Whether you need to meet Uber driver requirements ot become an Ola driver, Bolt or FREE NOW driver, getting a PCO licence from TfL is a mandatory step. Part of getting that licence is passing the TfL topographical test, and also proving that your English is good enough to be an on-demand driver by passing the TfL English test.
If previously TfL accepted proper documentation from a language center that you have the necessary language skills, this is no longer possible. This means you must actually take and pass the TfL English language test. Find out here what is a PCO licence and why passing the TfL English test is mandatory to get this licence.
The TfL English test is a language test for drivers coming from non-English speaking countries, who want to apply for a PCO licence. It’s been a mandatory step required by Transport for London (TfL), and it proves that you have a working understanding of the English language.
IMPORTANT: Until October 2021, TfL accepted documentation as proof, such as a language certification from one of their approved centers. Since then, however, changes introduced mean that drivers need to pass the actual tests.
Apart from the fact that you can’t get the PCO licence without passing the language test, as an on-demand driver, safety is critical, for both you and your passengers. Good communication will make interactions much easier, but it is also important that you can read and understand information, and communicate in all situations that can occur in your job as an on-demand driver, including an accident.
The test includes two separate assessments — the English Language Requirement (ELR) which evaluates drivers’ skills in terms of English language listening and speaking and the SERU (safety, equality, and regulatory requirements) assessment to evaluate not just general English reading and writing skills, but also to ensure drivers understand how the requirements apply to them.
This is a 15-20 minute conversation with an examiner. Although the assessment happens at the TfL Office, it actually take the test via a secure video or telephone link using a TfL service provider called PeopleCert. To pass the exam, you must score at least 60 out of 100 marks.
The verbal assessment has five sections:
This is a written part and it evaluates not just language itself, but also how drivers understand safety, equality, and regulatory requirements. It comprises of multiple choice questions and completing sentences by adding missing words.
This test is based on the PHV Driver Handbook and it covers the following topics:
The reading and listening part involves multiple-choice questions and completing sentences by adding missing words.
IMPORTANT: New PCO drivers must also complete the online Safeguarding Awareness training course before completing the SERU assessment.
Starting April 1st 2023, all drivers applying for a PCO licence for the first time must take and pass the TfL English test, both the ELR and SERU assessment.
For drivers who already applied for a PCO licence and haven’t take the full English test, the requirements vary depending in which of the following categories you’re in:
If you’re taking the test for the first time, the two parts of the test cost £36 each, so £72 for the whole test. For a re-sit, the charge is £16 for each part.
Yes. If you don’t pass the first time, you can take it again.
You can take the test at one of the two TfL offices in Baker Street or West Kensington.
Whether you’ve already submitted your application for a PCO licence or are due to renew it, TfL will contact you about a test date. You can also contact TfL on 0343 222 4444 for more information, but you can’t book the test until TfL invites you to do so.
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