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Becoming a Driving Instructor – Questions you need to ask

Train to be a driving instructor

 

If you are considering a change of career to train as a driving instructor you need to some research and find out about the training establishments. Not all trainers are the same! If all you are doing is to compare on price alone then you may end up making. a very expensive mistake.

Thousands of people have been persuaded to part with their hard earned cash in return for substandard tuition and false promises with no prospect of a refund.

Many training companies use very slick salespersons that you will never come in contact with again once ‘signed up’ and therefore do not have to deal with complaints at a local level and on a one to one basis.

Several of the country’s leading training companies have been the subject of investigations for misinforming their clients. Red, BSM and Surepass have ALL been featured on BBC Watchdog and Rip off Britain.

However, when you know the key questions to ask you will be in a much stronger position, as most salespersons will rely on your lack of knowledge of the industry to tell you what you want to hear.

1. Do you have a refund policy?

Many training providers will ask for money up front but have NO refund policyOnce your training program begins, you may feel this is not the job for you, but you may not get your money back if you change your mind.

We have a very clear refund policy written into our terms and conditions.

 2. Who will do the training?

National companies sell a brand and image, but it will be the individual trainer who performs the training. What experience does your trainer have and can you speak with him/ her before you start or sign up? Training the general public to become driving instructors is a very different role to simply teaching learners to drive and unfortunately many trainers have not taken the required training. Independent driving instructors often advertise and take on this type of work when they are short of work.

Our two trainers are both on the ORDIT register – see more about this later.

3. Will I be able to train in my local town?

Some national companies will insist you travel considerable distances to train. This may not seem an issue at first, but 70 hours of training is quite time consuming and of course you will also lose the local knowledge aspect.

We provide training mainly in Exeter but we can train in Taunton and Newton Abbot as well.

4. Is the company ORDIT registered?

The Official Register of Driving Instructor Training (ORDIT) is voluntary at the moment but may be about to change soon. Why would a company not be registered unless they have something to hide? Training establishments on the register will be checked every few years to monitor standards of training supplied and give the customer a degree of protection from unscrupulous training providers. The industry is rife with cut-price trainers who are no more than standard driving instructors. Please be careful, you are dealing with your hard earned savings and your future. Invest in the best training you can find. (Prolonged and inefficient training is the major hidden cost of cut-price training)

Both of our trainers, Christie and Kevin, are on the ORDIT register.

5. Will there be a guaranteed position with the school once qualified?

This offer must be investigated carefully, you really need to assess the driving school you will be working for and if possible speak to driving instructors who already work at the school to gauge their opinion. It would also be good idea to look at the way they market themselves and decide if you would like to be part of the set up and the way they are perceived.

It is common practice to reduce the cost of a training course but then tie clients in to long-term franchise contracts. Many of these contracts have been challenged in the courts when the Driving School fails to deliver the required amount of new pupils but still demand the franchisee fee.

Once qualified, ideally you will be in a position to decide who you work for or be free to make the decision to work as an independent.

We make no guarantee about joining our franchise but, should you work with us there is just a 30 day notice required if you wanted to leave.

6. Will the training be one to one or car share?

Training companies often have two or three trainees to a tuition vehicle, although this may have limited benefits to watch other trainees, it is unlikely that trainees will be at the same level and therefore be of little use. One to one training is a huge advantage, as the trainer will work closely with you on your exact requirements.

How would you feel about your 60 hours of training being shared with two others when, in reality, you are receiving only 20 hours? (One of the many hidden costs of cheap training).

You will always receive one-to-one training with us, you will never be asked to share your training with anyone else.

7. Will a tuition vehicle be available on test day?

The majority of training providers do not supply a car for test, this means that you will take the test in a car that you have not prepared in. If this is your own car, you will find that many insurance companies are reluctant to provide cover for tests and this can lead to expensive short term cover or the need to hire a vehicle. (Yet another hidden cost)

We will always make our cars available for your test.

8. Will I receive help and support during the Part One study?

Most training companies leave clients to pass the part one test (Theory Exam) on their own. The pass rate for this element of qualifying is only around 65% and it will cost £90.00 for a retake.

Please do not under-estimate theory preparation; this is the foundation that all your training will be based upon. Cutting corners here will cost a fortune to correct at the later stages.

We provide you with a comprehensive support booklet to help you get the thorough grounding in the theory that you will need as an instructor.

9. Will I receive on-going support and guidance once qualified?

National companies will not have the local factor and may be in a town miles from your area. Will you be just a number on a database or will you have local support when you need it?

Do not under-estimate development once qualified, many schools will leave you to your own devices and simply take your franchise fee each month. Make sure you know what help will be provided going forward. Without support and guidance many new instructors fail to make it past the first year. I am sure your future plans do not include struggling and scraping through.

Our franchise fee includes 2 hours of training for your Standards Check when it is due but we will always provide you with day-to-day suppler to help you establish your business.

Should you decide to pursue a new career as a driving instructor, asking these questions will be absolutely vital if you are to avoid the costly mistakes made by many thousands of applicants before you.

Please feel welcome to telephone for further information if you wish on 07983 228452 or email info@trainingwheelz.co.uk

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