Safety, equality and regulatory understanding requirement

It is essential that PHV drivers have an appropriate understanding of safety, equality and regulatory requirements that apply to them. This helps ensure public safety and will also enhance customer service for passengers.

From 1 October 2021 the SERU requirement will apply to all existing PHV driver licensees and PHV driver applicants. 

To satisfy this requirement, all PHV driver applicants and existing drivers who apply for a licence from 1 October 2021 will be required to pass the SERU assessment. The assessment includes questions on all three areas:

  • Safety
  • Equality
  • Regulatory understanding 

Preparing for the assessment process

Questions in the SERU assessment will be based upon the contents of the PHV Driver Handbook

The handbook is a working guide for PHV drivers and is an invaluable tool for both applicants and existing licensees and will be regularly updated with any new or amended information. 

  • PHV Driver Handbook Version 1.0

    PDF 1.50MB

  • We have also produced an online assessment guide for the assessment.

    The material in the guidance document helps you work through the information in the handbook and explains what to expect from the assessment. This guidance contains some example questions to show you what the assessment looks like and a useful glossary of terms where you can find the meanings of some of the words used in the handbook.

    Applicants should read the handbook and the online assessment guide prior to attending a TfL driver assessment centre to undertake the SERU assessment. 

    The SERU assessment will take place at a TfL driver assessment centre and will be delivered by TfL staff.

    All assessments will be computer-based and you will therefore need a basic understanding of how to use a mouse. The assessment is straightforward to use and contains instruction pages to help guide you through. Further information on what to expect on the day will be provided to applicants once their assessment booking has been confirmed. 

    Each applicant will be given time to prepare for the assessment (see section below) and will be eligible for one re-sit, if required. 

    There are no exemptions from the SERU requirement, however reasonable adjustments will be made where appropriate (see below).

    We will be contacting private hire drivers and applicants individually, to let them know when they need to undertake the SERU assessment.

    Once a booking has been confirmed, applicants are expected to make every effort to attend. If for some reason an applicant is unable to attend on a particular day due to exceptional circumstances, the assessment will be rescheduled. However, failure to attend an assessment without a valid justification may lead to an application being withdrawn. 

    Safeguarding Awareness training

    Applicants are also expected to undertake the online Safeguarding Awareness training course prior to undertaking the SERU assessment.

    More information on the introduction of the Safeguarding Awareness course is available in TPH Notice 31/21 and on our Safeguarding awareness webpage. 

    SERU Transitional arrangements: 1 October 2021 - 31 March 2023 

    We recognise the need for applicants and drivers to have time to prepare for any assessment. We have therefore made transitional arrangements for the implementation of the new SERU assessment, so each applicant has adequate time to prepare.

    For all new and renewal applications for a PHV drivers licence made from 1 October 2021 and prior to 31 March 2023, transitional arrangements for the SERU assessment will be in place. During the transitional period, and subject to meeting all other licensing requirements, applicants may be licensed in advance of undertaking and passing the SERU assessment, to allow them time to prepare for the assessment.

    TfL will be contacting applicants directly to provide a date and time for their booked assessment. Once a booking has been confirmed, applicants are expected to make every effort to attend. If for some reason an applicant is unable to attend on a particular day due to exceptional circumstances, the assessment may be rescheduled by prior agreement with TfL but failure to attend an assessment without a valid justification may lead to the driver's licence being revoked.  

    From 1 April 2023 the transitional arrangements will no longer be in place. From this date, all new and renewal applicants for a PHV driver licence will be required to pass the SERU assessment, as well as meet all other licensing requirements, in advance of being licensed, unless they have already passed the SERU assessment.

    We reserve the right in the future to require applicants to take the SERU assessment for a second time, in the event of a significant change in the regulatory landscape.

    Reasonable Adjustments 

    There are no exemptions from the SERU requirement, however reasonable adjustments will be made for those who require them, to ensure that assessments are carried out in a fair and consistent manner. 

    If you have a disability or a condition which means you will need adjustments to be made at your assessment, please make us aware when booking your assessment. You will then be invited to provide us with a brief outline of the condition and documented evidence from a relevant professional. 

    Fees

    The cost for undertaking the assessment is dependent on if you are a new applicant or renewing an existing licence.

    Cost for New Applicants

    From 1 October 2021 new applicants for a PHV licence will pay £108 for the mandatory assessments (Topographical, SERU and speaking and listening assessment). There is a fee of £16 to  re-sit an assessment.

    Renewal Applications

    The cost for a renewal is £36 per module. The cost for an existing licensee with no English Language Requirement (ELR) evidence will be £72.  Please see our ELR webpage for more information on how it may affect your application. 

    For more information on the costs involved in applying for a PHV drivers licence, please visit How Much will my Application Cost? which highlights the typical cost of an application. However, please note that some costs may vary.

    New approach to assessing the English Language Requirement from 1 October 2021

    On 1 October 2021, we also made changes the way in which we assess whether an existing private hire driver or a new private hire driver applicant meets the English Language Requirement. For more information on these changes and how it affects you, please visit tfl.gov.uk/ph-language

    Support Services

    There are lots of free resources and courses available online to help people improve their English skills and you may want to look at these before taking the assessment. 

    Some colleges offer free skills for life or English courses for people on a low income, or who are in receipt of benefits such as Job Seeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance. 

    Some councils also offer free English courses or advice on courses and support available. Check on the National Careers Service website or call 0800 100 900 for classes in your area. There are also a number of free online resources, including Skillswise by the BBC.

    If you are disabled you may be entitled to support or a grant to help with the cost of the assessments or obtaining medical information through the Access to Work programme.