Have a passion for driving and want to work as a commercial driver in Australia? To drive a commercial passenger vehicle (CPV), only a driving license may not be enough. One must obtain the appropriate driver accreditation(s) to drive a taxi, hire car, public bus, rideshare vehicle, hire a motorcycle or courier vehicles.
For Example, for rideshare drivers in the state of Victoria, they must obtain a driver accreditation through Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria and register the vehicle as a CPV as well. In this article, we will be highlighting the requirements to obtain a driver accreditation.
What is Driver Accreditation?
A driver accreditation is a state-wise scheme; The purpose of it is to inform passengers and booking service providers that the driver meets the safety standards and is fit to operate in the industry. It is a vetting system that is carried out to ensure passenger safety.
What are The Basic Requirements?
Each state has its own requirements. An applicant must hold a valid full driver licence for a minimum period (as required for Victoria, 6 months) in any Australian state/territory.
Generally, to decide that a driver is suitable to attain driver accreditation, the following checks may also be needed:
- Driver History/Traffic History
- Medical History
- Criminal History
Particularly in South Australia, to apply for a driver accreditation, an applicant has to provide a Working with Children Check
You may have to provide an Insolvency Check from the Australian Financial Security Authorization (AFSA) to get accreditation in the Northern Territory.
What is Operator Accreditation?
To operate a public passenger service, operators in Queensland need an operator accreditation exempting services like booking hire services, taxi services or some community transport services.
Traffic History Check for Driver Accreditation
A commercial passenger driver must ensure that they possess a safe driving history and the life of the passengers are not in risk while they are travelling.
To ensure that, the following assessment criterion has been applied:
- How severe are traffic offences?
- Did the offences take place in a public passenger vehicle?
- How frequent are the offences?
- When did the offences occur?
In case any inappropriate traffic offences are found, the application may get refused, waiting time may be imposed or a restricted driver authorization can be issued. A current driver authorization can also be suspended, amended or cancelled if an unsuitable record is found.
If any case the driving licence is suspended or cancelled, driver authorization will be abandoned automatically.
Medical History Checks for Driver Accreditation
According to the guideline of Assessing Fitness to Drive 2016, which is published by the Austroads and National Transport Commission, the medical standards are pre-determined. In this guideline, driving standards for both private driving and commercial driving are mentioned, and an applicant must meet the standards. The commercial driving standards are higher than private driving for obvious reasons.
Criminal History Checks for Driver Accreditation
Ensuring the safety of the children and other vulnerable groups such as aged or disabled people of the community and above all the passengers, in general, is considered as a priority. To ensure that, the driver accreditation applicants and driver authorization holders must not hold any criminal history.
As a part of applying, the checks are undertaken on all applicants to provide approval. The applicant can undertake it on their own, or the driver accreditation body can also apply for the check on the applicant’s behalf. Meanwhile, existing driver authorization holders are also subject to background check at periodic intervals to ascertain no change in their criminal history status across Australia or maintaing clear Police Check SA.
At the time of assessing the suitability of work, the Transport and Main Road Departments can disqualify an applicant based on the criminal charges.
Also, the National Police Check must be up to date. Generally, a 6 months old check will not be considered valid at the time of applying. In some states, it can be 3 months.
Working with Children Check For Driver Accreditation
Particularly in South Australia, an applicant needs to submit a Working with Children Check.
A valid DHS or Child-related Employment Check needs to be submitted. The check can only be undertaken in the Department of Human Services Screening Unit in SA.
Under Which Circumstances Can an Application be Disqualified?
At the time of assessing suitability, your application can be disqualified based on:
- If an applicant’s Working with children check indicated that you are prohibited from working with children
- If a National Police History check certificate includes any severe offences like murder, assaults
- The application will not be considered in case the National Police History check is not issued for the purpose of “Driver accreditation/Licensing”
How Does The Police Check Work?
A driving accreditation body like CPVV (Commercial Passenger Vehicle Victoria) helps arrange the National Police checks on behalf of applicants. Before that, an applicant needs to provide their consent and CPVV lodges the check to an Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) accredited police checking service provider.
An applicant can also lodge their application through KONCHECK. It is a 100% online portal which is fast, affordable and secure. Choose the right check type and purpose and submit the form. KONCHECK also helps applicants who are unable to meet the minimum identity requirements.