GLASGOW taxi and private hire car drivers may soon need a new professional qualification that aims to drive up customer care standards for passengers.
This follows a decision by the council’s licensing and regulatory Committee, which agreed to consult on and seek further information on drivers requiring relevant certification from the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
An SQA course on the role of the professional taxi and private hire driver has already been developed and requires a total of 150 hours of learning and training to be passed. If the proposal from the licensing committee is fully confirmed, it would mean that completing the new course would become a condition of the driver’s licence, replacing the current customer care course.
The SQA course covers a broad range of issues, including driving in a professional manner, legal requirements and good practice for drivers, health and safety awareness, passenger awareness, transporting children and adults who need care and supervision, safety for wheelchair users, breakdown and emergency procedures, processing taxi fares and route planning.
Councillor Alex Wilson, chair of the licensing and regulatory committee, welcomed the significant step towards an enhanced training regime for drivers.
Councillor Wilson said: “A new training regime for taxi and private hire drivers is long overdue. The current customer care course doesn’t reflect the realities of being a licensed driver in 2018 and is past its sell-by-date.
“We need a course that clearly sets out the responsibilities and the standards expected of the city’s taxi and private hire drivers in a wide range of circumstances. We have to do everything that we can to ensure that licensed drivers are fit and proper people to carry all kinds of passengers and an enhanced training programme can help us achieve that aim.
“An improved training programme may also act as a barrier to those who think that picking up a driver’s licence is an easy option. Ensuring public safety is always of paramount importance and comprehensive training will help to drive up standards.”
Following the decision the committee will now seek further information on how a new training regime could be implemented and also consult with representatives of the taxi and private hire car trade.