I is for… Instructors!
Who are we?
As instructors, we generally teach people to drive!
We can teach many people for various reasons, here's some examples;
- Drivers who have never driven before
- Drivers who have driven, but are looking to change instructors for any reason
- Drivers who have passed their test, but are looking to refresh their skills
- Drivers who are looking for theory test support
- Drivers who are looking for motorway lessons
- Older drivers who are looking for an assessment of their driving - we offer free driving assessments to older drivers as part of our scheme
- We also teach people how to become instructors!
- We teach nervous students, those who are anxious, dyspraxic, dyslexic, or have other learning difficulties
- We offer manual and automatic lessons
- We have fantastic, patient, and friendly instructors here at DKM Driving! Our current instructors are Darren & Laura (owners), Stacey, Myles, Lloyd, and Sarah.
What is an instructor's role during a lesson?
We are here for many reasons! Here are some of the reasons;
- To keep you, me, and the general public safe
- To provide you with a safe, controlled environment for you to learn
- To provide you with realistic challenges to support your learning process
- To encourage you to self reflect & analyse situations to support your learning process
- To give you the skills and confidence to pass your driving test
- To give you the skills and confidence to be able to drive independently once you pass your driving test, and are driving by yourself
How do you become an instructor? Is it easy?
The process to becoming an instructor is not easy! Instructors go through difficult tests to be allowed to teach, and have to take regular tests throughout their careers.
Lets have a look at the process to becoming an instructor...
You must be over 21 years old and have held your driving licence for 3 years.
1. We have to have an up to date DBS check to ensure that we’re safe to teach you. We are committed against safeguarding and take this very seriously
2. Part 1 test; This is an advanced theory test with 100 questions and you must score at least 85/100 to pass. You also do the hazard perception test (just like your learner theory test), but the pass mark is also higher for this. Trainee instructors must be able to demonstrate they have a wider range of knowledge of more in depth subjects.
(We also offer FREE theory test revision support for students, please visit dkmdriving.net/contact and fill out your details at the top of the page to get signed up!)
3. Part 2 test; This is an advanced driving test. Trainee instructors must be able to demonstrate that they have the practical driving skills to become an instructor. The advanced driving test is similar to the learner driving test, however it lasts longer, has more manoeuvres, you're only allowed up to 6 minors, and the examiners are looking for a much higher standard of driving
4. Pink licence; This is where trainee instructors can go onto a 'trainee pink licence' where they are still technically a trainee instructor, but can legally teach you and charge for driving lessons. They must have completed a mandatory 40 hours of training with a trainer, and once signed off by their trainer and the DVSA, they are allowed to teach to gain experience. Their teaching and lessons are closely monitored by their trainer. Trainers will observe the trainee instructor's lessons where possible, and keep in close contact with the trainee. The DVSA also require a further 20 hours of mandatory training whilst on a pink trainee licence to ensure their training and teaching is going well.
5. Part 3 test; This is where an examiner sits in the back of the car and watches the trainee instructor complete a 'normal' lesson. The examiner will mark the trainee instructor against 17 competencies, and score them out of 51. The pass mark is 31/51, however you must score a minimum of 8 points in the risk management section. This is to ensure that trainee instructors are keeping lessons as safe as possible, as well as keeping the risk and safety of the general public and student at the heart of everything they do
6. Once an instructor has passed their Part 3 test, they are fully qualified and can get their green 'fully qualified' badge! Within 12 months the DVSA will ask them to do a 'Standards Check' - which is the same as a Part 3 test - an examiner will sit in the back of a lesson and ensure that the instructor's lessons are still being conducted to a high standard
7. Once the instructor has passed the Standards Check within 12 months of qualifying, they must take their Standards Check every 4 years. This is again, to ensure that instructors are consistently teaching to a high standard and are keeping everyone safe. Every 4 years, the instructor must also complete a new DBS check to ensure they are still safe to teach you
These tests are not easy! With the Part 2, Part 3, and Standards Check tests - you are only allowed three attempts at each test. If an instructor fails those three attempts of any test, they must start again right from step number 1 above!
An instructor is unable to teach if they have failed three times, the instructors DVSA pink or green licence becomes invalid, or their licence has been taken off them by the DVSA (this could be due to their behaviour, committing offences etc.). The DVSA closely monitor all instructors and take this very seriously.
How do I know if my instructor is genuine?
Unfortunately, and it is sad to say, there are some 'fake' instructors out there. Even if the 'instructors' car has dual controls and additional mirrors, this doesn't always mean they are a 'real' instructor and legally allowed to charge you for lessons.
A trainee instructor will always display a PINK licence badge.
A qualified instructor will always display a GREEN licence badge.
You can ask your instructor to see their badge at any time - and if they are a real, genuine instructor, they will have no issues showing you their badge. Having a pink or green badge enables the instructor to legally charge you for the driving lessons you are taking.
If your instructor is unable to show you their badge without good reason, you must be wary. If you're unsure, you can email the DVSA fraud team, and they would be happy to help you find out if your instructor is genuine.
DVSA fraud team; firstname.lastname@example.org
It's important to note that instructors (and anyone!) can teach without displaying a pink or green licence badge - the difference is that they can not charge you for lessons. They can not take money 'for reward' - this includes for fuel, for lessons, or giving them services in exchange for lessons (such as a trade of skills like doing their gardening in exchange for teaching you). Therefore trainee instructors can teach for free before they get their pink trainee licence badge, and parents, family members, friends etc can also teach you - as long as they don't charge you.
If someone wants to teach for free, or as an instructor, the important bits are that they;
- Are over 21 years old
- Have held their driving licence for more than 3 years
- Follow all the rules as if they were driving, for example, not drinking alcohol or taking drugs, not using their mobile phone, not being distracted etc. They must be ready to take control if you need help or support
- Your car has L plates on the front and rear (keep a spare pair of magnetic L plates in your car in case they blow off during your drive!)
- Your car has tax, MOT, and is road worthy
- You have the correct learner driving insurance
L plates & signage
It is a legal requirement to display L plates on the front and rear of the vehicle where they are clearly visible, when teaching learners. If you are driving in your own car, you should take the L plates off when you're not driving. Driving instructors are exempt from having to remove their L plates between lessons.
Driving instructors often use a roof box - and if the roof box has L plates on the front and rear of the box, then legally, the instructor's car doesn't have to have L plates on.
Our roof boxes are a good form of advertising, and instructors sometimes choose to get their cars 'sign written' - where graphics and decals are put on the car to attract more customers.
Instructors often have signs on the back of their car such as 'CAUTION, SUDDEN BRAKING' - to bring more attention to drivers behind that our vehicle may stop suddenly if the learner panics or the instructor has to stop the car for safety reasons. We would hope that following drivers give learner drivers more space and distance, and more time to deal with tricky situations and moving off safely etc.
I want to become an instructor, what can I do?
We would welcome you to contact us so we can discuss this further with you :)
Please contact Laura on 07982 493422.
We also have more information here; www.dkmdriving.net/copy-of-services
We hope this has been informative!
Join us next week when we talk about Junctions!