A Guide to best practices for the planning, recruitment and orientation of Bus Operators
The Guide is an ideal resource for managers and recruiters and focuses on the critical areas necessary for hiring the right people. Behind The Wheel gives you the information you must have to take a long-term perspective on your organization to anticipate and respond to emerging industry, customer and competitive forces. It is unique in that it links recruitment best practices directly to the National Occupational Standards.
National Occupational Standards describe the knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes necessary for competent performance in a specific occupation. Occupational Standards can be used for a variety of purposes. They may form the basis for training, curriculum development and accreditation of training programs, recruitment, performance improvement, career development and certification of practitioners. By creating and promoting these Standards, the bus industry will improve its customer service delivery and subsequently increase profitability, job satisfaction, and opportunities in all sectors.
Benefits of Standards
Standards can guide your career and development, provide motivation to learn new skills, contribute to personal achievement and enhance public and professional image.
Standards will help improve your bottom line by providing guidance for recruitment, training and development of staff, identifying key tasks and roles, ensuring that employee skills are effectively utilized, helping to create a competent, flexible and motivated workforce and helping to promote the industry as a viable career choice.
Standards provide nationally recognized industry-driven benchmarks of best performance and provide the means for making better use of national resources.
Standards provide the basis for curriculum and training development and identify areas where expertise is required.
How are Standards Developed?
Standards are developed and validated by people with extensive knowledge and experience in bus operations. Subject matter experts are recruited from across Canada in all sectors of our industry. These experts participate in a formal job analysis process. Following several days of data gathering, a draft standard is produced. The standard is then sent to a larger group of subject matter experts and other stakeholders for validation.
Bus Operators represent 70% of our industry's workforce. Every day, thousands of professional Bus Operators are responsible for the safe transport of millions of Canadians. In order to successfully deliver this service, a Bus Operator needs to be knowledgeable about driver-related mechanical systems, scheduling, safe driving practices and road regulations, interpersonal skills, special needs passengers, and, in the case of Tour Bus Operators, sightseeing information.
To download your copy of the National Occupational Standards for Professional Bus Operator, simply Click Here.
Bus Operator Training Instructors are typically experienced bus operators with additional training and skill in instructional delivery techniques. In some jurisdictions they also require certification in adult education and training, and specialized training in human rights legislation, air brakes and special needs. They are responsible for developing and delivering training programs which train learners to operate vehicles to company and regulatory requirements. They deliver driving, bus operating and passenger relations training as well as emergency procedures and company policy instructions to new employees; they also provide upgrading training to existing employees. They accomplish this by delivering instruction both to groups of students in a classroom setting and to individual learners in workplace simulations and on the road situations.
To download your copy of the National Occupational Standards for Bus Operator Training Instructor, simply Click Here.
Mechanics and maintenance staff represent 7% of our industry's workforce. They inspect, troubleshoot, repair, replace and maintain operating systems and components. By providing their specialized knowledge and skills our industry is proud to offer safe, secure and reliable transportation to millions of Canadians daily.
The truck and transport mechanic is part of the Red Seal occupation group and requests for these publications should be forwarded to:
Interprovincial Partnership and Occupational Information Division, Human Resources Partnerships, Human Resources Development Canada, Place du Portage, Phase IV, 5th Floor, Hull, Quebec K1A 0J9
Essential Skills are the skills needed for work, learning and life. They provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace change. Through extensive research, the Government of Canada and other national and international agencies have identified and validated nine Essential Skills. These skills are used in nearly every occupation and throughout daily life in different ways and at different levels of complexity. Levels of complexity are a rating tool by which all skills are measured. Complexity levels from 1 (basic tasks) to 4 or 5 (advanced tasks) are assigned to example tasks performed by a worker in a specific job.
To download your copy of the Essentials Skills Profile for Professional Bus Operator, simply Click Here.
To download your copy of the Essentials Skills Profile for Bus Operator Training Instructor, simply Click Here.
This is a unique educational/attitudinal development program which is designed specifically to positively impact such areas as passenger satisfaction, company rider-ship, regulatory compliance, operating results, service competence and company image.
Through a workshop, participants will learn to communicate sensitively and knowledgably with passengers who require special assistance. Successful participants will be able to provide appropriate physical help, with understanding, respect, and support for the passenger’s dignity. The workshop enables participants to work confidently with a broad spectrum of disabilities including mobility, vision, hearing, learning, developmental, psychiatric and epileptic seizures.
Succession planning is an ongoing process of systematically identifying, assessing and developing staff to ensure that necessary positions are properly and adequately filled, as they become open.
Succession planning is no easy task. It involves mapping out the future; assessing the direction the organization is moving; and determining what knowledge, skills and abilities staff will need to meet the needs of the organization. And it must be done in a manner that removes the possibility of selection bias.
There are a number of models in use, the following is one example.
- Identify the Competencies Needed
What the future has in store is a difficult forecast. The marketplace itself is a state of flux, and the final business model, while undefined, will no doubt be radically different from the current.
- Identify High Potential Staff
A formalized system, that includes the adoption of a competency based appraisal system and 360 feed back, can be an excellent tool for the senior management team to use to identify high potential staff.
- Develop the High Potential Employee
Once identified, it is imperative that the high potential employee be offered the opportunity to develop a good, broad range of skills.
We conducted a labour study early in 2003, a component of which was to identify the utilization of succession planning and mentoring programs within the transportation industry. A national representative sample was studied.
We noted only Twelve (12%) of the respondents currently use a succession-planning program. Fifteen per cent (15%) of the organizations that currently lack a succession planning program are considering implementing a program in the next 2 years which is a positive indicator.
The organizations that have a succession planning program have standards related to:
- Minimum educational or work experience for applicants 100%
- Documentation detailing the succession planning process 100%
- A progressive wage schedule 66%
- A formal selection process to select candidates 33%
This fuel efficiency driver-training program is promoted and developed by the bus industry and National Resources Canada (NRCAN). It is designed to help fleet managers improve fleet performance and reduce operating costs through increased energy efficiency. Participating fleets receive information on energy management in spec’ing, maintenance, driving practices and the latest new technologies designed to keep fleets competitive.
- Urban Transit: Designed as classroom and practicum. Program includes Trainer’s Manual, Participant’s Manual, CD-ROM and on-bus coaching. Launch November, 2003
- Motor Coach: Designed as classroom. Program includes Trainer’s Manual, Participant’s Manual and Video. Launch 2004
- School Bus: Designed as classroom and practicum. Program includes Trainers Manual, Participant's manual and interactive quizzes. Launch , 2006
Recognizing human resources as the key to achieving desired end results.
Moving millions of passengers daily, the heart of our business is the ability of our people to provide safe, secure, and on-time transportation. But, there is often a gap between having this knowledge and integrating it into business strategies and activities. The best business plans understand the “heart” of an organization, and promote activities and expend resources to keep it “beating”. A well focused, integrated, and consistently implemented Human Resources plan is in fact, your best business plan. Let’s look at a few of the key elements of a typical bus industry business plan: Financial Results, Marketing and Equipment. Financial Results are achieved through ridership, which depends on the timely, efficient delivery of service. When we promote or market our business, we typically focus on the provision of safe, cost-efficient, timely, and in some situations, environmentally sound transportation. Again, all provided through the efforts of mechanics, bus operators and other employees. Finally, the rolling stock and other equipment necessary to deliver the same safe, on-time service is, of course, maintained, inspected and run by people.
By focusing energy, time and effort into better hiring, training and development, any company regardless of the environment, market sector, or geographic area can significantly impact the delivery of service, which will positively impact business. In order to create the type of environment that will support such a venture, you will need an integrated Human Resources plan which addresses: Planning, Recruitment, Orientation, Training and Development, Continuous Learning, Recognition, Compensation and Work relationships.
There are numerous ways in which our Human Resources activities can promote and support our business endeavours. However, it takes commitment and focus to align our Human Resources plans with our everyday business activities. For information on how the Council can assist you in developing a strategic Human Resources Plan please contact our office.