Guidance on the Section 19 Permit is at best confusing, which is why 60% of our existing customers, when surveyed recently, didn’t know what the implications of non-compliance were.
In short, a Section 19 Permit is required by all not-for-profit or charitable status schools, so they don’t have to have a CPC commercial operator’s licence. With the permit come requirements for administration and maintenance, and failure to comply means the DVSA can withdraw the permit.
‘Section 19 and section 22 of the Transport Act 1985 allow organisations that operate in GB without a view to profit to have a permit which exempts them from the need to hold a PCV operator’s licence when providing transport for a charge. Under specified conditions, the drivers of certain vehicles are exempt from the need to have PCV entitlement on their driving licence.’
Who needs a Section 19 Permit?
Non-fee-paying schools, or fee-paying schools with a charitable status are required to hold a section 19 permit for each minibus in use.
You may obtain a Section 19 Permit, without having to comply to PSV licencing requirements, by complying with the following conditions;
- The minibus must only be used by the organisation to whom the permit has been granted, or by affiliated/associate members of that organisation
- The minibus must not be used to carry members of the public
- The minibus must not be operated for profit, or for an activity which in itself is carried out for profit
- The minibus must meet the requirements for initial fitness as defined by the Construction and Use Regulations
- Section 19 Permit disc must be displayed on the nearside of the windscreen, visible from the outside of the vehicle. In addition, the driver must be 21 years or older and comply with the driving licence requirements for driving a minibus.
A school that uses multiple minibuses must hold a permit for each vehicle in use. You do not need a permit if the vehicle is ‘off-road’. Your school must also comply to certain safety and maintenance requirements, by law:
Drivers are suitably trained and correctly licensed
Your minibuses undertake the proper safety inspections at the correct intervals, maintaining a safe and roadworthy condition
Your drivers take appropriate breaks
Your vehicles are insured
DVSA or the designated body that issued your permit is informed of any changes such as the change of name of your organisation, as your permit will need to be replaced. (Including going to Academy status).
Minibus safety inspections
We covered this topic in our previous article ‘How often should you do a minibus safety inspection?’ so a quick overview as follows;
‘DVSA recommend that inspections are carried out at least every 10 weeks. You must ensure that a safety inspection is carried out before it’s used, if your vehicle is used very rarely.’
More alarming perhaps than the 60% who had never heard of a Section 19 Permit, were the 70% who had no idea the checks were required at all.
Minibus Compliance Course (MCC)
Castle Minibus is a trusted advisor to schools and we champion minibus safety. The MCC will give your staff a clear understanding of their responsibilities, procurement, legislation, training, maintenance, compliance and health and safety, including a practical minibus safety check and an introduction to Castle’s free School Transport Manager app that makes checks and reporting quick and simple.
The first compliance course will be held in Bicester in April 2018 delivered by Castle’s advance driver trainers and ex-traffic police officer.
We are also able to deliver the course to schools at any suitable venue in the UK. We are in the process of accreditation for the course from RoSPA and have already received the backing of several large school, safety and driver training associations such as the ISBA, IMTD Institute of Master Tutors of Driving, Graham Feest Road Safety Consultancy and the MSA (Motor School Association of GB).
For more information visit https: www.castleminibus.co.uk/driver-training/mcc or call 01869 253744