Overview of the role

Managing, planning and coordinating passenger transport operations

Passenger transport operations manager

Reference Number: ST0337

Details of standard


An apprenticeship that takes people where they need to go







Every day millions of people use the transport network to get to work, to see friends and family or to go on holiday. Passenger transport service managers are essential to the safe and efficient operation of this network.

They make a difference by overseeing the daily operation of the station or depot, ensuring business objectives are met and customers 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, safe and modern transport service. A career in passenger transport services allows you to follow a profession in Rail, Bus, Coach and Tram.

A passenger transport services operations manager is required to have a detailed understanding of the operational transport service, its targets and obligations, the relevant transport infrastructure and its assets. Their role may involve financial and budget responsibilities, day-to-day operational management of a passenger transport environment, compliance and quality checks and people management. An apprenticeship in passenger transport services is your first stop to a great career in an exciting and dynamic industry.


Station manager, Depot manager, Operations manager, Transport manager


Employers will set their own entry requirements, but it is expected that the individuals would have worked within a supervisory role prior to undertaking this apprenticeship.


Apprentices without Level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking their end point assessment.


The apprenticeship will cover: core knowledge and understanding, safety, quality, customer service and management skills and competence.


  • SAFETY: Understand how to ensure you and your customers, contractors and stakeholders comply with relevant rules, procedures, regulations and laws and the effect of non- compliance on the business.
  • QUALITY: Understand the range of products and services and how value and increased efficiency can affect commercial transport environments and how this can be improved upon.
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE: Understand the diverse range of customers, contractors and stakeholders and their needs, rights and expectations. Understand how to provide an excellent service that promotes the transport industry. 
  • MANAGEMENT: Understand your role and responsibilities within the organisation, the wider transport network, its targets, performance measures and obligations. This could include managing a busy station and responsibility for operational performance.

Safety skills and competence


  • Evaluate the transport environment and ensure it complies with relevant laws and contractual obligations.
  • Ensure checks to the transport environment are performed and that teams are working in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Comply with procedures regarding personal preparation prior to undertaking a role in the transport environment.


  • Comply with security procedures and systems, taking appropriate action when a breach has occurred or is suspected.
  • Monitor and review safe working practices and make suitable recommendations for change.
  • Recognise when behaviour is inappropriate and could lead to a conflict or dangerous situation and take prompt actions to ensure safety.


  • Conduct a transport environment risk assessment.
  • Investigate the nature and level of an incident or emergency and determine the likely cause based on the evidence and ensure corrective action is taken and preventative controls are put in place.
  • Act appropriately and effectively during incidents and emergency situations to minimise risks to people and the environment.

Quality skills and competence


  • Monitor and review the availability of facilities and services and implement plans to meet demand and minimise disruption to the transport service.
  • Monitor and evaluate information and feedback, recognise trends and suggest improvements to transport services and products.


  • Recognise opportunities and implement plans to improve the customer experience within the transport environment.
  • Develop a network of contacts within the transport environment and associated industries with clear personal and organisational benefits.


  • Review processes and procedures to improve performance of service.
  • Encourage a culture of continuous improvement and identify efficiencies.
  • Assess your team's current skills, knowledge and competence against business needs.

Customer service skills and competence


  • Analyse and interpret management information.
  • Present relevant and specific information to key network stakeholders, ancillary services, groups of staff and customers.
  • Conduct negotiations with key stakeholders to meet objectives and inspire confidence in the transport industry.


  • Identify and assess situations that may lead to confusion, panic and conflict and provide management intervention in a way that maintains the safe operation of the transport environment.
  • Identify and assess when teams and/or individuals require support, the techniques for dealing with this and the potential impact of a lack of support.


  • Encourage customer service actions that comply with transport industry standards and promote a positive image of the transport environment.
  • Assess the outcomes of both negative and positive customer feedback and implement improvements to the customer experience.

Management skills and competence


  • Prepare for and support compliance checks and audits and take corrective action.
  • Monitor the performance of contracts including resource requirements and take action when variations occur.
  • Investigate and take action when fraud is suspected or has been identified.


  • Build and maintain a team which meets the needs and the strategic objectives of the business and the safe operation of the transport environment.
  • Set objectives, provide support and monitor and review the progress of the team and department.


  • Manage the control of resources, equipment and materials, determining the quality, quantity and suitability for the benefit of transport service delivery.
  • Build staff commitment to organisational values and goals and encourage collaboration.
  • Evaluate and deal with the performance issues affecting team members ensuring courses of action are in-line with professional codes of conduct.


A passenger transport manager needs to:

  • Be analytical in their approach to maintaining a safe transport environment, able to remain calm under pressure and process challenges systematically.
  • Focus on quality, with a keen attention to detail.
  • Build relationships that motivate others to delivery quality.
  • Be approachable by customers and able to negotiate and influence to achieve the best outcomes.
  • Be adaptable, driven and confident to deliver effective management.

Crown copyright © 2024. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 4
Reference: ST0337
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 20/12/2017
Approved for delivery: 20 December 2017
Route: Transport and logistics
Typical duration to gateway : 18 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £12000
LARS Code: 214
EQA Provider: Ofqual

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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
1.0 20/12/2017 Not set Not set

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