Cheap lessons, dont blame driving instructors

Picture for driving school successI never thought I would hear myself say this but don’t blame driving instructors for cheap prices, well not entirely anyway. A thought occurred to me while setting up another two new driving schools that it is modern methods really. Many years ago people would know of the local driving instructor or would ask around their town or village and everyone knew who the instructor was. Nobody asked the price they just paid it.
Time moved on and we had the likes of the yellow pages and people would probably pick a few and call them but ultimately nobody called more than a few before booking their driving lessons. These directories were limited in information and very few splashed a special offer across the advert rather saying things like ‘prompt reliable service’ etc.
Today we have the internet and what a plethora of schools you get by just searching for driving lessons ‘anytown’. Page one giving you around 30 schools all within easy sight and most displaying a special offer straight away. The trick is they need you to click on their advert and the only way will be to have a price that will cause the customer to click their advert.
When I set up schools or am often advising clients as to why they have no business, I often ‘lets look at Google like a pupil’ I look to see what advert I would click on if I knew nothing about what school to choose. Thinking like a pupil and see what would appeal to me. I know very few pupils ever read the ‘about me’ pages of websites but know that 99% of traffic look at the prices. I know they are looking for prices so this is what we need to first hook them in with.
Schools are forced to compete this way simply because of the way the marketing works now, every pupil has instantly 30 or even 60 adverts in front of them at a few clicks.
Having a brand that works helps. If a pupil sees a name they recognise, even sublimely, they may have an instant draw to that advert so we build our clients branding with poster, livery, postcards, social media and of course websites.
So faced with all this what can you do amongst the sea of offers? Well, position one in the organic search of the search engines certainly helps. Adwords can get you to a prominent position but be careful, I have heard many stories of instructors spending 100’s and even 1000’s to get no interest. Google maps gets you noticed and takes but a few minutes and is free.
Remember you need to be noticed then when the pupil calls you need to answer that call immediately, they rarely leave voicemail. The call needs to be answered professionally too with knowledge and time to spend on the call. We have often spent 30 mins on a call answering questions that turn into a booking. A call takes time sometimes and huge effort but every customer needs the time spent on them so they know your school cares. More information can be found about professional call answering for driving schools here
Food for thought, I was in a meeting yesterday with three people from the national driving school of India who were telling me they sell driving courses yet there is no compulsion for anybody to have driving lessons or do a driving test in India. Yet they sell over 12,000 courses a month. Each course consisting of just 10hours of on road training, 7 hours theory and 3 on a simulator, the cost of all this is £45………………food for thought.

Driving Instructor Training U-Turn

image showing u turn picture for driving instructor training
Recently the DVSA has taken a U-turn in the decision to make driving instructor training a vocational qualification. Saying ‘it will revamp the existing part three exams to fit in more with the new Standards Check’. I am absolutely flabbergasted at this, having for many years been talking to senior DVSA staff and officials, all of who have said this will happen. I know that the units have all been written and the whole qualification process been looked at and developed at what is probably considerable cost. Some of my associates who carry out driving instructor training and are working towards training driving instructors have all been preparing for this radical and much needed change. Driving schools such as Road Runner Driving School in Southampton, Beeline Driver Training in Hastings, LA-Driving School in Weston Super Mare and Summers Driving School in Chippenham, have all been expanding their schools and looking forward to the raised standard that the changes would have brought.
ORDIT was rumoured to have been going to be scrapped in favour of the new vocational qualifications. Go 2 Pass in Manchester are a school looking to develop driving instructor training further and were also looking towards the new qualifications. This school has some 21 instructors and many were ready to take the TAQA award in readiness.
I am sure there is a reason behind all this but interestingly, the associations are quiet on this one. I expected a lot of noise on the subject and news in the magazines but I expect this is to come. Maybe there is a stunned silence all around! It will be interesting what this will do for the driving instructor training profession, many professional trainers have been looking forward to the new standard for a while so we wait with baited breath.

Summers Driving School coming up trumps for pupils

This school is going for the gold for pupils I think, first time passes and early test success all after Angela attended a coaching course and learnt about client centred needs.

To be fair Angela already knew this stuff but our lead trainer Dave Foster MA, Dip.DI dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s for Angela. Pupils are seeing a real difference to their lessons and are passing in shorter times and fewer lessons due to these new styles. Angela is also an ORDIT registered instructor and is thinking about doing the TAQA qualification to make her teaching skills even stronger for her pupils.

A couple of examples of recent successes are found here in the links below

Lauren passes in 10 weeks after turning 17

1st time test pass for James

We here wish Angela every success in helping her next pupils to achieve the same success

Tap away test nerves

One of the biggest reasons is not knowledge or skill for failing any test but that of your own emotions. Emotions are playing a bigger awareness in all forms of training and especially apply to driver training. Many trainee’s trying to pass the part three test, know they can teach someone to drive in their sleep (not literally) yet when faced with the examiner on the part three test, go completely to pieces. Learners too who can drive, start to find they cannot remember even the basics when sat next to the examiner. Nothing can beat the sort of good quality and preparation for this test that you would get from a top training school such as Go2Pass driving school in Manchester or if you are in the south, Road runner in Southampton or LA-driving in Somerset

test nervesSo what is the answer? How do you overcome those nerves? Well the important thing first is to understand what they are. Humans are actually very primitive creatures. The part of the brain that feels stress is the amygdala. The amygdalae are almond-shaped groups of nuclei located deep within the medial temporal lobes of the brain. Basically they are responsible for this fear emotion but because we are primitive and back in prehistoric days we were designed to recognise the threat of say a hungry tiger trying to eat us, the amygdala do not know the difference between the hungry tiger, teeth bared and chasing us or say a tiny spider in the bath that actually poses no real threat to us. These fears feel real at the time and are in fact very real to us!!!

So, imagine trying to pass your part three with a hungry tiger at your heals while the examiner is expecting you to identify, remedy and analyse his faults or pass you driving test while this tiger was in the car with you!!!!!!! I think we all know what I mean………….

It is true many people manage to overcome these real fears and emotions all by themselves but for others it just seems too difficult, the fear feels so real and just won’t go away. What can they do?

The first thing to remember is nobody was born with this fear of part three or the driving test. It’s a learned response. Partly this comes from friends and family and partly from the trainer themselves unfortunately. Just taking part three, how many trainers feel it is a difficult test? Or that nobody passes first time. How many times have we questioned the decision of the examiner or blamed the DSA for inconstancy? All this rubs off on the trainee; it sets an expectation of failure. Nobody means to do it, it just happens. Now I know we have all heard of positive reinforcement but if we do not believe what we are teaching then this has a negative effect.

Now what of these trainee’s and students who have these real fears? What can we do? Well maybe a course with a counsellor or psychotherapist would help but that can take a long time. Is there a quicker way? Well yes actually and something I have discovered and found works for all manner of fears and emotions and is so simple and readily ‘at hand’ (excuse the irony of this pun you will understand later) that it can be done anywhere and by anyone. Something I have used to remove myself of all medication that I was using to control my many stress disorders.

This simple something is called ‘Tapping’ or Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to give its long name. Simply tapping on something called ‘meridian points’ actually sends messages to the amygdala and calms it down. These Meridian points are the ones that the Chinese use for the acupuncture treatments but it has been known for some time that simply tapping on them sends tiny impulses to the amygdala and settles it down.

EFT is similar to Thought Field Therapy (TFT) only easier to do and anyone can do EFT.

If you click this link it will take you to a website that explains the science in much more detail. This incredible Tapping has been working for thousands of emotional thoughts and fears and can be used not only for you to pass your part three but also with your pupils. Now I accept that this is not something you can actually just start with your pupils but I have found that many people are very receptive to this and have actually heard of such things. It is also completely harmless and can be done anywhere. I have a girl who wants me to sit in the back of her part three test so I can ‘tap’ for her. Yes you can actually tap for someone else too………….

Don’t just take my word for this; look at the website and the other links too at the bottom of this article. And if you are interested then let me know as I am running an introduction and informal information course on this soon as I am so convinced of this and want to cascade this I am going to do this for free……………………yes for free…………………….

There is a huge income potential for you too as many more people are turning to holistic remedies for stress and illness and you could be the first in your area to offer this as an option for your pupils or trainee instructors. This is not for everyone and many will look at this and think ‘what on earth’ or words to that effect but for those who are open and are looking for an edge then why not contact me and see what it is all about.

If you are looking for Driving Schools that have experience of client centred teaching and empathy with nervous learners then the following schools can help.

Summers Driving School, Wiltshire
Road Runner Driving School, Southampton
LA-Driving School, Weston Super Mare

eft-tapping-points

Modernising driver training

 

 

Recently at the AIRSO fleet trainers conference the DSA announced their current progress on modernising the Driver Training program. Ian Holden, Senior Education Adviser Driving Standards Agency spoke of the options. Those options are;

Option 1: Address concerns about Trainee Licence arrangements but take no further action

Option 2 – Improve the existing route to ADI qualification

Option 3 – Introduce a Vocational Qualification to replace the DSA qualification process

Option 1, is one that always has to be looked at when submitting plans to government. It is unlikely that this option would be accepted as it has long been agreed by all parties that something has to be done.

Option 2, is a viable option but would mean a great deal of reworking and the idea being preferred is option 3 where an existing framework of qualifications could be used that reach the requirements and goals far better.

Options 1 & 2 – replaced by individual exemption

–PDI must be accompanied by an ADI

–ADI must display badge

–Learner must be informed of PDI’s un-qualified status

•Class exemption for those on VQ (option 3)

–Trainee instructor must be accompanied by an ADI

–ADI must display badge

–Learner must be informed of trainee instructor’s status

–ADI must be qualified to deliver training under the VQ

–ADI must be satisfied that trainee instructor is competent

–ADI must ensure that learner has been informed of the trainee instructor’s status and has agreed to participate on that basis

The Probable Qualification Structure would be something like this;

•Award – Role 5 of the NDS

–Driving at level 3 and having ‘unconscious competence’

–Understanding Theory well enough to be able to explain it

•Certificate – The ND/RTS

–Providing client-centred learning

What I find very interesting and for my opinion long awaited is the trainer qualification proposed route. To be able to train instructors you would need to be;

An assessor

Grade 5 or 6

Pass the role play element. (Role play is one of my ‘specialist chosen subjects’)

I feel the DSA are heading in the right direction and many trainers will be left behind if they do not seek to enhance their qualifications. This will sort out some of the dubious training that has gone on in the past however do not get complacent as all the big boys are going down this route already.

If you want more information on training and how this affects you then please feel free to contact me.

1st 4 Driving Ltd

Google has sent you here for a better future

Welcome to Driver Training Education a company dedicated to providing a one stop shop for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for Driving Instructors.

 

  • Are you looking to expand your horizons?
  • Do you want to become a better Driving Instructor?
  • Would you like additional or different income streams?
  • Are you looking for a quality provider who has an established track record and      pedigree?
  • Do you want continued support after you have taken your CPD course?
  • Do you want the backing of a company that can support you right up to degree      level if you so wish?

If you have answered yes to one or more of the above then you want Driver Training Education (DTE).

 

We are based in the South West and primarily cascade CPD here however our on-line course are available to all and if you want the best training available then why not come for a little holiday at the same time.

CPD must be of benefit to you whether through further financial reward or in providing a better service to your customer. We will always ensure the CPD you complete has potential to provide you with a better chance of survival in what is a very competitive market. We recognise that your time and money is crucial so we offer a blend of support and services.

More specifically we aim to:

  • Be      the primary source of information and advice on Continuing Professional Development for Driving Instructors;
  • Promote      and support the discovery, development and sharing training ideas for driver education;
  • Support      individual and driving schools in providing a CPD programme for best practice;
  • Raise      public awareness of higher standards achieved by many Driving Instructors and how this can help them;
  • Provide      routes for all Driving Instructors to achieve their full potential whether just a new skill and increase earning revenue or to higher aims such as graduate status.

We provide you with free advice and browse our many courses from the links to the side.

We work with driving schools on a consultative basis in providing CPD programmes for their instructors to achieve higher retention rates and additional income streams. You will find courses range from our growing on-line, classroom or in-car training so there really will be an option that suits you.

This website is growing all the time with the knowledge and news sections helping you to become better informed. You can subscribe free and will receive regular newsletters and offers that could really benefit you.

Advice is free and readily available by email to our principle Dave Foster. Dave’s resume can be found in the about us links in the main menu.

 

Finally a very warm welcome and we look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Our motto is excellence in all matters involving driver education and we will live up to that for you.