Introduction to MiDAS
What is MiDAS?
MiDAS is the Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme, organised by the Community Transport Association U.K. (CTA) which promotes a nationally recognised standard for the assessment and training of minibus drivers. It is a membership based scheme that has been designed to enhance minibus driving standards and promote the safer operation of minibuses.
Who is it aimed at?
MiDAS is applicable to any organisation operating or using minibuses. Member organisations range from small voluntary organisations operating one vehicle, to local authorities operating large fleets of minibuses as well as schools, colleges and universities.
How does MiDAS work?
MiDAS operates on a "cascade" approach. CTA has appointed a number of training agents, who provide training for minibus Driver Assessor/Trainers (DAT's) nominated from member organisations.
A DAT can then assess the competence of other minibus drivers, and provide them with training on how to safely use a minibus.
What's involved in becoming a DAT?
In order to register as a DAT, a person has to undertake a thorough driving assessment (it is essential that they are able to drive to an "above average" standard) and participation in a course lasting three days for standard minibuses and a further day for wheelchair accessible minibuses.
What's included in the DAT's Training Course?
The course gives information and practical experience on how to undertake a minibus driving assessment in an objective and consistent manner, how to structure on-road assessments, provide "classroom based" safety training, and refresher training.
The safety training, which can be delivered on a group or individual basis, uses key learning points from a number of areas:
- Legal Responsibilities of a Minibus Driver
- Passenger Safety
- Child Passenger Safety
- Driving for Safety and Economy
- Manual Handling Awareness
- Health & Safety Awareness
- Accident & Emergency Procedures
- Personal Safety for Drivers
Each DAT is given a comprehensive trainer's manual which includes all the information from the course, along with audio visual material needed to run the safety training sessions. DAT's certificates are valid for two years after which refresher training will be required.
What do drivers get out of this?
Drivers who successfully complete the MiDAS assessment and training programme will receive a nationally recognised certificate valid for four years, as well as the option of obtaining the comprehensive "MiDAS Driver's Handbook".
I haven't enough time to assess and train all our drivers, what can I do?
Split the task - for example, one person could take on the responsibility for assessing drivers and another for training drivers, you can even enter into partnership with another organisation. Provided that all trainers and assessors are registered as DAT's, the split of the workload can be tailored to suit each situation.
If you are unable to identify people from within your own organisation there is another option - getting a DAT from elsewhere to assess and train your drivers.
CTA holds a list of all member organisations and registered DAT's, and should be able to put you in touch with a local MiDAS member.
If we wish to join, is there a membership fee?
No, organisations joining MiDAS will only be required to make the following commitment:
- To assess and train all new drivers to the MiDAS standard from the date of joining,
- To assess and train all existing drivers within a period of 12 months from that date (this may be extended in exceptional circumstances),
- To allow drivers holding MiDAS certificates issued by other organisations, to drive your minibuses without the need for re-assessment - although local insurance conditions will always have to be fulfilled, and vehicle familiarisations undertaken.
MiDAS Membership Application Form