TRAINEE tram drivers will have to pass a personality test in a bid to weed out risk-taking candidates.
Candidates for the £24,000-a-year jobs will be put through their paces on a 115-question assessment – called a Safety Personality Questionnaire – before being given the green light to get behind the controls.
Run by the Occupational Psychology Centre (OPC), the behavioral exam lays bare a driver’s attitude to safety.
Scores are analysed and can be linked to a criterion based interview for “even greater depth of analysis and identification of specific experience that supports the reported safety traits”.
A OPC spokesman said: “Having the ability to explore this is particularly important for DSM’s who not only work in a safety-critical environment, but who are also required to motivate their drivers to behave in a positive, safety-orientated manner at all times.”
Lothian Buses, who will manage tram operations, refused to discuss the testing, but a council source said the recruitment process to “build an enthusiastic and skilled team to operate the service is progressing well.”
He said the tests were standard across the rail industry and “considered good practice”, adding: “It ensures we have safe and competent people driving Edinburgh’s trams.”
The news comes as it emerged tram bouncers will be used to prevent members of the public boarding the carriages during testing.
Extra staff will be tasked with sitting in on test runs through the city centre as trams stop at each of the 16 stations and open their doors to ensure the mechanisms are working correctly.
It is understood that staff placed in each carriage will remind would-be travellers that the route is not yet up and running. Cllr Joanna Mowat, ward member for the city centre, said: “This issue was thrown up at the Light Rail Conference in Manchester, and I admit was news to most of us.
“However, I’ve long been an advocate of having something on the tram saying ‘I’m being tested for safety but I’ll be up and running soon’, just to avoid any confusion.”
Yesterday, the Evening News revealed that trams could initially be tested at night and other off-peak times to avoid disruption and curb possible public anger at seeing empty carriages running through the Capital.
Lesley Hinds, the city’s transport leader, has insisted that the launch date will not be announced until September though it has been reported the trams system could go live before Christmas. Meanwhile, it can be revealed that more than 600 candidates have applied for the 32 driver posts.
Take a personality test
Taken from a book by Susan Cain called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop
1: I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities
2: I often prefer to express myself in writing
3: I enjoy solitude
4: I seem to care less than my peers about wealth, fame and status
5: I dislike small talk, but I enjoy talking in depth about topics that matter to me
6: People tell me that I’m a good listener
7: I’m not a big risk-taker
8: I enjoy work that allows me to “dive in” with few interuptions
9: I like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or two close friends or family members
10: People often describe me as “soft-spoken” or “mellow”
11: I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until it’s finished
12: I dislike conflict
13: I tend to do my best work on my own
14: I tend to think before I speak
15: I often let calls go through to voicemail
16: If I had to choose, I’d prefer a weekend with absolutely nothing to do to one with too many things scheduled
17: I don’t enjoy multitasking
18: I can concentrate easily
19: In classroom situations, I prefer lectures to seminars