What is a Train Driver Assessment Day?

Train Driver Assessment Day is simply the day you have been invited to take

Train Driver Assessment Daythe train driver selection tests or interview in a particular place. The venue of the test is called an assessment day centre. And it could be in train operating company’s (TOC’s) building, a hotel, an office or any place quiet and decent enough to take the tests. 

At the test venue is you may meet trained occupational psychologists, human resource personnel and managers.




Train Driver Assessment Days may come up with mixed feelings. At first you feel joyous that your work is now bearing fruit as you have been invited to the next stage of the selection process. Gosh!, you application was so good to beat competition. You have every reason to feel good. But then another unknown factor seems to be creeping in on you. It is natural to feel anxious; that is natures way of protecting you. However with good preparation resources you can eliminate your fears, and become more informed about the Selection Event.


Driver Assessment Day Invitation Letter or Email


You’ll usually get an email or letter inviting you for the train driver selection event. On some rare occasions you may get a phone call to confirm your attendance of the tests. The email will tell you the venue of the trainee driver assessments; the methods of selection and contact for any questions you may have. A preparation booklet with sample tests but not identical may be enclosed with the letter. It may also be attached as a PDF document. In this case you may have to print, read and practise.

As for locating the venue, we recommend you use google maps and TfL journey planner if your assessment is in London – and you intend to use public transport. Most assessment centres do no have parking space available for candidates so you may be better off using public transport. If you still like to drive then check with the local council parking arrangements and how much a parking space cost per hour.

I have attended three train driver assessment days in Euston, Watford and Doncaster. I found Euston  the easiest. With Watford and Doncaster, I had to do the unexpected – take a cab to get to the address of the selection centre. So allow extra time in your journey planning for the unexpected.

The methods of assessment may be worded in general terms and phrases like: “you will take safety concentration test,”. This has been done on purpose so you can do enough research about the tests. One way to uncover the name of the tests is look at the email attachment, contact us, speak to recent trainee train drivers from that TOC or read Rail Forum. Knowing the name of the tests you’ll be taking can help you to find suitable practice materials online. Spot On!


Selection Methods on The Train Driver Assessment Day


The train driver selection test was first used in 1994 in the UK. The original selection method was modified and some assessments made defunct in October 2013.

Why was it changed?

It was changed purely in pursuit of a modern train driver. Train operating and signalling interfaces have changed significantly over the years. Many repetitive tasks have been automated and redundant activities have been eliminated.

The change was also made in compliance with the EU directive for train driving licensing. In theory, this means British Train Drivers should be able to get job in France or any other EU state as train driver and vice versa. However, in practice it can be so hard – almost virtually impossible. Saying that though; I know of one Portuguese Train Driver with an EU Train Driver Licence driving for a British TOC in London.


The Train Driver Tests To Expect During The Selection Event


Group Bourdon Test.

This method is used in assessing you concentration ability. It may be worded as safety concentration test. It is also known as 4-DOTS.


TEA is used for assessing candidates attention and ability to multi task. Though it is not explicitly stated as a hearing and counting test, if you can’t hear and count you can take this test. It may be worded in your letter of invitation as attention test.

Rules and Procedures Tests

RPT may be used to assess you ability follow procedures, understand information and give directions.

Personality Tests

This may be used to assess your personal qualities and responses to work related incidents. Situational Judgement Exercise is a type of personality test.


This used assessed your traffic perception. Hence all the pictures you’ll be shown are in a road setting and have to used context related terms like pedestrian, motorbike, road markings, and traffic light.

2 Hand Coordination.

As the name implies you’ll be assessed whether you can used your two hands to move a ball on a track. On the assessments you’ll used a joy stick to do this.


This is a type of vigilance test where you react by pressing a green button whenever grey becomes black.

Multimodal Interview (MMI)

MMI is a competency based or structured interview where your answers are cross referenced with your answers for the personality test.

Driver Manager Interview (DMI)

DMI is where you are interview by three member of staff from the TOC. One may come from HR and the two from the driving department, usually, they are mangers.


Practice for the tests you have been invited for. According to the test writers themselves: there is strong data to suggest that you are more likely to do well on the train driver assessment day if you practise.

Read previous post:
Some Important Institutions In The UK Railway Industry

In 1993, the government privatised British Railway Industry (BR) along the lines of EU Directive. Railways Regulation 1992 introduced section...