A Driving Instructor's Blog

I got this in an email alert on Tuesday:

Chief driving examiner welcomes the publication of scientific study

Chief driving examiner and director for safer driving Trevor Wedge has welcomed the publication of a new scientific study into how driving instructors can develop their coaching skills.

The EU-funded ‘High Impact approach for Enhancing Road safety through More Effective communication Skills for driving instructors’ (HERMES) project began in March 2007 and was completed in February 2010.

Its main aim was to create a short training course for driving instructors to allow them to develop their communication and coaching skills.

In addition, a number of coaching scenarios have been developed to enable instructors to coach in on-road training, track training and the classroom, and to meet arange of goals in the driver education process.

Since the successful 2008 consultation ‘Learning to Drive’, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has been working hard on modernising driver training.

Trevor Wedge said: “DSA has followed the work of HERMES closely over the past three years, and we welcome the publication of its findings.

“Coaching offers the potential to develop self-responsibility and awareness in learner drivers at a very early stage during training.”

Details of the project, and the full report, can be found at http://alles-fuehrerschein.at/HERMES/ 

I suppose they have to say this, don’t they? If they’re going to say anything at all, of course.

But the fact that they did say something means they really mean it. And that has me very, very worried.

Coaching is the best way to train people, but I’m worried that the coaching they are talking about here isn’t the kind you might think of from football or other sports. My biggest worry is that it turns out to be something I’ve met head on before  during my days in industry.

In that case, you could always rest assured that whatever you were doing, however you taught, it was always absolutely and totally wrong until you had paid for and taken expensive courses in how to coach (and these involved role-play scenarios and all kinds of childish activities more suited to a nursery school).

I am totally in support of modernising driver training – if it improves driving skills.

I am totally in support of CPD – if it improves the standard of instruction out there (and gets rid of poor instructors).

I am totally opposed to anything which thinks it can change the way a chavvy little thug (or thugette) chooses to drive when he (she) passes his (her) test, by putting the onus on the driving instructor.

The DSA really does have to return to Earth over this, and acknowledge that lunatic thugs in souped-up chavmobiles are not created by ADIs, nor are ADIs going to be able to prevent them in future. Society creates them.

ADIs have access to these people for less than 50 hours over of a period of 3000 hours of their lives (i.e. 4 months of training). No amount of “coaching” is going to stop them driving like maniacs into trees on country roads.

There is much more needs to be done.

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