The Assessment Process Explained
This information outlines what prospective candidates for membership to the GoPC need to know before attempting our assessment process. The assessment has been designed in such a way that every candidate, irrespective of background, previous training and experience has an equal chance of success but because the GoPC’s desire is to raise standards within the profession, the process is intentionally challenging and some preplanning and preparation is highly recommended to ensure you reach the required standard on the day. A list of core competences the assessors will be working from to test candidates during the practical assessment is included later in this information.
The GoPC assessors have all been specifically trained for this role and they have been chosen for their experience in all aspects of chauffeuring over a considerable period of time. They are working from a strict, pre-determined criteria covering the core competencies of chauffeuring which has been developed by the GoPC committee and overseen by Mark Kendrick of Bespoke Driver Training and subject matter expert Alan Whitehall, who the GoPC has also appointed as internal verifier.
The Guild currently has four main assessment centres at our disposal and they are Bicester, Elstree, Redhill and Manchester. These are facilities very kindly provided by our partners LCH and Parkers European.
In addition, we fully appreciate the time constraints working chauffeurs face so on occasions we can arrange Guild assessment days on a ‘we come to you’ basis. If operators can offer suitable premises in their area and our assessors have availability, we are very happy to try and accommodate potential members as much as possible. We can also arrange assessment days specifically for those operators wishing to put several of their chauffeurs through the process at one time.
If you have access to your own chauffeur-standard vehicle we would encourage you to use it. Presumably, this is the vehicle in which you normally undertake your duties as a chauffeur so it makes sense to use one you are familiar with. If you do not have access to a suitable vehicle, it is possible for us to arrange the use of a high quality, chauffeur-standard vehicle provided by Parkers European or Licensed Carriage Hire free of charge but this is dependant on candidates meeting certain criteria for insurance purposes.
We will be carrying out roadworthiness checks before the practical assessment and the assessment will be aborted if your vehicle is found to be defective in a way that compromises safety or fails to meet legal requirements. For these reasons, we will not allow any vehicle displaying an engine warning light or other fault indicator to be used.
Documentation and ID checks
Upon arrival we will ask you to provide various forms of identification to ensure you are legally able to undertake the on-road assessment. We will also be carrying out an on-line DVLA licence check so we require your photo card driving licence, national insurance number and postcode. If you do not have a photo card driving licence we must have another form of official photographic ID such as a passport or SIA licence. If you do not provide relevant forms of ID to enable us to carry out checks, your assessment will not go ahead.
If using your own local authority-licensed chauffeur vehicle, we will need to see a copy of the licence on the assessment day.
First aid certification
It is a requisite of membership that the candidate possesses current first aid certification, having at least attended a basic one-day course, (please read the notes on first aid certification here).
Written Highway Code examination
Prior to a practical assessment, you will be required to sit a written examination to assess your knowledge and understanding of the Highway Code. The exam will last for 30 minutes and will consist of 20 multi-choice questions. Sixteen questions will need to be answered correctly for a pass. There will be a number of different versions of this examination.
Written Route Planning exercise
This element has been introduced to ensure all candidates, even those attempting the assessment process in an area they may already be familiar with, can produce satisfactory evidence of route planning. Candidates will be briefed ON THE DAY in regards to the destination for the practical aspect of the assessment and route planning will obviously need to be relevant to this destination. In addition, candidates will be expected to research the destination itself to enable them to gather any information which they consider pertinent, should their ‘client’ ask anything about the venue itself.
Candidates may use any aids to route planning they deem useful, (including, but not limited to, a sat nav) during this exercise in order to produce evidence which a colleague, unfamiliar with the area and destination, could successfully work from. Candidates will have 30 minutes to complete this exercise. Local map books will be made available.
The on-road assessment will last approximately one hour and will be carried out in the form of a role-playing scenario with one of the GoPC assessors acting as your client. The scenario will be that you are collecting a high-ranking corporate client for the first time, so bearing in mind that all the core competences of a chauffeur’s role will be tested throughout the practical assessment, you are encouraged to prepare yourself accordingly.
Once you have booked your assessment, you will receive detailed information in regards to joining instructions and what you can expect on the day.
We will expect candidates to be dressed and groomed appropriately for the specific task described above. Please take this into account with regards to style, colour and fitting of attire.
Whether you are using your own vehicle or one provided by LCH or Parkers, (which must be arranged beforehand), the assessor will be looking for both the exterior and interior of the car to be suitably prepared to a standard as would reasonably be expected to undertake the task described above. Please note that if using a car provided by LCH or Parkers, you will still be expected to bring with you any items you deem necessary to enhance the preparation of the car and comfort of the client.
You will need to display an understanding of the legal requirements in relation to roadworthiness and basic maintenance to ensure a chauffeur vehicle is fit for purpose. We appreciate part of this requires a familiarly with the vehicle being used on the day so arrangements will be made for candidates to familiarise themselves with the vehicle if using one of LCH or Parkers fleet and timings will take that into account.
Roadcraft and understanding of the Highway Code
During the practical assessment you will be continually tested on all core competences relating to a chauffeur’s role. A significant part will be expecting you to display a high standard of driving ability-encompassing car control, hazard perception and knowledge of the Highway Code. In addition, a strong emphasis will be placed on you being able to display a driving style that maximises client comfort at all times.
Incidents and dilemmas
To mirror the reality of chauffeuring high-end clients and the associated demands, the assessor will wish to see how you adapt to a passenger’s individual wishes and requirements so in order to provide an authentic assessment, the ‘clients’ may introduce various scenarios to test how you deal with the unexpected. These incidents and dilemmas will be chosen at random from a predetermined list held by the assessors so all requests will be sensible, reasonable and realistic.
Upon completion of the practical assessment, the assessor will provide detailed feedback to you and this phase will also allow you to have suitable input. The process has been designed so feedback is honest, fair, constructive and useful. The GoPC’s primary aim is to improve industry standards so whatever the outcome, the feedback at the conclusion of the assessment process as a whole should encourage and inspire you and highlight the importance of continued personal development. Dependant on the outcome, you will be briefed on the next step to membership or advised on what aspects they need to improve on if they wish to return for a further assessment at a later date.
Meeting the required standard in the core competences during the practical assessment
Displayed below is a list of the core competences upon which candidates will be assessed during the practical phase. The assessment will be marked using a ‘traffic light’ system of green, amber and red. Green will show that the assessor is entirely satisfied that the candidate has met the required standard in that particular competency. A competency will be marked as amber if the candidate displays what is deemed to fall short of the ideal standard expected and this will be reflected during the feedback phase. Red indicates that the candidate has failed to reach the standard required in a particular competency, which results in failure of the assessment and unsuccessful entry to the GoPC.
Please note that only five ‘ambers’ are allowed so receiving six or more results in failure. Being marked ‘red’ on any one competency also results in failure.
Assessment of the core competences
Not competent/safe - RED
Recurrent faults requiring attention - AMBER
Competent/safe - GREEN
- Knowledge & preparation:
Did the chauffeur…
- Demonstrate pertinent and thorough pre-drive roadworthiness checks?
- Demonstrate high standards of personal grooming, appearance and personal hygiene?
- Present and prepare their vehicle for the comfort and convenience of passengers?
- Demonstrate an appropriate ‘meet & greet’ service, and assist with luggage?
- Lock the vehicle’s doors promptly after the pick-up?
- Demonstrate familiarity with the vehicle’s controls, including in-car entertainment system and sat nav, where fitted.
Did the chauffeur…
- Plan suitable road routes, including selecting suitable pick-up and drop-off points?
- State what action to take in the event of a breakdown, involvement in a road traffic collision, or medical emergency?
- Calmly adapt their plans and actions to meet their passenger’s developing requirements?
- Smooth defensive driving:
Did the chauffeur…
- Focus on what is important, avoiding distractions?
- Demonstrate a defensive approach to hazards that prioritises safety?
- Observe the driving environment clearly, demonstrating effective scanning and an awareness of blind-spots?
- Anticipate likely developments sharply and plan accordingly?
- Handle all the vehicle’s controls smoothly, thereby affording their passenger as comfortable a ride as possible?
- Negotiate corners safely and comfortably, linking speed to vision and grip at all times?
- Position the vehicle for safety, visibility, stability and comfort?
- Manoeuvre the vehicle safely, accurately and systematically?
- Signal clearly to other road users their intentions in good time?
- Service delivery:
Did the chauffeur…
- Greet their passenger politely, professionally and on time?
- Help with the unloading of luggage?
- Display Professional and alert deportment behind the wheel?
- Display calmness, confidence and diplomacy in all client interactions?
- Demonstrate or state important aspects of protocol and etiquette?
What to do next
We would welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you still have so please use the contacts form. Please also get in touch if you’d like to apply for membership.
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