Minibus Training

Anyone wishing to drive a Devon County Council vehicle with a passenger seating capacity of up to 16 seats on Devon County Council business or for Devon County Council schools must first obtain the County's Certificate of Competence to drive such a vehicle. Those eligible will be drivers who passed their basic driving test before 1st January 1997, and who also hold the D1 driving licence category (for non hire and reward purposes). Holders of a current Category D, or D1 PCV licence (for hire and reward) are exempt.

To obtain the certificate, you will need to pass a practical assessment and written test. This can be done in two ways:

  • One day course with test.
  • One hour test

We advise that drivers with limited or no experience of driving a minibus opt for the one-day course (NB: courses run with a maximum of three participants per minibus).

The one-hour test comprises an assessed drive of approximately 45 minutes duration covering most types of road and traffic situation. Ten minutes is allotted to completion of the multiple-choice, 24 question written test which has a 75% pass mark. The test can be conducted at a location of your choice (please contact Red One for more details).


The one-day course covers pre-driving checks, familiarisation with the vehicle, manoeuvring and controlled stops, and then progresses to training on the public highway. Most types of road and traffic situations will be covered. The course culminates with the driving assessment and the written test. The day starts at 8:45 am and finishes at around 5:00 pm. Lunch is not supplied.

All certificate holders must undergo refresher training every four years.

The refresher course is similar to the existing one-day course, except there will be no practical and theory tests. However, continuous assessment will be a feature of this course.

The purpose of the course is to ensure that you are driving a Devon County Council minibus in a safe and acceptable manner, to a standard either commensurate with or better than the standard you achieved at the time you took your original minibus test. It is also an opportunity for you to review and refresh your skills under the guidance of a qualified instructor.

You will not only be assessed on your driving skills, but also on your knowledge of conducting pre-driving safety checks of the vehicle, and, of course, your working knowledge of the Highway Code and how this should be applied to everyday driving. It is therefore advisable to revise the Highway Code as well as ensuring you are carrying out pre-driving checks correctly. You will be asked questions about, and be asked to demonstrate your knowledge of these subjects.

When on the road, you will be expected to produce a safe, defensive drive whilst making progress appropriate to the prevailing road, weather and traffic conditions. Your forward planning skills, observation of the Highway Code, attitude and concentration will be assessed.

You may also be asked to carry out a manoeuvre such as a reverse around a left-hand or right-hand corner, or asked to carry out a controlled braking exercise. These will be carried out in safe, quiet areas and, where practicable, off road.

At the end of the course you will be debriefed and given a written report which will reflect your performance. If the assessment is satisfactory, you will be issued with a new certificate of competence which will be valid for four years. If not, you will be required to re-sit either the one-hour minibus test or the one-day combined course and test.


One day course runs from 9am until 4.30pm

Half day refreshers are 9am until 12.30pm and 1pm until 4.30pm



1 Day Course - £180 incl VAT

Practical Test/Re-Test (including Outreach) - £96 incl VAT

Theory Re-test at Devon Travel Academy - £20 incl VAT

Minibus Refresher (Half Day) - £96 incl VAT