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ALL Scout Groups, Districts and Counties who operate (own, borrow or hire), a minibus require a Standard Bus Permit so that voluntary groups can charge or accept a form of remuneration for providing transport for their own members, without having to comply with the full PSV operator licensing or PCV driver licensing requirements.
Under the Section 19 permit scheme, non-profit making organisations can make a charge to passengers for providing transport to the people whom the organisation serves without the need to obtain a PSV Operators License and, in most cases, without having to comply with PCV driver licensing requirements.
However, permit holders can only provide services to their own members or to Groups whom the organisation serves. Section 19 permits cannot be used to provide services to the general public or on journeys outside the UK.
If payment in any way is made for using the minibus (i.e. travel to a camp) then a permit is required even if this payment is not direct to the driver but via camp/trip fees, subscriptions etc.
To purchase a Standard Bus Permit, fill in the application form and it will be turned around in approximately 5 working days at a cost of £5.00. If you have any queries or need advice, please call the Scout Information on 0345 300 1818 or 0208 433 7100. If you are paying by Debit or Credit Card, please call 0345 300 1818 or 020 8433 7100 between the hours of 9am - 5pm so that payment can be processed.
Minibus permits are valid for five years and have the expiry date written on the permit. It is the responsibility of the individual Group/District and County to renew these minibus permits.
Permits issued under the previous scheme (with. no expiry date) will cease to be valid after 6th April 2014.
Each Scout Group/District/County/Region will need to apply for their own permit and they are not transferrable. The permit must be displayed in whichever vehicle you are driving at the time. Please note that if you do not display the minibus permit in the windscreen, as this is an Operator’s License this may lead to prosecution if not displayed.
You will need to purchase one Standard Bus Permit per vehicle. So if you hire 3 minibuses you need to apply for 3 permits. These permits can then be transferrable to other minibus to another if you are hiring them.
The qualification that you need to drive a minibus is a full driving license with a D1 entitlement or without D1, have held their license for over 2 years but cannot tow a trailer. Further information is available online. Check with your County/District to see if there is a requirement that members need to undertake MiDAS training.
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.
Some Districts and Counties ask their Leaders to do the course before driving a minibus. More info can be found at ctauk.org
For additional advice, the Community Transport Association (CTA) have factsheets on all aspects of minibuses. Should you require advice relating to driving a minibus outside of the UK, driver training or minibus safety, further information may also be obtained on the CTA Advice Line 0845 130 6195 or ctauk.org
Please note that from 10 February 1997 ALL minibuses irrespective of age, when carrying 3 or more children have to be fitted with seat belts in FORWARD FACING SEATS. The MINIMUM requirement is to have a lap belt fitted to each seat used by a child aged over three.