Overview of the role

Ensuring the safe travel of passengers, their customers, themselves and their colleagues.

Details of standard

This standard has options. Display duties and KSBs for:

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the transport sector. Passenger transport operatives work in the wide variety of settings that enable customers to travel on the public transport network. They work at stations or on-board trains, trams, buses and coaches. 

Employers are mainly larger private sector organisations operating time-tabled services, though some are run by the public sector. Employers range from those providing busy national services, through to smaller-scale local services that connect communities.  

The broad purpose of the occupation is to help customers travel to their destinations. Passenger transport operatives do this by helping customers travel safely, on time and in comfort from the beginning to the end of their chosen journey. Passenger transport operatives work within safety-critical environments. They provide high quality services to customers, ensuring that safety, customer care, and commercial standards are met. They assist other staff and identify customer needs, particularly during a disruption in service.

Passenger transport operatives can expect to work in all weathers, per their shift rosters (including weekends). They may be required to work a mixture of day, evening and night work depending on the transport services provided. Some may operate the same routes each day, though this will vary a lot depending on their responsibilities.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with customers a great deal of the time. Passenger transport operatives also interact with members of their team and other colleagues who work together to provide an efficient service, for instance, drivers. Passenger transport operatives interact with their manager, who is also likely to be a transport professional. They also interact with key external stakeholders when needed, such as emergency services.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for completing their work in line with their roster and allocated duties. This typically includes providing an accurate and effective customer information service that engages and improves satisfaction. And they may also be required to help passengers to board and disembark. Depending on their role, they will be responsible for selling tickets/products, helping travel services to leave on time, or providing  an onboard support service. 

Passenger transport operatives are responsible for ensuring their safety and that of others at all times, reporting all accidents and incidents at the first available opportunity. They work closely with other service delivery colleagues to provide exceptional customer experience to make it easy for customers to travel, especially during times of disruption, emergencies or incidents.

Passenger transport is highly regulated; passenger transport operatives need to be aware of both the expected standards and obligations.

This apprenticeship takes a core and options approach. All apprentices must attain the core knowledge, skills and behaviours. Apprentices must also select one from either the ticketing, dispatch or onboard options.

Those who work in ticketing usually offer a full counter service at the station or depot. This can be quite pressurised, depending on the number of passengers. They offer specialist assistance with travel across the UK network. They must diagnose a customer situation and offer impartial advice on the appropriate travel solution, which can mean selling tickets beyond their own organisations network. They may also be required to promote certain services.

Some passenger transport operatives instead work on board vehicles. They may be required to check tickets, and in some situations also sell a limited range of tickets. Their main responsibility is to keep the travel environment safe for all who use it. They must monitor and respond to live events, from passenger issues to delays.

Finally, dispatch operatives work on the platform. They receive, turn around and dispatch vehicles in line with set procedures. They also have to monitor and respond to activity happening within the station or platform, such as overcrowding. They have the power to stop a vehicle when required to maintain safety. These three occupations work together in teams to provide a seamless service that allows fare paying passengers to safely access their chosen transport to their destination.  


Typical job titles include:

Dispatch operative Guard Passenger transport operative Ticketing operative Transport onboard team member Transport operational team member Transport station team member

Core occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Contribute to transport services operating compliantly at all times.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K6 K7 K8 K9 K12 K13 K17 K19 K20 K23 K24

S1 S2 S3 S5 S6 S7 S8 S13

B1 B2 B6

Duty 2 Answer customer enquiries, provide information and assistance to customers to enable their journey.

K1 K2 K5 K8 K9 K11 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K20 K21 K22

S3 S4 S5 S6 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6

Duty 3 Make travel announcements and address customers over a public address system.

K1 K2 K5 K8 K9 K17 K18 K20 K21 K22

S9 S10 S12 S13

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6

Duty 4 Identify and assist customers with special needs, enabling their access to travel services.

K1 K2 K4 K13 K14 K15 K17 K20

S1 S2 S4 S8 S9 S10 S11 S13

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6

Duty 5 Provide the support needed to help ensure travel services leave and arrive on time.

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K13 K17 K18 K19 K20 K22 K23

S1 S2 S7 S8 S9 S13

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6

Duty 6 Assist the response to disruption, emergencies or incidents in accordance with regulatory and organisational requirements.

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K13 K14 K15 K16 K18 K23 K38

S1 S3 S5 S6 S10 S11 S13 S23

B1 B2 B5 B6

Duty 7 Report delays, irregularities, equipment failures or any incident affecting, or which may affect, safety or service to the passenger.

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K13 K23 K38

S1 S3 S5 S6 S7 S11 S23

B1 B2 B5 B6

Duty 8 Address safety and security issues and educate customers.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K13 K14 K15 K18 K20

S1 S4 S6 S10 S11 S12

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 9 Start up, correctly use, monitor and shut down the equipment and systems within your area of responsibility.

K1 K2 K3 K22 K24

S1 S2 S7 S13

B1 B2 B6

Duty 10 Contribute to minimising criminal activity on the transport network.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K23

S1 S3 S6 S11

B1 B2 B5 B6

Option duties

Ticketing operative duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 11 Diagnose passenger circumstances and travel requirements across the UK network. (including travel within and beyond own organisations services). Offer appropriate and impartial advice.

K1 K2 K25 K26 K27 K28 K29 K30


Duty 12 Sell the full range of products to passengers, enabling their onward travel. Promote the benefits of particular products and services, ensuring the customer is eligible.

K1 K2 K25 K26 K27 K28 K29 K30 K31 K32

S14 S15 S16 S17

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 13 Handle different forms of payment and provide accurate transactions for customer. Reconcile financial accounts within limits of own responsibility, for example, accurately calculating the sum total of sales during a shift.

K1 K2 K25 K26 K30 K31 K32

S14 S16 S17 S18

Onboard operative duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 14 Take responsibility for the onboard passenger environment throughout the vehicles journey. Keep people safe. Monitor and respond to wide-ranging incidents in line with procedures, from passenger related issues through to degraded travel conditions.

K1 K2 K3 K8 K9 K33

S4 S11 S19

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 15 Check passenger tickets within limits of own responsibility. Determine when ticket checks are warranted and respond as needed. Manage basic ticket transactions.

K1 K2 K3 K31 K34 K35

S17 S20

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Dispatch operative duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 16 Oversee and control the arrival of vehicle traffic within the station or depot. Start and stop vehicles to manage safety. Work in wide-ranging and sometimes complex conditions, while meeting professional standards.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K8 K23 K36 K37 K38 K39

S21 S22 S23

B1 B2 B5 B6

Duty 17 Deliver all necessary turnaround requirements so that in-coming vehicles are prepared to depart again. Ensure the procedures for the vehicle type are followed, while monitoring the safety & efficiency of the operation.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K8 K23 K36 K37 K38 K39

S21 S22 S23

B1 B2 B5

Duty 18 Direct the dispatch of vehicles from a depot or station, ensuring it is safe to do so and taking all prevailing circumstances into account. Liaise with others (for instance drivers and signallers) when agreeing dispatch.

K1 K2 K4 K8 K23 K36 K37 K38 K39

S21 S22 S23

B1 B2 B5



K1: The principles of identifying and complying with relevant legislation/procedures that impacts the transport environment and its operation. Back to Duty

K2: The importance of compliance and potential consequences of non-compliance when working in a regulated travel environment. Back to Duty

K3: The routine checks required to ensure a safe and secure working environment. Back to Duty

K4: Principles for ensuring health and safety in a regulated travel environment. Back to Duty

K5: Techniques for identifying the wider organisational response to live incidents, for instance establishing how other stations are responding to mechanical breakdown, and how your own work contributes. Back to Duty

K6: Reporting accidents/incidents. Back to Duty

K7: Own responsibilities when responding to an emergency, disruption or other incident impacting any aspect of the passenger transport network. Back to Duty

K8: Required passenger conduct in a safety critical environment. Back to Duty

K9: Techniques for managing inappropriate passenger/public behaviour. Back to Duty

K10: Principles of conflict management. Back to Duty

K11: Techniques and procedures for managing suspicious/threatening activity. Back to Duty

K12: The procedures for responding to the impact of criminal activity on the transport network, including the reporting processes and stakeholders involved. Back to Duty

K13: Identifying the signs of passenger/public vulnerability. Back to Duty

K14: Safeguarding principles. Back to Duty

K15: Techniques for engaging potentially vulnerable passengers/public. Back to Duty

K16: The range of services available to support vulnerable people and how to signpost. Back to Duty

K17: Techniques for identifying and responding to vulnerable passengers who may need assistance. Back to Duty

K18: How delayed travel services can adversely impact the passenger and other affected stakeholders. Back to Duty

K19: Expected performance standards and how own role contributes to wider commercial success of the organisation. Back to Duty

K20: The diverse range of passengers who may access transport services; their needs, rights and expectations. Back to Duty

K21: Techniques for directing passengers, for example through underground and overground networks. Back to Duty

K22: Techniques for communicating information using various methods appropriate to the audience. Back to Duty

K23: The range of roles and responsibilities that work together to deliver effective transport services. Back to Duty

K24: The different types of travel systems and equipment, their operating methods and techniques. Back to Duty

K25: The national travel network and range of available tickets. Back to Duty

K26: The range of products and services available for sales or promotion. Back to Duty

K27: Techniques for diagnosing passenger travel requirements, for example establishing the number and composition of passengers, destination and any specific support needs. Back to Duty

K28: The principles of route planning Back to Duty

K29: The principles of offering a travel solution that is in the passengers best interests and without bias to any one particular supplier. Back to Duty

K30: The techniques used for sales and promotion. Back to Duty

K31: cash handling regulations Back to Duty

K32: Principles of balancing sales records. Back to Duty

K33: How to maintain a high quality onboard environment in line with organisational requirements. Back to Duty

K34: Own limits, authority, and responsibility with regard to ticket checks. Back to Duty

K35: The process for on-board checking of tickets and how to respond. Back to Duty

K36: The procedures for the safe arrival and dispatch of transport in line with own organisations requirements. Back to Duty

K37: The wider considerations and factors that contribute to a safe dispatch environment, for example platform/station crowd control, disruption to services, potential dispatch irregularities. Back to Duty

K38: The methods and reasons for stopping a vehicle within the station confines during an emergency. Back to Duty

K39: The procedures for transport service turnaround. Back to Duty


S1: Maintain safe and compliant working practices and travel environments, in accordance with regulation and organisational requirements. Back to Duty

S2: Prepare own work area to support safe and efficient delivery of transport services. Back to Duty

S3: Recognise and manage inappropriate passenger/public activity to maintain the integrity of the transport service. Back to Duty

S4: Identify passenger/public behaviour that indicates vulnerability and respond to help keep them safe. Back to Duty

S5: Respond to incidents and emergency situations in line with requirements. Back to Duty

S6: Identify potential incidents, breaches of security and emergency situations, and take appropriate action to ensure safety. Back to Duty

S7: Prepare for your next shift in accordance with operational requirements and own organisations procedures. Back to Duty

S8: Assist vulnerable passengers who require help, using specialised equipment or systems where necessary. Back to Duty

S9: Respond to enquiries and complaints in line with expected own organisation requirements. Back to Duty

S10: Diagnose passenger related issues to provide accurate advice and support. Back to Duty

S11: Educate passengers to keep safe within the travel environment. Back to Duty

S12: Select from a range of communication methods to tailor messages to the audience. Back to Duty

S13: Utilise available equipment and systems in accordance with operational requirements. Back to Duty

S14: Recommend an impartial travel solution balancing the passengers circumstances with potential routes, network operations, and available tickets. Back to Duty

S15: Promote the benefits of products and services to eligible passengers. Back to Duty

S16: Determine and sell appropriate products and services to passengers. Back to Duty

S17: Handle cash in accordance with regulations. Back to Duty

S18: Account for the balance of payments during your shift. Back to Duty

S19: Identify and respond to onboard environmental circumstances, for example degraded operations Back to Duty

S20: Carry out ticket checks within limits of responsibility & when practical to do so. Back to Duty

S21: Ready the service for turnaround in line with procedures. Back to Duty

S22: Receive and dispatch services in line with procedures and prevailing circumstances. Back to Duty

S23: Stop a vehicle to reduce the risk to those potentially affected by an emergency situation. Back to Duty


B1: Safety first mindset Back to Duty

B2: Responsible for own actions Back to Duty

B3: Passenger-focused mindset Back to Duty

B4: Respectful and supportive of others Back to Duty

B5: Resilient in challenging & fast-changing travel situations. Back to Duty

B6: Acts professionally in line with expectations Back to Duty


English and Maths

English and maths qualifications form a mandatory part of all apprenticeships and must be completed before an apprentice can pass through gateway. The requirements are detailed in the current version of the apprenticeship funding rules.

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



this apprenticeship will be reviewed in accordance with our change request policy.

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 2
Reference: ST0339
Version: 1.1
Date updated: 25/11/2021
Approved for delivery: 23 November 2017
Route: Transport and logistics
Minimum duration to gateway: 12 months
Typical EPA period: 3 months
Maximum funding: £6000
Options: Ticketing operative, Onboard operative, Dispatch operative
LARS Code: 206
EQA Provider: Ofqual
Employers involved in creating the standard: Network Rail, Govia Thameslink Railway, 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, Cross rail, Nottingham City Council, Mersey travel, RMT, first group, cpt-uk, metro line national express, jaupt, shaws coaches, drive tech, Blackpool transport, reading-buses, nweat, go ahead London, stagecoachbus, East Yorkshire buses, Firstbus, metroline

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.1 Standard and end-point assessment plan revised. Funding band revised but remains. 25/11/2021 Not set Not set
1.0 Retired 23/11/2017 24/11/2021 Not set

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