Safeguarding training for taxi drivers and private hire operators
We all have a responsibility to keep children and vulnerable adults safe from harm and abuse. The Hackney carriage and private hire trade, particularly licensed drivers, and individuals working for private hire operators and taxi booking platforms are in a unique position to identify and help take steps to prevent the abuse, exploitation or neglect of children and vulnerable adults. By understanding early warning signs and knowing what to do when there are concerns that a child or vulnerable adult is at risk, those working as licensed drivers and wider trade can play a significant role in preventing harm and abuse.
Why do we need this training?
In July 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) published its Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards. These include a requirement that all licensing authorities should provide safeguarding guidance to the trade and should require taxi and private hire vehicle drivers to undertake safeguarding training. We have introduced this as mandatory part of the licensing process for new drivers, and all current licensed drivers must complete this no later than 30 September 2023.
How it works
In line with the DfT's Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards, we are offering taxi and private hire drivers and operators safeguarding awareness courses to help them understand the role that they play in the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. We require all current drivers, private hire operators and those applying for a new or renewal PHV driver licence to undertake the Safeguarding Awareness course. We also encourage staff working for private hire operators and taxi booking platforms to undertake this training.
There is a choice of two webinars, provided remotely via Microsoft Teams, delivered by a professional as an interactive session. The course can be accessed on a laptop, desktop, tablet or mobile. The webinars cover a range of safeguarding issues, including:
- child sexual exploitation and abuse
- child criminal exploitation
- domestic abuse
- modern slavery, including County Lines operations
- radicalisation and extremism
The courses also look at how and why taxi drivers provide a vital service and an important contribution in protecting communities, especially vulnerable individuals who may be at risk of criminal exploitation.
On completion, licensees will be able to identify such incidences and feel confident in reporting concerns.
Booking and cost
The training and mandatory assessment is via two providers, West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and The Blue Lamp Trust. Drivers and operators need only take one of the courses. The WSCC course is two hours long and costs £20. The Blue Lamp Trust course is two and three quarter hours long and costs £25.
Drivers will be required to complete an online assessment after attendance at a webinar. A link will be sent to complete the assessment post attendance to the email that the course was booked with. On scoring an 80% plus pass mark, licensees will be issued with a certificate which will be required as part of their licensing conditions with the licensing authority. This will serve to evidence completion of the required safeguarding training.