From 1 October changes to how TfL assess applications for new or renewal private hire vehicle (PHV) driver licences were implemented. We look at TfL notice  14/21. 

The key changes are:

  • The introduction of a new Safety, Equality and Regulatory Understanding (SERU) requirement
  • A change to the way in which we assess a PHV driver applicant’s ability to meet the existing English Language Requirement (ELR)

From 1 October 2021 the SERU requirement will apply to all PHV driver applicants (including renewals). 

To satisfy this requirement, all existing PHV drivers and PHV driver applicants, who apply for a licence from 1 October 2021, will be required to pass an assessment which will include questions on all three areas: safety, equality and regulatory understanding. 

All questions in the SERU assessment will be based upon the content of the newly published PHV Driver Handbook . TfL advise that applicants should read the Handbook and the online assessment guide prior to attending a TfL driver assessment centre to undertake the SERU assessment. 

Applicants are also expected to undertake the online Safeguarding Awareness course prior to undertaking the SERU assessment. More information on the Safeguarding Awareness course is available in TPH Notice 31/21. 

The SERU assessment will take place at a TfL driver assessment centre and will be delivered by TfL staff. 

SERU Transitional arrangements: 1 October 2021 – 31 March 2023

For all new and renewal applications for a PHV driver’s licence made from 1 October

2021 and prior to 31 March 2023, transitional arrangements for the SERU assessment will be in place. During the transitional period, and subject to meeting all other licensing requirements, applicants may be licensed in advance of undertaking and passing the SERU assessment, to allow them time to prepare for the assessment. 

From 1 April 2023 the transitional arrangements will no longer be in place. 

Changes to the way in which we assess a PHV driver’s ability to meet the English Language Requirement (ELR)

From 1 October 2021 the way in which TfL assess whether an existing PHV licensee or a new PHV driver applicant satisfies the ELR has changed.  

From 1 October 2021, it is no longer possible to satisfy the ELR by providing documentary evidence of a qualification or by providing a certificate from one of TfL’s appointed Secure English Language Test providers. 

Instead, TfL are using two separate assessments: the outcome of the SERU assessment and a speaking and listening assessment.  The speaking and listening assessment will also apply from 1 October 2021 and consist of a 15-20 minute conversation that will take place at TfL’s offices. 

Disclaimer: This article is for guidance purposes only. Kings View Chambers accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken, or not taken, in relation to this article. You should seek the appropriate legal advice having regard to your own particular circumstances.

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