/ Motoring

Would you pay an unqualified driving instructor?

The blind leading the blind is probably not the most appropriate metaphor to use when talking about driving lessons. But let’s face it, you’d want to taught by a qualified instructor not a trainee, right?

Ever looked at your driving instructor’s windscreen? I mean, really looked, and not just for squashed bugs. I’m thinking about the little badge they have to display.

If your instructor’s badge is green, they are fully qualified; if it’s pink, they’re not. This means that you, or your son or daughter, could be taught by a trainee.

While this might be no bad thing – especially if the trainee is just weeks away from getting their green card – it could be a very different experience if they are still some way off completing their training. Either way, I’d like to know.

Are you being taken for a ride?

I’d expect the status of the person teaching me to let me know if they still have some way to travel down the training route, or whether they’ve already arrived.

I can appreciate that an instructor needs to get on the job training, just like a nurse does when you’re donating blood. The difference is that at least the nurse will tell you that they’re still learning, so you have the chance to opt for a fully qualified colleague.

Green or pink badge

With driving lessons, I’d want to know up-front that the person whose job is to ensure I am adequately trained is proficient. If they’re not, I’d like the option of switching to a fully qualified instructor (or at least get a discount).

After all, learning to drive is harrowing enough. The last thing an inexperienced driver needs to worry about is whether their instructor is up to scratch.

Comments
Guest
Annie says:
14 December 2012

There are no doubt good non ADIs teaching people to drive and the are also a lot of ADIs that are of a very poor standard. I read some websites with total disbelief, that that is actually what the new generation of drivers is being taught. For example one website talked about making sure you could do the manoeuvres without any “minor” faults so that you had 15 left to go for the test. A scrape through attitude which frankly I found dreadful for any professional to hold.
In lots of ways passing the test is the least of the pupils worries. What is far more important is the time after the test when they are on their own. I do not teach people to pass a test I teach them to drive. Something totally different in my opinion. I want to do my upmost to make sure they don’t become another statistic.
Whilst there are very good PDIs who are using the licence to get onroad experience. There are a lot who see it as a way of getting back the money they have spent on training before they take their part 3. So they aren’t all that worried about the standard. I was on a pink licence for about 2 months before my part three and found it very helpful. I was totally honest with all my pupils and asked them for feedback on lessons to help me improve. I do know that there are ways to extend the 6 months too. If you book your part three on say 20th May and your PDI licence expired on the 20 March you can continue teaching. This is used by some of the less scrupulous companies to keep the trainees on for longer. They really don’t care if they pass there are 20 more willing to take their place.

Guest
Ashley Neal says:
24 June 2014

No way would I pay an unqualified driving instructor! There should be a law against impersonating a driving instructor. It’s putting lives at risk!

Ashley

Guest

in 2011 nielonsea stated he had been teaching since 1947 some 67 years ago, you have to be 21 to teach a legal requirement so 21 + 67 so a 88 years old instructor or a pdi?
I can remember the 50,s when as a kid we used to go number plate spotting as there was so few cars on road and cars were not for the working man was the bus bike or a moped
I am a trainee instructor spent many £1000,s reckon will have devoted 300 hours to study plus intense in car tuition
I also have been a member of the institute of advanced motorists for 36 years but to become an A D I the training and qualifications is way beyond the level of advanced driving but a good start even I had to go through a lot of untraining from advanced level

Guest
Neilonsea says:
23 September 2014

I’m amazed this hairy old thread has re-awoken! Just to put the record straight, Barleytony, it was not I who said I had been teaching since 1947, I was not even born then and am thankfully several years away from 88!

That statement was made by Richard, who seems to have generated most of the controversy surrounding this issue.

I’m not going to get hung up on the professional versus amateur point of view. When I first taught someone to drive and pass a test 1st time I was a 27 year old traffic police officer with no formal teaching qualifications – I just knew what made a good driver and knew damn well that my ‘pupil’, a friend of the family was better than test standard when she took it.

I also know that the vast majority of ‘ordinary’ drivers could not, nor want to, teach their offspring to drive as they treasure their sanity too much, not to mention the precious family car.

Guest
Gary s says:
8 December 2014

Driver tuition is changing, as qualified Adis (approved driving instructor) we now have to pass a new standards check every 4 years. We are then graded A (high standard) B (competent stardard). Or fail we then have 2 more tests to prove our stardard is upto scratch. Or we lose our job. The methods we now have to use are based on client centered learning (ccl). This involves the learner being more in control of the learning process. When looking for a instructor ask them to prove what grade they are, as they will be issued with a certificate after their standard check.

Guest
Kenneth says:
18 March 2015

Drive Dynamics is one driving school which lets you get your first driving license in one go. With effective training and friendly instructors it was all easy to drive.

Guest

Most of the online reviews of DD are very negative, so you seem to have been one of the lucky ones, Kenneth.

Guest
John Ballantyne says:
27 March 2015

Most PDI’s are training to pass their part 3 test therefore their teaching style may be for them to pass there test not for you to pass your test. After they are using you as their practice.

You get some good PDI’s but also bad ones who don’t have a clue what they are doing

Guest
Ianf67 says:
10 June 2016

I was a pdi with Red driving school, out of a class of 25 pdis only 4 of us went onto qualify as a ADI. I was fortunate that I had been a police officer for 25 years and this helped me with part 1 and part 2. Since leaving red I regurly see pdis teaching on the pink badge. I told my students when I was training, I think pdis should inform their students of their status. It’s very hard to qualify as a ADI