These are testing times, indeed, for driving instructors
Since coming out of the Pandemic and the lockdowns that went with it, the demand for driving tests is causing huge problems nationwide. Driving instructors are finding it massively challenging and stressful to continuously juggle and balance their pupils’ expectations and needs, parents’ expectations, test waiting times and test availability.
For example, an instructor decides to postpone the pupil’s test because they are clearly not ready. Or the pupil goes for their test and fails – not a ‘bad’ fail, with one serious and a couple of driver errors. In both cases, the next test date could be five months down the line; and the instructor is presented with the dilemma of what to do with the pupil to keep their standard high enough for the new test date.
In some cases, the pupil will, inevitably, fall off the radar. They may have run out of funds, or they simply do not understand the need to take lessons to keep their standard high enough. In addition to this, the instructor has a long waiting list and may need to fill their diary with new pupils, taking the place of those waiting for their test. Sometimes, an agreement is made that the pupil will return for a few lessons just prior to the new test date and then the instructor has their work cut out to get the pupil test-ready again.
In some fortunate cases, the pupil agrees to take a lesson every two or three weeks throughout the waiting time, and this is probably the best-case scenario.
The greatest catastrophe with this situation is that the instructor becomes test-focused and therefore fault-focused
They dump their coaching and client-centred learning techniques in favour of short-term solutions that are just too focused on getting the pupil ready for their test.
You might wonder, so what?
The reason this is a catastrophe is because a totally test-focused approach does nothing to develop lifelong skills of self-evaluation, judgement and decision-making. Transferable skills, that can be applied in all the new driving experiences the post-test pupil needs to manage, are not being developed, when the training is all around identifying, analysing and remedying faults. Fault correction is primarily addressed through rote-learning; and this technique does not equip learner drivers with the skills necessary to reflect and make safe decisions when out driving on their own.
As it is, we know that one in five newly qualified drivers is involved in a serious crash within the first 250 miles of driving post-test. We also know that research has shown that those drivers, who are able to recognise a ‘near-miss’, are less likely to be involved in a crash.
The ability to recognise a ‘near-miss’ comes down to self-awareness and self-responsibility – the driver has to be self-aware enough to analyse their part in the ‘near-miss’ and take steps to avoid something similar happening again.
In other words, their driver training needs to focus on the development of self-evaluation skills
A goal-focused approach - where the instructor discusses and agrees the goal, the structure of the lesson (including how much help the pupil needs), and the practice areas – encourages the pupil to take responsibility for their own learning and, through reflection and self-evaluation, helps them identify what they need to do to improve. These skills are drawn upon when the pupil has passed their test and is out driving on their own.
Under pressure, with a test date looming – or the pupil only taking rare lessons on the run-up to the test – the risk is that the goal-focus approach goes out of the window and the instructor resorts to test-focused training.
So, what is the solution?
The solution sits with the instructor, whose job it is to, consciously and deliberately, remain in a client-centred relationship with the pupil.
A client-centred relationship is based on the belief that ‘learning comes from within’. In other words, the pupil has all the resources that they need to become a safe driver; and it is the instructor’s job to facilitate the process of drawing this out of the pupil and filling in the gaps in knowledge, where necessary and relevant.
Practically, this means the instructor needs to work in and around the pupil’s individual context – their reason for wanting to learn to drive, providing opportunities to give them ‘real-world’ experiences whenever possible.
The instructor needs to set their intention, not to talk about the test; and not to focus on faults. Instead, to focus on goals.
Here are some examples:
1. Ask the pupil to drive themselves to a near-by town centre (following signs for Town Centre or Station or Hospital, etc.). Once they have navigated through the town centre, they need to follow signs to get back onto the ‘A’ road and drive home again.
Ask them, what they would like to get out of this (the Goal) and how they would like to do it (the Structure). They might want a few moments on their own to plan their route or to look at Google Maps; or they might be happy to get on with it and have a go. You might choose to scale the goal – say, it is to do with becoming confident that they can navigate themselves on the journey, where zero is they have no confidence and ten is they have total confidence.
Tell them, they will be driving as if on their own. You are simply there to keep the car safe and will not comment on their driving unless you need to manage the risk. Remind them you have the dual controls (if this is the case) and they can, therefore, concentrate on their goal, knowing that you will keep the car safe.
Once the car moves, be happy to sit in silence. However, remain alert, observing the pupil and the surroundings, so that you can step in with clear and well-timed prompts, if necessary; and so that you can intervene verbally or physically, again, if necessary.
When the pupil pulls up after the drive, use your teaching and learning strategies to debrief them. Draw from them what they were particularly pleased about and why. Ask them if there is anything they would do differently another time. Scale them again and see if their score has changed since the initial goal-setting conversation.
Spend time on this, because this is where the true learning takes place – through reflection and self-evaluation.
Discuss anything you feel they need to work on, including any safety critical incidents where you needed to intervene to manage the risk. Be positive and speak about development and improvement rather than focusing on where they went wrong, made a mistake or messed up.
2. The above example can be adapted so that the pupil drives to a friend’s house or to work or to a multi-storey car park. This can also be done with the satnav.
3. Task the pupil that they are going to drive for an hour (assuming a 1.5-hour or 2-hour lesson). During this time, they can go wherever they want but they must complete all the manoeuvres. Here, it is good to tell them the manoeuvres must be completed to a test- standard and that, if they don’t think it would pass the test, they must do it again – this works well because they are self-evaluating their performance and measuring it against the driving test with no input from you.
Again, set a goal – what do they want to achieve by the end of the hour.
During the hour’s drive, say nothing to them about their driving, unless you need to manage the risk. Do not critique them – no praise and no mention of faults. If it seems appropriate, put them under a bit of pressure by reminding them how much time they have left and how many manoeuvres they still need to complete.
Remember where the learning takes place and spend time debriefing the whole drive, particularly discussing how they felt under pressure and whether it affected their driving ability. Notice if you had to manage the risk more as the hour advanced and let them know about this. Relate this to post-test driving and discuss what strategies they could put in place to mitigate the risks of driving under pressure.
4. If you have two or three pupils in the same situation – waiting for a test date that is months’ ahead – get them all out together for half a day, giving each person the opportunity to drive for an hour or so. This can be a great experience for all involved.
Remember to ask each person to set their personal goal – what do they want to achieve? And avoid talking about faults (or the driving test) – just manage the risk. Here, the risk might be as much to do with the driver’s skill-set in dealing with the distractions of two peers in the car, as with anything that happens outside of the vehicle.
The development of lifelong driving skills is key to a pupil being able to pass the first hurdle of the driving test
It enables them to experience real-world driving, and this helps them develop their own strategies and resources for managing the stress and pressure of driving in any situation – even the driving test, which becomes easy by comparison.
Now is the perfect time to take the BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Coaching for Driver Development. It has been recognised by the DVSA as 'an effective road safety product' which means that the people who complete the course are taking professional development that makes a real difference.
BTEC 4 Coaching Course Content
The course is split into 4 modules plus an evaluation day, each with a one-day classroom session which is backed up by a self-development project or assignment.
This unit focuses on client centred learning and the importance of effective communication in order to facilitate the development of safe, responsible drivers. Effective communication is all about a balanced, equal relationship between both parties: the driving instructor and the client, where communication is authentic, neutral and non-judgemental. The aim of effective communication is to encourage learner drivers to take responsibility for the driving task so that once they pass the driving test and are independent, they know how to self-evaluate and avoid risky driving situations. Driving instructors will learn how to develop self-evaluation skills in their learner drivers through the use of probing questions which tap into underpinning beliefs and values. Candidates will have the opportunity to discuss and experiment with a variety of communication techniques in a classroom environment before practising these in a real environment, thus demonstrating that they have met the assessment criteria and the learning outcomes for the unit.
This unit focuses on the use of feedback as a means of facilitating the development of both the driving instructor and the learner driver. Different feedback techniques are examined and practised in a classroom context prior to the candidate experimenting with them in real-life driving situations. Self-awareness and self-responsibility are crucial when giving and receiving feedback so the emotional intelligence of the driving instructor in the coaching relationship is also explored. Driving is a task which involves a high level of reflection and self-evaluation if it is to be carried out safely. The process of feedback is client centred and facilitates the development of the student driver so that they can evaluate and reflect upon their driving when they are unsupervised. Research suggests that the process of reflection reduces crash involvement so that if a newly qualified driver is involved in a ‘near miss’ incident and has been coached to develop self-evaluation skills, they will be able to reflect on this incident and determine how to prevent a similar one occurring in the future.
This unit focuses on the importance of structuring a coaching conversation during a driving lesson to achieve raised awareness and self-responsibility on the part of the student driver. Coaching conversations can take place at several points throughout a driving lesson but will most often happen at the beginning when the goal(s) for the lesson are set. The aim of a coaching conversation is to ensure the ownership for the learning (CCL) remains with the learner. Comparisons will be made with traditional driver training versus client centred learning, so that the benefits of coaching conversations can be measured. Candidates will cover the content for this unit in a classroom environment where a model for structuring a coaching conversation will be explored. Practical application of this model will be assessed through the assignment which will be completed as part of a case study.
Practical Coaching evaluation day
The BTEC Practical Coaching Day is in the live Zoom classroom. This gives you the chance to practice your newfound coaching techniques. It will give you a great insight into your coaching journey so far. This will be delivered in a small group alongside a trainer who will guide your development.
This unit focuses on the Goals for Driver Education and considers how these can be achieved through driver coaching. The Goals for Driver Education is a framework which sets out the competencies that should be achieved in order for newly qualified drivers to remain safe and crash free on the roads. Course participants will examine in detail the framework and consider why and how it can be applied to the learning to drive process. Traditional driving instruction focuses on core competencies of fault correction and levels of instruction in order to prepare student drivers for the driving test.By addressing the Goals for Driver Education driving instructors are encouraged to consider how the personality, beliefs and values of the newly qualified driver might impact on the way they handle the vehicle. In considering this, driving instructors must also consider what characteristics make a good driving coach / instructor. The content of the unit is addressed in the classroom through interactive exercises and group discussion, followed by practical application with an assignment.
Click here for all the BTEC 4 start dates
We all have a habit of putting things off, for what we perceive are good reasons. Opportunities to grow yourself, and your business, should not be put off to some future date. If you have an inkling of wanting to develop yourself, enhance your skills and grow your business in the process, then it's simple, what are you waiting for?
Being an approved driving instructor has never been so busy and in some respect, it looks like that won't change for some time, however this presents challenges for ourselves.
1. The DVSA will target under-performing ADIs.
Wouldn't it be nice if you became the ‘go to expert’ in your area for ADI training. ADI’s need to be able to teach people to drive safely and lose the test focused approach. That becomes essential if you are going to continue enjoying your work
.2. Having a fear of under-performing clients taking tests.
This reflection on you has been driving fear and anger amongst some ADI’s. The way you were trained may still have some bearing on your own training approaches. The repeated lesson planning of a topic eg. crossroads; a briefing about crossroads and then a full talk through when your client attempts crossroads for the first time, is outdated methodology of what is effectively a one size fits all approach. If you want to train people to become driving instructors than you need to have a syllabus and a structure to deliver your training.
We have just that and in the process, you will gain a great opportunity to learn mores skills and techniques, making you an even better ADI whilst helping you become a trainer.If you want to know more about our train the trainer course, then follow this link .........https://cx255.infusionsoft.app/app/storeFront/showCategoryPage?categoryId=148
Has the DVSA created a fear of failure because of:
Our BTEC level 4 professional award in coaching for driver development has changed lives. It has re-invigorated many ADIs and more fundamentally it gives you those subtle skills to teach 'safe driving for life' and takes you away from a test focused approach to your training.
The DVSA has recognised this course.
The DVSA has said, they will be targeting you with a Standards Check if your pass rates fall; if there is an increase in the examiner taking physical action during your tests; or if your average number of driving faults and serious faults increases.
You can use this link to find out more about the scenarios that could trigger your Standards Check.
Whilst this might not be a real possibility for you, why take the risk of being targeted with an early Standards Check when you can take some positive steps to avoid that happening in the first place. Attending one of our Standards Check workshops before you have heard from the DVSA, is a great way to avoid triggering an early Standards Check.
Here are two reassurances:
If you take our Standards Check workshop and you do not find if of benefit, we will give you your money back.
And, in the unlikely event you fail your Standards Check after attending our Standards Check workshop, we will give you your money back plus a free consultation with us at Tri-Coaching Partnership to get you back on track.**
The Tri-Coaching Team
** Terms and Conditions - offer only available for Standards Check workshops purchased during the month of March 2022. If you fail your Standards Check after attending one of our Standards Check workshops, we will refund you the cost of the course and offer you a free consultation, providing you send us a copy of your failure sheet, and proof that you used Route 51 and completed the reflective logs.
We have all had those clients that are like pulling teeth, who choose to ignore all the advice you can give them. Here are some tips that might help you overcome the most difficult client:
Learning to listen, probably the most underestimated skill, is essential for your communication. Encourage the client to help them understand that they have the ability to change, even those who continually say, 'I cant’! As you adopt these changes in your training style, you will find you no longer have disagreements with your clients, you will enable the client to make their own choices therefore creating an equal relationship; you will also stop feeling the need to coerce your client into taking action.
If you want to improve and develop your skills in the art of coaching and client-centred learning then we have courses that have developed thousands of ADIs. Our next BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Coaching for Driver Development starts on March 28th.
The Tri-Coaching Team
Tel: 0800 058 8009
This industry has never been so busy - and we would know, each member of the team at Tri-Coaching having been an ADI for at least 20 years - and some of us, over 35 years.
The problem with being busy is that there are times when you need some support or would like a bit of diversity by taking on another driving instructor or two to help share the load. But you will quickly realise that it is a challenge to find someone, who teaches like you do and shares the same values as you. And, because you are busy you haven't got time to write a great training course for potential driving instructors.
Well, Tri-Coaching has solved that problem for you.
Our Train the Trainer course comes with guidance notes on how to deliver 12 development modules that cover the 40 hours necessary to put your PDI onto a trainee licence (pink badge) as soon as they pass Part 2; and a 13th module (pink badge PDI) that supports you as you take your PDI through the training requirements when they are on a pink badge.
Plus, your clients receive a course that is getting exceptional results and focuses on becoming a driving instructor - rather than just passing the exams.
It helps you teach them, not only what to teach but, more importantly, how to teach.
If you want to know more then follow the link below:
How to get a discount:Follow the link below
Choose your payment option
Click 'add to cart'
Enter prom code 222022
*This is a limited time offer and only available until these 2 courses are filled.
Discount is only available for new purchases on or after 12/2/20222 and can not be backdated or combined with any other offer.
“Inherently, each one of us has the substance within to achieve whatever our goals and dreams define. What is missing from each of us is the training, education, knowledge and insight to utilise what we already have.”― Mark Twain
You may have been considering for some time using your knowledge and experience to help others become driving instructors but just didn't know where to start or to go to get training.That has all changed with our excellent Train the Trainer program that has been running for over five years. This course has served new and old trainers well and the instructors using it are getting the results they have been waiting for, with some great first-time Part 3 results.
This course is making the difference because it works on support and preparation. You, the trainer, have the support of Tri-Coaching Partnership, and your client has your support and the support of the Tri-Coaching Instructor Training program (TCIT).
Follow the link below to find out more about our course and remember this month we are giving you 20% off February's Train the Trainer course.
Enter promo code 222022.
Click here to find out more
Tri-Coaching Partnership is the leading supplier of ADI CPD
Read some of our reviews and ask yourself can you really afford to miss this opportunity? From a triple award winning company in 2021.
Train the Trainer 5*
I completed my Instructor training course yesterday and cannot thank Graham enough. the course was brilliant, well managed and well delivered over zoom.
Will Jenkins May 26, 2021
Train the Trainer TCIT user passed his Part 3 this month! 5*
This was my first Zoom video course with Tri-Coaching, but I have been using them for the past year as I am following their Tcit driving training course. Excellent.
Jamie Ruck Jan 22, 2021
Train the Trainer TCIT 5*
Did the Train the Trainer course this month with Graham and I have to say it was brilliant! I did the old style part 3 and was hoping this would clear up question I had about training PDI’s and this course nailed it! The TCIT package itself makes so much sense and I can’t wait to deliver it! Just started on the follow up sessions this week and they are a massive help to really get to grips with everything. All in all, a fantastic course that looses absolutely NOTHING from being delivered via zoom and the help and support that’s offered really is second to none. Thanks to all the team at TCP for all the hard work that clearly goes into all of your courses!
Steve King Jan 21, 2021
Train the Trainer 5*
I have just attended the 2day Train the Trainer course on zoom, fantastic course. It is so reassuring to see the very high standards set to become an ADI Trainer but also the quality of the course the PDI receives throughout their training. The support you receive after the course is second to none, the resources you receive are really useful all the way with journey to become an ADI Trainer. This course will be very useful to present ADI Trainers. Really looking forward to our follow up training sessions which you can attend as often as you like. Thanks Susan!!
Ian Kingdon Jan 21, 2021
Tri-Coaching Instructor Training 5*
James just left a new 5-star review of Tri-Coaching Driving Instructor Training: Today I qualified as an adi, I was blessed to have passed all 3 parts first time thanks to the tri coaching course, amazing product delivered by an amazing trainer, can’t thank them enough for everything, my trainer and friend Ian Lavell really did go above and beyond. I fully recommend this to anybody thinking about coming into this industry
James Devlin Dec 16, 2020
What can we do to help our clients learn? Eight points to consider:
And here are four key principles that 'fit' all our clients:
1. Everyone needs to work things out for themselves.
2. The experiences that our clients have, are remembered longer and in more detail, when we make them unusual or emotionally strong - and not just routine experiences.
3. Our clients need to feel emotionally secure and psychologically safe.
4. Our clients become more motivated when they are engaged and have some control over their own learning.
At Tri-Coaching, 'our client' is 'You' and we know that these four key principles are all about you. Our BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Coaching for Driver Development gives you everything you need to work it out for yourself, feel psychogically safe, and be motivated about your learning.
How to get the discount:
Follow the link Choose your payment option
Click 'add to cart '
Enter prom code 222022 February 2022 only