Bus Pre-Employment Course

Is This The Right Licence For You?

Bus training is generally required for the following driving roles and industry assessments:

  • Route Bus Driver
  • Pre-Employment Driver Evaluation

Further information and an overview of the public transport industry, employment prospects, weekly earnings, current vacancies, and whether you're the right fit for the industry can be found here.

Course Overview

Armstrongs' heavy combination course has been custom designed to develop vital driving skills and knowledge necessary to successfully gain your heavy combination licence.

The course consists of the following components:

  1. Optional Pre-drive Theory Session*
  2. Driver Training

Students also have the choice of undertaking their training in a vehicle with either a Non-Synchromesh or Semi-Automatic gearbox.

Course fees cover both the optional Pre-drive theory session and driver training. Terms and conditions apply.

*Students have the choice of completing the Pre-Drive Licence Component either (i) as part of their course or (ii) in addition to their course. Students with language, literacy, or numeracy concerns are advised to attend a Pre-Drive session in addition to their driving course. Pre-Drive sessions are delivered face-to-face by a qualified heavy vehicle trainer and are 4 hours in length during which students will guided through the relevant information in preparation for their theory test and undergo off-road training and assessment. For those students who wish to complete their Pre-Drive Licence Component within their course, the amount of behind-the-wheel training that a student ordinarily receives will be reduced by that amount of time that an individual student requires to successfully complete the Pre-Drive Licence Component.

Obtaining Your Bus Licence

There is no separate license category for buses or coaches.  Heavy vehicle driver licences are issued for all vehicles above 4.5 tonnes GVM in the following five categories only: light rigid, medium rigid, heavy rigid, heavy combination, and multi combination.

In order to be licensed to drive a bus or a coach you must first complete training and assessment in the heavy vehicle license category that best represents the type of bus or coach you intend to drive.

Although it is possible to undertake your heavy vehicle training in a ‘bus’, it is not generally possible for you to be assessed in a bus unless special circumstances apply and prior approval is obtained from VicRoads (please refer page 10 of the Victorian Bus & Truck Handbook).   

As a general guide, if you are looking to obtain employment in the public transport sector driving a route bus (a vehicle normally greater than 8 tonnes GVM and with a total of 2 axles) you will be required at a minimum to obtain a Medium Rigid licence.  If you are looking to gain employment as a coach driver (a vehicle greater than 8 tonnes GVM but normally with 3 axles) you will be required at a minimum to obtain a Heavy Rigid licence. 

As there are differences between the exact type, weight, and length of buses that individual route bus and coach companies operate it is always advisable to check with the route bus or coach company that you are seeking employment with to confirm the license category that they prefer prospective applicants hold before applying for a position with them. 

Once you have obtained your MR or HR licence and have undergone pre-employment bus driver training you'll be able to confidently apply for roles as a route bus driver.

In order to apply for a job as a route bus driver you may need to provide some, or all, of the following with your application:

Drivers Accreditation: To drive a commercial or local bus in Victoria you need a Commercial Passenger Vehicle and Bus Driver Accreditation. For more information on how to obtain a Drivers
Accreditation please visit the Taxi Services Commission (TSC).

Driver History Report: You can find out more about a Driver History Report and how to obtain one by visiting VicRoads.

Working With Children Check: You can find out more about whether you require a WWC Check and how to obtain one by visiting the Victorian Department of Justice & Regulation.

Training Overview

Once you have obtained your Medium Rigid or Heavy Rigid licence (Heavy Rigid Non-Synchromesh, Heavy Rigid Synchromesh, or Heavy Rigid Automatic), you will now be ready to undertake specialised bus training.  This additional training is specifically designed to:

  • identify and familiarise clients with the general differences between driving a bus and driving a truck (for example the driving position in a bus is positioned significantly forward of the front axle and this affects many things, in particular cornering).
  • build on existing heavy vehicle driving skills already obtained during the Medium Rigid/Heavy Rigid license phase.
  • Introduce clients to specific skills that are essential for successfully completing a pre-employment driver evaluation.

Pre-requisites & Entry Requirements

  • A current Australian Driver's Licence card; and have held a medium or heavy rigid licence for minimum of 24 months; a secondary form of ID is also required; please refer to Armstrongs' Terms & Conditions for details.
  • You must be competent in the operation of a manual vehicle; and have obtained your licence in a manual vehicle.
  • Wear appropriate clothing, including fully enclosed shoes, either boots or runners.
  • Please Note: From 1 January 2015 all students undertaking nationally recognised training delivered by a registered training organisation will need to have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) in order to receive a nationally-recognised certificate or statement of attainment.
  • The USI is a reference number which will allow students the ability to access their USI account and see all of their training results from all of the training providers that they have attended. The USI is designed to make it easier for students to find and collate all of their VET achievements into a single authenticated transcript.
  • Watch this VIDEO to learn more and find out How to Create Your USI.

Training Outcomes

Bus companies providing public transport services and coach services require that their drivers possess specific skills in order to ensure passenger safety and comfort. Students will be introduced and trained in bus specific skills which will enable them to better prepare for a pre-employment driver evaluation.

Some of the areas covered include:

  • Accelerating
  • Lane Keeping & Changing
  • Turning Procedures & Straddling
  • Signalling
  • Braking
  • Bus Stop Entry & Exit Procedures

Course Options

Course Type Length
HR (Auto) + Pre-Employment Route Bus Course (2 days)
Pre-Employment Route Bus Course (1 day)
Training Block (4 Hours)

*A course is considered to be a weekend course if all, or any part thereof, of the course takes place on a Saturday. Where a student's course takes place over successive Saturdays, or a series of Saturdays, students will be charged a weekend course fee amount plus an additional $50.00 for every additional Saturday the student's course is scheduled. Weekend course fees will also be charged if all, or any part thereof, of the course takes place on a Victorian Public Holiday..

Questions? Call us on 03 9464 6464 or Book & Pay Online