February 14, 2003
Delegated Behind-the-Wheel Trainers
Recently, is has come to the attention of the California Department of Education (CDE) that some applicants for certification as delegated behind-the-wheel trainers have not been given the required written assessment test. Education Code Section 40884.5 requires that all applicants for certification as a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer must successfully complete a written assessment test on current laws, regulations, and policies. This test must be "given by, and in the presence of, a state-certified instructor of the appropriate class." Effective as of the date of this bulletin, the Department's Office of School Transportation will only accept delegated behind-the-wheel trainer applications that are accompanied by the required written test (original test or legible copy).
In addition, this information bulletin is being sent as a reminder to all instructors of the Education Code requirements and responsibilities placed on instructors who prepare delegated trainer applicants for certification. Below is Education Code Section 40084.5 (with emphasis added), which outlines those requirements.
40084.5(a) All behind-the-wheel training required to obtain certificates pursuant to sections 12517 and 12519 of the Vehicle Code shall be performed by a state-certified instructor or by a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer who has been certified or approved by the department to conduct the required training.
(b)A "delegated behind-the-wheel trainer" means a person selected to assist a state-certified instructor in the behind-the-wheel training of drivers. Selected persons shall be trained by state-certified instructors and approved by the department before conducting any behind-the-wheel training. The minimum standards for the selection of a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer are as follows:
- One year experience as a driver of the appropriate type and size vehicle immediately preceding the date of the selection as a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer.
- Possession of the appropriate license, certificates, and endorsements needed to drive and train in a particular type and size vehicle.
- A high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) equivalent.
- A driving record without chargeable accidents within the past three years immediately preceding the date of the selection.
- Successful completion of all training in the latest edition of the Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Training Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course given by, and in the presence of, a state-certified instructor of the appropriate class.
- Successful completion of a written assessment test on current laws, regulations, and policies given by, and in the presence of, a state-certified instructor of the appropriate class.
- Successful completion of a driving test and a behind-the-wheel training performance test on all phases of behind-the-wheel and vehicle inspection training. The test shall be given by, and in the presence of, a state-certified instructor of the appropriate class.
(c)The state-certified instructor shall train and document the qualification and competence of each delegated behind-the-wheel trainer to be utilized in training. All training required by this section shall be documented on the State Department of Education Training Certificate T-01, and signed by a state-certified school pupil activity bus (SPAB), transit bus, school bus, or farm labor vehicle driver instructor of the appropriate class, and by the delegated behind-the-wheel trainer. The signatures shall certify that the instruction was given to, and received by, the delegated behind-the-wheel trainer and that the delegated behind-the-wheel trainer displayed a level of competency necessary to train drivers to drive authorized vehicles in a safe and competent manner. The completed State Department of Education Training Certificate T-01 shall be submitted to the department in Sacramento, along with all other required documents, when requesting approval of a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer.
(d)The department may disapprove the eligibility of a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer for any of the following causes:
- The state-certified instructor authorizing the competency of the delegated behind-the-wheel trainer has requested disapproval.
- The employer of the delegated behind-the-wheel trainer has requested disapproval.
- The delegated behind-the-wheel trainer has voluntarily requested disapproval.
- The delegated behind-the-wheel trainer failed to comply with Section 40087.
- The delegated behind-the-wheel trainer failed to comply with Section 40084.5.
- The delegated behind-the-wheel trainer does not possess a valid driver's license, appropriate endorsements, or special driver's certificate of the appropriate class.
- The delegated behind-the-wheel trainer's driver's license or special driver's certificate has been suspended or revoked.
(e)A delegated behind-the-wheel trainer may be limited in behind-the-wheel training as determined by the department.
It is incumbent upon all instructors who participate in the selection, training, and testing of delegated behind-the-wheel trainers, that they understand that poor or improper instruction, or the lack of instruction in critical areas of training often has disastrous effects. It falls on you, the instructor, to see that from the first day of training and throughout their training career the delegated behind-the-wheel trainer has the knowledge, skill, and supervision to properly prepare the next generation of California bus drivers.
Questions regarding this instructor bulletin can be directed to the Department of Education's Office of School Transportation at 916-375-7100.