The DVSA is Set to Expose Britain’s Worse Instructors

The DVSA is Set to Expose Britain’s Worse Instructors

Recent figures show that driving test pass rates in the UK are falling with some learners taking many attempts before eventually passing their driving test. The DVSA is planning to do something about it, citing part of the problem down to poor quality instruction from driving instructors.

Driving Instructors have to take regular check tests with the DVSA to ensure their continued ability to instruct meets with the DVSA requirements.  Recently the traditional check test has been replaced with the new Standards Check, and since this introduction only 30% of instructors have received top marks, with the vast majority managing a merely satisfactory rating. Last year nearly 700 driving instructors were struck off the DVSA register for failing to make the minimum standard mark.

So what does the DVSA plan to do about this?

Recently they decided to allow instructors to show their grade and score online at the Find An Instructor Section on their website, this is designed to help students find the best instructor in their area, and the DVSA believe that this will help drive up tuition standards amongst Britain’s 40,000 driving instructors. The DVSA’s Chief Executive Gareth Llewellyn told The Times “We are encouraging driving instructors to publish their rating, if they don’t then at some point we will compel them to do so, we will put out information into the public domain so that parents can choose a good driving instructor.” This hasn’t proved to be popular amongst ADI’s with many interesting comments.

Win Owen commented “why would a person as well educated and as well informed as Gareth Llewellyn think that parents will be able to choose a good instructor by just looking at our grades”

Another Instructor Tim said “I was graded B but have a pass rate that is consistently 80% or thereabouts, my grading is based on just a one hour observation and doesn’t take into account how I assess learners and how I develop a working relationship with them”

Another comment from Peter “I’ve been teaching for 29 years and in that time I’ve been graded 5 three times and grade 6 twice, on my standards check I received a paltry 42 which is a grade B, all due to the supervising examiner thinking my lesson plan was too easy for the pupil.”

Some other comments from instructors spoke of those who take pupils who are more difficult to teach, that other instructors simply pass on because they cannot be bothered to train them, these pupils often take more than just one attempt to pass the driving test.

It’s an interesting topic and one that needs more thought from the DVSA rather than citing grade as being the problem. It’s a bad strategy to advertise grade A instructors as being better than all other instructors, the DVSA need to take into account newly qualified instructors who have very little experience and therefore might be seen as a bad option for most parents buying driving lessons for their children. This could have a negative effect on people wanting to become driving instructors in the first place.

Source : Theory Test Pro

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How Many Peoples Lives Have You Been Able To Impact Positively as a Driving Instructor?

Every person you have taught to drive, and help pass their driving test have benefited from what you do, and you will have made a big impact on their lives.

The reward you get every time another students passes their driving test, helps to keep driving instructors motivated.

But everyday there will be much of what goes on in your driving school business that you dislike doing, or struggle finding the  time to do regardless of whether you are in a franchise or not.

And eventually you might feel taking people for lessons is just about the money.

You chose to become a driving instructor because you had a passion for driving and wanted to help people acheive their dreams.

It’s what inspires you everyday to be a better person, intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally.

If you find that business is getting in the way of enjoying the process of teaching people, then I urge you to think about joining us.

Let me explain why!

I started as an ADI in 1988. I really disliked working alone, because I was used to having other people around to ask advice and to get help from.

It took me three hard years advertising in every possible magazine, dropping leaflets through doors, and calling people back before I started to get a regular full diary.

A few years later and I got good at marketing, so good in fact that I needed help with all the new customers I was getting. But that’s when the problem started.

I was so busy that I spent most of my evenings and weekends on the phone, and eventually had to reduce instructing to just late afternoons when my wife was at home to answer the phone for me.

My passion for teaching had been taken over by the business and money.

Fast forward 20 years and today I make an impact on other instructors lives, managing their businesses while they continue helping people learn to drive and living their dreams.

I know that every driving instructor is different, and to run a successful business, every instructor needs a unique level of support to help their business grow.

But have you noticed that most franchise driving schools have an “all for one” policy. They give you a car, insurance, the odd customer from time to time, and permission to advertise their brand.

In fact you’ve got to wonder if they actually care about you, your business or your customers at all. Or if they’re just in it for the money?

I’ve got a question. If you were to join a driving school what would the perfect relationship consist of for you?

What would you need:

  • Reliable students where and when you want them
  • Your marketing, and social media kept up to date, so you don’t have to give up any of your time doing it for yourself.
  • You test passes posted online, another technically challenging job people hate doing.
  • Someone taking your calls, this alone could free up enough time for a busy instructor to fit in a round of golf each week!
  • Diary management, and customer allocation.

This is a biggy because many of the schools send their instructors the customers details for them to call themselves. Most instructors would prefer the school to fulfil the whole customer acquisition process, so they just have to turn up on the day of their first lesson.

  • Reliable, quality customers that turn up every week and can afford lessons.
  • Premium lesson price, so you get paid what you would you happy to earn realistically for your area.
  • Terms, conditions and cancellation policies printed and sent to your customers, so that there’s never a dispute
  • Access to a library full of quality lesson plans and videos for your students
  • Good quality appointment/Progress books, and apps for you and your customers
  • A friendly supportive voice at the end of the phone or at the office whenever you need a chat
  • Someone to take care of your online payments, and transfer them directly into your bank
  • Support for your customers on your behalf, so they can request theory help, test bookings etc

The list can go on and on, but the point is that we really care about our instructors, their business, their customers and their reputation. And we are constantly working on things that will make their business more profitable and successful.

So I urge you to try us out, you’ve nothing to loose, because I’ll give you a 4 week free trial. There’s no contract either, we just need 4 weeks notice if you decide we are not right for you!

And we have an amazing low cost franchise with plenty of free holiday weeks.

We’re really worth talking to so please call 03332 004130 (free from mobiles) and ask for Kev.

Or email kev@elite-driving-school.co.uk with a day, time and contact number and I’ll cal you.

Driving Eye Technology, Where are you looking?

Driving Eye tracking Technology

 

Tiny cameras that can see exactly where people are looking when they are behind the wheel are being tested by East Yorkshire council.

The technology is being used to analyse drivers awareness, by recording where they are looking, and how far ahead they are observing.

The council in East Yorkshire are the first in the country to use this technology to see if people of different ages and genders are fully concentrating on the road and what can be done to help improve drivers awareness of potential hazards..

Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre it’s the core rule of driving and these glasses can tell if you are really doing it. It’s hoped that this eye tracking technology can help to improve people’s driving skills.

Elite Driving School where invited by East Yorkshire Council to help them with testing the eye technology. Elite’s head trainer Stuart McLean was on hand to give advice to volunteers as they drove around a selected course designed to test their awareness.

The camera on the glasses can tell exactly where you are looking, it knows when you are looking at the road or whether you’re looking at your instruments, most importantly it can tell when you’ve been most distracted. The information is being collated by experts from Goldsmiths University of London and so far they’ve had some interesting results.

Prof Jonny Freeman from Goldsmiths, University of London said, “some people were caught out looking at things they shouldn’t have been looking at – pubs, kebab shops and scantily dressed people that happen to be on the street.

What was quite interesting was that people who have been driving for years where not looking in their mirrors anywhere near enough”.

But there is a serious aim, it’s hoped the information will reveal people’s most common driving errors which will help the council tailor road safety education.

Paul Copeland of East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “We are trying to do some concrete research and work out what the differences are between younger drivers with less experience and older drivers who have been driving some time. If we can actually find those differences then it helps to target them and actually work with younger drivers and possibly older drivers to improve their skills”.

The people who volunteered with the experiment said they learnt a lot, one volunteer driver Jane Dixon said: “I’ve been driving nearly 30 years and it just really surprised me. You can’t comprehend how many times you look at the same things and what you take in”.

The council are now looking for more volunteers. Drivers at any age can apply through their website to take part in the main study later this summer.

 

#drivingeyetechnology

Why it’s important to be clear when booking driving lessons

Be clear of what you expect from the start before booking driving lessons if you want them to run smoothly.

Booking driving lessons

Back at the beginning of 2013 I employed the services of a web development company for a very large and ambitious project.

They were in the first few years in business and the director assured me his team were up to the challenge.

The first few weeks we sketched out what we required from them. They interpreted their version of the plan into a contract.

The contract documented the main points, and the time scale to achieve them. In total the entire system would take 3 people, consisting of a design team and project manager approximately 12 weeks to complete the build.

That was back in 2013. Today May 2017 the project still isn’t complete and the company that we employed have moved on to other projects and washed their hands of ours.

We’ve had many conversations with them, asking why our system isn’t complete. They blame the delay, on changes to the original brief made by us.

Of course, this is total BS, because they’ve always worked to the original plans. The problem stems from the director’s experience, or lack of. The plan in my head wasn’t translated well from him to his design team.

The system relied on skilful programmers to deliver a seamless operating system, and clearly the director didn’t possess the skills himself, and so didn’t translate them accordingly.

 

What’s this got to do with driving lessons I hear you say. When you start your driving lessons it’s a big investment for you, and a huge goal at the end when you pass your driving test, which will improve your life for the better.

When booking your driving lessons make sure you are talking to the right person who can answer your questions honestly.  There should to be an agreement in place of how you want the service delivered.

Unfortunately for many learners this is where the whole process falls flat on it’s face, because learners expect their instructors to be at their beck and call, and some instructors operate a juggling service which by definition is to keep something in continuous motion.

Reputable driving instructors will have a diary full of learners that generally book lessons for the same time every week, and their diaries are full from week to week.

Which means if you want lessons on a different day each week, the instructor has to ask the people who take their lessons on that day if they are willing to swap with you. Most won’t and then you miss a week.

And if this is the same process week after week, both you and your driving instructor are going to get fed up very quickly.

Driving instructors have got to be reliable for their customers, swooping and changing times week after week is bad business, and damages reputations. So if you can’t be available the days and times you originally gave your driving instructor, then you’ll need to work something out so that you can.

So be clear with your driving instructor from the start. Tell him when you are available each week, and how many weekly lessons you require. If you want to learn quickly then you’ll need more than just one lesson each week, and if they know that from the start there shouldn’t be any confusion.

Ask to book lessons in advance and pay for them upfront. Make sure you commit to these times and be ready for each lesson no matter what.

Your driving instructor has been paid, and so they must also commit to your lessons. If your driving instructor continuously asks you to change time, or cancels your lessons, stop talking your lessons with them and find someone who is reliable.

It’s a two-way deal, if you both stick to the original plan then you’ll get the desired result sooner rather than later.

7 Questions you need to ask an instructor before booking lessons:

  1. These are the times and days I’m available, can you guarantee I can get a lesson each week?
  2. Are you punctual, and do you give the full time I’ve paid for?
  3. Can you give me more than one lesson each week if I pay and book my lessons in advance?
  4. Do you pick up from different locations and drop off at different locations?
  5. Do you have a system to record my lesson times and pick up locations so that there’s never confusion?
  6. What’s your policy if I have to cancel a lesson?
  7. What’s your policy if you are running late, or delayed?

By asking these questions in advance your driving lessons should run smoothly, and it won’t take four years to pass your driving test, like it’s taking to build my system.

 

#drivinginstructors

 

Checking Tyres

Checking Tyres

Checking Tyres

Tyres are probably one of the least thought about safety features of a vehicle. Anytime you drive down a motorway you will see tyre debris on either side of the carriageway. It is advised that you get your tyres checked once a month by an expert although checking them weekly or before going on a long journey yourself will also be useful.

 

What should you be looking out for?

 

  1. Damage or cuts to the side wall
  2. Bent wheel rims
  3. Any exposed cord from the tread of the tyre

 

Checking the tread is more difficult but move the car forward slowly with help someone should be able to check for any nails or foreign objects that could have embedded itself in the tread. If you do find anything don’t take it out immediately seek professional advice.

 

Also you need to check the tyre depth to make sure that it is legal. The required tread depth is 1.6mm across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre.

 

One final thing on tyre safety is to check your tyre pressures weekly using the manufacturer’s handbook as a guide to the correct tyre pressures.

 

Defective tyres KILL they contribute to more than 1,200 road casualties (Source Tyresafe) link below:

 

http://www.tyresafe.org/media-centre/latest-news/323-defective-tyres-contribute-to-more-than-1200-road-casualties/

 

Please remember to check your tyres often.