The message that trainee driving instructors receive when they do their Part 3 training can be quite confusing. They can very easily find themselves training to pass regulatory assessments while missing out on the full range of skills needed to efficiently help learner drivers become confident and competent. This can lead to struggling to retain customers further down the line.
The mark of professional driving instructor training is not limited to helping you qualify, the goal is to provide the skills necessary for long-term business success; looking beyond the qualification process. It is this short-termism that results in newly qualified driving instructors giving up on their business through a lack of customer retention. It is also why many driving instructors have to resort to long-term cheaper pricing.
The training that driving instructors provide should be centred around the needs of the pupil. This means that if as an instructor we are systematically saying things to pupils that have no relevance to that pupil, we are in danger of losing that pupil’s custom. This is one of the reasons why the retention rate of pupils is an issue in the industry. BIG TOM was established in 2009 at the height of the UK’s last deep recession and knows from that experience how important it is to stay focussed on customer satisfaction.
Of course, trainee instructors want to get qualified, but much in the same way that learners can incorrectly be trained to pass a driving test, likewise, there is more to being an effective driving instructor than the criteria to meet the qualifying assessments. Grade A and Grade B driving instructors are both being recalled for Standards Checks by the DVSA at strikingly similar rates (only 0.5% difference between August – September 2022 1.92% vs 2.5%) [Source: DVSA]
No-one welcomes being treated carelessly and pupils learning to drive are no exception. They get no satisfaction from being told things that they already know, and they feel insulted when they know that you know, they know. It shows a lack of care and attention when you waste their time repeatedly saying things that the pupil knows. Your busy schedule and hectic working day are no excuse for repetitious tuition. Wasting pupils’ time is disrespectful because it is wasting the money that they are paying you for your service. It is unprofessional as it demonstrates a lack of record-keeping.
There is a fine line between repeating instruction for the purpose of ensuring something is learnt as opposed to repeating instruction because that is what you systematically do. It also shows a lack of expertise to simply keep repeating something to a pupil when actually, they need to have something explained DIFFERENTLY in order for the learning point to resonate. This lack of teaching skill is demonstrated in a variety of ways in driving lessons – but the consequence is still the same, it is still wasting their time and money.
When you train with BIG TOM, not only will you be taught about this skill of making the learning experience personal to pupils, but you will see it being demonstrated for your OWN training needs. Your time and finances that you invest in to become qualified are precious to you – not only do you want the experience to be efficient but you also want successful outcomes.
Once you develop the skills that ensure your training sessions are efficient, pupils will recognise your expertise. You are a lucky person if you have never experienced being trained in a professional capacity by an inefficient trainer – it can be frustrating, confusing, irritating and at its worst, demotivating. When you come on board with BIG TOM for your driving instructor training, you will notice we DO pay attention to your strengths and weaknesses as we want to show you how you create efficient learning. Upskilling is exciting, it is an investment in your own personal growth and what you do not need to feel is that you are systematically simply being told by repetition how to ‘tick boxes’.