehicles, buses and coaches. These standards are based upon DVLA Group 2 you will need to book an appointment with your GP for this examination.
It is difficult to cover all possibilities, but certain conditions such as epilepsy, poor eyesight, insulin treated diabetes and serious heart problems could result in an application being refused. If possible make this section your priority as soon as you get your application form as an underlying condition could mean there is no point continuing with the application process.
Route Finding Skills
You won’t need the same knowledge and skills as a taxi driver because private hire journeys are pre-booked so journeys can be planned but you will still need to demonstrate skills which allow you to plan a journey including map reading and route selection.You will have to provide evidence of your topographical skills from an accredited topographical testing centre when sending back your application form.
You must hold a full DVLA, Northern Ireland or European Economic Area (EEA) state driving license and must have had the license for at least 3 years. If you hold an EAA license then you must also obtain a GB counterpart before you can apply. If you haven’t held these for the required amount of time then there will be no point of applying.
English Language Requirement
All applicants must prove with documentary evidence, that they are able to speak, listen, read and write in English. There are many qualifications which are satisfactory forms of proof. For further details please give us a call and we can discuss your options.