Code of conduct for drivers and Vehicle Passenger Assistants (VPAs)

Read our code of conduct that everyone involved in transporting children and young people must follow.

Safe practice, safe children and safe vulnerable adults

This code of conduct is a safeguard for both passengers and contracted staff.  We hope the code will protect service users from the possibility of abuse. It will also protect contract staff from misunderstandings, leading to allegations of misconduct.

Starting safe - ground rules you must follow

  • get an enhanced DBS check or provide references if requested.
  • behave in a mature, respectful, safe, fair and considered manner to all staff, pupils and vulnerable adults
  • use appropriate language
  • wear appropriate dress
  • keep a calm atmosphere in the vehicle. For example keeping the volume of any music low
  • use your radio to report difficulties in managing behaviour. Make sure you report any concerns or incidents as soon as possible on the day. You must give a full written report within 48 hours of the accident or incident to the Council. You need to make this using our relevant report template
  • if requested, have training relating to child protection, adult safeguarding procedures, or the management of children or vulnerable adults with special needs
  • report something that worries you about a service. You should report it to the school, college or other establishment. You can also report it to the council representative
  • let your managers know that you have a concern

Staying safe - things you must not do

  • do not behave in a way that could lead a reasonable observer to question your conduct, intentions or suitability to have direct care for other people’s children or for vulnerable adults
  • do not seat a lone passenger in the front of the vehicle
  • do not discriminate favourably or unfavourably towards any service user
  • do not make arrangements to contact, communicate or meet service users outside of your work
  • do not give your mobile phone number or other personal details to a service user. Do not accept mobile numbers if offered to you
  • do not handle a service user’s mobile phone even if offered or allow them access to yours
  • do not take pictures of service users or allow them to take pictures of you
  • do not allow service users to see any stored pictures on your mobile phone or allow them to hear inappropriate ring tones or messages
  • do not have contact with service users through any social media. This includes Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, also blogs, chatrooms or forums. Be wary of posting photos or other personal details. These may be misunderstood or possibly misused by service users. Make sure you set your privacy settings so only people you authorise can see the information you publish
  • do not refer to your work with the council on social media. We have strict policies for both staff and operators using social media
  • do not share your social networking account access details with service users
  • do not use your own name on gaming sites, and don’t share any personal details
  • do not push, hit, kick, punch, slap, throw missiles at or smack a service user or threaten to do so
  • do not develop ‘personal’ or sexual relationships with service users
  • do not touch service users in a manner which is gratuitous or would be considered sexual, threatening or intimidating.  It is acceptable to hold a child’s hand, or hold or support a vulnerable adult’s arm when, for instance, crossing a road, or car park. It is also acceptable to ‘steer’ a child by placing your hand on their shoulder. You should report it if any service user in your care appears to need a lot of physical intervention from you
  • do not be sarcastic, or make remarks or ‘jokes’ of a personal, sexual, racist, discriminatory, intimidating or otherwise offensive nature to service users
  • do not embarrass or humiliate service users
  • do not give or accept gifts from service users
  • do not allow, encourage or condone service users to act in an illegal, improper or unsafe manner, for example smoking or drinking alcohol

Additional Guidelines for drivers and VPAs working on Adult Social Care (ASC) contract work with vulnerable adults

Your attitude is vital. It will help both you and the vulnerable adult in your care if you are patient and respectful. These are not jobs where you rush in order to get on to the next one. The service user will need you to be calm and aware that things may take a while or, occasionally, be frustrating. 

Be very clear about arrival times, who you are, and where you are taking the vulnerable adult in your care.  Vulnerable adults with memory difficulties may find it helpful if you remind them of the purpose of the journey on the way. Make sure that you see them safely delivered into the front door of their destination. Make sure you see someone meet them on arrival.

Make sure you have read the safeguarding guidelines and know who to report any concerns to.  If you have concerns about a vulnerable adult, then tell the centre you that are taking them to and/or your manager.

Remember: don’t worry about doing the right thing, worry about not doing anything.

Keep conversations with vulnerable adults, carers, and staff light and professional.  Don’t leave yourself open to any misunderstandings.  

Finally, always remember that, in doing this work, you are providing a valuable service. It is greatly appreciated by service users, their parents, carers and support staff and by the council.