New PCO applicants must do SERU Assessment

by | Apr 13, 2023 | SERU Test News

If you’re looking to become a private hire driver in London and work as an Uber driver or with any of the many private hire firms in London. Then you will need to get your Private Hire Driver’s licence from Transport for London.

There have been some recent changes in the process of getting your private hire driver’s licence or PCO licence as many still call it. The main change is that anyone applying to become a private hire driver from 1st April 2023 will now need to complete the SERU assessment before they get issued their Private Hire Licence.

If you applied before or are an existing driver, you still get a little bit more time based on the status of your previous English Language Requirement evidence. Learn more about the TfL SERU Assessment deadlines on our previous blogs.

What is the SERU assessment?

SERU stands for Safety, Equality and Regulatory Understanding. This new assessment partly replaces the old English Language Requirements set by TfL. You need to complete your SERU assessment and a Speaking & Listening test with TfL to pass the English Language requirements to get your Private Hire Licence.

Here is a list of things you must now complete before you are issued your private hire licence:

  1. Enhanced DBS Check (CRB) – This is an enhanced Criminal Background check.
  2. Topographical Skills Assessment – This is a map test which includes route planning.
  3. SERU Assessment – Safety, Equality and Regulatory understanding.
  4. Speaking & Listening Assessment – Oral test at TfL centre
  5. Medical Check with your GP
  6. HMRC Tax Check
  7. Safeguarding Awareness course – This is a free online course.

How do I book my SERU Assessment?
Once you’ve completed your Private Hire application form, along with your Enhanced DBS, HMRC Tax Check and Medical Check, you should submit your application and pay the application fees. After this, TfL will email and send you a letter to invite you for your Topographical Skills Assessment and then you will get another email and letter inviting you to complete your SERU Assessment and Speaking & Listening Assessment. All these assessments have to be completed at a TfL test centre under exam conditions.

If you are an existing driver, here are the dates for the SERU assessment deadlines based on your English Language Requirement evidence.

A: If you did NOT provide any evidence for English Language Requirement by 30 September 2021.

You have until 30 September 2023 to take and pass the SERU assessment and Speaking & Listening test.

B: If you did provide evidence for English Language Requirement by 30 September 2021, then there are 2 options.

Option 1. The evidence was accepted, in which case you have until 31 March 2025 to take the SERU assessment and you DO NOT have to complete the speaking & listening test.

Option 2. If the evidence was NOT accepted, then you have until 30 September 2024 to take both the SERU assessment and Speaking & Listening test.

C: If you applied on or before 1 October 2021, you have until 30 September 2024 to take and pass both the SERU assessment and Speaking & Listening test.

These dates can get a little confusing, but the crux of the matter is that all private hire drivers in London will at some point need to complete at least the SERU assessment, so it’s best to be ready for when it’s your turn.

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