Delegated BTW Trainer Selection Guidelines
- Information Sheet
- Performance Verification and Documentation
- Performance Review Procedures
- Sample Written Test
- Sample Interview Questions
Define the delegated behind-the-wheel (BTW) position in terms of the state requirements and carrier responsibility and expectations. If successful, the candidate should eventually advance to the position of state-certified bus driver instructor. Therefore, when considering an applicant for this position, think in terms of the day he or she might replace the state-certified instructor in the transportation department.
The minimum qualifications for a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer are listed below:
- Possession of a Commercial Driver License, Class A or B, with appropriate endorsements valid for driving and training in a particular type and size vehicle.
- Possession of a California Special Driver Certificate of the appropriate type, valid for driving and training in a particular type and size vehicle.
- One year experience as a driver of the appropriate type and size vehicle immediately preceding the date of selection as a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer.
- Possession of a high school diploma or general education development (GED) equivalent.
- A driving record with out a chargeable accident in any vehicle within the three years immediately preceding the date of selection as a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer.
- 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 training. The test shall be given by, and in the presence of, a state-certified instructor of the appropriate class.
- Candidates selected by their employer as delegated behind-the-wheel trainers must be approved by the California Department of Education before conducting behind-the-wheel training.
The desirable qualifications for a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer include the items listed below:
- The desire to teach
- Professional appearance and demeanor
- Professional and positive attitude
- Good personal hygiene
- Good communication skills (verbal and non verbal)
- Good writing and spelling skills
- Good bus driving skills
- Public speaking experience
- Good listening ability
- Principles, concepts, and techniques of driving, inspecting, and managing passengers on vehicles of the appropriate type and size
- California Vehicle Code; California Education Code; California Code of Regulations, Title 5 and Title 13, as they relate to school transportation
- California Department of Education, California Highway Patrol, and Department of Motor Vehicles rules, regulations, and policies pertaining to the transportation of passengers
- Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Training Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course
- Policies related to the carrier's operation and transportation of passengers
- Provide quality behind-the-wheel training in vehicles of the appropriate type and size as defined by the California Education Code
- Read, interpret, and explain laws, regulations, and policies pertaining to passenger transportation
- Communicate effectively
- Make appropriate decisions
- Demonstrate proper behind-the-wheel instructional techniques
- Properly document training records as specified by the California Department of Education
- Under the direction of the state-certified instructor, effectively organizes work responsibilities and manages time efficiently.
- Responds to verbal and written requests for assistance regarding transportation issues. Refers appropriate questions to the state-certified instructor or director when necessary.
- Completes all assignments within the agreed-on time frame.
- Adheres to department attendance and leave policy.
- Interacts with department staff, representatives of other organizations agencies, and the general public in the course of his or her duties in a pleasant and positive manner.
- Works with the department director to improve work habits and job productivity.
- Practices proper safety habits and care in the use of district or company equipment and facilities.
- Follows policies and procedures established by the district or company and state laws and regulations governing employees.
- Maintains a valid Class A or B commercial driver license with a passenger endorsement, California Special Driver Certificate, medical certificate, first aid card, or equivalent certification at all times.
- Properly demonstrates all behind-the-wheel teaching methods, techniques, and driving skills required by the California Department of Education and the district or company.
Job Element 1
Train and evaluate applicants requesting driver certification for the district or company and drive a bus when necessary.
- Train, test, and evaluate applicants who have been selected to become drivers for the district or company.
- Drive a bus on district or company routes or school activity trips as necessary.
Job Element 2
Maintain required records and written reports.
- Complete weekly work plans, driver training performance reviews, monthly activity reports, and training session attendance records.
Suggestions of job duties:
- Conduct behind-the-wheel training for pre service (prior to employment) driver applicants and in-service (after employment) for drivers of the district or company.
- Drive a school bus on district or company routes or school activity trip as necessary.
- Maintain required records and written reports.
- Posted the California Department of Education (CDE) requirements on bulletin board.
- Identified qualified applicants.
- Gave appropriate driving and written tests. Referred to the latest edition of the CDE Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Training Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course.
- Selected the interview panel:
- Director of department or general manager
- Driver trainer
- Personnel representative
- Applicant was trained on the CDE Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Training Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course to obtain proficiency in all sections of the guide.
- Applicant taught under the supervision of the driver trainer. Applicant should conduct defensive driving in safety meetings or other in-service sessions only.
- Applicant was given a test on all skills required in latest edition of the CDE Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Training Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course (driving and teaching).
- Test results were forwarded to the CDE.
- A CDE representative tested the applicant.
Effective July 1, 1990 all behind-the-wheel instruction for a certificate to drive a school bus, transit bus, school pupil activity bus (SPAB), or farm labor vehicle shall be conducted by a state-certified instructor (Education Code sections 40082, 40083, 40084).
A delegated behind-the-wheel trainer is someone who is selected and trained to assist in the behind-the-wheel training of drivers (Education Code Section 40084.5).
A $35.00 application fee and a $1,500.00 testing fee must be included with each delegated behind-the-wheel trainer application received by the Department of Education. If the applicant fails the exam administered by the Department and desires to be retested, each subsequent exam will require an additional $1,500.00 testing fee. 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 of a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer as set forth in Education Code.
- One year experience as a driver of the appropriate type and size vehicle.
- 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 with no chargeable accidents within the three years preceding the date of the application.
- 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.
- Possession of the same basic knowledge and skills as a state-certified instructor.
- Successful completion of a written assessment test on current laws, regulations, and policies given by a state-certified instructor of the appropriate class.
- Successful completion of a driving test and behind-the-wheel 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.
Each employer should select a qualified person who has the desire and ability to become a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer.
The person selected should have the following qualities: ability to read and speak well; work well with fellow employees; have broad knowledge of vehicles; be a skilled driver with good learning ability.
A delegated behind-the-wheel trainer performance review must be completed and signed by a state-certified instructor of the appropriate class. The signature certifies that the applicant has successfully completed all required training and is competent in all sections of the latest edition of the Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Guide for California's Bus Driver's Training Course.
The state-certified instructor shall also document the qualifications and competence of each delegated behind-the-wheel trainer. All training required by this section shall be documented on the California 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 verifying the delegated behind-the-wheel trainer displayed the level of competency necessary to train drivers to drive authorized vehicles in a safe and competent manner. The completed California Department of Education Training Certificate T-01 shall be submitted to the Department in Sacramento, along with the other required documents, when requesting approval of a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer.
If you do not have a qualified state-certified instructor on staff, you may contract with any eligible state-certified instructor for this service. If you are unable to secure a state-certified instructor, please contact the Office of School Transportation.
Behind-the-Wheel Instructional Assessment Test
The California Department of Education will conduct an instructional evaluation of the behind-the-wheel teaching skills of any delegated behind-the-wheel trainer applicant.
A delegated behind-the-wheel trainer applicant shall not conduct any behind-the-wheel training until written notification is received from the California Department of Education verifying the applicant's eligibility.
All applicants must be sponsored by their primary employer. Please have the employer sign and date the application as required.
- To determine an applicant's proficiency in classroom teaching skills, public speaking skills, reading, and comprehension of laws and regulations related to passenger transportation.
- To determine an applicant's driving proficiency relative to the correct vehicle turning, backing, shifting, inspection, brake system, and passenger loading and unloading procedures.
- To ensure that the applicant can both understand and demonstrate the skills necessary to become an effective state-certified bus driver instructor.
- 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.
Review the top section of the following Performance Review and complete the appropriate sections.
- 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.
- Complete the Classroom section of the following Performance
- Instructor's Behind-the-Wheel Guide for California's
Bus Driver's Training Course Operation and Instruction
- Complete the Vehicle Information section of the following Performance Review.
- The applicant must be evaluated in a vehicle of the same size, weight, and type for which the instructor rating is sought.
- Have the applicant demonstrate their driving proficiency
and explain the correct procedure(s) for the following tasks:
- Vehicle Inspection
- Brake Systems and Inspection
- Vehicle Backing
- Proper mirror use
- Straight line backing
- Backing line crossover
- Vehicle Turning
- Turning zone
- Vehicle alignment
- Problem object
- Ground reference/imaginary line
- Correct turning point
- Turning range
- Vehicle Clutch Use (if applicable)
- Double clutching
- Vehicle Transmission Use
- Setup procedures for establishing exact shift points
- Up shifting
- Downshifting (skipping one or more gears)
- Midrange shifting
- Shift points for a two speed rear axle (if applicable)
- Automatic transmission use (if applicable)
- Passenger Loading and Unloading Procedures
- Mirror use
- Danger zones
- Vehicle Code Section 22112
- Vehicle Roll Back and Roll Forward Prevention
- Complete the Operation and Instruction Instructor's
Behind-the-Wheel Training Guide for California's Bus
Driver's Training Course section of the following
- 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.
(Essay questions test job knowledge and writing skills)
- 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.)
- 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. conventional], equipment, [e.g. wheelchair lifts, tie downs, emergency exits], gauges and controls, and so on before being allowed to transport students on any highway unsupervised.)
- Name the required number of mirrors and describe the
purpose of each mirror.
(The interviewer should look for the following answers: The law requires each school bus have four  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 and 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.)
- What do you think the qualifications for this position
- Describe what you consider to be the most important
part of the delegated behind-the-wheel trainer duties?
- As a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer, 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 duties of a delegated behind-the-wheel trainer and his or her ability to support the management).
- What if you had just 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 you handle
(Again, the interviewer should look for the applicant's ability to separate the personal from business.)
- 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.)
- Do you believe a delegated trainer should know about
and understand bus roadeo events? Why?
(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.)
- What is the importance of keeping accurate training
(The interviewer should look for the following answers: It is the legal requirement. 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.)
- Explain how to determine a shift point.
(The interviewer should look for the following answers: First determine what the top tachometer for the bus you are in is. Roll the tachometer to the top revolutions per minute [RPM] or tachometer point, and maintain that RPM. Look at the speedometer, noting the miles per hour [MPH], and shift to the next highest gear. In that gear, reestablish the road speed [MPH] from the previous gear and note the RPM on the tachometer. Doing this will tell you what the shift point is. Do this for each gear.)
- 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 RPM to allow you to match the MPH for shifting into the proper gear without grinding gears. Double-clutching saves wear and tear on the equipment and allows you to be in total control of your vehicle at all times.)
- Why should we select you to be a delegated behind-the-wheel
(The interviewer should look for the applicant using this opportunity to point out his or her strong points in pupil transportation.)