Fleet News

DIA discusses changes to driver training with road safety minister

The Driving Instructors Association (DIA) chairman Graham Fryer and general manager Steve Garrod met with under-secretary of state for transport Mike Penning to outline current thinking among training professionals on developments that would, in particular, improve the general standard of driver education.

The first change that the DIA would like to see is the integration of the current Pass Plus scheme into the learning-to-drive syllabus. Motorway training should be part of that syllabus and ADIs should be allowed to teach pupils on motorways. Those applying for a driving test should only be allowed to do so once instructors are confident that candidates have sufficient experience of driving on all the types of road they will encounter when they have a full licence.

The DIA also feels that driving qualifications for qualified drivers need to be developed further. For example, drivers of company vehicles should have to achieve minimum national occupational standards for driving (currently there is no recognised syllabus for company drivers in category B vehicles). Qualifications should also have a shelf life to encourage refresher training.

Another issue that that the DIA feels needs addressing is that there is currently there is no formal training syllabus for potential Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) to work to. The DIA's belief is that there should be a prescribed syllabus to prevent customers wasting their money. The minimum entry level to the industry should also be raised to include recognised teaching qualifications (e.g. Preparing to Teach in the Life-long Learning Sector).

The DIA also thinks that the trainee licence scheme should be abolished. The pass rate for the Part 3 examination - the passing of which is required to become a fully qualified ADI - currently lies at around 30%. This suggests that trainees are not being properly supervised. The DIA recommends that the current system should be replaced with a probationary scheme that includes supervision, in line with teacher training programmes.

The final change proposed is that all drivers should have their eyesight tested by an optometrist, not at the driving test centre, with drivers' eyesight checked at least every 10 years. Currently, the responsibility is with the driver to self-certify their eyesight has not deteriorated after the age of 70.

Steve Garrod said of the meeting: "The under-secretary of state seemed very open to the DIA's suggestions and appreciative of the association's desire to improve road safety through better driver training. We're especially heartened with the minister's belief that learner drivers need to be taught to drive rather than simply pass the test and his concerns over the trainee licence scheme."



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Comments

  • Driving Educator - 01/03/2011 00:02

    The DIA should be applauded for seeking improvements to the current appalling system of driver training in the UK.. There are many factors responsible for the shambolic state of affairs. ADI Training companies who have trainers so incompetent that they don't know their gear sticks from their elbows, people who are so poorly qualified they would have difficulty passing their 11 plus examination, yet the government, through the DfT / DSA, allow such inadequates to churn out inept driving instructors like confetti. Most of these inadequates are themselves reject instructors from the L market, and who were so hopeless at the job that they sought sanctuary in the sausage factories doing what they currently do. Others like them jumped ship upon finding they were so useless with Learner drivers that they quickly exchanged their T shirt and torn jeans for a suit and beat a path to the DSA. Anybody who has been through the unscrupulous PDI system (I did not!)should never ever have been allowed to teach learner drivers so much as how to shampoo a car, let alone drive one. I believe that the only thing which can resolve the problem is for a Royal Commission to be set up and investigate the thoroughly rotten system we currently have. The DfT/DSA have proved time and again in the past couple of decades that they are completely out of their depth when trying to change things. As indeed are the smaller and insignificant instructor associations, which are led(?)by people who are products of the very same inadequate PDI system - the blind leading the blind.. UK driver training is nothing less than a sick national joke.... Look around next time you go out and witness for yourself: Driving instructors who themselves park their cars on pavements! ADIs who permit / instruct learners to park on pavements! ADIs who flout the law by using hand held mobile phones whilst driving or supervising learners! ADIs who illegally smoke filthy fags in their cars!

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  • metalmicky - 01/03/2011 12:12

    Very blinkered comments from Driving Educator. To say all PDI's "should never ever have been allowed to teach learner drivers so much as how to shampoo a car, let alone drive one." Is an appalling comment to make. there are plenty of PDI's in the industry who receive very good training and are more than suitably qualified to teach Provisional Licence Holders. It is exactly this archaic thinking and approach to driver training and education that needs to be addressed. Yes there are PDI's who receive poor quality training and are sent out unprepared to properly deal with novices, Equally there are ADI's who also fall into this bracket. Having been a PDI myself several years ago, I can say wholeheartedly that the instruction i gave to my first six pupils was more than adequate. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Two of my first six passed their L Test with Zero Faults and between the six of them no-one failed the Test and they managed to accrue 9 faults between them. Yes the system needs something doing to address any possible shortfalls but do not tarnish all trainees with the same brush. To say "UK driver training is nothing less than a sick national joke" is an amusing comment. What is Driving Educators job? To comment about a system you have no first hand experience of, is very narrow minded. Not all ADI's park on the pavement, or get their pupils to. Neither do they all drive around using their hand held mobiles or smoke. This has gone from an attack on PDI's to being an attack on the DfT/DSA to then go on to being an attack on all ADI's and Driver Training Bodies on Associations. Get a grip and

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  • metalmicky - 01/03/2011 12:15

    Very blinkered comments from Driving Educator. To say all PDI's "should never ever have been allowed to teach learner drivers so much as how to shampoo a car, let alone drive one." Is an appalling comment to make. there are plenty of PDI's in the industry who receive very good training and are more than suitably qualified to teach Provisional Licence Holders. It is exactly this archaic thinking and approach to driver training and education that needs to be addressed. Yes there are PDI's who receive poor quality training and are sent out unprepared to properly deal with novices, Equally there are ADI's who also fall into this bracket. Having been a PDI myself several years ago, I can say wholeheartedly that the instruction I gave to my pupils as a PDI was more than adequate. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Two of my first six passed their L Test with Zero Faults and between the six of them no-one failed the Test and they managed to accrue 9 faults between them. Yes the system needs something doing to address any possible shortfalls but do not tarnish all trainees with the same brush. To say "UK driver training is nothing less than a sick national joke" is an amusing comment. What is Driving Educators job? To comment about a system you have no first hand experience of, is very narrow minded. Not all ADI's park on the pavement, or get their pupils to. Neither do they all drive around using their hand held mobiles or smoke. This has gone from an attack on PDI's to being an attack on the DfT/DSA to then go on to being an attack on all ADI's and Driver Training Bodies on Associations. Get a grip and

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  • targetadi - 02/03/2011 08:48

    Both very valid points. I think MetalMickey you may have missed read Driving Educators point. He did say “Anybody who has been through the unscrupulous PDI system”. He did not refer to “All Pdi’s”, meaning every single Potential Driving Instructor, as you seem to refer and his argument was made as to what would be unscrupulous. If we cannot see what is happening out there, then we are really blinkered, and our young drivers of tomorrow have little chance. We don’t often here of politians actually speaking to people who know the business, and the DIA with Steve Garrod certainly know how this business runs and what needs changing. Pdi’s are left to practice their skills on learners drivers. Its ludicrous to think trainee’s are left to teach people a life skilll, a skill that could actually take their life. Its much the same as learners being taught to pass a driving test then learn how to drive once they are on their own and most vulnerable. Yes there are poor Adi’s and Pdi’s and there are many good instructors out there. But the bigger picture is a lot different and one that needs to be slowed down or even stopped. It starts from the bottom upwards!

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