MiDAS (Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme)
MiDAS is the Minibus Driver Awareness
Scheme, organised by the Community
Transport Association U.K. (CTA) which
promotes a nationally recognised standard
for the assessment and training of minibus
drivers. It is a membership based scheme
that has been designed to enhance minibus
driving standards and promote the safer
operation of minibuses.
Who is it aimed at?
MiDAS training courses are applicable to
any organisation operating or using minibuses.
Member organisations range from small
voluntary organisations operating one vehicle,
to local authorities operating large fleets of
minibuses as well as schools, colleges
How does MiDAS work?
MiDAS operates on a "cascade" approach. CTA
has appointed a number of training agents, who provide
training for minibus Driver Assessor/Trainers (DAT's) nominated
from member organisations. A DAT can then assess the
competence of other minibus drivers, and provide
them with training on how to safely use a minibus.
What's involved in becoming a DAT?
In order to register as a DAT, a person has to undertake
a thorough driving assessment (it is essential that they are
able to drive to an "above average" standard) and participation
in a course lasting three days for standard minibuses and a
further day for wheelchair accessible minibuses.
What's included in the DAT's Training Course?
The course gives information and practical experience on how
to undertake a minibus driving assessment in an objective and
consistent manner, how to structure on-road assessments, provide
"classroom based" safety training, and refresher training. The safety
training, which can be delivered on a group or individual basis,
uses key learning points from a number of areas:
- Legal Responsibilities of a Minibus Driver
- Passenger Safety
- Child Passenger Safety
- Defensive Driving
- Manual Handling Awareness
- Health & Safety Awareness
- Accident & Emergency Procedures
- Personal Safety for Drivers
Each DAT is given a comprehensive trainer's manual which
includes all the information from the course, along with audio
visual material needed to run the safety training sessions. DAT's
certificates are valid for two years after which refresher
training will be required.
What do drivers get out of this?
Drivers who successfully complete the MiDAS assessment
and training programme will receive a nationally recognised certificate
valid for four years, as well as the option of obtaining the
comprehensive "MiDAS Driver's Handbook".
I haven't enough time to assess and train
all our drivers, what can I do?
Split the task - for example, one person could take on the
responsibility for assessing drivers and another for training drivers,
you can even enter into partnership with another organisation. Provided
that all trainers and assessors are registered as DAT's, the split of the
workload can be tailored to suit each situation. If you are unable to
identify people from within your own organisation there is another
option - getting a DAT from elsewhere to assess and train
your drivers. CTA holds a list of all member organisations
and registered DAT's, and should be able to put you in
touch with a local MiDAS member.