Sunday, 25 March 2007

ORDIT - What does it really mean?

Driving Instructor Training is an interesting business, because to do it all you need is to be an ADI.

Curious eh? Imagine this going down the line - as soon as someone had passed their driving test, they could advertise themselves as driving instructors!!

But surely there's some kind of exam that proves your trainer is good? Well.......ORDIT kinda does this.

The Official Register of Driving Instructor Trainers (the full title), is not essential, but the DSA reckon it will give some kind of "accountability" to the business. A business that has suffered a bit through unscrupulous types trying to make a buck out of people who wanna become driving instructors. This accountability largely entails having a clear refund policy ("we don't give refunds" is about as clear as you need to be for this), and some kind of complaints procedure ("write to the DSA at.......if you don't like what you got" is about as procedural as it needs to be).

So you can see why people aren't keen.

But......and it's an important one, the trainer who is on the register will have been assessed by an examiner as being competant at their job. This can be important, in the same way as the difference between being a trainee instructor (PDI) and qualified driving instructor (ADI) is pretty important. It means that at the very least - on the day - for 1 hour - in the eyes of the examiner - the trainer was giving ok instruction.

Does this mean that all trainers on ORDIT are good? No. In the same way that not all ADIs are any good, just that they are CAPABLE of being good.

Does this mean that all trainers who aren't on ORDIT don't have all these policies in place? No. But if they don't you can't complain.

So where do we go next? Well there are rumours that ORDIT will be mandatory soon, which is no bad thing - it will at least get rid of the REALLY shady operators out there, and it will make sure that if there are problems with a trainer then there's someone to complain to. (If you reckon the DSA can or will actually do anything about dodgy trainers.......!)

So if you are thinking of becoming a driving instructor - look around for trainers, and ask them what they are doing about ORDIT. If they aren't on it - find out why not. If they tell you it's rubbish - beware - this is the excuse of the cowboy.

If they ARE on ORDIT, don't relax - this doesn't mean they will be good. Meet your trainer, ask for their qualifications. Don't hand over ANY cash before your first training session, apart from payment for that session. Go to the forums and do the research - it'll pay you back a fortune.

I'm not sure what a legit reason for not being on ORDIT would be - if you can come up with one - comment at the end of this article!

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