From 1 May 2018, the DVSA will be changing the way 78 theory test questions are worded, to make them more accessible to everyone. Their statement is below and you can find links to their websites at the bottom of the blog.
We've worked with the British Dyslexia Association and the British Deaf Association to develop the changes. We trialled the changes with over 7,000 candidates, who found the revised questions easier to understand.
Main changes to the questions
We've rephrased all of the ‘continuation’ questions in the test. This type of question asks the candidate to choose an answer from a list, to complete a sentence. We're changing the wording so that the candidate has to pick a statement to answer the question instead.
We've also removed long and complicated words, with shorter simpler words. This includes replacing words like 'increased' and 'decreased' with 'bigger' and 'smaller'.
You can find more information on helping candidates with learning difficulties take their theory test on GOV.UK or Safe Driving for Life.
From Monday 4 June 2018, learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales.
This will help to make sure more drivers know how to use motorways safely.
How the change will work Learner drivers will need to be:
It will be up to the driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough for them.
How the change will workLearner drivers will need to be:
Until the law changes, it’s still illegal for a learner driver to drive on a motorway.
The change only applies to learner drivers of cars. Learner motorcyclists won’t be allowed on motorways.
Trainee driving instructors won’t be allowed to take learner drivers on the motorway.
Motorway driving isn’t being introduced to the driving test as part of this change.
Making sure road users are ready for the changeThe change is being well-publicised so that:
Driving near learner drivers on the motorwayAs with any vehicle on the motorway, keep a safe distance from a learner driver in front of you. Increase the gap on wet or icy roads, or in fog.
You should always be patient with learner drivers. They may not be so skilful at anticipating and responding to events.
Driving instructor vehicles and trainingDriving instructors can decide if they want to use a driving school rooftop box during motorway lessons, based on its instructions.
The car will need to display L plates on the front and rear if the rooftop box is removed.
Preparing drivers for a lifetime of safe drivingThe changes are being made to allow learner drivers to:
DVSA National Driving Syllabus, Unit 4: Drive safely and efficiently
Training someone to pass a driving test requires making sure the client can drive safely and efficiently, which means training your client to a higher standard than that of the driving test.
Your client must be able to interact appropriately with other road users in varying road and traffic conditions. This requires decision making, which should start for your client from day one of their driving lessons. We all know the answer to 'What do you want to do today?' is often, 'I don't know, you tell me, you're the driving instructor'. At this point the client abdicates responsibility and refuses to make a simple decision and yet it is imperative we help our clients make decisions for themselves. At first it can be very simple: 'Where would you choose to stop?' followed with 'What are your reasons for choosing this place?'
You client must be able to minimise risk when driving in varying road and traffic conditions; they must understand that avoidability is extremely important rather than, 'It's my right of way regardless of the situation because the guidelines say it is.' Being able to drive defensively means also being able to take a space with acceleration when necessary as well as knowing when to hold back. Your clients need to be able to work out the consequences of their actions even in a split second - driving is often like a fast-moving game of chess with all the players moving simultaneously.
If the clients gain practice and experience of working out solutions for themselves it speeds up their decision making processes. This is why it is so important that we ADIs understand when to step in to minimise the risk and when to wait and allow our clients to make their own decisions. We can use various different exercises to help our clients make decisions. It doesn't mean they always have to be driving to make those decisions - it is something they can practise from the passenger seat either with you on lessons or between lessons.
It is also important that your client knows how to behave appropriately if there is an incident. Road rage is a common theme amongst drivers and being able to control our thoughts and feelings and behave in an adult way is crucial. We ADIs must be careful that our private thoughts about other road users do not spill over into our lessons. Demonstrating how to remain calm and concentrated when other drivers are being aggressive is essential to being able to drive safely.
We also need them to know what to do in case of a breakdown or even a crash. Including these scenarios in your driving lessons will improve your driving syllabus and keep you away from test based training but more importantly produce a safe and responsible driver that will actually find the test easy because they have reached a far higher standard.
If you are interested in thinking 'outside of the box' and not just teaching to pass a test you may find our courses and products helpful.
This was the fourth in a series of short articles that have been written based on the DVSA Driver training syllabus. You can find more information here.
Here at Tri-Coaching we are constantly striving to bring you quality products that will help you improve your ability to deliver great lessons and give you the confidence to perform at your best on your Standards Check.
Below are the range of Standards Check specific training products.
To train yourself you can choose Route 51, you can take a Standards Check day with friends or if you prefer One to One training we have half day sessions with one of our top trainers.
Route 51 can help you achieve top marks on your Standards Check.
The online materials will be delivered to your email address via a series of emails with links to pre-recorded video webinars. The online webinars are also divided into the same six sections as the Course Book and can be watched alongside. With wifi access, you will be able to watch or just listen to the webinars on your mobile phone, for example, whenever or wherever you wish.
This course is ideal for you if:
Standards Check & CCL Training Day
The day runs from 9.30am to 4.00pm and focuses on coaching and client-centred learning techniques. There is a particular emphasis on the new Standards Check and how adopting coaching techniques will help you deliver your driver training with confidence. Whether you have been an ADI for over 20 years, or are more recently qualified; even if you have been delivering coaching and client-centred learning for a long time - there will still be plenty to gain from this day's training. The day looks at:
Book a One to One Session One to One Standards Check Training
There is nothing like a dress rehearsal before the main event and with no pressure of a pass or fail this is just the training we all need before we step up to the plate. You will be matched against the national standards and assessed on the competences that the DVSA are looking for with no added pressure and the feedback you will receive will be honest, positive, personal and specific to your development needs. When the training is complete you will have an action plan that highlights your strengths whilst also pointing out your development needs.
The One to One in-car training lasts 1/2 day (3.5 hours including a comfort break).
You will receive a certificate of continual professional development (CPD).
You can find all of our products here :
Mobile: 07860930135 | TCP Office: 0800 058 8009
DVSA National Driving Syllabus, Unit 3: Driving a vehicle in accordance with the Highway Code
It can be challenging for ADIs to integrate The Highway Code into their driver training syllabus once a pupil has passed their theory test. However, incorporating and referring to The Highway Code regularly on driving lessons makes it easier for The Highway Code to become embedded into a new driver's learning without it becoming boring and repetitive. As we all know, just reading The Highway Code might be a great cure for insomnia but putting it into practice and helping it be real-life will make the learning more fun and interactive.
For this to happen, we ADIs should know it inside out, upside down and all around - it should be the very bedrock of our knowledge and understanding of all principles of driving, from zip-merging to parking regulations. I wonder how many people reading this have read The Highway Code in the last week, month, year or since they passed their Part One examination? To learn The Highway Code we must use it and refer to it daily - it should be dog-eared and probably not in a great condition. I get to sit in a lot of ADI and PDI cars and find quite often there is not even a copy available. The other book we should use frequently is Driving - the essential skills, which gives more depth than the rules and regulations in The Highway Code.
Have a look at your training resources and ask yourself, do you really know them? Do you use them? Do you need to get some new ones?
The DVSA Driving Syllabus Unit 3 is all about The Highway Code and it is essential that driving instructors know how to bring that book to life for the benefit of teaching safe driving for life. Unit 3 is also very useful if you are considering creating your own syllabus or designing a training logbook.
If you want to learn more about creating great driving lessons then you may want to consider one of our training courses. We focus on what makes a great lesson and what makes a great trainer.
DVSA National Driving Syllabus, Unit 2: Guide and control a vehicle
This short article has been prompted by one or two Facebook posts from a few driving instructors, saying driving is not rocket science and, whilst this maybe true from a skills development point of view, I believe there is an aspect to learning to drive that is hugely complex.
Driving is complex because it involves taking in loads of information and acting on that information appropriately. To do this, the driver must be able to scan the environment; constantly and immediately sift through the information while travelling at various speeds; and then interpret the information to decide how to act, whilst understanding the possible risks and hazards the whole time they are driving. This requires lots of concentration and drivers are bombarded with distractions, which make this task all the more difficult.
We driving instructors often become one of those very distractions to our learner drivers. In our quest to help, we sometimes overload the client with too much information and treat the whole lesson as one long hazard perception task. This is fine if that is the goal of the lesson but if you are an inexperienced driver just imagine the information overload that is going on.
We need to understand that new drivers will learn in spite of us so we need to know clearly what information and help we are giving on each lesson. Dividing up your lessons into smaller, goal-focused sections and using the DVSA Syllabus to create an ongoing learning experience is also beneficial to your own development as an ADI.
Unit 2 of the DVSA Driver Training Syllabus 'Guide and control a vehicle' provides the information for you to cover on your driving lessons.
As ADIs, it is imperative that we keep our skills and knowledge up to date and make sure that we offer a comprehensive training package that is about safe driving for life and not just passing a test. Making the lessons real in focusing on post-test potential experiences can help bring your training to life.
If you are interested in how to enhance your skills and put yourself ahead of your competition then we can help you with a whole series of courses and products designed to make you an even better ADI than you are now.
Follow this link to see all our courses and products.
DVSA National Driving Syllabus, Unit 1: Preparing a vehicle and its occupants for a journey
This short article came to mind when I was reading some Facebook posts about ADIs asking about a syllabus for teaching people to drive and quickly realised that virtually every syllabus ADIs were talking about, only involved elements of the driving test and did not actually address safe driving for life. As driving instructors, we should be focusing on post-test experiences because these are essential in creating an atmosphere of safe driving for life.
For example, during driving lessons, encourage your pupils to think about factors involved in making a journey, asking themselves questions before they start: 'Am I fit to undertake the journey?' 'Have I taken medication that could affect my performance?' 'Am I tired or unwell?' 'Am I in the right mental state or am I emotionally upset and unable to focus?'
They may understand how the answers to these questions might affect their driving but would they act appropriately if they weren't well or would they decide to go anyway?
The National Driving Syllabus looks not only at how our physical condition can affect our driving but also how our emotional state will impact on our driving. Our physical and emotional states can be contributory causes of crashes.
Our pupils also need to consider the physical and emotional state of their passengers: if they are the designated driver, having four drunk and boisterous friends in the car would be extremely challenging for them - as for anyone but even more so for an inexperienced driver.
If we add into this mix the roadworthiness of the vehicle, we have all the ingredients of a late night crash involving young people. Do we as ADIs do enough in our training of new drivers to address what is most likely to make them crash?
You can find more information about the National Driving Syllabus mentioned here in this short article by following this link. I have taken a very short overview of the first unit which is 'preparing a vehicle and its occupants for a journey'
The best way to address this part of the Syllabus is to use coaching techniques as you will often be challenging peoples opinions and beliefs and your job is to influence their thinking. If you want to know more about coaching then contact Tri-Coaching Partnership and ask how we can help you. You can find our courses by following this link.
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.
"Here is the fourth in a series of articles by Susan McCormack on the subject of driving instructor training, first published in The Intelligent Instructor magazine.
I hope you enjoy it."
With the DVSA announcing that the Part 3 will be replaced with a Standards Check-style assessment, this series of articles continues to explore how we train people to be driving instructors and the knock-on effects of this training on teaching people to drive and, ultimately, on road safety.
The last article looked at what makes a great lesson and discovered it was no coincidence that the vital ingredients in a great lesson happened to be the very ones being assessed in the Standards Check and the new Part 3: Lesson Planning, Teaching and Learning Strategies, Risk Management.
This article follows on from the earlier ones in this series and considers what makes a great trainer. There are five essential communication skills: Rapport, Listening, Questioning, Feedback and Intuition. When you measure yourself against these skills, you will be able to self-develop and ensure you are delivering great lessons.
The relationship between the learner and the instructor – or the trainee driving instructor and the trainer – is fundamental to ensuring learning takes place and value for money is given. The relationship needs to be client-centred, equal and based on the understanding that learning comes from within. This is very different from the traditional hierarchy between learner and instructor (trainee and trainer) where the relationship was based on the belief that learning takes place through a transfer of knowledge from the expert to the person doing the learning.
To create this equal relationship, the trainer needs to use non-verbal communication skills, such as eye contact, nodding, smiling and matching body language. Above all, the trainer must have unconditional positive regard for the other person.
To maintain the rapport, the instructor must actively listen and work hard to remain on the agenda of the learner. Active listening involves:
· Repeating back
Try repeating the exact words the person has used. Sometimes, it is only necessarily to repeat the last two words and make them into a question, to encourage the person to keep speaking. For example:
Trainer: ‘What would you like to do today?’
Trainee: ‘I’m not sure.’
Trainer: ‘Not sure?’
Repeating the words the person has spoken but putting some interpretation on them will also encourage the person to continue speaking. For example:
Trainer: ‘What would you like to do today?’
Trainee: ‘I’ve been practising my commentary and trying to watch other people’s driving since I last saw you. I don’t know whether listening to my commentary or seeing if I have learned anything from watching people’s driving would be a good idea?’
Trainer: ‘Okay, so if I’ve understood you correctly, you would like to demonstrate your commentary and pupil observation skills so that we can discuss the progress you have made since practising this at home. Is that correct?’
Asking questions will enhance learning, providing they are focused on the individual’s development. Often, we ask questions as driving instructors to check knowledge, rather than asking questions that are focused on developing critical thinking skills in the individual. Here are some examples:
‘How have you been getting on since we last met?’
‘Are you able to fit in your studying and practising with your home and work life?’
‘Do you know how you learn best?’
‘What do you need to get out of today’s session to advance your understanding of what is involved in being a driving instructor?’
‘What do you need to get out of today to be able to continue practising at home?’
‘How can I support you?’
All of the above questions are far more effective than anything to do with knowledge and information.
The purpose of feedback is to develop self-evaluation skills in the trainee or learner. Understanding how you learn best, what strengths and weaknesses you have, and how your emotional state affects your ability to learn, are key skills. Scaling is a very effective form of feedback because it raises this sort of self-awareness. For example:
‘On a scale of 0 to 10 where 0 is no good and 10 is very good, where would you put yourself for the progress you are making in learning to drive / becoming a driving instructor?’
‘What have you done well to give yourself that score?’
‘How do you need to develop?’
‘What support do you need from me?’
‘How will you feel when you have succeeded?’
Eliciting (drawing out) the feedback from the person learning is far more effective than giving your opinion on their progress or achievement. Sometimes, it is necessary to give your feedback because this helps the other person benchmark themselves and sets a standard – so long, as the standard you are using is not the test - practical L test or Part 3.
This essential communication skill is hugely underestimated in its relevance to client-centred learning. Only when we use our intuition can we recognise whether effective learning is taking place. If the trainee driving instructor suddenly appears disengaged from their learning, you are wasting your time and theirs. Often, this is about noticing a mismatch between their body language and what they are saying. Are they suffering from task overload and no longer able to process the huge amount of information that is being given to them? Change tactic and re-focus your training on their learning.
Remember, it makes no difference who you are teaching – whether a learner, fleet driver or trainee instructor – you need to deliver a great lesson around lesson planning, risk management and teaching and learning strategies; and to do this, you need to use five essential communication skills: Rapport, Listening, Questions, Feedback and Intuition.
My next article will look at the DVSA National Standards.
This is my 3rd article about self-evaluation tools - Mind Maps. If you are not already familiar with mind maps, you may want to consider researching further and so I have included a link at the bottom of this email giving more information on how to mind map.Mind maps help transform ideas onto paper using colours, text and pictures. They are particularly useful for creating ideas and helping recall information quickly. They become a brilliant tool, not only for ourselves, as trainers, but also for the client.
Have a go at mind-mapping something important in your life that you want to do - like, plan a family holiday - and then, once you have a better idea of the concept, get your client to mind map a subject, such as speeding. You will then find you have a fantastic conversation piece to explore the pros and cons of speeding from the client's perspective. Because mind maps work visually they really do help stimulate the brain and could be the key to unlocking the door of learning for some of your clients.
In summary, these are some of the key benefits of mind mapping:
If you want to discover more about self-evaluation techniques and the skills needed to use them then sign up for our BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Coaching for Driver Development