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How to Become a Train Driver

Stage 1 – Application Form

You can apply through our website once the vacancy is live. Please note, due to the high number of applications we receive, we may close the advert prematurely.

You need to be above the age of 20 and live within one hour of the depot we are recruiting for to be considered for the role.

Stage 1.5 – Application Sift

The ARL recruitment team will filter out applicants who fit the requirements of a trainee driver and progress their application by sending their information to the Occupational Psychology Centre (OPC). The OPC will then complete a check to confirm whether or not a candidate can progress onto the first stage of assessments. Further information about this assessment is available on the OPC website.

ARL has enhanced OPC testing compared to other train operating companies in the UK. This means that even if you have previously passed the OPC assessment, you may be asked to go through the testing again to meet ARL standards. If you have previously passed the OPC assessment with another train operating company and are asked to undertake the enhanced testing, you will risk your ‘pass’ status when doing so.

Stage 2 – OPC Virtual Questionnaire/Assessment

The Visual Search Exercise (VSE) is a virtual test sent out by the OPC to assess: focus on visual cues, multitasking, maintaining concentration and ability to remain situationally aware. These are essential skills that train drivers need to have, therefore this assessment is used as the first stage of elimination.

Stage 3 – OPC Assessment, Stage One

The first stage OPC assessment will be held in-person at one of ARL’s offices. This is a half-day session comprising of four different tests. An OPC assessor go through this process with the candidate on the day:

  1. Group Bourdon test (concentration test)
  2. Everyday Attention for Occupational Assessment (Tea-Occ) test
  3. Magnificent 7 Situational Judgement Test (M7-SJT)
  4. Driver Fault Finding Test (DFFT)

For more information please visit the OPC website.

Stage 4 – OPC Assessment 2nd Stage

Once you have successfully passed the first stage OPC Assessment you will be invited to complete the 2nd stage which will be held at the OPC offices in Watford. As a reminder, Arriva Rail London’s testing is at an enhanced level, therefore this might be different to testing you have done with other businesses.

  • Trainability for Rules & Procedures 1&2 (TRP 1&2)
  • Vienna Test Systems (VTS)
  • Multi Modal Interview (MMI)
  • Transport Situational Judgement Test (TSJT)

For more information on testing, please visit the OPC website.

Stage 5 – Driver Manager Interview

This is the final testing stage in the process which is organised by ARL. This is a competency-based interview with ARL driver managers.

Stage 6 – Medical

Once you have successfully completed all of the above stages, you will be invited to complete a medical to ensure that you are fit to drive a train. Upon successful completion, the candidate will either be offered the role of trainee driver or placed in a talent pool for future recruitment.

The process can take up to six months to complete.