NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s school bus driver certification process is now being conducted with an efficient mobile and web-based solution.
The state Department of Safety & Homeland Security recently launched the THP Pupil Transportation Certification application, which replaces an obsolete paper-based manual process.
The department’s pupil transportation division is responsible for ensuring that active-duty school bus drivers hold an “S” endorsement on their CDL. The endorsement indicates demonstration of knowledge and road skills by way of written and road tests administered by the division. In-service training classes are conducted across 134 local school districts.
With the legacy paper-based system, Tennessee Highway Patrol state troopers sent the class roster and test results to the division’s Nashville office, where the administration staff would manually key the entries into the mainframe — a method that was not entirely efficient and was, occasionally, susceptible to error.
With the THP Pupil Transportation Certification application, iPads are deployed to the field, and with a brief sync prior to each training session, the officer has information of licenses with a prior history of “S” endorsements. This is validated against the physical license of each session attendee, consumed via portable scanner. At the end of the session, the results of the examination are sent wirelessly to the centralized repository.
Using the web-based component of the application, administrative staff can then run reports, view and edit records, and automatically generate necessary form letters.
“The system has already proven useful in many aspects,” Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Ray Robinson said. “The collection of correct data and the ability to determine certain license issues have been a great asset to this program.”
The Department of Safety & Homeland Security anticipates that the utilization of both the mobile and web-based components will result in a substantial savings in time and expense and a significant reduction in errors due to manual entry.
The THP Pupil Transportation Certification application was developed by NIC Inc., Tennessee’s e-government partner since 2000. NIC, Tennessee Information Division, helps the state build and maintain its official web portal and hundreds of online services.