PCO Licensing Officers gain BTEC qualification

17 January 2007

This qualification raises the standards and professionalism of all our staff

The course, which was based on inter-personal skills, was specifically tailored to meet the needs of the PCO and its staff and customers.

The primary role of a Licensing Officer is to ensure public safety and maintain high standards among existing private hire vehicle operators, as well as advising potential operators on licensing procedures.

Officers carry out inspections of private hire operators, and often have to deal with illegal operators or those who fail to meet the required standards.

On the course, Licensing Officers honed their negotiation skills, critical when encouraging trade members to abide by regulations or suggesting improvements to record keeping.

Also covered were body language skills; dealing with aggressive behaviour; and understanding cultural differences, to ensure clear and consistent communication with the wide range of people represented in the private hire trade.

Ed Thompson, Taxi and Private Hire Director, TfL, said: "It took a lot of hard work, on top of the day job, for our Officers to pass this course. I am very proud of them.

"This qualification raises the standards and professionalism of all our staff and ensures that we are providing the best possible service for our customers. Those in the industry can now be confident they will receive better services as a result."

The BTEC was arranged through the National Association of Licensing Enforcement Officers (NALEO) and Edexcel, the examining body.

  • Twenty three Licensing Officers were presented with their Advanced BTEC certificates on Tuesday 9 January at a ceremony held at The Jurys Inn Hotel, Pentonville Road
  • The PCO is responsible for the licensing of private hire services, following the introduction of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998
  • There are now over 2,000 licensed operators, about 40,000 drivers, of which over 34,000 are fully licensed, and also 42,000 vehicles to inspect
  • Edexcel is Britain's leading provider of academic and vocational qualifications, formed as a result of the merger between BTEC and London Examinations. Qualifications include GNVQs, NVQs, GCSE, A/S and A Levels, and the Higher Nationals and other BTEC qualifications