Monday, 22 September 2008

Intensive Driving Instructor Courses

This one has turned up a couple of times recently.

There's a few companies who suggest that you can train intensively to become a driving instructor - very tempting if you've just lost your job or taken redundancy, or even if you're thinking about changing careers and want as little time "sans-wage" as possible.

The fact is though - it's a long process.

There's 3 exams to pass, each with their attendant waiting times (2 weeks minimum for part 1, then 5 weeks ish for part 2 and another 5 weeks for part 3).

There's also the Criminal Records Bureau checks, which can take a couple of months to sort out.

Both Passmasters and The Instructor College supposedly offer intensive courses - one of these is advertised as a 2 week course to learn everything you need to know to become a driving instructor!!!!!!!

Yeah right.

In the real world - you'll need to study like hell to get through part 1 (don't bother paying anyone to train you for this - you can do it with nothing more than the internet and the instructor forums - if you have a trainer lined up for the rest of the training they'll help you out over the phone and email for nowt usually).

For part 2, unless you are already an advanced driver capable of a very high standard of driving (IAM would get you close, RoSPA Gold would get you closer, DIAmond is the same as part 2), you'll need a good few hours - reckon on between 10 and 20 hours of training. Add on to this all of the private practice you will need to do to make sure these techniques are what you do ALL THE TIME, not just on your training sessions, and you'll find that you've done around 120 hours of driving before you take the test. Even if you have passed an advanced test, you'll want to have a couple of sessions to check you're up to the right standard at the time and working to the same standard that the DSA expect of you.

Then comes part 3.

Well the training companies usually recommend 40 hours of part 3 training, and will often insist that you throw yourself into one of your three part 3 attempts before they offer any more, whether you are ready or not.

The reality is that unless you are already a trainer or a coach, you will need around 60 hours of training for this part of the process.

Despite the promises of the big schools - you will probably find that you can't get enough training when you need it ("sorry, our next available appointment for you is at 2am on February 37th 2019, but of course this will be free under our promise of all the training you need - thank-you for training with us, have a nice day"). Many potential instructors find that despite signing up for a training "package", they still need to pay for extra training out of their own pocket to enable them to complete the 3 parts before their 2 years is up.

So - are intensive driving instructor training courses worth looking at?

Don't be bloody stupid.

So what should you do?

Look for a good trainer in your area and make sure that they can fit you in. Never pay for more than one session in advance (this way you can leave without being tied in to paying £4k to a company who can't fulfil their promises). Always expect it to be harder than you think - it probably will be.


Anonymous said...

Sage words - I've followed this blog since training to become an ADI - I wasn't sucked in by promises of earning 30k and was realistic about a timeframe in which to qualify.

I spent £3.5k in total with the AA but recognised that I wasn't ready for my Pt3 after 40 hours, so my trainer gave me more coaching for his normal learner lesson price until I was ready.

I was made to work extremely hard, with my trainer role playing very difficult pupils - if I could handle them, I could handle anything, and went into the Part 3 expecting a tough pupil.

The result? A first time Pt 3 pass, with no PDI experience. I've been qualified for 6 months with an AA franchise and it's only now that I'm doing 40 hours tuition a week. But I always budgeted for that and did not expect the money to start flowing in straight away.

So I'd fully agree with the blog - take your time & set yourself realistic targets, and don't assume that it's an easy process.

The Undercover ADI said...

Thanks Alexander, much appreciated.