There are excessively large numbers of new, young drivers represented in the road casualty statistics, and it can be contended that better driver training would reduce these numbers. It is also imperative that to deliver better instruction, improvements are needed to the way in which car driving instructors are themselves trained and qualified.
Presently, in the UK, only Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) is permitted to charge for providing car-driving instruction (with the exception of partially qualified, would-be ADIs who hold a Trainee License). The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) continues a Register of ADIs. There were approximately 29,000 names on the Register in April 1999, with a further 10,000 or so people at various stages in the qualification process. In recent years, approximately 2,500 new ADIs qualify each year, with some 4,000 leaving the Register in each of the past two years. The great majority of these leave of their own accord; around 500 pa are removed for failing to attend a periodical Check Test of their continuous ability and fitness to give instruction or for unsatisfactory performance or demeanor.
All prospective ADIs complete an application form that is then forwarded to DSA who check with the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to verify the applicant has a clean license. Candidates attending for their ADI Part I Theory Test are asked to generate their signed license and proof of identity. This arrangement has also been extended to the basic signature check used previously.
Prospective ADIs commence the examination process by taking the theory examination, paying a fee of £50.00. There is no constraint on the number of times an applicant can take this 1.5-hour examination, which comprises 100 multiple choice questions divided into four modules of 25 questions each
The Driving Test
Publications and instructional techniques
The pass mark is a minimum of 80% in each module and an overall mark of at least 85%.
When candidates are informed they have passed, the notification doubles as an application form for the practical driving test (Part II). The prospective ADI then has 2 years to become a registered ADI, or he/she will have to start the qualification process over again.
Prospective ADIs who have passed the theory exam pay a £62 fee to take the Eyesight Test (read a number-plate at 27.5m), and provided they pass, undertake Part II - the practical driving test. To clear the one-hour driving test, the maximum number of errors allowed is six driving faults, and up to three attempts at this test are permitted. A candidate who fails 3 times must wait for 2 years from the date of passing the written exam before again originate the qualifying process.
On passing Part II, and having received a minimum of 40 hours of tuition in instructional techniques, a candidate associated to a driving school can apply for a 6-month Trainee License. This permits the potential Driving Instructor (PDI) to gain some practical experience training 'L' pupils for reward, offers them a supervised by a fully qualified ADI for 20% of the time.
The final stage of the examination process for entry to the ADI Register is Part III - the one-hour instructional test, the fee for which is £62. As with Part II, only three attempts are permitted. The Part III instructional test is support for on role-play, in which the examiner drives the vehicle as if he/she were an unqualified driver.
On passing Part III, the PDI applies to enter the ADI register at a cost of £200.00 for 4 years. Re-registration is needed every four years. No further examinations are needed, provided that the ADI maintains an adequate standard in periodic Check Tests of his/her capability to instruct. The first Check Test is mainly educational and usually carried out within the first 6 months of entry to the register. Depending on the new ADI's performance, it may result in a grade being given, or the grade may not be awarded until the next Check Test. The Check Test system and the grading used are discussed later in this report.
Second and more particularly, any improvements to the entry procedures should be judged against their capability to deliver a good ADI. Any improvements to the Check Test process should be judged against their ability at least to maintain the initial standard, and rather to improve it.
Be patient, inspire confidence, and be tolerant of the mistakes of clients;
Be an effective communicator, capable of adapting to different methods of communication according to the needs of individual clients;
Be aware of the importance of feedback from clients in sustaining and improving levels of delivery;
Be positive, good natured and sympathetic in relations with others, especially with regard to working with others;
Show a proper concern for the safety and well-being of self, clients, passengers and other road users; and Be willing to continually re-assess their needs in relation to present practice and future development and training.
Professional good ADI should
Have a good working knowledge of the range of teaching/learning and communications skills that might enhance the process of driver instruction and have the confidence to apply these as required;
Be able to teach individual clients effectively and help them to apply the knowledge and skills gained;
Give prime importance to the needs and expectations of the client, and achieve an understanding and sympathy for individuals' learning problems;
Be able to adapt teaching style and content to the needs of clients at all stages in their driving career (e.g. pass plus; driver improvement schemes);
Be able to negotiate with clients the content of their individual programmes, monitor and assess their progress and review their progress on a regular basis;
Teach learner drivers to understand the full syllabus for learning to drive beyond the basic level of car control skills, so that they understand what they should be doing, why they should do it, and what effect their actions might have on other road users; and Ensure that every effort is made to achieve success in the driving test for clients at the learner stage, and instill safe driving habits for life.
Knowledge & Skills Required good ADI should:
Be well aware of the major causes of road accidents and of strategies for avoiding these;
Be in possession of a thorough understanding of the rules and procedures outlined in The Highway Code and The Driving Manual and to be able to put these principles into practice by setting a good personal example when driving;
Be able to provide theory training in both classroom and vehicle;
Be a good driver and maintain a high standard of driving;
Be skilled in facilitating learning through demonstration and instruction of driving skills and methods to individuals;
Be skilled in managing the performance, progress and assessment of a client according to a progressive system for mastering traffic and road conditions;
Be skilled in identifying options for training and development of individual clients of all levels of experience, and to design programs to satisfy these;
Be able to adapt learning programs and methods to meet the special requirements of individual clients;
Be skilled in agreeing and delivering plans for assessments of candidate performance, carrying out assessments, and providing good quality feedback from these; and Recognize that many learner drivers undertake private practice and be able to offer good sound advice and appropriate guidance in this matter to both client and supervising driver.
Business Competence good ADI should:
Abide by the DSA Code of Practice;
Provide a value for money service to customers;
Be able to explain and agree products and services to be delivered to the client, and to organize own work pattern in relation to the needs of the client and those of the business;
Be aware of the need to maintain accurate records of a clients' progress through a learning program, and to ensure that details of progress are communicated and discussed on a regular basis;
Be aware of the need to make changes or adaptations in the content and style of the delivery of client programs in the light of changes in the law or good practice in driver instruction;
Be familiar with Health and Safety requirements relating to the maintenance of a healthy and safe working environment;
Always maintain tuition vehicles to a high level of roadworthiness, and fulfill all legal requirements applying to instructor/client relationships and documentation;
Keep up-to-date and accurate administrative and financial records according to best practice standards, and as required by Government Departments;
Keep accurate records of pupils presented for test and an accurate analysis of their performance;
Be familiar with opportunities for further business development or modifications / additions to existing business practice according to changing standards in the profession; and Be aware of existing and potential opportunities for further professional development and business expansion.
Entry to the Register
The Theory Test
The first stage of the entry process to eligible as an ADI is a written examination - the Theory Test. The current Theory Test…