National Express wins another award for its industry-leading Master Driver programme

National Express, the Birmingham-based bus and coach company, has won another award for its industry-leading driver training programme.

At this month’s annual Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce awards ceremony, National Express picked up the Excellence in People Development gong for its Master Driver programme.

Unique to the public transport sector, Master Driver has previously won a national routeone award and helps to recognise the challenges that drivers have to overcome. It improves skills, increases engagement and rewards development. And it’s helping to deliver a prouder, more engaged workforce and an even safer, better service to bus and coach customers.

Tom Stables, Managing Director of National Express UK, said:

“At National Express, we know that our workforce is our greatest asset. One of our core values is to develop the talents of all our employees.

“Delivering for our customers is only possible if each of our 49,000 employees reach their full potential.

“So we are strongly committed to training over and above the standard minimums. And it’s great to have that recognised with yet another award.”

Paul Faulkner, CEO of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said:

“We’re delighted that National Express took home the prestigious ‘Excellence in People Development’ award this year. The Master Driver programme clearly impressed our panel of industry leaders, who recognised it as a particularly outstanding project.

“2019 saw an unprecedented number of award entries received reflecting the positive and ground-breaking work taking place in Greater Birmingham.

“Schemes like this not only help upskill employees, but also improve the quality of service and encourage the use of public transport. We’re proud to work with National Express as a Patron of the Chamber and a champion of people development in the region.”

National Express has already trained over 600 of its bus and coach drivers across the West Midlands and the South East over and above normal professional standards, making it the first company to train drivers using an IAM RoadSmart-accredited course.

To become a Master Driver, a National Express driver must have three consecutive years of clean safety records, excellent customer service and top-performing driving ability.

Only when they can demonstrate all these do they do a computer-based driver analysis to understand their attitude towards risk and an NVQ-level customer service qualification.

Master Drivers receive additional externally accredited driving skill training that brings them to the same level as police pursuit drivers and Bentley limousine drivers.

To celebrate their achievements all qualifying drivers attend presentation events where they receive special Master Driver ties, badges and hi-viz uniform items enabling them to celebrate their achievements in front of invited friends, family and colleagues.

The Master Driver programme has also been shortlisted in the Excellence in Employee Engagement category at the BQF Excellence awards, which takes place at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel on 16 May 2019.

Published 24th April 2019