London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Tweet regarding the TfL SERU Assessment changes:
Private hire drivers are a crucial part of London’s economy, and do vital work helping Londoners get around every day.— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) January 17, 2024
I'm pleased TfL is now pausing enforcement of the SERU requirements - this is something I’ve expressed concerns about repeatedly. pic.twitter.com/rFyRwu6a1w
The recent tweet by London Mayor Sadiq Khan has got some to believe that the TfL SERU test has been cancelled or scrapped.
The answer to the question many are asking; “has the TfL SERU test been cancelled or scrapped?” is no, but there have been some small changes made which we will talk about in this blog.
What are the changes to the SERU test?
For the time being the SERU test/assessment will remain the same. However, TfL has decided that they will allow a specific group (we will explain what the groups are below) of drivers to have the PHV Driver Handbook with them to use when taking their SERU assessment.
Going forward, TfL will also look at updating the SERU test to include more scenario-based questions. For examples one of the topics on the SERU test is about Driver Safety. On this topic, the question may be something like “You are stuck in traffic, and you can see the passenger onboard is starting to get frustrated, what steps can you take to ease their frustrations?”
Who does it effect?
The recent notice from TfL has clarified the group of drivers that the upcoming changes to the SERU assessment apply to.
The key point of the change is that TfL will NOT be taking licensing action against any existing drivers that have taken the SERU assessment and failed. But this is temporary, while TfL trials changes to the SERU assessment.
TfL has divided drivers into groups, we have listed the groups so you can easily identify which one applies to your situation.
Anyone that did NOT provide English Language Requirement (ELR) evidence by 30 September 2021 and had to take and pass the SERU and ELR assessments by 30 September 2023. Group 1 driver’s will be given the opportunity to take their SERU assessment with the PHV Driver Handbook with them. TfL has clarified that most driver in this group have taken and passed their SERU assessment already, but for those that did not pass, they will not have any licencing action taken against them.
Anyone who provided evidence for ELR but TfL DID NOT accept their evidence. This group will still need to take and pass their SERU assessment by 30 September 2024
Anyone who provided evidence for ELR and TfL accepted the evidence. This group will still need to do the SERU assessment, but they have to do so by 31 March 2025.
Important Note: If your PHV driver’s licence comes up for renewal before this date, you will not get re-licensed until you take and pass the SERU assessment. This means your SERU assessment date will be given to before your renewal date.
Anyone who applied for their PHV drivers’ licence after 1 October 2021, will need to take and pass both the SERU assessment and English Speaking & Listening test by 30 September 2024.
Do I still need to do the SERU assessment?
Yes, all existing and new private hire drivers will still need to take the SERU assessment. The changes to the SERU assessment will happen in the coming months and we will keep you updated. You will still need to prepare for the SERU assessment, even if you have PHV Driver Handbook with you at the test.
No licensing action for PHV drivers who don’t pass the SERU test.
This doesn’t mean you can skip the SERU assessment; you will still need to take the SERU test. If you ignore TfL’s invitation to attend your SERU assessment, they can still take licensing action against you, so it is best to attend the test even if you fail. At least you know you will still be able to continue working and try taking the SERU test again once you’re invited to do so.