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Driving instructor qualification set for overhaul

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Plans to improve the qualification process for driving instructors were announced today by Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.

The 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.

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.

The new qualification would be aligned with DSA’s national standards that set out what skills are needed to be an effective driving instructor, and would 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.

Road safety minister, Stephen Hammond, said: "Driving instructors play a vital role in helping to make 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.”

DSA chief executive, Rosemary Thew, 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.”

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.

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