We frequently get asked for top tips to focus on when training to become a driving instructor.
I have put together 7 top training tips which will make sure your focus is on maximising your time more effectively, while getting the most out of your training and hopefully keeping more money in your pocket.
Have a plan with targets
Have a plan which includes a realistic deadline for each area of the training program, which should be worked out by how much time you can commit to training each week or month.
I find that if starting from scratch, you should allow 4 weeks for your DBS check to be returned, then a further 2 weeks wait for your DVSA reference number to arrive so that you can book your part one theory exam, which generally has a waiting time of 4 weeks.
2. Working out your training agenda
Now that you know that you could be waiting 10 weeks on basically just getting registered and booking your first test, don’t waste a moment of that time, because it’s the ideal time to start your preparation for ADI part one theory test.
10 weeks is a sufficient amount of time to read the books, & study your part one course material.
If you can manage to put aside one and a half hours for training, four times a week, in 10 weeks you will have clocked up 60 hours of study time.
Use a part one training program because will give you a structure to follow so that you are not wasting time.
3. Don’t wait until you pass one test BEFORE YOU start training for the next
While you are studying for the part one you might want to book a part two driving assessment.
The benefit of the assessment is that your trainer will give you a report of your driving performance which will include areas of your driving where improvements can be made.
This means you’ve got plenty of time to start working on creating good habits every time you go for a drive in your own car, while at the same time improving your knowledge with the theory element of the course.
This will save you time a money when it’s comes to taking part two training, and again allows you to book your part two test as soon as you’ve passed the theory test, which will give you another goal to aim for.
Once again you can start preparation for the part three instructional element of the course while practicing for the practical test, so not a moment of your time is being frittered away twiddling your thumbs.
4. Don’t waste you valuable time in the training vehicle
It’s common for people training on the part three instructional module to waste time writing out their lesson plan in the car with the trainer.
As a qualified instructor you will already have your lesson plan in place before arriving for your student, which means you’ll have the aims and objectives for the lesson in place, with the goals you want to acheive and the route you intend to use.
There’s no wasted time for the student either because you are prepared, and can immediately start the lesson with a conversation.
The conversation will cover the previous lesson, recapping on area’s where they made good progress as well as discussing points where you both feel improvements can be made, before talking through the the lesson plan in detail.
You should follow the same routine before you get into the training vehicle, where you’ll then have time to then discuss your lesson plan with the trainer before putting it into practice.
5. Keep in contact with the training team
Do be a stranger while training. It’s common for trainee’s to disappear off the radar during training especially while studying for the theory element.
Without regular contact with the training organisation, or trainer you won’t have anyone to make you accountable for studying.
So, keep in touch, let them know how far forward you are with the training program, and if you need help ask for it, or if you have questions ask them.
6. Book tests in advance
Some training schools will book your test on your behalf, while others will leave you do book them yourself.
You can waste a lot of time waiting for tests, especially ADI tests because generally there is just one examiner at your local test centre who is responsible, for all ADI tests.
So book them as soon as you can, choose a date you feel you can complete the training for that element of the course and, I would recommend talking with your trainer before making any bookings for their advice.
7. Go on a trainee PDI licence
The part three training will be mostly role play with your trainer, with some full licence holders thrown in for practice.
You might be in a fortunate position where you have a good training vehicle of your own that you can fit dual controls into.
This allows you to take friends and family out for practice (obviously without charge).
However not everyone can afford the expense of buying a car for practice, so in this case I would recommend going on to a trainee licence with a driving school.
The school will provide a training vehicle, insurance and pupils. It’s hands on experience because you are teaching real learners, and you can earn while you learn.
But don’t expect a full time wage, because a trainee licence only lasts for six months and it’s purpose is to get practice before taking your part three test.
So expect to pay the school for the car, their costs, and customers plus additional training while on the trainee licence.
If you are working full time in a job while training then a trainee licence might not be an option for you because of cost, unless the school can provide a vehicle on a part time basis.
In this instance you can do a couple of lessons on a weekend and the school gets the full fee from the student for the loan of the vehicle.
Another option is that you might be lucky enough to live in an area where car rental companies hire out dual controlled driving instructor training vehicles on an hourly basis, complete with insurance.
If you are on a trainee licence you can take people for lessons in return of them paying the car hire fees and fuel, so you both benefit.
If you need any advice or just want to chat about training to become a driving instructor, or what it’s like working as an instructor please call Kev on 03332 004130