From education to employment

EDI qualifications herald new era of professionalism in taxi and private hire industry

A new era of improved professionalism and better customer service in the private hire industry is being heralded by EDI, which today reported that over 8,000 learners have, in the past four months, registered for its Level 2 NVQ in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving (RPVD).

Currently employing some 255,000 people across the UK, the taxi and private hire industry has increased by 25% over the past decade with a similar rise forecast for the next ten years. New regulations and licensing arrangements requiring higher levels of driver competence have led to a demand for recognised national standards of competency for all drivers. As a result, qualifications from vocational specialists such as EDI are proving more and more popular by the day. Government Train to Gain funding for self-employed drivers without a Level 2 NVQ has also played a significant role in helping to professionalise the industry.

Several local authorities including Bournemouth Borough Council and Warrington Borough Council are actively encouraging drivers in their region to improve their skills and gain a nationally recognised qualification. Designed to help candidates understand the issues involved in providing a professional transport service to the public, EDI’s Level 2 RPVD NVQ equips learners with a range of skills covering health and safety, vehicle safety, dealing with emergencies while in transit, dealing effectively with difficult passengers and providing for passengers who require assistance.

Keith Evans, Licensing Officer (Public Protection) at Bournemouth Borough Council, commented, "Public safety is high on the Council’s agenda, so we have made it mandatory for all taxi drivers in our area to study for this qualification. As well as creating a great example of best practice in customer care, the qualification is viewed by the taxi trade as a great way to improve the profile of the profession."

David Boyer, Head of Sustainable Transport at Warrington Borough Council, commented, "We hope to see all drivers in our area achieving NVQ qualifications to raise the standards of service for users of licensed cars. There are many benefits for drivers in the Warrington area who hold this qualification, including a free three year driver’s badge, which normally costs £75.00."

Gareth Phillips, Director of Business Development at EDI, commented: "Take-up for this qualification has exceeded expectations. Recognising this work with a qualification will give drivers accredited skills in communication and problem-solving and ultimately improve standards on the job."

No prior qualifications are required for this NVQ, although drivers must have achieved the appropriate driving licence for the vehicle they will be using. Where training for the appropriate licence is given by the employer, a minimum of six months on-the-job driving experience is necessary before drivers can fulfil the requirements of the qualification.

For further information on this qualification visit Tel: 08707 202909

Related Articles