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At the HGV Training Centre, our bus driver training focuses on giving our students the knowledge and skills they need to pass the PCV theory test and the practical skills test taken at an authorised testing facility. Bus drivers working for First Bus have already received that kind of training, but soon they will be undergoing a new type of training designed to help them become better customer service agents. First Bus announced the new training programme following a successful trial run that took place in Southampton and Essex last year.

First drivers will undergo 20 days of new training; 17 of those days will be devoted to enhanced safety training while the remaining three days will be geared toward intense customer service training. Drivers successfully completing the training will, in addition to being better drivers for First Bus, receive additional accreditation from City & Guilds for safety procedures.

First Bus managing director Giles Fearnley was quoted as telling the Business Reporter that company drivers “are our ambassadors and play a vital role in attracting and retaining our customers.” He went on to explain that First Bus recognises that bus transportation must become more customer focused in the modern era. The new training programme has been described by the company as a significant step in making better customer service or reality. As head of driver training Linda Guthrie put it, First Bus is “no longer simply looking for bus drivers – we’re looking for customer service agents that we can train to drive a bus.”

Making for a Better Experience

The move by First Bus to offer enhanced safety and customer service training to their drivers is undoubtedly a decision being driven by business. Companies such as ours only have a limited opportunity in our own bus driver training programmes to address all the needs of the new driver. Therefore, we are limited to focusing on technical skills and broad driver knowledge. It is up to companies like First Bus to offer additional training to fine-tune drivers to their particular business models.

While the new First Bus training will tackle subjects such as helping passengers with disabilities and defusing problems with customers before they get out of control, the HGV Training Centre will continue to focus our attentions on teaching new drivers how to safely operate buses under a variety of conditions.

Training with us is fast and convenient, thanks to more than three dozen training facilities and our concentrated training approach that helps students to learn and retain the necessary knowledge and skills. As evidence that our training approach works, consider that 92% of our PCV students pass the theory test the first time.

The HGV Training Centre offers comprehensive training for buses and coaches, articulated lorries, tipper trucks, heavy construction equipment, horse lorries, and even ambulances. We also offer non-vocational training to those interested in learning how to safely tow a trailer or caravan. Please contact us for more information about class offerings, locations, prices, and financing.


  1. Business Reporter – https://www.business-reporter.co.uk/2015/08/05/new-bus-drivers-to-undergo-intensive-customer-service-training/#gsc.tab=0


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