Last week we spoke to Danny, PDI this week it’s all about Gav, ADI.
Gav’s entire career has revolved around cars and vehicles. He worked in the motor trade for years and has 12 years experience in driving artic lorries! Once you’ve manoeuvered one of those down a single track lane, every other driving task seems easy!
Why did you become a driving instructor?
Over the last three years, I’d been teaching friends to drive. I really enjoyed it and I was good at it too. I decided to get in touch with driving-pro to find out how I could become a Driving Instructor.
After lots of swotting up, help from driving-pro and of course practice, I passed my exams and qualified as a driving instructor.
And here at driving-pro, we couldn’t be more delighted to have Gav aboard. He’s already proving to be a brilliant driving instructor with some fantastic passes already under his belt.
If you want to learn more about Gav, click here and if you want to find out more about driving lessons, fill in the form below!
We asked new member of the driving-pro family Danny, what it’s like to be a driving instructor and why he decided to do it. Danny joined driving-pro in February and is currently doing his training with us too, at the moment Danny is PDI and is working towards becoming an ADI.
A PDI is a Potential Driving Instructor and an ADI is an Approved Driving Instructor. In order to become an ADI you have to pass 3 exams (after LOTS of training and practice), a PDI is someone who has passed 2/3 of those exams. If you’re being taught by a PDI it means that they are on their way to taking that all important 3rd exam which will gain them ADI status. We have no doubt that Danny will pass his part 3 and we can’t wait to welcome another fully fledged ADI to driving-pro.
What’s it like being a Driving Instructor?
Being a driving instructor is great. You have to be calm and make each pupil feel at ease (even after a near miss)! I always try and get to know all my pupils personally so we can chat like friends which really relaxes them, when they are relaxed they drive a lot better. One thing I tell my pupils is not to panic under any circumstance, if you panic, that’s when mistakes happen. Staying calm and not panicking as an instructor in an awkward situation really teaches them this is the best thing to do. Even though you may feel panicked inside, never show it on the surface or it will rub off on your pupil.
Why did you decide to become a Driving Instructor?
I’m a people person and you meet some fantastic and interesting people being a driving instructor, people with some really interesting stories to tell. I always learn something new with each pupil (I like learning new stuff)! It is so satisfying seeing a pupil start off not even knowing how to turn a car on blossoming into a great driver. I often remind them of what they were like on their first lesson to what they are like now which makes them feel really proud of their achievements.
By 1970 all driving instructors now had to be officially registered and from May 1975 candidates no longer had to demonstrate arm signals in the driving test.
From 1st May 1990, examiners started to give feedback, they gave candidates a brief explanation of faults committed during the test, plus advice on areas for improvement. From October 1990, under the new legislation, anyone accompanying a learner driver had to be at least 21 and must have held a driving licence for a minimum of 3 years which is still true to this day.
In April of 1991 reverse parking became part of the driving test, this was as a result of more and more traffic on the road and people passing their driving test but not being able to park!
On 1st July 1996, the (separate) theory test was introduced. It replaced questions asked about The Highway Code during the driving test. A lot of people tried to beat the deadline meaning the driving instruction industry boomed and then, of course, slumped.
Photographic ID was required for both practical and theory tests from 1st March 1997. From 1st June 1997, if a new driver gained 6 or more penalty points during the first 2 years of driving, they lost their licence and must retake both the theory and practical driving test before being allowed back on the roads.
On 29th September 1997, waiting times between tests were reintroduced for unsuccessful candidates. For car drivers, there was a minimum wait of 10 days between tests.
In February 1999, the newly revised Highway Code was published, with current advice and up-to-date legislation for all road users.
On 5th May 1999, the Bay Park is introduced. Glen Robbins of driving-pro lays claim to being the first test pass on that day in the South of England, if not the whole of the UK.
As you can see, as the roads got busier the rules had to evolve more quickly. Imagine today not having to learn how to park your car or not having to take your theory test. Yes, it might be easier but do you think you’d be a safe driver?
Welcome to the last instalment of The Story of the Driving Test. This week we’ll be discussing what changes were made from the early 2000s to today.
In 2002 a hazard perception element was introduced into the theory test; this uses video clips to test candidates awareness of hazards on the road. The ‘Show me’ and ‘tell me’ vehicle safety questions that we always go on about were added to the beginning of the driving test on 1 September 2003.
It was only since 6th April 2010, that driving test candidates have been encouraged to take their instructor with them on their test. Then on 4th October 2010, independent driving became part of the practical driving test, this is when candidates have to drive for 10 mins making their own decisions.
On 7th April 2014, driving test candidates were stopped from being able to use foreign language voiceovers and interpreters on their theory and practical driving tests. The change was made to cut out the risk of fraud, to make sure that all drivers can read road signs and fully understand the rules of the road.
Some of the biggest changes to the driving test were introduced recently on 4th December 2017. These included following directions from a sat nav and testing different manoeuvres. We said goodbye to the corner reverse and the turn in the road. In came, driving into a bay and pulling up on the right. Fast moving country roads were also included in the test in response to the accident rate on those roads by new drivers. The Show Me Tell Me questions and how they are conducted changed, these questions are now asked on the move. All in all, it’s a lot more like real life although some driving instructors predict that these changes will mean the end of western civilisation as we know it.
The latest change on 4th June 2018 was for learner drivers and not the driving test. The change in law meant that learner drivers were allowed to take motorway driving lessons for the first time, although they have to be with an ADI and driving a car with dual controls. The welcome change in law was made to help to make sure more drivers knew how to use motorways safely and confidently. Driving-pro instructor (Liam Greaney) lays claim to being the first instructor with a learner on the motorway. He even made it into the local news!
All in all, since the driving test was introduced it has responded to the needs of society, as have the roads and the law. As roads become more congested the test becomes harder to pass but at the end of the day, the driving test is a test of competence and to evaluate if you will be safe on the roads. Yes, it’s frustrating to fail a driving test but it’d be devastating if you were to cause an accident because you weren’t ready to drive.
What do you think about how driving and the driving test has evolved? Do you think it’s evolved enough? Do you think there should be more changes made? Let us know over on Facebook!
Being a Driving Instructor is not just about teaching someone to pass a driving test but to drive safely. By teaching you to drive safely, you would then pass your test. We have an overriding moral duty to you, the pupil, ourselves and society in general, to ensure that everyone is safe. Nothing could be worse for an Instructor than to read that someone you have got through a driving test has been in an awful accident.
Instructors work in different ways, for some, it’s their full-time job and for some, it’s part-time…but most work around you and your availability. It’s important when you’re learning to drive that you’re not distracted by stress or time constraints which is why we try to be flexible.
As driving instructors, we deploy a variety of techniques which have been learnt through our training and experience. Which techniques we use are dependant on you and the circumstances we find ourselves in during a lesson. You’ll find that the skill of the instructor is in how these techniques are deployed to you, to give you the best advantage.
Being a driving instructor can be very rewarding (we wouldn’t do it otherwise) as we have the satisfaction of being a positive change in someone’s life. But a strange part of the job for some is that we share an aspect of our lives with a pupil and may get on really well with them. Then that pupil passes their driving test and it becomes a bittersweet moment as they move out of your life.
However, overall it’s a people job and helping people from all walks of life, become safe and confident drivers equals huge job satisfaction for us at driving-pro.
If you’d like to learn how to drive, fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you!