As Cotswold Edge District is a member of the nationally recognised MiDAS Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme, we have a requirement that any adult driving a minibus to transport members of our district or groups in our district must hold a current MiDAS Driver Certificate.
Also to comply with UK driving regulations all minibuses being operated by Scout Groups or by District must display the correct Section 19 minibus permit in their windscreen (this includes minibuses hired from outside scouting). This page outlines information about the MiDAS driver training and assessment that is being offered by our district team and also information about Section 19 minibus permits.
MiDAS Driver Training & Assessment
In Cotswold Edge District we currently have one qualified MiDAS Driver Assessor/Trainer (and a second one who is shared with other districts) who can perform the MiDAS required driver training and assessment.
In order to gain a MiDAS Driver Certificate, which is valid for four years, the following training and assessment must be undertaken:
- Classroom theory session, which takes about 2-3 hours, covering driver licencing, minibus driving law and minibus safe driving and safety.
- A short theory test, 20 multiple choice questions, which takes about 20 minutes (taken at end of theory session).
- In minibus driving assessment, which takes about 1 hour, dates/times to be agreed with assessor/trainer in advance.
For those who have held a MiDAS Driver certificate which is about to expire it can be renewed (up to 3 months after expiry) by taking a shorter form of the theory session, a short theory test and another minibus driving assessment. If yours has expired more than 3 months ago you may be required to attend the full theory session and test. It may be possible to combine a refresher theory session with a driving assessment.
If you wish to apply for a MiDAS Driver Certificate, please complete the form at the bottom of this page, to notify us of your interest - it will be emailed to Derek Forward and you will receive a copy for your records.
Periodically there will be MiDAS full theory sessions advertised on the district calendar so please check calendar for the next scheduled one and if you intend to attend the scheduled session please complete the form at the bottom of the page. If you need a MiDAS certificate more urgently or have several from the same group who wish to be trained together please notify us using the form at the bottom of the page.
For the minibus driving assessment you will need to provide your own minibus (or hire one) just as you will be when wanting to operate a minibus for transport for your activities, this will need to be at your own expense. Please note that as your MiDAS trainer will also need to drive the minibus so you will need to ensure that whoever will be your MiDAS minibus driving assessor is included in the hire agreement / included on the insurance.
Please note that the MiDAS driver training and assessment is currently being offered as a free service for adults with appointments in Cotswold Edge District. From April 2019 there will be a small charge for training and assessment to cover the costs of the MiDAS scheme, charges to be announced before the start of the 2019-20 financial year.
Those interested in knowing more about the MiDAS scheme or are unsure of what size/weight minibus they would be able to drive on their licence (especially those who hold a car category B licence without D1 who can only drive a minibus plated up to 3500Kg MAM) can come to the full theory sessions an leave part way through if you think it is not for you.
Section 19 Minibus Permits
Information related to existing Section 19 Minibus Permits:
- ALL old-style (purple writing on white background) permits are now invalid. If you drive with one of those showing, you are breaking the law. The only valid permits are in-date purple ones in the new style.
- It’s been over five years since the new permits were introduced and these, too, have started to expire. Unless you’re brilliant at admin and know exactly when your permits expire, it would be a good idea to check your buses to make sure that they are in-date.
Groups, you will know how to order your own permits. However, you are advised to think carefully about the “classes” of persons entitled to be carried on the bus, as this has proved to be crucial (VOSA/DVSA have impounded minibuses carrying the wrong class of passenger). The application form is here:
http://scouts.org.uk/media/354828/Minibus-Application.doc and in Section 4, you would be wise to write something along the lines of: “Members of the Scout Movement and their parents and helpers,” or “Members of the 1st Nether Wallop Group Scout Council and helpers.” Those of you with just “Members of the Scout Movement” cannot carry their parents, for example, as they are not members (but they are members of the Group Scout Council – but, of course, their grannies are not, but they can be classed as “helpers”)! What I’m saying is, think carefully and include helpers as a catch-all.
Explorers, despite what HQ might suggest, there hasn’t yet been a test case in the Crown Court about driving with an invalid Permit. You are therefore strongly advised to get your Permits through Paul Brooks or Derek Forward, issued to the District, because Explorer Units are not a legal entity, any more than Cub Packs are. The legal entity is the District. If each Unit which needs Permits would like to get in touch with me to tell me how many, I’ll organise it. Please let me know also if it’s urgent, i.e. if your current ones have expired!
Don’t forget, if you loan or rent your bus out to another Group or organisation, make sure that they also have a valid permit, because they can’t drive on your permit. Now that the first new-style permits are timing out, you might want to ask for a scan to be emailed to you if another Group or organisation wants to use your bus.
Note that if your Section 19 permit has faded and lo longer legible it must be replaces to remain legal. Faded permits can be replaced free of charge by returning permit (disc and form) back to scout HQ who can reissue the permit.
Contact for MiDAS Training / Section 19 Queries
If you have any questions relating to this information or to request MiDAS Training, please contact Derek Forward / Paul Brooks / Mike Rickwood via the form below