Professional development

Professional development

Professional development is an important part of being a driving instructor. The skills and knowledge you’ll need to teach your pupils change over time, as do the driving tests and the way driving is taught. To give your pupils the best chance of becoming safe, responsible drivers and passing their tests, you’ll need to keep your skills and knowledge up to date. It’s also important to show your pupils that you’re still improving your skills: no one ever really finishes learning to drive.

Client-centred learning is an approach that’s being used increasingly in the driving tuition industry. It’s a way of teaching that puts the focus on the learner, as these core principles show.

  • Actively listen to what your pupils are trying to tell you about what’s getting in the way of their learning so you’ll be well-equipped to help them achieve their learning goals.
  • Don’t hide behind a façade, patronise your pupils or pretend to be something you’re not. Your pupils will be much more likely to be willing to listen to you, and share their problems, if you’re ‘real’.
  • Show them you trust that they’re trying to be constructive and find solutions. Your pupils will be much more likely to take your advice and guidance if you accept and respect who they are.

You may already be following these principles at least some of the time. The more you use this approach, the more effective your instruction is likely to be. There are lots of different techniques for managing learning in a client-centred way: this is an area you could explore in your professional development.

Standards tests

The approved driving instructor (ADI) standards check replaced the ADI check test on 7 April 2014. The ADI standards check assesses your ability to teach pupils. You have to take at least 1 ADI standards check during each 4-year period that you’re registered as an ADI. You have to take a standards check even if you don’t have a car or aren’t working as an ADI. You can only take standards checks in English or Welsh.

When to take your standards check

You’ll get a letter from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency asking you to go for your standards check. It will say when and where to go. There is no additional fee for a standards check.

Find out more about the standards test on GOV.UK.

Continuing professional development (CPD) is a good way to keep your skills up to date. You choose how and when to do the training – it could be a formal course or research on the internet, for example. Your CPD should link with the driver trainer competence framework.

Find out more about ADI professional development on GOV.UK.

Use these videos to learn more about CPD for driver trainers.

As part of your CPD you can take a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) special test, which will test your skills to the highest standards and demonstrate your commitment to CPD. This test is only available to fully qualified instructors and includes a test of your general driving skills and manoeuvres.

Find out more about the special test for instructors on GOV.UK.

Becoming a Pass Plus instructor will help you generate more business by allowing you to offer an extra service to pupils after they’ve passed their driving test. Pass Plus helps your pupils become safer drivers by continuing their learning and development beyond their driving test, teaching extra skills such as motorway driving.

To register as a Pass Plus instructor, go to GOV.UK.

As an ADI, you can register as a fleet driver trainer if you specialise in training fully qualified drivers of fleets of cars and vans. This will enable DVSA to provide your details to people looking for fleet driver training, and you can advertise yourself as a DVSA-registered fleet driver trainer.

To find out more about becoming a fleet driver trainer, go to GOV.UK.