Unlike most other careers, the journey for becoming a fully qualified and productive train driver does not end after joining an employer. That is just halfway of the process. Once you are employed as a train driver, you will be enrolled into the train driving training programme.

Throughout your training, you will be paid a competitive salary and enjoy all railway benefits outlined in the applications page.

The Train Driver Apprenticeship Programme Overview

License & Certificate

You will be required to complete the License and Certificate requirements. After which your employer will asses your competency to drive on your own and issue you with the Train Driver licence.​

Employer Reviews

Your employer will formally review your progress. You will be required to complete Level 2 English, Math and ICT training where the results confirmed by the awarding organisation.

End Point Assessment

At the end of the programme, you will go through a separate end point assessment in order to gain the Level 3 qualification. The assessment will consist of observation and online tests.

The training programme takes about 12 -18 months after joining employment. The programme is curated to train you in the knowledge aspects, technical expertise, as well as, the non-technical and functional skills required to safely drive a train.

Successful completion of the apprenticeship programme allows you to progress to the Associate or Affiliate level of professional registration. You can progress to various roles, such as Train Driver Instructor, Train Driver Manager, Depot Driver Team Leader, to Depot Delivery Co-Ordinator.

You will be driving your train as well as having your knowledge and skills assessed regularly as part of your organisations competence management system. This is a cycle of assessments and development activities so you continue to grow and develop as a train driver.

All newly qualified drivers also enter a post qualification period. This is a period of one to two years (depending on the organisation) where you will drive your train and will be monitored more closely than more experienced drivers. This period is used to help you continue to develop your knowledge and skill and grow as a professional train driver.

Click here to find out more about the Level 3 Train Drivers Apprenticeship.

Train Driver in Wales: 

The apprenticeship programme offered in Wales has the following key differences from the UK apprenticeship programme: 

  1. There is no end point assessment by an independent body. This will be carried out by the TOC.
  2. The candidates receive the Level 3 Diploma in Train Driving via the awarding body – EAL
  3. The candidates will complete training for the apprenticeship as per the TDA part A and TOC part B that will take approximately 12 months 

Train Driver in Scotland: 

Scotland does not offer a formal qualification, except for the SVQ 2 Rail Services: Driving level 5. You can find more information here