Public, Community & School Transport

Welcome to MIDAS

MiDAS logo

A step by step guide to how midas works:

Some questions answered:

What is MiDAS?

  • MiDAS stands for Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme. The scheme helps improve minibus safety by working with your organisation to improve driver standards.

  • MiDAS is available to all schools, colleges, voluntary organisations and council departments using minibuses.

  • MiDAS is organised by Hampshire County Council and operates in Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton

What happens if your organisation joins MiDAS?

  • MiDAS will train someone within your organisation so they can assess other drivers’ competence in driving a minibus.

  • MiDAS will also train them in skills associated with driving and operating a minibus so that they can share this knowledge with other drivers.

  • MiDAS also offers specialised training associated with operating a minibus which is accessible to people with disabilities. Again, a person is given MiDAS training and they then pass the information and skills learnt to other drivers within the organisation.

  • Written material is available to back up all training courses and each organisation participating can obtain copies of a "Minibus Driver’s Handbook", especially produced by MiDAS.

  • Drivers assessed and trained through MiDAS will be able to drive vehicles of other MiDAS members without having their driving skills re-assessed.

  • Drivers will need to attend Refresher Training every four years. Those people assessing and training drivers will need to attend Refresher Training every two years.

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A step by step guide to how MiDAS works:

   1.  A Driver Assessor/Trainer is appointed by organisations joining the scheme

The Driver Assessor/Trainer will be the person who attends all the MiDAS training courses and assesses the competence to drive of all new and existing drivers. S/he will also be responsible for training drivers. This person will need to have good driving skills and the ability to pass on to others the information and skills learnt during their MiDAS training sessions. They will have their own driving ability assessed to MiDAS standards and they must have the time and the willingness to take on what is a very responsible role. They will also need to have good presentation and training skills. If the task is too large for one person, you may wish to split the task – for example, one person could take on the responsibility for assessing drivers and another for training drivers.

If you can’t find a suitable Driver Assessor/Trainer there is another option – getting another organisation to assess and train drivers on your behalf. See the following link for details. What if we can’t find a Driver Assessor/Trainer?

   2.  The Driver Assessor/Trainer attends MiDAS training course

Prior to attending training courses, MiDAS organises an assessment of the potential Driver Assessor/Trainer’s own driving skills. After a successful assessment, MiDAS trains each Driver Assessor/Trainer in up to four modules:

  • Driver assessment: how to judge whether drivers are competent to drive a minibus (Module 1).

  • Training drivers in basic minibus driving skills: how to train drivers with the skills and information which they need to know when driving a standard minibus (Module 2).

  • Additional training for drivers of an accessible minibus: how to train drivers with the additional skills and information they need when driving an accessible minibus.

  • Refresher Training for drivers: how to provide Refresher Training for existing drivers (Module 4).

During this training Driver Assessor/Trainers will have their presentation and training skills assessed. They will also be required to pass a theory assessment at the end of their training.

A certificate is issued to Driver Assessor/Trainers who satisfactorily complete their training. The certificate will show which modules Driver Assessor/Trainers have attended. The training is provided by Training Agents commissioned by Hampshire County Council.

   3.  The Driver Assessor/Trainer uses the skills learnt on MiDAS courses

Using training material provided by MiDAS, the Driver Assessor/Trainer is now in a position to assess and train minibus drivers within their organisation. Each driver is issued with a certificate by the Driver Assessor/Trainer once they have successfully been assessed and trained. They also need to pass a theory assessment before receiving their certificate. They can also be provided with a "Minibus Driver’s Handbook".

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Some questions answered

Can MiDAS assess or train our drivers directly?

No. Under MiDAS, comprehensive training is made available to the Driver Assessor/Trainer who can then assess and train drivers locally in a way that suits organisations. This flexibility would be lost if all drivers had to be tested and trained centrally.

Do we have to participate in MiDAS?

The scheme is compulsory for Hampshire County Council Departments. It is possible in the future that voluntary organisations which are funded by Hampshire County Council will be required to participate in the scheme. In Portsmouth and Southampton the City Councils determine who should join the scheme. Otherwise, it is up to each organisation to decide if it wishes to participate.

How much time will be involved for the driver assessor/trainer?

Each training module will last up to 7 hours excluding lunch or other breaks. Modules are run on weekdays.

The Driver Assessor/Trainer then needs to assess and train drivers. The amount of time this will take depends on the number of drivers within the organisation, but as a guide each assessment will take about 1 ¼ hours. Standard training for each driver will then take approximately 3 hours although this can be done in a group situation. Additional training will also need to be provided to drivers who will be using accessible minibuses and again this can be done in a group.

What if we can’t find a Driver Assessor/ Trainer?

An alternative option is to find another MiDAS member – school, college, voluntary organisation or council establishment – to do the job for you. They may have a MiDAS approved Driver Assessor/Trainer who is willing to assess an train drivers on your behalf. They will charge for their services. A list of organisations willing to take on this role is available from Hampshire County Council. If your organisation joins MiDAS you may wish to consider assessing and/or training drivers from other groups.

To find a MiDAS Assessor/Trainer in your district please contact the Community Transport Training Co-ordinator on (01962) 846983 or email the team at community.transport@hants.gov.uk

What about existing drivers of our minibuses – will they have to be assessed and trained?

Yes. Existing drivers will have to be assessed and trained within a six month period. There are some exemptions from assessment and/or training if your organisation already has a comprehensive assessment and training programme in place.

Is there an expiry date for certificates?

Yes. Certificates for Driver Assessor/Trainers last for two years. Drivers Certificates last for four years. All Certificates are issued with an expiry date. Refresher Training is provided for Driver Assessor/Trainers who in turn provide this to drivers. Both Driver Assessor/Trainers and drivers will have their driving ability re-assessed as part of the Refresher Training. They will also need to pass a further theory assessment.

How much will it cost?

Each participant on MiDAS courses will be charged at one of two rates. The lower rate is open to local authority schools and voluntary organisations and part of the cost will be met by MiDAS. University, colleges and council departments will pay the full cost of their training.

Up to date costs are available by ringing the telephone number at the bottom of this page.

How does my organisation join the scheme?

To obtain a MiDAS Application form, please print, complete and return the form on the following page; MiDAS Application Request Form

alternatively, you can e-mail your details to us at community.transport@hants.gov.uk
We will then send you a membership form and more detailed information about the scheme.

What about private schools and organisations outside of Hampshire? Can they join MiDAS?

Special arrangements have been made to provide MiDAS training to private schools and organisations.

MiDAS is only provided in Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton by Hampshire County Council. In the rest of the country MiDAS is available through the Community Transport Association under a franchise agreement with Hampshire County Council. Certificates issued through the Community Transport Association scheme can be used in Hampshire and vice-versa.

In both cases, Hampshire County Council can provide you with further details on (01962) 846983 or email community.transport@hants.gov.uk