Public, Community & School Transport

Information for Minibus Drivers

The information on this page applies to minibus drivers from organisations that have joined MiDAS. It explains how the scheme works and the implications for new and existing minibus drivers.

MiDAS - about the scheme

  • is a scheme which your organisation has joined. Membership is open to all Hampshire schools, colleges, voluntary organisations and council departments using minibuses

  • helps to improve minibus safety by working with you organisation to enhance the driving and passenger awareness skills of drivers. Over 12,500 drivers have now received MiDAS certificates in Hampshire

  • is organised and largely funded by Hampshire County Council

How MiDAS works

  • Under MiDAS, training is provided to the person in your organisation who is responsible for assessing and training minibus drivers

  • This person, called a Driver Assessor/Trainer, assesses the driving ability of new minibus drivers

  • Existing drivers will also have to be assessed. Some organisations will be seeking exemptions for their existing drivers

How MiDAS will affect you

Before an assessment of your driving ability takes place, you will be asked to:

  • complete and sign a Driver Registration form

  • produce your driving license

  • undertake a simple eyesight check

You may also be asked to provide two references. If you are an existing driver, some of these steps may have already been done.

The assessment will normally last for about 1 hour and will include:

  • a demonstration drive by your organisation’s Driver Assessor/Trainer so you can see the standard of driving which is required

  • the opportunity for you to drive the vehicle under supervision in order to receive on-road vehicle familiarisation

  • an assessment of your driving skills

After a successful assessment, you will be given, at a time to be agreed:

  • basic training by your Driver Assessor/Trainer in the skills and information you need when driving minibuses

  • additional training if you drive an accessible vehicle (one which can carry passengers who use wheelchairs)

At the end of this training you will be asked to undertake a theory assessment.

If you fail the assessment, your organisation may decide to provide you with additional training to bring your driving skills up to the MiDAS standard.

Only after you have satisfactorily completed your driving assessment and training and passed the theory assessment, will you receive:

a MiDAS certificate, which enables you to drive the minibuses of other MiDAS members without needing to be re-assessed. You will still have to meet the other organisation’s insurance requirements and may need to receive familiarisation on the vehicles that they use. You will not be able to drive accessible vehicles belonging to other organisations unless you have received training skills associated with using such minibuses.

a MiDAS Driver’s Handbook, in the form of an A5 loose-leaf binder, which contains useful information about minibus driving. This may include specific information about the minibus(es) you use which has been prepared by your organisation.

After four years you will be asked to attend a "Refresher" Training sessions. This will involve a:

  • re-assessment of your driving ability

  • classroom based training session

  • further theory assessment.

In certain circumstances, such as you being convicted of a driving offence or being involved in a road traffic accident, your organisation may ask you to have your driving skills re-assessed earlier.

It is up to your organisation to decide when this is appropriate.

In a few cases, your organisation may have decided not to appoint a Driver Assessor/Trainer itself, but to use someone from another organisation locally.

What MiDAS offers you

  • you and your passengers will be aware that your driving competence has been assessed to a common county-wide standard

  • you will receive up-to-date training I the skills and information needed to drive a minibus

  • you will be able to drive the minibuses of other MiDAS members without having your driving skills re-assessed

For further information about MiDAS, contact your Driver Assessor/Trainer in the first instance. To find out Driver Assessor/Trainers in your area please contact the Community Transport Training Co-ordinator or email the Community Transport team at community.transport@hants.gov.uk

MiDAS is operated by Hampshire County Council in Portsmouth and Southampton under an agreement with Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council.