Previously, anyone could apply for a job as a school bus driver. However, various incidences including accidents and poor professionalism, have led to increased demands for better school bus driver. As a manager or principal the qualifications of a bus driver may not be that hard. However, the ministry of labour has put measures to ensure that the individual that you hire is not only qualified, but is also able to deal with children properly.
School bus drivers are required to be very patient, because they are constantly surrounded by children who may test their limits. Furthermore, they need to be aware of the best disciplinary procedures to take when children consistently misbehave. There exists a need to hire an alert individual as your bus driver, for the simple reason that school bus bullying has become prominent. An alert driver will capture incidents and alert relevant authorities before they become serious. Excellent communication skills are ideal for a bus driver, as they constantly interact with parents and guardians who have entrusted them with their children.
Apart from qualifications, when hiring a bus driver you need to trace and speak to some of the people who have worked with the individual, to ensure that you are hiring someone of exemplary character who is less likely to disappoint you in the long run. Recommendations from the school where the individual has worked maybe important, however, it would also be wise to speak to some parents from the school as they interacted one on one with the bus driver and are therefore better placed to judge character. Calling or emailing for a recommendation may seem easier but when possible take the time and visit the place of work and speak directly to the individual who is recommending the driver.
It goes without saying that school bus drivers should have the least demerits possible on their driver’s licence. Citations for speeding, and offences involving traffic should automatically disqualify a candidate from the job. Such citations may seem small, but they could also be evidence of a bigger problem. When hiring a bus driver, you may also need to include a parent representative in the interview, since both the school and parents will be entrusting the driver with the children. Parents could provide insight into the character of the driver that you may not be aware or alerted to.
A school bus driver like any other driver must have completed a dsa driving test, and passed the same. The test is designed specifically for testing the knowledge and skills of the bus driver with regard to his main duties that is loading and unloading of passengers. In addition to the dsa driving test, the driver needs to complete an improvement test known as the MTO specifically designed for school bus drivers. This test is important as children are unique clients, who may not follow the bus rules willingly, and much care must be taken when transporting them. Knowledge of bus equipment and maintenance is an additional skill that ensures your school transport runs as efficiently as possible.