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.
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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.
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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).
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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.
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