Develop your skills

OK so you passed your part three or Standards test, brilliant you can now rest and start teaching how you want can’t you?

Well no, not if you want to pass the next test, the following Standard Check test.

man in red button up shirt
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Do not forget to keep delivering lessons the way you were shown and the way you passed your test. Many instructors don’t continue with the way they passed their test. They slip into bad habits, and then panic when they get their Standards Check. In the early days it is about perfecting those lesson skills and gaining rapport with your pupils. The problem is, you have no boss giving you a monthly appraisal, nobody is really watching you if you go wrong. Now this might seem like a dream job, but your critics and appraisals are given by each pupil. Not to you directly but indirectly by your pupils telling you something like ‘I’m having a lesson break for a bit’ or ‘I can’t afford my lessons for a few weeks, I’ll call you’. There are a lot of reasons like this given and while a few of them might be genuine, in 20+ years I know most are not genuine. It is easy to make excuses too, blaming offers or the school you work for losing pupils, but the school has been doing this a long time and will have others in the same area not losing pupils. Remember I said earlier, most pupils leave their instructor because they don’t feel like they’re making progress or some other reason.

Let’s imagine you just passed your part three with a 31-35 score. In truth, you passed but only just. If you deviate at all from how you delivered your part three test, you will immediately fall in the below 30 scoring zone, a fail. If you don’t do any CPD or even reflection on how you are delivering driving lessons, your grade will be falling. Nobody is going to tell you. There is nobody watching your lessons. No critic, apart from I mentioned, the pupil. How will you know? You won’t, But the day that letter drops on your doorstep inviting you to a Standard Check, you know how you are going to feel. Now if your training is sub-standard, and don’t blame the DVSA system, you are going to worry. I and many of my trainers often see someone who has failed 2 Standard Checks and only ask for help the week before the third and final. Then expect a miracle. There are certain things a good trainer can do to help you through the test but like wrapping an exhaust bandage around a hole in your exhaust, it is a temporary fix.

You don’t need to pay out for lots of expensive training if you keep up to date. There are several online CPD zoom calls, some are good, some not so but have a look around and see what feels right for you. I run them myself almost every week, free of charge. No ulterior motive, just to help instructors and a place they can come and ask questions and get facts. I certainly won’t try and sell you a course or anything. Its my way of giving back.

If your school offers additional training, sometimes called CPD (Continuing professional development), make time to do it. As a driving school owner, myself, I run additional CPD for many things. Lesson structure, rapport, how to get you pupils to stay with you even if they don’t like you, and many other things. Schools like mine run courses normally free to help their instructors to be better instructors. A bad instructor is not good for a school. So, make the time for these courses and gradually your test passes will increase, and you will have happier pupils.

DTE-ELITE Elite has many continuing professional development (CPD) programmes. These courses are free to our own Driving Instructors. Sometimes we might look at franchises and say ‘thats a lot of money’ but you need to look at the whole package. After all, there is a reason why some of my instructors with 1st 4 Driving have been with me for coming up to 20 years and why qualified instructors join me.

For more information on training or anything to do with becoming a driving instructor contact up at

Remember, I wrote the book on how to be a GOOD driving instructor!