MiDAS & Section 19 Minibus Permits
Cotswold Edge District is a member of the nationally recognised MiDAS Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme. To ensure safety of our young people, to follow good practice and ensure our minibus drivers are up to date with current minibus regulations we expect that any adult driving a minibus to transport members of our district or groups in our district to have undertaken recent minibus driver training and hold a current MiDAS Driver Certificate. Where a minibus is being used for an activity the notification must show who the driver(s) will be and Compass will be checked for their MiDAS Driver Certificate status.
Also to comply with UK driving regulations all minibuses being driven by Scout Groups or by District must display the correct Section 19 minibus permit in their windscreen (this includes minibuses hired from outside scouting). This page outlines information about the MiDAS driver training and assessment that is being offered by our district team and also information about Section 19 minibus permits.
MiDAS Driver Training & Assessment
In Cotswold Edge District we currently have two qualified MiDAS Driver Assessor/Trainers who can perform the MiDAS required driver training and assessment. We only train for the MiDAS Standard Driver certificate to drive standard minibuses and do not cover the accessible training for carrying wheelchairs on an accessible minibus.
In order to gain a MiDAS Driver Certificate, which is valid for four years, the following training and assessment must be undertaken:
- Theory session, which until the end of 2023 is a classroom session which takes about 2-3 hours, covering driver licencing, section 19 permits, minibus driving law (including overloading), minibus safe driving and safety. From January 2024 this will be an online training session.
- A short theory test, 20 multiple choice questions, which is taken as part of the theory session.
- Local / organisation relevant information update which until end of 2023 was part of classroom theory session, from January 2024 this becomes part of the minibus driving session.
- In minibus driving assessment, which takes about 1 hour, dates/times to be agreed with assessor/trainer in advance (until end of 2023 the assessment can often be on same day or weekend as the classroom theory session).
Until the end of 2023 those who have held a MiDAS Driver certificate which has recently expired or is about to expire it can be renewed by the taking refresher version of the classroom theory session, a short theory test and another minibus driving assessment. It may be possible to combine a refresher theory session with a driving assessment. From January 2024 the refresher follows the new format for first time MiDAS candidates.
If you wish to apply for a MiDAS Driver Certificate, please notify us of your interest by sending an email to the email address in the Contact Us section at the bottom of this page. Until end of 2023 there will be MiDAS full and refresher theory sessions advertised on the district calendar so please check the calendar for the next scheduled one and if you intend to attend a scheduled session please email us. If you need a MiDAS certificate more urgently or have several from the same group who wish to be trained together please email us, to discuss your requirements, using the email address in the Contact Us section at the bottom of this page. From January 2024 you still need to contact us to pay for and obtain your login credentials for the new online theory course and to schedule the localised information and minibus driving session.
For the minibus driving assessment you can ask us to arrange a minibus for the driving assessment or you can provide your own minibus (or hire one) at your own expense. Please note that as both you and your MiDAS trainer will need to drive the minibus you will need to ensure that whoever will be your MiDAS minibus driving assessor is included in the hire agreement / included on the insurance if you provide the minibus.
Since 2019 we have been charging for the MiDAS driver training and assessment to cover some of the costs of running the MiDAS scheme. In 2023 we decided to keep the charges for this year the same as the previous two years but to review charges towards the end of 2023 as a new MiDAS training structure from January 2024 is more expensive to run. The charges from January 2024 are set to cover our immediate running costs of MiDAS training and do not cover our full costs of running the MiDAS training scheme. Prices will need to be reviewed again prior to April 2024 when we will need to increase the charges further to ensure more of our costs are included (this is expected to be a further increase of about £15 per candidate).
Our Current MiDAS training charges up to end of 2023 are:
- For those new to MiDAS taking the full induction MiDAS training (includes those whose MiDAS certificate has lapsed) using minibus supplied by us – £60
- For those new to MiDAS taking the full induction MiDAS training (includes those whose MiDAS certificate has lapsed) using their own minibus – £35
- For those who are renewing their soon to expire or recently expired MiDAS certificate – taking the refresher MiDAS training using minibus supplied by us – £50
- For those who are renewing their soon to expire or recently expired MiDAS certificate – taking the refresher MiDAS training using their own minibus – £25
- For those who need to take an additional driving assessment following a previous assessment where the minibus driving was not up to the standard required by MiDAS – using minibus supplied by us – £35
- For those who need to take an additional driving assessment following a previous assessment where the minibus driving was not up to the standard required by MiDAS – using their own minibus – £10
Our MiDAS training charges for new training scheme from January 2024 to March 2024 are (includes cost of online theory session):
- For MiDAS training (new or refresher candidates) using minibus supplied by us – £65
- For MiDAS training (new or refresher candidates) using their own minibus – £45
- For those who need to take an additional driving assessment following a previous assessment where the minibus driving was not up to the standard required by MiDAS – using minibus supplied by us – £35 (unchanged)
- For those who need to take an additional driving assessment following a previous assessment where the minibus driving was not up to the standard required by MiDAS – using their own minibus – £10 (unchanged)
You (your group or unit) will be invoiced for training prior to attending the classroom theory session (2023) or prior to registering you for the online theory session (2024 onwards).
Other organisations: These charges are for those with an adult appointment in Cotswold Edge Scout District and other scout districts within Avon Scout County. For other organisations please contact us to agree prices. Please email us on the email address in the Contact Us section at the bottom of this page, to discuss your requirements.
Licence Requirements: To drive a minibus you must be over 21 years of age and held your full driving licence for over 2 years. Anyone over 70 years of age must have taken a medical to keep minibus entitlement on their licence. Those who hold a car category B licence, without D1, who can only drive a standard minibus plated up to 3500Kg MAM, or 4250Kg for an accessible minibus.
When you apply for your MiDAS training you will be invoiced for the training before attending and you will also need to provide the following (where we are arranging the minibus this information will also be shared with Four Towns and Vale Link Community Transport, the organisation we hire our minibuses from):
- Image (scan or photograph) of existing recently expired or about to expire MiDAS driver certificate (only for renewals where details are not already held on district records)
- Image (scans or photographs) of front and back of photo driving licence (or of paper licence if still hold old style licence)
- Driving licence information .pdf file obtained from gov.uk/view-driving-licence (enter your driving licence number, NI number and Postcode and click View now, followed by Get your check code, then Get a Code, and finally print or save a driving summary which downloads a .pdf file)
Section 19 Minibus Permits
In order to operate legally Groups will need their own Section 19 permit(s), which last 5 years, need 1 for each minibus being used concurrently, need to be displayed in windscreen of minibus and must be “in date”, fully legible (i.e. writing not faded) and cover all classes of persons being carried on the minibus. Check your current permits regularly and renew replace as required. You are advised to think carefully about the “classes” of persons entitled to be carried on the bus, as this has proved to be crucial (VOSA/DVSA have impounded minibuses carrying the wrong class of passenger). The following page on The Scout Association Website has more information about Section 19 permits and link to application for a Section 19 permit through The Scout Association: The Scout Association Section 19 Minibus Permit. The scout Association will offer Classes A&B but for all classes including Class F you will need to apply for a permit through the traffic commissioner / DVSA, for Class F in Section 4 you would be wise to write something along the lines of: “Members of the Scout Movement and their parents and helpers,” or “Members of the 1st Nether Wallop Group Scout Council and helpers.” Those of you with just “Members of the Scout Movement” cannot carry their parents, for example, as they are not members (but they are members of the Group Scout Council – but, of course, their grannies are not, but they can be classed as “helpers”)! We advise that you include helpers as a catch-all and members of other organisations must be included if events being run and transported include others e.g. activity instructors, other groups, units or Guirlguiding. The Scout Association’s short Online Section 19 Application Form does not include class F only A&B.
For Explorers Units you will need a Section 19 permit issued to the District, therefore you are advised to get your Section 19 Permits through Derek Forward (the District Explorer Scout Commissioner), issued to the District, because Explorer Units are not a legal entity, any more than Cub Packs are. The legal entity for Explorer Units is the District so Section 19 Permits used by those driving minibuses for Explorers must have a Section 19 permit issued to the District.
Don’t forget, if you loan or rent your bus out to another Group or organisation, make sure that they also have a Section 19 valid permit, because they can’t drive on your Section 19 permit. You might want to ask for a scan to be emailed to you if another Group or organisation wants to use your bus.
Note that if your Section 19 permit has faded and no longer legible it must be replaced to remain legal. Faded permits can be replaced free of charge by returning the permit back to whoever first issued it (e.g. Scout Association if they issued it) who can reissue the permit (you need both the disk and the form it came with to get it reissued with the same validity period as the original).
To contact the District MiDAS trainers please Email: MiDAS cesd which will send an email copied to all members of the District MiDAS training team.