The DVSA National Standard for Driver Training sets out the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to deliver successful learning through agreed syllabuses and using a ‘client-centred’ approach. The Standard talks mainly about the skills, knowledge and understanding required to work ‘in-car’, but also acknowledges that some driver training, and driving instructor training, organisations may opt to deliver part of any given syllabus to a classroom group. The knowledge, skills and understanding that apply in the classroom have therefore been included but, of course, not all instructors will choose to utilise this area of training.

Is It Safe?

Unit 4 focuses on the need to ‘Manage risk to instructor, learner and third parties’, and is about actively managing the risks that can arise while delivering driver/rider training and ensuring, as far as is within your control, the health and safety of all involved.

Element 6.4.1 – Manage the on-road environment to minimise risk: This aims to address those risks that can arise in an on-road training session. It assumes that learners will always be expected to take their share of responsibility for the management of risk, while recognising that their competence to take that responsibility will change over the period of their training. It also points out that understanding the nature of the risks that arise during a training session is central to a learner’s ability to assess and respond to risk when they drive/ride independently.

Element 6.4.2 – Manage the risk of violence in the learning environment: The Health and Safety Executive notes that “People who deal directly with the public may face aggressive or violent behaviour. They may be sworn at, threatened or even attacked.” So, this is about taking steps to protect yourself, and learners, from aggressive or violent behaviour, whether from other learners, or third parties. The ‘Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999’ states that employers must assess the risks to employees, and make arrangements for their health and safety by effective:

● planning
● organisation
● control
● monitoring and review

Therefore, it is assumed that any training organisation will have policies and guidance on how to deal with aggressive or violent behaviour. It is important that instructors understand what actions they can take to protect themselves and others, making sure that they can both remain safe, and comply with legal requirements and limits.

Element 6.4.3 – Manage health and safety in the classroom environment: Particular health and safety issues that arise when using enclosed premises for the delivery of any part of the training process, in particular where groups of learners are involved. However, it assumes that the risk of violence in the classroom is covered in the previous element (6.4.2).

Are They Learning?

Unit 5 looks at how to ‘Evaluate and develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in the driver/rider training industry’. This is about evaluating your own performance against the established and evolving requirements of your role, identifying where there are opportunities for improvement and taking action to respond to those opportunities. It is recognised that many organisations will have a formal personal development process in place with which an employed instructor will be expected to comply. However, beyond this requirement, any competent instructor should be able to demonstrate that they are actively involved in maintaining and continuously improving their skills, knowledge and understanding, whether they are employed or self-employed.

Element 6.5.1 – Evaluate and develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in the driver/rider training industry

Acting the Part

Unit 6 looks at how to ‘Develop and use a programme of role play for trainee instructors’. This role play will help trainee instructors to learn how to deal with situations that they may come across with their learners.
It is there to ensure that you will know when role play is appropriate to use as a training method, and be aware of the strengths and limitations of its use. You will be able to brief the trainee instructor and undertake a variety of roles yourself as a trainer, while also making sure the role play develops the trainee instructor’s confidence by using accurate and supportive feedback. What’s more, you will know when to close the role play and be able to help the trainee instructor to understand the learning achieved. You will also need to appreciate the importance of, and comply with, relevant health and safety practices and road traffic legislation in all role play activity.

This unit contains two elements:

Element 6.6.1 – Develop a programme of role play: This is about developing a realistic programme of role play to be used with trainee instructors.

Element 6.6.2 – Use a programme of role play: This is about using the programme of role play with trainee instructors, and managing the role play effectively and safely. It is important to appreciate that role play is just one of a whole range of methods that might be used when training people to be driving instructors. Many trainers have made the mistake of thinking that role play is the only way to train people. It is, however, the most complex task a trainer has to undertake.

Next Month: Focusing on the use of role play, and examining its benefits and pitfalls.