Wow! What an exciting year 2017 has been with so many changes both in the industry and at Tri-Coaching Partnership. Personally, as an ADI for over thirty years, I never thought I’d see the back of the reverse around the corner and the turn in the road; and I am sure that for many of you, it is a huge relief to not have the constant trouble to find suitable locations; or, to come up with acceptable explanations of how these manoeuvres develop skills for life; and, indeed, to have less pressure from students, whom you know don’t have the skills to drive safely for life but only want to practise particularly challenging manoeuvres in difficult areas for the test.
Replacing these rote-learned manoeuvres with the everyday tasks of choosing safe places to park on the right as well as the left; or deciding whether to reverse or drive into a bay, will develop pupils’ abilities around making choices and decisions linked to the higher levels of the Goals for Driver Education, such as, what mode of transport shall I use to make my journey, what route will I take, what strengths and weaknesses do I have, and what are my goals.
Freeing up the time for more independent driving, not only in the test but also on lessons, will, I am certain, have an impact on the safe driving skills of new drivers on the road, resulting in a reduction in crash rates. The announcement that the Part 2 test for trainee driving instructors will reflect the changes in the learner driving test was very welcome.
Not only did the end of 2017 herald the new learner driving test, but we also saw the introduction of the long-awaited new Part 3 test for the qualification process of becoming a driving instructor, where candidates will have to take a real pupil with them for their Part 3 and the format of the test will be the same as that of the Standards Check. Successful candidates will have demonstrated that they can think on their feet, developing a client-centred lesson plan and applying suitable teaching and learning strategies to ensure that learning takes place, whilst, simultaneously keeping the car safe by managing the risk. Trainers will need to be very client-centred if they are going to help the PDI harness these skills.
2018 will see the introduction of motorway driving lessons for learner drivers, which will broaden their skill-set. Motorway driving lessons will not be compulsory and may only be delivered by fully qualified driving instructors.
2018 will also see the welcome development of ORDIT (Official Register of Driving Instructor Trainers). ORDIT won’t become compulsory but will hopefully be something, to which all trainers will aspire to belong. At Tri-Coaching, we are very excited about the possibilities that sit within ORDIT, not least, that it will become a credible, sought-after ‘badge’. Linked with this, the DVSA have told us, they intend to move in 2018 on their commitment (as set out in the DVSA five-year plan) to accredit key courses and qualifications within the industry. This means, our BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Coaching for Driver Development could be endorsed and recommended by the DVSA.
And what of other developments at Tri-Coaching? Well, we have seen huge interest in our Train the Trainer courses because of our TCIT (Tri-Coaching Instructor Training) course and the fact that we will dual-brand this to the Trainer’s own driving school free of charge. That we can offer a complete package to the Trainer to deliver to their PDI, enables them to focus on training and growing their business without having to spend time devising their own course. Our course equips the trainee driving instructor with the wherewithal to teach their learners safe driving for life. They will have experienced client-centred learning techniques that they can pass onto their learner drivers, plus they will understand all about the Goals for Driver Education and the DVSA National Standards. An online course complements the in-car sessions and means the trainee driving instructor is able to focus on theoretical, practical and instructional techniques right from the start, thus accelerating their learning and moving them away from the rote learning associated with the old, out of date pre-set test combinations that were so often confused with the syllabus.
2017 saw our team of licensed trainers grow in numbers, with many completing their ORDIT registration and others working with us in ADI training and development and Fleet, alongside our partnership with Driver Metrics. We continue to develop the features and benefits of becoming a trainer on licence with us to encourage more ADIs to do the same.
So, with exciting times to come, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support in 2017 and wish you all a very happy New Year in 2018.