We officially launched our new Online Driver Assessment at the ISBA show in Manchester (21st-22nd May), the latest element in Castle’s and the ISBA’s programme to develop a complete minibus safety system.

Last year we launched our Minibus Compliance Course (MCC), a two-part training opportunity for school minibus drivers and those school administrative staff whose responsibility it is to manage the minibuses and drivers for their school. The course was designed to shed light on the issues of compliance; permits, licences and driver and vehicle maintenance and managements. This year, our commitment to improving safety and reducing risk surrounding school transport management continues to develop.

Part of any management process or safety system is ongoing assessments, checks and record keeping and CODA; Castle’s Online Driver Assessment is an affordable, easy and accessible way for schools to regularly risk assess their drivers without taking them out of school.

While this system is not intended to replace on-road training it enables schools to risk assess their drivers and offer them online training for improvement. Schools can then reassess the driver and check the online training has been effective or decide on further action.

How does CODA work? For the School or Transport Manager

Upon purchasing a unique code for each of your drivers (£45+vat per driver) Castle will set up a branded dashboard for each school. The person responsible for their school’s drivers and vehicles, who we refer to as the School Transport Manager, has access to their school’s dashboard of driver results and online training progress.

The benefits of this system include;

  • A record of regular driver risk assessment
  • Confirmation that policy documents have been read
  • Identification of any high-risk training needs
  • An ongoing log of assessments, training and improvements

How does CODA work? For the driver

Drivers are given a unique login code, via their transport manager and they are tested on four key areas, during a 20-minute online assessment;

  1. Attitude
  2. Knowledge
  3. Observation / Concentration
  4. Hazard Perception

Following that 20-minute assessment, results are produced in a traffic light style rating for each key area, with one overall rating for each driver. Four training modules are then available for drivers to complete, including a dedicated minibus module.

School Transport Managers will be able to see the driver’s results and their progress through the training modules. They can then request the driver retakes the assessment if they feel it necessary.

Chris Maynard, MD of Castle Minibus said, ‘CODA uses the same driver assessment software trusted by many large companies operating large fleets. Our driver trainers have customised it for minibuses and school and we believe CODA will give schools and additional layer of safety through regular risk assessments for new and existing drivers, that are affordable, easy and reliable. School Transport Managers can then keep ongoing records as well as being immediately alerted to any potentially high-risk drivers. We are very proud of our strong alliance with the ISBA and valuable training opportunities we provide on their behalf’

For further information on how CODA can support your school drivers and Transport Managers, please get in touch with our friendly compliance team on 01993 253744 or complaince@castleminibus.co.uk.