Coach Membership

Coach Membership

We’re bringing together the expertise of our coach policy team and the knowledge we’ve gained from supporting operators of commercial vehicles for over 75 years to introduce a new annual membership designed specifically for coach operators.

As the trade association for all road transport operators, we are committed to driving business on our roads and have a wealth of coach expertise and a proven track record in delivering policy support to drive change that benefits our members.

Our experience of working with government to lead change puts us in a unique position to support coach businesses moving forward.

Raising the standard for coaches

We recognize that the coach and bus sectors are not the same, that the commonality between them is perceived more than real and that the only major common area is that they carry passengers and the licensing system that governs them. This is something which Government, legislators and stakeholders all too often fail to grasp. Never has this been more apparent than during the pandemic when at the time the industry’s need was greatest, it proved unable to demonstrate this.

The sector has been hit hard by Covid-19 with cancellations, social distancing and reduced demand from events and tourism. This has been coupled with the serious erosion of customer confidence as the strength and depth of the Government messaging which drove people away from buses, and thanks to the widespread perception of coach and bus being one and the same, resulted in coaches being similarly affected. With 90% of the UK fleet parked up at the peak of the pandemic, we know the sector requires urgent support, strength in its voice to Government, operational guidance as it starts to move again and tailored solutions to support business recovery.

 

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

  • RHA Helpdesk
  • Coach Policy Experts
  • Active Campaigning
  • Intelligence and Insight
  • Specialist Advice and Information
  • Coaches Specialist Group
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Dedicated Area Managers
  • RHA membership gives access to discounted member rates on RHA training, audits and compliance geared towards the needs of coach operators. Contact us for details of what we can offer to your business.

Why become an RHA member?

The RHA brand is widely recognized as representing the transport industry across all modes, displaying the logo on your vehicles and marketing materials goes a long way to enhancing your credibility and gives your business a competitive edge. Of course there are more tangible benefits which come with your membership; as well as the regular communications which keep members up to date with industry developments, changes in legislation etc, members have access to the full range of services we offer:

 

Expert Operational Support

RHA has vast experience in operational matters for commercial vehicle operators, both in areas common across sectors, but crucially in those areas of that are specific to coach operation such as licensing, certification, employment advice, rules and regulations for both domestic and European coach journeys in fact all aspects of coaching.

Advice and guidance is available to members in a number of ways:

  • Coach Operations Manual: With the launch of our new website, members can access a vast amount of information on-line, our coach operations manual is available to members digitally, 24/ 7 and brings a wealth of information from a vast array of sources together in one, easy to use document, regularly updated, in the members area of the RHA Website.
  • Member Briefings - Regular coach specific briefings are held for members, these cover operational matters for the coach and wider transport sectors, policy discussions and twice annually, RHA Member Briefings are held at convenient locations around the country.
  • RHA Helpdesk: Our helpdesk team answer over 10,000 calls annually and are on hand to offer expert guidance on a range of issues from regulatory matters and compliance, to employment law. This is backed by an expert team who provide specialist coach support in specific areas such as engineering and operator licensing including support for initial applications and continuity.
  • Local Knowledge: Our team in the regions have contacts and knowledge at a local level which can be invaluable to coach operators, both those based in the area and those who’s journeys take them to the locality.
  • Specialist Advice and Information: members have access to expert knowledge as well as insight in specialist areas such as security, infrastructure, international operations and more.
  • Legal Matters: Our legal partners, Backhouse Jones can advise on operational matters of law which may lead to criminal or civil proceedings, or action against their O licence. RHA Coach members have access to free initial advice on any matter. Subsequent paid work is undertaken at a preferential rate, or members can opt to subscribe to the “RHA Member BackUp” scheme for the best value in continuous legal support.

 

RHA Coach Assist 24/ 7 Crisis Control Support

RHA Coach Assist offers support and assistance to members in the event of a crisis, whether it’s a roadside incident such as a breakdown or something more serious which may be attracting media attention. One call will connect you to an incident handler who will be able to deal with the matter or for more specialist assistance, direct the call to the appropriate resources to assist.

  • Roadside Assistance: Breakdowns, flat tyres, whatever the incident, RHA Coach Assist will deal with all manner of incidents on the road linking members with roadside assistance, recovery and wherever possible, assist you with the priority of moving passengers to a place of safety or their ultimate destination.
  • Media support: Incidents both on the road or elsewhere involving your premises, your vehicles and your staff can attract media attention and dealing with this can be a real challenge. Our media team will relieve some of the burden of dealing with these matters and allow some breathing space to get on and deal with the incident. 
  • Legal advice: Where these incidents, or any other incident requires expert legal advice in an emergency, RHA BackUp provided by our legal partners Backhouse Jones offers members  access to a free initial consultation on any matter with preferential rates for any subsequent paid work which may be required*.

*Members who are also full BackUp scheme subscribers will receive the services as detailed under their scheme membership.

 

Representation and support in your area

RHA is renowned for its campaigning and lobbying powers at national level but we’ve never lost sight of the immense value that local representation has for members. Our team in the devolved nations and local regions across the UK represents members interests and engages with stakeholders across a wide variety of areas

  • Members have access to more than 20 representatives working to represent their interests at local level.
  • Our CPC qualified team are recognized as not only representing the members, but also as industry experts and will be consulted on local issues by stakeholders across the public and private sectors.
  • These highly experienced experts, sourced from across the industry, are able to provide you with local support and access to key decision makers in your area.

 

Industry leading policy development

RHA has one of the most respected and knowledgeable teams in the transport industry with expertise across all areas, including a dedicated specialist for the coach sector.

Policy development is member led and members have opportunities to be involved in this.

  • Member round tables – From the outset, RHA policy across all areas has been member led. For coach members, member, “round table” discussion are held at each stage of policy development to ensure that this is in step with member views and aspirations
  • Member led development – Members have opportunity to provide stage by stage input in policy discussion, inspire development and have a say in what the organization campaigns for on behalf of its members.
  • Access to the policy team – Members have direct access to the policy development team, aside from dedicated round table discussions, members can discuss any aspect of policy areas with the team directly.

 

Active Campaigning

RHA has a long track record of working constructively with government, industry officials, local authorities and other stakeholders on the matters that affect the livelihoods of our members.

We campaign on behalf of our members to drive real change in the industry.

  • National Coach Week: Building on the huge success of National Lorry Week”, RHA brings the format to the coach industry with the first ever “National Coach Week” in the Summer of 2021.
  • Coach Industry Roadmap: RHA is seeking to address the challenges for the industry in one, coherent approach with the adoption of an industry wide “roadmap” which will ensure that the aspirations and ambitions for clean-air, inclusivity and ultimately de-carbonizing coaches are met in a practical, affordable and achievable manner.
  • Industry campaign support: RHA works alongside other organisations in the sector in support of campaigning on issues which align with those policies set by our members, and also to promote general awareness of the industry and the issues it faces.

 

Intelligence and Insight

It’s been widely recognized that the coach sector lacks real time data in key areas. RHA’s expertise in gathering, collating and interpreting industry data has made it the “go to” place for stakeholders seeking detailed information on transport sector and this will move towards informing on the coach industry as we extend our data and intelligence gathering to cover this sector.

Existing reports such as the fuel survey are already of relevance and are available to members. Plans to extend this further will cover specific areas of the coach industry and provide a wide range of statistics, which in turn will form a tool kit for members, not only to help run their business but also to use when lobbying stakeholders.

  • Vehicle data: Using our expertise gained through many years of gathering industry intelligence, RHA aims to gather real world data on the coach sector which will reinforce the environmental credentials of the industry and help promote its position as a leader in environmentally friendly travel.
  • Employee key statistics: Who does what in the industry? How much are they paid? What qualifications do they have? – aspects which will drive the industry’s needs in recruiting, retaining and developing its people in the future is something which will be a part of this
  • Industry value -  What exactly is the contribution the coach sector makes to UK Plc? - aspects of the industry’s value which will help drive investment in it from both the public and private sectors.

 

RHA Compliance Support

Members have preferential access to a wide variety of services targeted towards supporting all road transport businesses, including those in the coach sector, and helping maintain the standards required for their operating licence and the mandatory requirements in other areas of their business.

  • Compliance audits - Members have preferential access to what are recognised as industry leading ISO9001 accredited compliance audits, your operations viewed objectively by an independent auditor against benchmark standards. These can be conducted on site or in some cases, remotely.
  • Earned Recognition – Our compliance audit service is fully accredited and recognised for the purposes of Earned Recognition.
  • Employment support – RHA can advise on matters of employment law and also provide model contracts of employment for all staff roles.
  • Health and safety – Independent advice on all aspects of health and safety, for employees and customers, both on the road and in your premises.
  • Vehicle Inspection services – Independent assessments conducted under CPR35 (civil procedure rules) on all types of PSVs - roadworthiness, pre-purchase, maintenance provider audit, warranty issues or specialist checks – all can be arranged.
  • Component failure and fluid analysis – RHA are equipped to undertake investigation and analysis of component failure, fluids and compile detailed reports for customers.
  • Driver Licence Checks – Fast, cost effective and informative checks and monitoring on your driving team’s vocational licence validity.
  • Medicals – Access to specialist medical checks for drivers and staff, provided at a wide range of locations across the UK to suit you and your staff.
  • Drug and alcohol testing services – A confidential, end to end service with 24/7 support which assists members implement drug and alcohol screening within their workplace. Testing, education and training are all covered together with working to help members develop policy on this critical area.
  • RHA Tachograph analysis services - RHA Analysis is a web-based software solution, Earned Recognition Approved, providing a powerful reporting tool across multiple sites/locations.
  • RHA Defect app - The RHA Daily Defect App is designed to make daily inspection/first use checks easier. Smartphone based, checks can be recorded, including photos and distributed to multiple addresses for attention, and can be integrated with RHA Analysis
  • RHA Fleet Services - Our intelligent fleet management software solution with DVSA Earned Recognition Approval delivers seamless planning and co-ordination of all your vehicle maintenance and compliance in real-time.

 

Training and development

RHA training offers a wide range of training courses for applicable to both general transport and road users and also specific to the PSV sector.

With an exceptional pass rate for candidates

  • Transport Manager CPC – These are available as on-line courses or as in-class training.
  • Transport Manager refresher – These are also available in an on-line format or as in-class training.
  • Locations across the UK – Subject to demand, courses can be run at a number of locations in England and Wales.
  • Dedicated team - Training is delivered by a dedicated team of trainers with a wealth of industry knowledge and experience, backed up by the resources of the leading road transport trade association.
  • Qualified trainers - RHA trainers are industry professionals, holding relevant qualifications including Transport Manager CPC, NEBOSH etc.

 

RHA Business Support Services and Partnerships

Members have preferential rates and access to a comprehensive range of services offered directly or through our commercial partners, these support virtually every area of your business, helping manage your needs in key areas and offering an opportunity to significantly reduce business costs:

  • RHA BackUp legal support – Members have preferential access to the industry standard legal advice scheme, BackUp
  • Insurance – Working with our insurance partners, RHA has developed bespoke insurance solutions for coach members.
  • RHA Fuel Card - RHA Fuel Card offers savings on fuel, access to the fuel sites most convenient to drivers on the road and helps master fuel management for businesses of all sizes.
  • Fuel price intelligence – Weekly updates on the costs of bulk fuel supplies, provided direct to your inbox.
  • GDPR Guidance – A comprehensive guide to GDPR requirements and ensuring that your business is fully compliance with the requirements.
  • RHA Credit Control – Tailored credit reference and control which help members maximise cashflow, reduce the incidence of default and contribute to your bottom line.
  • Business finance – A wide range of asset and business finance services from over 100 potential lenders which not only offer finance for new purchases, but can benchmark your existing agreements to ensure you’re getting the best possible value available in the marketplace.
  • RHA Rental and leasing – Cost effective solutions for the supply of a wide range of cars and light vans to members.
  • RHA Benevolent fund - The Road Haulage Association Benevolent Fund (a registered charity) works to help people in hardship who are, or have been, connected with the Association. This includes members and employees, former members and employees of RHA together with their dependents.

Pricing

We have developed an introductory offer for year one to reflect the challenges the sector faces.
The annual cost for year one are:

  • For single vehicle operators – £150
  • For 2-5 vehicle operators – £350
  • For 6-10 vehicle operators – £550
  • For operators of 11+ vehicles – £800

We calculate our fees based on the number of vehicles you currently have in operation and all membership fees can be split by monthly direct debit.

Speak to us about our exclusive member benefits and services.

watch now

 

Watch our final webinar in the coaches series. 

This webinar introduces you to our brand-new coach membership. 

Watch this webinar to hear the reasons why coach operators should join the RHA’s membership in 2021.

This webinar, run by the RHA’s public relations and press teams, highlights how the RHA influences government policy.

This webinar run by the RHA’s Policy team, explains how the RHA has transformed policy issues and campaigning for the sector.