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Selection Guidelines State Certified Instructors


Prepared by the Office of School Transportation
School Facilities and Transportation Services Division
California Department of Education


Guidelines for Selecting a State-Certified Instructor

The Position

Define the state-certified instructor position in terms of the state requirements and carrier responsibility and expectations. Typically, this job should be an entry-level management position. If successful, a person should advance to a higher-level management position within the organization in time. Therefore, carefully consider the applicant for this position; think of this position as one level on the organization's management ladder.

Minimum Qualifications

The minimum qualifications for a state-certified bus driver instructor are listed below:

Or

Or

Desirable Qualifications

The desirable qualifications for a state-certified bus driver instructor include the items listed below:

Knowledge of:

Ability to:

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Performance Expectations

Date: April 1, 2001
Name:
Unit: Transportation
Working Title: State-Certified bus Driver Instructor

General Expectations

Job Element 1. Coordinate and evaluate the classroom and behind-the-wheel driver training program.

Performance expectation:

Job Element 2. Conduct driving performance evaluations on drivers and delegated behind-the-wheel trainers and maintain performance records.

Performance expectation:

Job Element 3. Consult with the area California Highway Patrol (CHP) school student safety officer or coordinator regarding a driver applicant's testing results and evaluation of bus driver's accident records.

Performance expectation:

Job Element 4. Investigate all vehicle and pedestrian accidents involving district or company equipment or personnel.

Performance expectation:

Job Element 5. Train and evaluate applicants requesting driver certification for the district or company.

Performance expectation:

Job Element 6. Train and evaluate applicants requesting approval as a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer.

Performance expectation:

Job Element 7. Maintain required records and written reports.

Performance expectation:

Job Element 8. Participate with local instructor groups to exchange information related to passenger transportation safety and training.

Performance expectation:

Job Element 9. Maintain updated driver training manuals and materials related to passenger transportation.

Performance expectation:

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Duty Statement

Suggestions of Job Duties:

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Carrier Interview and Selection Process
for the State-Certified Instructor

Outline

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Information Sheet

Background

The California Department of Education, in cooperation with the Governor's Office of Traffic Safety, has developed the Bus Driver Instructor Training Program. This program provides the training and certification of those persons who have the responsibility of training bus drivers as mandated by California Education Code, Section 40080. The course is offered to public and private schools, school bus contractors, public transit, charter party, and common carriers that are engaged in the transportation of school students.

Location

California Highway Patrol Academy
Office of School Transportation
825 Riverside Parkway, Suite 110
West Sacramento, CA 95605

Length of the Course

The length of the course is three weeks, eight hours per day, five days a week, plus several evening sessions, with weekends off. Graduation is on Friday morning of the third week, and the class will end at noon that day. Bus Driver Instructor Training classes are offered up to six times each year, with classes beginning in January and running through August.

Cost

The California Department of Education's Office of School Transportation will require an application fee of $35.00 and a training fee of $1,000.00 for the Instructor program. This fee will fund the processing of the application and training program. These fees are non-refundable and a check made payable to the California Department of Education is the preferred method of payment. Before submitting any application, carriers are encouraged to carefully select qualified individuals that have the necessary driving skills, the enthusiasm to teach, and the ability to communicate with other drivers while meeting all of the minimum qualifications set forth in the Education Code.

For student instructors from allied agencies, a fee of $1,675.00 a student is assessed for the Bus Driver Instructor Training Program.

Housing Instruction

For original school bus, school pupil activity bus, transit bus, and farm labor vehicle student instructors, room (double occupancy) (Monday through Sunday) lodging and breakfast are provided. Lunch and dinner are not provided by the Department. The Department provides all necessary training materials. Note taking material is not provided; however, it is available for purchase locally. Transportation to and from Sacramento is not provided or reimbursed, nor is any incidental travel between the housing facility and the training facility.

Minimum Requirements

Selection

Employers should select a qualified person who has the desire, ability, and attitude to become an effective instructor. The person selected should have the following qualities: ability to read, write, and speak English at a level necessary to perform the job of an instructor; work well with fellow employees; possess a broad range of knowledge regarding vehicles, equipment, laws and regulations; be a skilled as a bus operator; and be motivated to improve passenger safety.

State-Certified Instructor Performance Verification

Performance verification by a state-certified instructor is required before the assessment of the applicant is conducted by Department staff. Verification establishes the applicant's competency in pre-trip inspection, including proper brake system testing, backing and turning comprehension, and proper transmission use. Verification of the applicant's ability to read and comprehend laws and regulations is also required.

Assessment Tests

Before acceptance in the training program, the applicant will be interviewed by telephone and, if applicable, given a written and a driving performance test. The applicant will be required to read and discuss the driving skills outlined in the Department's Instructor's Behind-the Wheel Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course. Assessment tests will be conducted by representatives of the Department's Office of School Transportation. Failure to successfully complete all tests after the third attempt will disqualify the applicant for at least 12 months from the date the applicant failed to qualify.

Certified Instructor Performance

After successful completion of the Bus Driver Instructor Training Program, instructors are expected to provide effective training sessions for their employer and to assist other transportation organizations in conducting training programs.

Important

After reading this information packet, please complete the attached application. All applicants must be sponsored by their primary employer. Please have the employer sign and date the application as required. Before being assigned to a class, the applicant's completed application, performance review, and all required documents must be returned to and approved by the Office of School Transportation. Applicants will then be contacted by a staff member from the Office of School Transportation to arrange for the appropriate assessment tests. Only after all entry requirements and assessment tests are satisfactorily completed will an applicant be assigned to a class.

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Performance Review Procedures

Purpose

Procedures

  1. General Information
    The applicant must understand and be able to demonstrate the techniques and theories contained in the General Information (GI), and Skills Levels (1) through (6), of the Department's Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course.

    In addition, the applicant should review the Department's behind-the-wheel (BTW) videos ("Vehicle Pre-Trip Inspection", "Backing", "Turning", and "Shifting').
  2. Instruction
    Review the top section of the following Performance Review and complete the appropriate sections.
  3. Classroom
    1. Have the applicant read and explain several sections from the Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course or the Vehicle Code to determine the applicant's classroom teaching skills, public speaking skills, and ability to read and comprehend laws and regulations related to passenger transportation.
    2. Complete the Classroom section of the following Performance Review.
  4. Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course Operation and Instruction
    1. Complete the Vehicle Information section of the following Performance Review below.
    2. The applicant must be evaluated in a vehicle of the same size, weight, and type for which the instructor rating is sought.
    3. Have the applicant demonstrate their driving proficiency and explain the correct procedure(s) for the following tasks:
      1. Vehicle Inspection
      2. Brake Systems and Inspection
      3. Vehicle Backing
        1. Proper mirror use
        2. Straight line backing
        3. Backing line crossover
      4. Vehicle Turning
        1. Turning zone
        2. Vehicle alignment
        3. Problem object
        4. Ground reference/imaginary line
        5. Correct turning point
        6. Turning range
      5. Vehicle Clutch Use (if applicable)
        1. Double clutching
      6. Vehicle Transmission Use
        1. Setup procedures for establishing exact shift points
        2. Up shifting
        3. Downshifting
        4. Downshifting (skipping one or more gears)
        5. Midrange shifting
        6. Shift points for a two speed rear axle (if applicable)
        7. Automatic transmission use (if applicable)
      7. Passenger Loading and Unloading Procedures
        1. Mirror use
        2. Danger zone
        3. Vehicle Code Section 22112
      8. Vehicle Roll Back and Forward Roll Prevention
    4. Complete the Operation and Instruction Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course section of the following Performance Review.
  5. Applicant Competency Verification
    All applicants must satisfactorily demonstrate their reading, comprehension, communication, and driving skills to the state-certified instructor signing the following Performance Review. Signature of the following Performance Review must be made by a state-certified instructor of the appropriate class. An instructor's signature verifies that the applicant has met all the requirements of and has demonstrated proficiency and knowledge in all subjects required in Education Code sections 40080 through 40090, as applicable.

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Application Form

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Bus Driver Instructor Training Program Schedule

2008 Schedule First Week

AM/
PM/
NT
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

AM

Classroom 16
Introductions

Orientation

Purpose and Objectives

Course Content

Classroom 16
Lesson Planning

Classroom
Procedures/Evaluation

Classroom 16
Documentation Lesson

*#1 Documentation
Homework Assignment

Classroom 16
Manual Unit 4
Vehicle Components

Pre-Trip Inspection

Classroom 16
Bus 5-5-6
Turning Lesson

Manual Transmission Lesson

Documentation Homework Review #1 and Handout #2

PM

Classroom 16
Resource Guide

Introduction to Legal Reference

Counseling Session #1

Classroom 16
Teaching Techniques

Classroom 16
Use of Visual Aids

Classroom 16
BTW Skill Level 1 - Mirror Lesson

Bus 5-5-6
Backing Lesson

Automatic Transmission Lesson

Classroom 16
Brake System Lesson

Review Manual Units 1/2/3

NT

Review BTW Videos if necessary Pre-Entry Homework Review/Introduction to Driving Requirements Behind-the-Wheel Training Theory Unit 5 and 6 N/A

2008 Schedule Second Week

AM/
PM/
NT
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
AM

Classroom 16

Staff Teaching

Manual 7 "Loading and Unloading"

Classroom 16
7:30 AM Start Time

Documentation Review #2

Student Teaching 2 & 3 "License & Certificate Requirements, Bus Use, Laws & Regulations

Bus 3-3-2
Backing, Turning, and Shifting Practice Teaching

Classroom 8
Manual Unit 5 "Defensive Driving"

Bus 4-4
Student Testing Backing and Shift Lesson

Classroom 8
Student Teaching

Manual Unit 8
"Emergency Procedures"
Bus 4-4
Student Testing
Turning Lesson

Stepwell Tactics

Classroom 8-8
Student Teaching

Manual Unit 6
"Specialized Defensive Driving "

PM

Classroom 8-8
Student Teaching

Manual Unit 1
"Introduction"

Review Lesson Planning and Final Presentations

Counseling Session 2

Classroom 8

Student Teaching 2 & 3 "License & Certificate Requirements, Bus Use, Laws & Regulations"
Bus 3-3-2

Backing, Turning, and Shifting Practice Teaching

Classroom 8
Student Teaching

Manual Unit 5
"Defensive Driving"
Bus 4-4

Student Testing Backing and Shift Lesson

Classroom 8
Student Teaching

Manual Unit 8
"Emergency Procedures"
Bus 4-4
Student Testing
Turning Lesson

Air Brake Quiz

Stepwell Tactics

Classroom 8-8
Student Teaching

Manual Units 9
"Passenger Management"

Manual Units 12 "Public Relations"

*Handout Course Critiques

NT Optional study night Optional study night Optional study night Optional study night N/A

2008 Schedule Third Week

AM/
PM/
NT
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
AM

Classroom 8-8
Manual Unit 11 "Special Needs Passengers"

Classroom 16
Workplace Safety and Security

Carrier Requirements

Classroom 16

7:30 AM Start Time

*Course Critiques Due

Documentation Evaluation

Team Building

Instructor Training Requirements

Classroom 16
7:30 AM Start Time

Student Class Presentations

Classroom 16
DMV Responsibilities

CHP Responsibilities

CDE Responsibilities

Program Implementation

Graduation

PM

Classroom 16
Documentation Homework #3 Review

Activity Trips

Vehicle Dynamics

Bus 8-8
Activity Trip (Part 1)

Driving Attitude

Defensive Driving

Residential Driving

City Driving

Bus 8-8
Activity Trip (Part 2)

Freeway Driving

Country Driving

Mountain Driving

Bus 16
Braking Techniques

Ethics

Final Counseling

California Department of Education, Office of School Transportation
3500 Reed Avenue
West Sacramento, CA
95605

916-375-7100
Fax: 916-375-7110
Transportation Web page [http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/tn/]

NT Skid Pan (Lab)
Basics of Night Driving
Night Driving Lab
N/A N/A Class Dinner N/A

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Sample Written Test

(Essay questions test job knowledge and writing skills.)

  1. What qualifies you for this position?
    The interviewer should look for the following type of response: Applicants should give education and specialized training as examples of preparation for this position.)
  2. What determines proficiency?
    The interviewer should look for the following answers: Being proficient means having had the proper training in different sizes, design [e.g., transit vs. convention] equipment [e.g., wheelchair lifts, tie downs, emergency exists], gauges and controls, and so on before being allowed to transport students on any highway unsupervised.)
  3. Name the required number of mirrors and describe the purpose of each mirror (modify answers for transit bus, school pupil activity bus (SPAB), and farm labor vehicle).
    The interviewer should look for the following answers: The law requires each school bus have four (4) mirrors. The mirrors are right outside flat, left outside flat, inside overhead flat, and crossover. The purpose of each mirror is as follows: The right outside flat mirror is designed to monitor the right side of the bus and the traffic to the right side. It is also used to monitor approaching passengers during the loading and unloading processes. The left outside flat mirror is designed to monitor the left side of the bus and the traffic in the left lanes. The inside overhead flat mirror is designed for monitoring the passenger compartment, as an aid in student control, and monitoring both sides of the bus outside and traffic. The crossover mirror is designed for monitoring the front area of the bus, when approaching and during the loading and unloading processes. Each mirror is equally valuable and the use of mirrors is a must in the performance of proper defensive driving techniques.

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Sample Written Test Questions

(Prepare 30 to 40 questions for this test.)

Note: Test must be modified for each transportation discipline.

  1. How many units of classroom instruction are required for an original (transit bus, school pupil activity bus (SPAB), school bus, or farm labor vehicle) driver applicant?
  2. What are the skill levels in the California Department of Education Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Training Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course?
  3. What determines driver proficiency?
  4. Name the required number of mirrors and describe the purpose of each mirror?

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Sample Interview Questions

  1. What do you think the qualifications for this position should be?
  2. Describe what you consider to be the most important part of the state-certified instructor's duties.
  3. As a state-certified instructor, do you feel you can support management and maintain the confidentiality of information you will be in possession of from time to time? What possible problems can you foresee in this position?
    (The interviewer should look for indications of the applicant's ability to separate himself or herself from the other drivers when carrying out the duties of a state-certified instructor and his or her ability to support management.)
  4. What if you completed a check ride with a fellow employee who also happened to be a close personal friend, and during the check ride you discovered a problem in his or her driving and when you discuss the problem with the driver he or she asks you to keep it between friends and not make mention of it or write it on the evaluation form. How would handle this situation?
    (Again, the interviewer should look for the applicant's ability to separate the personal from business.)
  5. What are some of the principles of defensive driving?
    (The interviewer should look for the following answers: Drive with an adequate margin of safety; use the mirrors; identify accident-producing situations early enough to react and prevent a collision; get the big picture; reach the destination safely despite the bad driving habits of others or adverse road, weather, and traffic conditions.)
  6. Do you believe a state-certified instructor should know about and understand bus roadeo events?
    (The interviewer should look for the following answers: Roadeo events require the use of good driving skills and techniques and enable you to assist and coach fellow drivers in preparation for a roadeo.
  7. What is the importance of keeping accurate training records?
    (The interviewer should look for the following answers: It is the legal requirement for an instructor. Keeping accurate training records also helps to track proficiency and proof of meeting the driver's legal requirements in the original training and renewal training years. Accurate records are a must if ever an accident occurs; such records prove the legality and proficiency of the driver.)
  8. Explain how to determine a shift point when driving a bus that has a standard transmission.
    (The interviewer should look for the following answers: First determine what is the top tachometer for the bus you are in. Roll the tachometer to the top tachometer point i.e., revolutions per minute (rpm), noting the road speed i.e. miles per hour or mph. Shift to the next highest gear and re-establish the previously noted road speed, noting the rpm. Doing this will tell you what the shift point is. Do this for each gear.
  9. Explain the purpose of double-clutching.
    (The interviewer should look for the following answers: The purpose of double-clutching is to be able to use the proper throttle-control method of shifting. Double-clutching allows you to bring the transmission into a neutral phase so that you can adjust the rpms to allow you to match the mphs for shifting into the proper gear. Double-clutching enables you to shift without grinding gears and allows you to be in control of the vehicle at all times.)
  10. Why should we select you to be a state-certified instructor?
    (The interviewer should look for the applicant using this opportunity to point out his or her strong points in pupil transportation.)

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Fact Sheet

What You Need to Know

After acceptance into the California Department of Education (CDE), Office of School Transportation (OST), Bus Driver Instructor Training Program at our facility in West Sacramento, there are some challenges that you may face during your three week training.

Some of the challenges you may face during your participation are:

Rooming

All students are roomed with someone whom they may not know (unless otherwise notified). Be prepared to spend 19 days sharing living quarters with a stranger. Be courteous and willing to give one another space and quiet when needed.

Weather

Heat - in the summer months (June through August) Sacramento's temperature can reach 115 degrees. Be prepared with appropriate clothing, shoes, and keeping yourself hydrated.

Rain - in the winter months (January through March) Sacramento's temperature can be as low as 29 degrees. Be prepared with appropriate clothing, shoes, and keeping yourself warm.

Attending the Class

Your objective the first week is to listen and observe instruction being given to you, the student. If any of the information is confusing, ask for clarification. The second week is an opportunity for you, the student, to now teach from the instructor's manual and the behind-the-wheel guide. Documentation is on-going through the three week training program.

Studying

There will be late nights studying, not only at the training facility but also at your lodging facility. Weekends may also be used for studying.

Hours

The days of attendance are Monday through Friday (hours vary). Saturday is an optional day for you to utilize the facility for studying or preparing for a teaching lesson.

Physical Requirements

Standing - you will be required to stand in the step-well of a bus and instruct from the Behind-the-Wheel Guide. You will also be standing while teaching a lesson you have prepared.

Sitting - you will be sitting for long periods of time, listening to lectures and presentations from the staff and other students in the program.

If you have any questions or concerns about the above requirements and abilities needed to participate in the Instructor Training Program please contact us at 916-371-7100.

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Questions:   Lisa Middlekauff | lisamiddlek@cde.ca.gov | 916-375-7103
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