Safety, equality and regulatory understanding requirement

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

Transport for London (TfL) has introduced an assessment of applicants' safety, equality and regulatory understanding (SERU).  This includes:

a)    Drivers' obligations under the PHV (London) Act 1998 including the associated regulations and relevant obligations including under the Equality Act 2010;
b)    Policies and guidance issued by Transport for London (TfL) or other persons which are relevant to London PHV drivers; 
c)    The particular needs of passengers that arise because a passenger has (or
may have) a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010;
d)    Protecting children and adults at risk from harm and abuse;
e)    Passenger and driver safety; 
f)    Road and vehicle safety. 

The SERU assessment is based on information found in the PHV Driver's Handbook PHV Driver Handbook
We encourage applicants to read and familiarise themselves with the Handbook before undertaking the assessment. 

We also have an online assessment guide which includes example questions within the subject areas covered by the Handbook which we encourage applicants to use. 

The SERU assessment is computer-based and it is delivered by TfL staff at  TfL offices.  It will involve multiple choice questions and completing sentences by adding missing words.  Further information on what to expect on the day will be provided once an assessment booking has been confirmed. 

The handbook is a working guide for PHV drivers and is an invaluable tool. The Handbook will be kept under review and may be altered or amended to reflect any changes in the law or changes to TfL policies and guidance. We expect all PHV licensees to regularly review the Handbook and remain familiar with its contents. The SERU assessment will cost £36. A resit will cost £16.

  • PHV Driver Handbook Version 1.0

    PDF 1.50MB

  • Each applicant will be given time to prepare for the assessment and reasonable adjustments will be made where appropriate (see below). 

    We will be contacting applicants and London PHV drivers, to let them know when and where they need to undertake the SERU assessment.

    Once a booking has been confirmed, applicants are expected to make every effort to attend.

    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 that applicants and drivers need time to prepare for an assessment and there are transitional arrangements for implementation of the SERU requirement.

    Applicants whose applications are received by TfL on or after 1 October 2021 and prior to 1 April 2023 have until 31 March 2023 to pass the SERU assessment 

    The transitional arrangements will end on 31 March 2023 and after this date all applicants will be required to pass the SERU assessment before being licensed whether they are a new applicant or an existing London PHV driver.

    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 

    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. 


    The SERU assessment will take place at TfL offices and it will cost £36 when taken for the first time and £16 for a re-sit. 

    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

    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.