Driver Onboarding

Providers of passenger services must ensure they discharge their safety duties and comply with safety standards concerning drivers. For this reason, they must take reasonable steps to understand their drivers’ history and to adequately prepare them to drive.

This fact sheet explains the activities a service provider should undertake to onboard a new driver.


The process of onboarding drivers for a particular service should be determined by the service provider. Generally, it should include the following 4 steps:

  1. Conducting background checks
  2. Training
  3. Ensuring proper documentation
  4. Finalising operational readiness  

Conduct background checks

Providers of passenger services must take reasonable steps to understand their driver’s history. They should determine, so far as is reasonably practicable, that all of their drivers:

  • Meet all eligibility criteria (see Eligibility criteria fact sheet for more information)
  • Have no disqualifying offences (see Disqualifying offences fact sheet for more information)
  • Are competent to provide the service. This can be assessed in a number of ways, which may include:
    • Checking for historical competency with other providers.
    • Asking for professional references and verifying them
    • Asking for customer references and verifying them
    • Asking for evidence of relevant training (driving courses, customer service training etc)
    • Checking driver has any qualifications specific to your company
    • For taxis, this also includes ensuring the driver is proficient in English. This may involve formal testing or interviewing the driver using a set script.


Service providers should take reasonable steps to ensure their drivers understand all that is required of them as drivers for that provider.

This training should include:

1. Safety Training

Safety training should include all the topics in your Safety Management System (SMS). Which may include but is not limited to:

  • SMS policies, commitment, and objectives
  • SMS responsibilities
  • Internal communication channels (including policies and procedures)
  • Risk management (including all identified risks)
  • All relevant operational procedures
  • Fatigue Management policies
  • Drug and Alcohol Management (including policies and procedures)

2. Operational training

Operational training covers information on the policies and procedures that a driver may need to know, and also information on passenger management.

This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Understanding driver obligations (see web page for more information)
  • Policy and Procedures
    • Driver reported faults (including policies and procedures)
    • Pre and post shift vehicle checks (including procedures and related documentation)
    • Driver related offences
    • Incident and accident reporting (including policies and procedures)
    • Notifiable occurrences (including procedures for reporting)
    • Fare related information (including all applicable legislative requirements and levies)
    • Duress alarm (including how and why to activate – taxis only)
  • Security cameras (taxis only)
  • Display of driver ID (taxis only)
  • Display of retroreflective signs (hire vehicles only (including rideshare))
  • Passenger Management
    • Customer service
    • Transporting vulnerable passengers (also identified as a risk)
    • Dealing with unruly passengers
  • Spending time observing an experienced driver

3. On the job training

This is the practical component of training. It usually includes working with an experienced driver and may include vehicle familiarisation sessions and understanding customer / passenger comfort and care.

4. Training for drivers of wheelchair accessible vehicles

While all drivers require as much training as is reasonably practicable, there are specific skills and knowledge which are mandatory for drivers of wheelchair accessible vehicles. There is more information on the WAT licence page .

Record keeping

The purpose of record keeping is to ensure that the activities outlined in the previous sections are followed and outcomes recorded. A documented process (for instance a checklist) to confirm that a prospective driver has undergone all relevant onboarding processes prior to them providing services should cover:

  • Ensuring criminal check was obtained and reviewed
  • Ensuring driver history was obtained and reviewed
  • Ensuring driver references obtained and reviewed
  • Evidence of driver training (as required)
  • Evidence that the driver has successfully completed training. An assessment may include:
    • A record that the driver has been trained
    • Evidence that they passed any assessments which have pass marks
    • An action plan covering any areas requiring development

Issuing driver ID

The driver must be issued with a driver identity document (it may be a card or an electronic document) which contains their photo and an ID number