This apprenticeship standard is in the process of being revised. In the meantime, the version below remains approved for delivery. Further details of this and other occupational standards in revision are available in the revisions status report.

For clarity, all bus and coach apprentices must pass or hold a Cat D licence to practice prior to gateway.

Overview of the role

Operating buses, coaches or trams, making sure passengers get where they're going safely and on time.

Passenger transport driver - bus, coach and tram

Reference Number: ST0338

Details of standard

Typical Job Titles

Bus: scheduled, non-scheduled. Coach: scheduled, tour. Tram: scheduled.

Occupational Profile

Every day millions of people travel on buses, coaches and trams to get to work, to see friends and family access education or healthcare, or to go on holiday. Passenger transport service professionals make a difference by ensuring they are able to travel safely, on time and in comfort from the beginning to the end of their chosen journey. An apprenticeship in passenger transport services is a great opportunity to acquire the skills, knowledge and behaviours that play a vital role in providing a high quality, accessible and safe passenger transport service to all customers.

Depending on the type of transport system your employer is responsible for, you could be driving buses, coaches or trams. Your duties will include the effective and efficient operation of a passenger transport vehicle, driving legally and safely with a high attention to detail and prioritising the safety of the passengers and the wider public. An apprenticeship in passenger transport services is your first stop to a great career in the transport industry.

All Apprentices must become competent in all of the core knowledge, skills and behaviours. Apprentices will also be required to undertake one appropriate option based on the chosen occupation of Bus, Coach or Tram driver.

Core Knowledge and Understanding

Understand what is required of you to ensure you and your customers comply with relevant rules, procedures, regulations and laws that can impact on the transport environment and its safe operation

Understand the range of services available and have an appreciation of the commercial transport environment

Understand the diverse range of customers within the transport services industry, their needs, rights and expectations and how to provide an excellent customer service that promotes the transport industry

Know the preparation, tests and checks required to ensure a vehicle is brought into service safely and on time

Understand the range of route features, characteristics, systems and equipment, and the different conditions and restrictions that may occur when driving

Know the different vehicle types, features, systems and equipment and the responsibilities and the range of actions required of the driver to ensure delays are minimised and the journey is undertaken safely and securely

Know the range of situations, failures and incidents and emergencies that could occur and the actions and considerations to be taken when these have been identified and the procedures to follow



Core Skills


Self Management

Prepare and organise work to ensure duties can be performed in a safe and efficient manner

Identify and check all relevant notices are read, understood and acted upon


Maintain safe working practices and comply with all relevant Health & Safety procedures

Recognise inappropriate behaviour that could lead to a conflict and remain alert for breaches of security and emergency situations, taking prompt and appropriate action to ensure safety

Decision Making

Act appropriately during incidents and emergency situations to minimise risk

Evaluate situations which impact on the transport service and provide solutions to restore operations


Time Management

Carry out all preparations for the shift have been undertaken in time

Prioritise own duties to ensure activities are completed to time and the service is maintained


Maintain professional appearance and conduct

Check and maintain a clean, tidy and suitable transport environment

Identify and safeguard lost property

Continuing Development

Review progress and performance and develop yourself within your role

Obtain feedback on performance from others, identifying skills and knowledge gaps

Customer Service

Effective Communication

Provide information that supports the safe operation of the transport service and is inclusive of all groups

Identify the nature of an enquiry and seek clarification when needed

Respond in a timely, positive and helpful manner to enquiries, complaints and compliments

Interpersonal Recognise when circumstances could lead to confusion, panic or conflict. Providing assistance that is considerate of risk and reassurance that is sympathetic and promotes good will

Respond to colleagues in a way that supports the safe operation of the transport service and promotes professionalism

Ensure choice of words, actions and behaviours promote equality and diversity

Present a cohesive and collective approach to achieve team and business results

Operating a Passenger Vehicle


Seek out and verify information and documentation relating to planned activities

Follow the appropriate rules and procedures for locating and safely accessing the vehicle, ensuring the appropriate personal protective equipment is worn

Complete the required tests, checks and observations prior to commencing the journey to ensure the vehicle is safe, meets the standards required and the correct documentation is in place


Drive safely and efficiently at all times, including operating the vehicle in restricted spaces and all weather conditions

Show consideration for other road users

Information Management

Hand over a vehicle to the control of others by ensuring appropriate procedures are followed and the required information and documents are complete

Prepare and submit documents, reports and logs containing performance, incident and technical information

Make timely and clear announcements to ensure passengers are kept informed of delays and interruptions to the service and implications to the timetable

Ensure the vehicle displays the correct destination, signage and information

Interpret information and respond to on-board enquiries

Analytical Interpretation

Monitor the instrumentation and ensure the vehicle is operating efficiently, responding to signals, signage and instructions

Respond to warning and indications, adopt a systematic approach to diagnose and rectify faults and failures using approved methods and techniques

Technical and Problem Solving

Start and control the vehicle safely and efficiently, responding to signals, signage and instructions

Ensure information, comfort and ancillary systems are operational and controlled and adjusted as appropriate during the journey

Make scheduled stops that comply with legislation and regulation and provide assistance to customers that require it

Take appropriate action when external factors interfere with the planned journey

Take appropriate action when emergency situations arise ensuring that priority is given to the safety of passengers and other road users

Take a vehicle out of service by delivering it to the appropriate location ensuring it is positioned, immobilised, shut down and secured


  • Be approachable and friendly at all times
  • Be a good listener, respectful of other’s beliefs and personal circumstances
  • Be aware of risks and hazards impacting on passenger safety and remain calm under pressure when issues occur
  • Be confident of their role regarding passenger safety and organised in its delivery
  • Be passionate about providing quality passenger services and a role model to colleagues
  • Pay attention to detail and take pride in providing a quality service

Passenger Transport Drivers must select from one of the following options:

Bus and Coach Driver

Knowledge and Understanding


Know the correct procedures for collecting revenues and understand how to use the appropriate equipment

Receive fares and issue tickets, receipts or passes using the appropriate systems and equipment, recording transactions and dealing with errors

Understand the importance of correct signage and how to display it

Understand the importance of good customer service and know where to locate information regarding timetables, delays and on-board services

Welcome customers in a polite and reassuring manner, directing and assisting as appropriate and provide information relating to timetables, delays and on-board services

Coach Driver only - Understand the international requirements for operating a passenger carrying vehicle

Coach Driver only - Comply with the statutory requirements for any country outside of the United Kingdom you are driving in when operating a vehicle

Tram Driver

Knowledge and Understanding


Know the principles of the operational tramway system, its components and their functionality, including abnormal operations e.g. Overhead Line, signalling

Follow the safe working practices when operating a vehicle to minimise risk to those on or near the tramway and tramway environment

Understand the tramway environment, its customers and relationship between stakeholders/users

Be able to monitor and maintain your vehicle’s progress against an operating schedule

Understand the interface with highways, railways and the pedestrianised environment

Be able to bring trams into service safely and in accordance with relevant company procedures

Entry Requirements

Apprentices must hold a valid UK driving licence, at least Category B (car driving licence) in order to access the apprenticeship.


This apprenticeship will require rigorous and substantial training. This apprenticeship will be a minimum of 12 months.


Apprentices without Level 1 English and Maths will need to achieve this level and take the test for Level 2 English and Maths prior to taking the end point assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement the apprenticeships English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3 and British Sign Language qualification are an alternative to English qualifications for whom this is their primary language.

Prior to taking the end point assessment the apprentice must be 18 years old. For bus and coach the apprentice must hold a valid UK driving licence Category D, this will allow the apprentice to drive a vehicle with more than eight passengers. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the apprentice has, or is eligible to work towards obtaining the relevant licence.


This is a level 2 apprenticeship

Review Date

This Standard will be reviewed in 3 years

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Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 2
Reference: ST0338
Version: 1.1
Date updated: 01/03/2023
Approved for delivery: 17 August 2017
Route: Transport and logistics
Minimum duration to gateway : 12 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £6000
Options: Bus & Coach Driver, Tram Driver
LARS Code: 189
EQA Provider: Ofqual

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Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Virgin Trains, Northern Rail, East Midlands Trains, Transport for London (TfL), South Eastern Railway, First Group PLC, Southwest Trains, Stagecoach, Peter Brett Associates, Webber Bus, Berry Coaches, First Great Western, Arriva plc, Crossrail, Nottingham City Council, Merseytravel, RMT

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.1 Standard and end-point assessment plan revised 07/08/2018 Not set Not set
1.0 Retired 17/08/2017 06/08/2018 Not set

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