Marmalade

Colourful Advertising

I’m supporting a couple of PDIs who are about to start teaching on a ‘pink licence’. What, if any, are the rules around them advertising for driving instruction work?

Alison, ADI

Answer: This is something that appears to cause quite a lot of confusion when interpreting the rules. So, we asked The DVSA Registrar for clarity on PDIs advertising to and sourcing their own pupils: “There are no rules on advertising as such. Anyone whose name is not included on the register, and that includes trainee licences holders, should be wary of advertising in any way that suggests that they are an ADI. For example, using the term ‘driving instructor’ might be interpreted that they are on the register, even if they don’t use the word ‘approved’ or ‘qualified’. Anything that might lead the public to believe they are registered could leave them open to prosecution for fraud by misrepresentation. Any such prosecution is likely to have a bearing on any decision I make about their suitability to be added to the register if they qualify. While the regulations are not explicit that all contact and bookings are through the sponsoring school, the condition at regulation 13 (2) (g) ii requires: ‘The address from which he will be paid providing instruction if different from the address of the … [ADI]’. We interpret that as the sponsoring school, if different from the ADI, not the PDI’s address. So, yes, all work should come through the school. PDIs should not consider themselves driving instructors and should not be sourcing their own work. My advice on how a trainee licence holder should advertise themselves is don’t.” I hope that makes it a little clearer, and I believe that the DVSA is planning to rewrite the guidelines soon, and in a way that makes this accessible and understandable to everyone.

Who’s the Professional?

I have a parent who is querying why I don’t teach ‘push-pull’ steering and hands at the 10 to 2 position. How would you answer them?

Emma, ADI

Answer: I love these opportunities to educate another generation of drivers! I work alongside many of my pupils’ parents and find that a good, mutual team work approach benefits us all in the long run. When it comes to answering specific details of what we teach and why we teach it, I think it’s important we take these opportunities to reflect on our methods, so we don’t get set in ways that may, over time, become obsolete or outdated. I tend to use and refer to the DVSA publications, as well as having particular parts of the DVSAs examiner guidelines to hand, so I can either screenshot or provide a link for parents who want reassurance. Most parents appreciate being updated and enlightened if you have the evidence to back-up and support your methods! For ease of time, it’s worth having quick links saved to your phone on the top parent myths. Steering, hand position and block gear changing are probably my Top 3!

What’s the Point?

I’m feeling so much pressure to get my briefings right during training and in preparation for my Part 3. Any tips?

Hayley, PDI

Answer: An instructor led, word perfect, subject based briefing is not a real lesson or Part 3 requirement. The focus is far more on the instructor’s ability to provide a structure that allows the pupil to do the talking, while you discover what they do and don’t know, and what they can and can’t do, and then you can fill in all the missing pieces. Ask your trainer what the purpose of using briefings is. Perhaps he or she is suggesting them as a method of encouraging your knowledge and understanding of a particular topic, rather than preparing you for a scripted brief to deliver to a pupil. Either way, don’t get too bogged down in feeling it’s about learning words. The basis to any topic can be taken from the DVSA publications ‘Driving – The Essential Skills’ and ‘The Highway Code’ and, of course, your own proven driving ability. Use these to support a pupil’s own skills, while encouraging them to explore their own understanding.

Taking Emergency Action

Would a pupil fail their driving test for mounting a kerb as they dealt with responding to an emergency response vehicle on blue lights?

John, ADI

Answer: Examiners are trained and instructed to take control in a situation that involves interacting with emergency service vehicles on test. They should help the pupil verbally to support them and facilitate the situation safely. They wouldn’t expect a pupil to mount the kerb, but they may instruct the pupil to do so safely ONLY as a last resort. The average examiner would not fail a pupil if they took the decision themselves (if safe) but, as stated, they should step in and take control, so the pupil is not alone in their decision making. However, this does highlight how little, if any, experience our novice drivers have of interacting with emergency service vehicles before they are independent full licence holders. As driver trainers it’s worth considering how we bring these post-test possibilities into our pre-test lessons. At the very least, sharing and then discussing this recommended ‘Blue Light Aware’ video is very worthwhile. Go to: youtu.be/btRHvQEIkcU

Going Back to go Forward

I have been asked to do a refresher lesson for a full licence holder. This is not something I have done before, so any advice would be appreciated.

Kevin, ADI

Answer: The first thing to ascertain is what their reasons are for requesting the lesson. It’s not until you know their motive that you can truly structure the drive around their needs. For example, a refresher lesson with someone who is wanting a refresher after a break from driving is different from supporting someone who has had a recent crash. Your role is to make it relevant to their needs. Asking questions about their current situation and the motives for the lesson will help.
Depending on them and, of course, your own confidence as the trainer and the geographical area you work in, it’s worth being in a more controlled environment to begin with as they get used to controlling a different car. Then, once you’re happy with their skill level, give them as much responsibility as you can for the general car control and decisions while keeping the focus on the purpose for their refresher lesson and the psychological needs behind the practice skills they are revising.
These can be really fun, rewarding lessons. Enjoy!