New taxi drivers in Bristol now need Gold Standard

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By thecriddler | Monday, November 12, 2012, 10:13

All new taxi drivers in Bristol will have to complete the Gold Standard taxi driver training programme before they are issued with a licence from now on.

The Gold Standard is a kitemark for Hackney carriage and private hire drivers and is one of the first in the UK.

The Gold Standard training is designed to help drivers improve their skills in the service they offer in particular in how they meet the needs of all passengers, including those with disabilities.

It was devised by Bristol City Council with partners including input from disabled people from the Bristol Physical Access Chain, which acts as an advisory group for access issues for the council.

Since introducing this scheme on a voluntary basis nearly 200 drivers have gained the gold standard and from now on all new drivers will be required to take the training.

The standard is based on a vocational qualification in Road Passenger Vehicle driving (BTec) and the World Host qualification in customer care. Additionally a specially designed training module around disability equality has been incorporated into the programme.

Nick Carter from Safer Bristol said: "The taxi and private hire trade are vitally important to the economic and social well-being of the City of Bristol.

"For visitors to the city a taxi driver will often be the first point of contact they have, while many permanent residents of the city, particularly disabled people, depend on the provision of high-quality taxi and private hire services to sustain and enhance their quality of life.

"We believe by requiring new applicants for licences to take this training and encouraging others to gain the kitemark the overall quality of service will be improved."



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