We're very proud to have been accepted into The Guild of Professional Chauffeurs - here's what we were assessed on....
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 was originally overseen by Mark Kendrick of Bespoke Driver Training and subject matter expert Alan Whitehall.
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.
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,
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 a geographic area they may already be familiar with, can produce satisfactory evidence of task and route planning. The route planning exercise, (RPE), is directly linked to the practical assessment and forms part of the role play scenario. Candidates will receive all the information required ahead of the assessment day in the form of a ‘booking’ which will include a client profile and destination details.
Candidates will then be expected to carry out the RPE in their own time, in advance of assessment day so they’re able to compile any information they feel is necessary to assist with the practical element on the day itself. It should be emphasised that the RPE is an important element of the assessment process in its own right and will be ‘marked’ as such, as well as being a significant aid to the drive and role play scenario.
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.