The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is consulting on a range of proposals to modernise the way in which people qualify to become approved driving instructors (ADIs).
The aim is to further improve training for new drivers and offer a cost-effective and flexible training route for new instructors.
New vocational qualification
Proposals include the option of replacing the existing DSA qualifying tests with a new vocational qualification. This would:
- be delivered by approved training centres and assessed by an external awarding organisation
- incorporate transferable credits that trainees could carry forward to other vocational qualifications, allowing for better job mobility
- be aligned with DSA’s national standards that set out what skills are needed to be an effective driving instructor
- reflect any changes introduced as a result of the government’s upcoming green paper on young drivers
The consultation also includes a proposal to reform the trainee licence scheme which allows trainee instructors to gain experience by giving paid tuition before they are fully qualified.
Under the new plans, trainees would only be able to give paid tuition when accompanied by a fully qualified instructor.
Vital role in road safety
Stephen Hammond said:
Driving instructors play a vital role in helping to make Great Britain’s roads some of the safest in the world. We want to build on the excellent work that is already being done by making sure that the qualification process for instructors incorporates the latest teaching methods and best practice.
This will help to further improve driver training, and supports our wider plans to ensure that learners and newly qualified drivers are properly prepared for the road.
High quality driver training
Rosemary Thew, DSA Chief Executive, said:
A new qualification would ensure that new instructors have the knowledge, skills and understanding to deliver high quality driver training. It would also be more flexible and cost effective.
At the moment around 50% of those training to become an ADI never go on to fully qualify. A vocational qualification route would allow applicants to get transferable credit for the parts of the qualification they complete and use it towards other qualifications, giving a better return on their investment.
Changes to the ADI register
The consultation also seeks views on changes to the ADI register. These include restructuring the ADI grading system and publishing more information about ADIs to help learners choose their instructor.
New standards check
In addition, DSA has announced that it will replace the ADI ‘check test’ with a new ‘standards check’ from April 2014. This assesses an ADI’s ongoing ability to give effective tuition, and has to be taken at least once by all ADIs during each 4-year period of registration.
The new assessment is more directly linked to DSA’s national standards. It places greater emphasis on the ability to support learning and enables the ADI to show competence in areas of lesson planning, risk management and a wider range of teaching and learning strategies.