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PCO English Language Requirement Questions & Answers

I was born in the UK; do I need to do the English test?
Yes, Transport for London has said the new English Language Requirement will apply to all drivers. Although a B1 English Certificate isn’t specifically required if you have studied GCSE’s or similar and can provide the original proof.

I have a UK Passport; will I still need to do the English test?
Yes, you still need to pass the English Language Requirement. You can however still submit certificates from past qualifications you may have attained from secondary school.

I an existing Private Hire License holder; do I need to do the English test NOW?
No, you don’t have to meet the English Language requirement until your renewal is due. There is a transition date, which applies to NEW applicants and RENEWAL applicants who are submitting applications before 30th April 2019. Anyone applying or renewing their private hire licence after the 1st of May 2019 will need to have the English Language requirements ready to submit with their application.

I have a non-UK or ESOL/EFL qualification, can I use that?
As long as the subject was taught in English and up to the B1 standard.  TfL has mentioned that they will consider the qualification. However, you must provide the original certificate and a letter from the accrediting body or teaching institution to confirm you passed the course.

I’ve lost my GCSE result certificates; what can I do?
You can get in touch with the accrediting body who will be able to re-issue your certificate. There are 4 main AO’s in England; they are AQA, OCR, WJEC and Edexcel. Links are below or you can use our replacement GCSE certificate service





For other AO’s please visit –

Do I have to pay to get replacement GCSE certificates?
Yes, the AO’s do have an admin fee to research and provide you with a replacement certificate or equivalent. Please check the individual AO’s to find out how much they charge as the fees differ depending on the company. We advise you to find out from your old school or college as to which AO/Exam board they used for your GSCE English exams and apply only to that specific AO.

How long does it take to get replacement GCSE certificates?
It will take around 28 working days (not including Bank Holidays), but allow up to 8 weeks as there is a high demand currently.

Is the English test difficult?
The Private Hire English Requirement set by TfL requires testing to be done at a SELT (Secure English Language Test) test centre. The standard of testing are much higher and therefore candidates may feel a little less confident. However with a little initiative and hard work on the English course you will be able to pass the test.

Where do I go for the English test?
The B1 English Language Test must be taken at a TfL approved SELT centre. You can currently find these at 3 locations run by Trinity College. The locations are in Holborn, Hammersmith and Croydon.  We can help you book your test.

How can I prepare for the TfL English Test?
It is best to take a B1 English Language course, we offer different levels of courses depending on the level of English you can speak.  If you find a particular aspect of the test more difficult, we will focus extra on this for you.  Read more about our TfL B1 English courses.

How long does it take to get the English Language certificate?
Once you have passed your B1 English language test, the ISE accrediting body will issue the certificate by post. This will take 15 workings days to arrive.

Do I have to do writing as a part of the English Language Requirement?
Yes, all 4 modules of the B1 Level of English Language will need to be passed. This includes Reading & Writing and Speaking & Listening.  We can provide extra training for writing at our English Language courses for Private Hire Drivers.

How long is the TfL Private Hire English Test?
The test can be completed in a day, the Reading & Writing test is 2 hours long and the Speaking & Listening test is around 18 minutes.

What happens if I fail my TfL English Language Test?
If you fail, you will receive a letter telling you that you have failed along with a report on what parts you need to improve on.  You can bring this report to us to get refresher training on the parts you failed on.

What does SELT mean or what is a SELT centre?
SELT stands for Secure English Language Test, the difference between a normal test centre and SELT centre is that the SELT centre has more security. This is why the home office & TfL use these centre’s to test candidates.

Candidates attending their B1 English Language Exam at an SELT centre will be met by a person at the centre who will remain with them throughout the day. The candidates voice will be recorded and a photograph will be taken. ID’s and signatures will be checked and verified. There will also be a body check, which involves checking the ear for any ear pieces. Exams will be held in exam conditions with CCTV.

Available Courses

B1 ISE 1 Preparation Course

Official Trinity Course


  • 4 Modules Covered
  • Preparation for B1 Test
  • Fully Qualified Teachers
  • Test with Trinity (£180)
  • 1 Week Course £250
  • 2 Weeks Course £300
  • 4 Weeks Course £350

City & Guilds Level 3 Course



  • Unlimited Tests
  • Accepted by TfL
  • City & Guilds Certificate
  • Course & Test at our Centre
  • Functional Skills Level 3
  • Equivalent to GCSE A to C
  • 1 to 4 Weeks

Self Study Book & CD

Learn at home


  • Official Trinity Book
  • Practice Questions
  • CD Included
  • Test with Trinity
  • Self Study Book
  • Can be used for UK Visa
  • Buy & Collect Available