New TfL Safety Test & Application Requirements

Transport for London has made some changes to the Private Hire application process.  Some new requirements have been added and some existing requirements have had changes.

It is very important that all Private Hire drivers understand these new changes.

Here is a list of the changes.

  • New Safety, Equality and Regulatory Understanding Requirement (Short name SERU)
  • Online Safeguarding Course for Private Hire Drivers
  • English Language Requirement Changes
    • Speaking And Listening
  • Topographical Skills Test changes
  • Cost of the new tests

SERU Requirement (Safety, Equality and Regulatory Understanding)

This is a new test that will be in effect from the 1st of October 2021, but drivers who are applying new or renewing their PCO licence will have until the 31st of March 2023 to complete this new test.

The test will be taken at a TfL test centre.  The training for the new TfL Safety Test will need to be done by either a training provider or you can read TfL PHV Driver Handbook and use their Online Assessment Guide to understand what the test will entail.

Like the current Topographical Test, the new TfL Safety Test will need to be completed using a computer.

The cost of the new TfL safety test will be £36.  Drivers who fail the test will be allowed one re-sit at the cost of £16.  

Note: PCO Renewal applicants who have NOT provided previous English Language Requirement Evidence will need to pay £72 for the safety test as this will be used to assess their English Language on a Reading and Writing basis. 

Safeguarding Awareness Course

All drivers, existing and new will need to complete the new TfL Safeguarding Awareness Course.  This is a free course, which they can complete online via their phone, tablet or computer. 

TfL has advised drivers to complete this test at the earliest possible opportunity. 

The Online Safeguarding Awareness course is a 27 slide interactive online course with written information that you will need to read and follow instructions to get to the next slide. 

Here is the link to the TfL Online Safeguarding Awareness course

English Language Requirement Changes (ELR)

The changes only apply to new applications from 1st October 2021 and to any existing drivers who did not provide evidence to complete their English Language Requirement or had their proof rejected by TfL.

Any driver who has already submitted before this date and Tfl has accepted it as proof, they will not need to do any new tests to prove English Language Requirement.

Any drivers who took a test and got a certificate and did not submit it in time or it was rejected by TfL, will need to do the following.

For English Language Reading & Writing:  Drivers will need to complete the new Safety test and pay £72 instead of £36, and this test will be used as their proof of English Language Requirement.

For the English Language Speaking & Listening, drivers will also need to book and take a 15-20minute test at TfL centre.  This test will be taken over secure video or phone call at TfL centre via another company called PeopleCert.

Changes Topographical Skills Test

From 1st of November 2021, all existing test centres will be closed down and any new driver applying for their PCO licence will need to take their test with TfL at one of their centres in either Baker Street or West Kensington.

The cost of the test is now £36 and re-sits will cost £16.  If you fail the 2nd test, you will need to restart the whole application process, which can be time-consuming and costly. 

Here is a breakdown of the new cost of getting a PCO licence.

CRB DBS Check: £52

Tfl Licence Fees: £310

Tfl Safety (SERU) Test: £36 (£72 if you are renewing and have not provided proof of English)

Speaking & Listening Test: £36 (only for new drivers and renewals who have not provided proof of English)

Topographical Test: £36 (New applicants only)

PCO Medical: £80 – £180 (Most GP’s charge around this price, it is important you go to your GP as TfL doesn’t accept medicals done anywhere else)

We are working on providing you with training for the TfL Safety Test as well as the Speaking & Listening section of the English Language Requirement.  We will update the site once we have the new courses in place.

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