Monday, 26 May 2008

Driving Instructor Lesson Plans and Diagrams

There's lots of these about, some better than others, some worse than useless.

Be really careful before you spend your precious cash on any of these, because you may well be buying something which hasn't been updated since the 70's, or worse, may actually have incorrect advice - with the possible outcome of you failing a part 3 or check test.

Lesson plans for a controls lesson which omit the cockpit drill, reverse parking methods which seem physically impossible, no mention of ABS on emergency stop lessons - what problems have you found with the books you have shelled out for? Let me know:

If you need some help with lesson plans or diagrams - ask your trainer, or at the very least ask on one of the forums ( or don't take the word of the people flogging this stuff that they're good!

Friday, 9 May 2008

Is there enough work for fleet instructors?

There's been a massive increase of instructors deciding to take a fleet diploma, or going through the DSA's 3 exam route to fleet registration, so I thought I'd better ask the question - is there enough work.

The immediate answer is no.

The long term answer is yes.....and some!

At the moment, most people who drive as part of their job are not trained. Those who are are usually trained through one of the big trainers (RoSPA, IAM, Drive&Survive), who pay their trainers between £100-£150 a day.

Recently there have been a whole host of new providers to the market (naming no names, you know who you are) trying to get a slice of the future cake. Speculative market entry I guess. There's probably about 20 relatively serious contenders who have actually started to make an impact on the business and who are picking up work for their main 2 or 3 trainers. These guys will occaisionally need more trainers, so they call on their mates within the business to help out.

Then there's another thousand or so Fleet registered ADIs who have added a bit to their website and are wondering where this famed pot of gold is!

Oh, we've been here before haven't we!?!

The fact is that providing fleet training involves a hell of a lot of work:

  1. Get the enquiries - either by advertising, doorstepping or cold calling
  2. Answer the enquiries (not "You've reached Bob the driving instructor, please leave a message and I'll get back to you.")
  3. Send out proposals and costings which are professional, competetive but not amateurishly cheap and are suitable for the customer
  4. Liaise with the customer to design the course.
  5. Provide pre-course materials including profilers and theory tests
  6. Assess drivers from profiles and info given
  7. Assess drivers on-road
  8. Design training courses to fix any problems
  9. Cost training courses and propose them
  10. Carry out training courses
  11. Invoice
  12. Wait
  13. Pay instructors out of own pocket
  14. Wait
  15. Receive payment

Lots of work innit?!

That's why the training costs £300-£500 a day to the company, but the instructor only gets £120.

For £120 what would you prefer - three double lessons or travelling half-way across the country to meet people you won't get any connection with?

There are other ways around the problem. For example, the ADI federation are proposing a co-op of fleet trainers, but whether this will provide enough work for all of their trainers is a different matter.

You could always use your own contacts to work in your own area.

You could design a specialist course to play to your own strengths.

There really is massive growth potential for Driver Training in the UK and across the world, but as I'm sure regular readers know - it's not going to be money for nothing.