I wanted to put my professional opinion to a debate I am hearing. Should trainee instructors go onto the Trainee Licence Scheme, or the pink licence?
First of all, those that know me know that my specialist subject is training driving instructors. I actually went a wrote a masters degree in it.
I have trained hundreds and helped thousands, helping to set up up over 15 driving schools in the process, as well as my own driving school, which covers an increasing number of areas across the South from Cornwall to Portsmouth.
As well as that, I set up DTE-Elite as a premium training provider for driving instructors. You could say that I’ve got the t-shirt…
Many of the comments and views I am seeing from people on social media and forums are from people who have little idea about the industry and are making the comments purely because it’s the only way they seem to be able to market themselves – by continually knocking new instructors or schools entering the market.
So let me get to it.
One upon a time not so long ago the part three test consisted of what was called a “pre-set-test.” This was a test that you could pass if you had a good memory and on the day you were lucky enough to get the right faults. I would say you could even pass it without much training.
Today’s test requires much more than that. For one, you’ll need to bring a real pupil (I know the DVSA say a family member but I seriously do not advise that, far too many problems.)
You will need to show that you are able to meet the pupil’s goals and structure a lesson to match the pupil’s experience and ability. If the lesson needs changing, and it will, you will need to ensure you change the route to suit the new goal.
Learning to be aware of a pupil’s surrounding is something you can’t do from a book or on a roll-play lesson. For years, trainees have said that roll-play isn’t right and they can’t get their heads around it. You need to be able to adapt your teaching style and develop real questioning techniques to encourage pupils to analyse problems and develop pupil self-evaluation. You will develop ways of using opportunities to clarify learning outcomes and pupil feedback.
My firm belief is the part three test is now easier than ever before. Trainers are now able to assess trainees in real life lessons and fix any errors that exist rather than the rote teaching of everything. Many trainees already have skill sets that make them great teachers and today’s trainers now have the tools to be able to analyse this during real driving lessons.
I wholeheartedly support the trainee licence providing the training is good. There are unfortunately schools and trainers out there still trying to do a mainly role play based training system that tries to rote-teach pre-set-tests.
To do this of course, trainees need to have a vehicle, insurance and be supported by a driving school. They therefore need some income to be able to do this.
I believe many trainees are actually better qualified than some of the existing ADI’s who have been teaching for years, but do no additional qualifications – certainly than those who admitted in a recent forum they don’t, nor have they read a Highway Code since passing their own L test!