The new form of the train driver examination


6 września 2022


All candidates for train drivers who will start training in 2023 will have an exam according to the new rules. From next year, exams for the license and train driver's certificate will become state and will be conducted by the President of the Office of Rail Transport.

The exam for a train driver's certificate conducted by the President of UTK will consist of a computer test, driving a simulator and a practical test on a railway vehicle. 2022 is the last year when the candidates will take the train driving license and train driving certificate examinations at their training centers. It is also the last year that the train driver's certificate exam is free of charge. The fees will be specified in the amendment to the Ordinance of the Minister of Infrastructure on fees charged by the President of the Office of Rail Transport.

For more than four years, drivers need both a license and a driver's certificate to drive trains. These permissions replaced the 2004 Driving Law. A train driver's license alone is not enough to run trains independently. For this, you need a train driver's certificate, which can only be obtained by taking a job in one of the railway companies as a driver's assistant.

A train driver's license is a document confirming that its holder meets the minimum requirements necessary to work as a train driver - education, professional skills or health conditions. The license specifies the identity of the holder and indicates the authority issuing the document and its validity period. However, it does not entitle the holder to drive railway vehicles or perform other functions and tasks. Once issued by the President of the Office of Rail Transport, the license becomes the property of the driver. New trainings will still take place in training centers, but the exam itself will be organized at the Office of Rail Transport and will take the form of an electronic single-choice test with questions generated in real time by means of an ICT system.

The train driver's certificate is a document specifying the circumstances in which the holder is entitled to drive railway vehicles, i.e. the type of infrastructure and rolling stock. They are issued by railway carriers and infrastructure managers. The document is the property of the issuer, not the driver, but he has the right to obtain a certified copy, and in the event of leaving work, the issuer of the certificate is obliged to provide a copy. The training remains unchanged, it consists in gaining practical experience in the form of driving hours. The examination is, however, taken over by UTK. Its form is similar to the license exam - it includes an electronic test generated in real time. The use of simulators for examinations will be a novelty. The practical part of the exam for a train driver's certificate consists in driving a railway vehicle on the railway infrastructure under the supervision of two examiners - instructors. The exams will be held at the Center for the Examination and Monitoring of Train Drivers (CEMM).

Andrzej Bittel from the Ministry of Infrastructure proudly tells about the new center: “CEMM is another element of the great modernization of Polish railways. As a result, the Rail Transport Office will gain a modern center for checking the knowledge and skills of candidates for train drivers. I hope that the implementation of the investment will have a positive impact on the improvement of safety on the railways, and the creation of a national register of train drivers will enable the monitoring of the qualifications of people driving rail vehicles. All this thanks to the amendment to the act on rail transport and the support of European funds from the Operational Program Infrastructure and Environment."

The Center for the Examination and Monitoring of Train Drivers will be equipped with modern examination rooms and three simulators. The devices will be used for examination sessions for different categories of train driver's certificate. A locomotive, multiple unit and a special vehicle or a locomotive with a 360 ° field of view will be mapped, as well as more than 5,000 km of actual rail routes. Contrary to the simulators available on the Polish training market so far, the new simulators are equipped with standardized control panels, compliant with the requirements for ergonomics and correct arrangement of instruments, in particular with the technical specifications for interoperability for locomotives and passenger rolling stock. The new Center will ensure reliable, comparable and repeatable examinations. Poland will be the second EU country after the Netherlands to use examination simulators.

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