Nov 6, 2009

New national standards for taxi drivers

New national standards for taxi drivers

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

November 6 2009

Today the nation’s Transport Ministers have agreed to the establishment of new minimum standards in taxi driver training and competency.

From the middle of next year, all potential drivers will be tested on a range of skills including basic arithmetic, knowledge of local attractions and English proficiency.

Potential drivers will need to pass eight competency units before they receive their taxi licence. These units are as follows:

  • Use of a taxi’s communications systems;
  • Skills and knowledge required to drive a taxi safely;
  • Ability to operate Wheelchair Accessible Taxis;
  • An understanding of occupation health and safety standards to be followed when operating a taxi;
  • An ability to identify and describe local major roads, services and attractions;
  • Completion of a workplace induction for the transport industry;
  • Skills and knowledge to operate a taxi meter, calculate fares, handle payment transactions, and maintain accounting records;
  • Provision of customer service to taxi passengers.

As well as these new National Taxi Driver Competency Units, Ministers agreed that from 1 July 2010 all new taxi drivers will need to pass an English language test.

Basic written and spoken English is essential if drivers are to carry out their duties in a safe and effective manner.

These competency units have been developed following consultation with industry.

While the vast majority of taxi drivers provide a first-class service, we need to make sure all drivers have the skills required to do their job to the highest standards.

Minimum national standards are necessary to avoid accreditation ‘shopping’ by potential drivers seeking to exploit differences between jurisdictions.

The competency units and standards were developed under the leadership of the Western Australian Government and complement broader Council of Australian Governments reforms to improve occupational licensing across Australia.