Driving Instructors are either independent or they work for a school. Either way, the overall task of the instructor remains the same – to prepare their student for his or her practical driving test. We have already touched on the main differences from a day to day duties point of view between the independent and the driving school instructor but there are more differences that might be considered.
Did you know there are currently around 40,000 approved Driving Instructors registered with the UK’s governing body, the DVSA? Not all those instructors are fully qualified instructors as some may still be in training themselves for which they are still able to work in the same way as any qualified instructor. These two types of instructor are known as the ADI and the PDI.
The ADI is the fully qualified instructor. ADI standing for Approved Driving Instructor, this individual has completed a comprehensive training program. It is a legal requirement that they display a green badge on their vehicle windscreen. They are licensed to carry out paid driving lessons. They must also have had a background check carried out also known as a Criminal Record Check to make sure they are fit & proper to supply lessons.
The PDI is the trainee instructor. They are legally required to display a Pink badge on their windscreen. They are licensed to carry out paid driving lessons just like the ADI butut us worth remembering they still have to complete their final exams. Always check that the vehicle you will be learning to drive in displays the legal required operating badge.
Remember an individual driving instructor who operates as a sole trader only has himself or herself to answer to. They don’t have any operating policy to adhere to so they will vary quite a bit in standards, service provided & driving tuition. There is a misconception that all drivers are the same & it is one of the few professions where age & experience doesn’t always mean a better instructor.
Obviously the level of service provided can range from customer service through to actual driving skills & the ability to teach or explain basic instructions. In addition did you know there is no legal requirements regarding continuous training? Whilst many driving instructors who are working for a driving school do carry out further development training, most individual instructors do not.
Such further development introduces more modern techniques so the benefits by far outweigh the alternative. As there are about 50% of instructors who do not take on further training then it can be expected that half of all instructors are teaching old outdated methods highlighting the fact that older, experienced instructors are not necessarily better. Alternately, most driving schools on the other hand do have their instructors on regular further development courses so once again, there can be a big difference in the standards provided. Driving schools have more opportunity for their drivers to receive further training, it affects their business less, whilst a sole trader would have to halt his business whilst receiving training. The reasoning behind the lack of training for sole traders is understandable but it is something to note when choosing an instructor