The Great Assessor Trainer Misconception
As you may already know, you don't have to hold a PCV category on your licence to drive a minibus, unless you're driving commercially. However, derived from this there exists a dangerous and illegal misconception which suggests that you don't have to hold a PCV category to teach someone to drive a minibus.
However, the Law is quite clear in stating that you must either hold a full PCV D or D1 category on your licence, by passing a separate test in that specific category of vehicle, for 3 years before you can legally teach someone to drive a minibus.
If you hold a D1 (101) restricted category on your licence because you passed your car test before 1997, this is NOT a full entitlement because the D1 entitlement was not obtained by passing a separate test. Therefore, you are not legally qualified to act as a minibus instructor or assessor.
DSA (Driving Standards Agency) clarifies minibus instructor qualifications
Drivers with implied minibus driving entitlements, i.e. drivers who are allowed to drive minibuses on their car licence – under certain conditions, cannot give instruction or act as supervising drivers. Only a vocational D1/D licence holder who has held either category for at least 3 years could supervise a minibus driver.
See confirmation letter dated 7th June 2007
(PDF 92kb opens new window)
DVLA (Driver & Vehicle licensing Agency) clarifies minibus assessor qualifications
Drivers who just hold the standard car licence entitlements cannot act as instructors or supervising assessors for drivers of minibuses. Drivers who continue may be committing an offence and liable to prosecution.
See confirmation letter dated 8th August 2007
(92kb opens new window)
Penalties & Invalidated Insurance
The basic offence, for a driver, for driving a minibus without the correct licence is 3 to 6 penalty points, a fine of up to £1,000 and possible disqualification. Furthermore, If anyone is found driving without a valid licence, any motor insurance will also be invalid.
The person allowing the minibus to be driven, by a driver without the correct licence, could be also charged with a separate offence under Section 87 of the Road Traffic Act 1988