Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Do Pupils Care What Grade Their Driving Instructor Is?

Approved driving instructor standards check

Reviews and referrals count for more than a good grade it seems...

With the introduction of the new standards check for driving instructors and a simpler grading system it is hoped by some that those who achieve a top grade will be better positioned in the market place when selling driving lessons. I have found that grades and further qualifications do little or nothing to promote an instructor above those with lower grades and no further qualifications whatsoever.
   The old 1 - 6 grading system was no use at all in distinguishing a driving instructor in the eyes of the public owing to the number given to the top grade. The number 6 is actually quite a bad number for this purpose. Grade 1 is understood to be a top grade universally and on a scale of 1 to 10 a 6 is neither here nor there. No point promoting yourself as a grade 6 instructor if nobody except industry insiders know what it means.
   Now we have grades A, B and fail. A little more sensible it seems. A is generally accepted as a top grade for most things. On the other hand a grade B is still perceived by the public as being pretty good. if an instructor just manages to scrape through the Standards Check they will still look OK to the public who may assume that grades C and D exist as well. Many people pass school exams with a grade B and regard this as a success. An instructor who misses an A by one point will have the same grade as someone who just managed to pass even though there is a significant difference in the scores.
   The main problem is that the public just don't seem to care about grades. If I hire a tradesman I would need to understand the exams he took and the criteria for marking if the grade was to mean anything to me. If someone else recommends that person then I know they can do the job so I don't have to bother about the grade at all. 
 Instructor grades will only have meaning inside the industry. If a school is looking to take an instructor on then they would be interested to know their grade. Some insurers offer a discount for grades 5 and 6. An instructor trainer should be of a high grade in the interests of credibility. When selling to the public, a friendly demeanor and a reputation for punctuality and reliability will do more to create new business than touting a top grade on the standards check.


  1. Good post Russ, i agree, i would also had how many time has an ADI been asked. Although i have only been doing for for a few years, i have only been asked twice for my grade.

  2. Must agree with your post Russ I have been instructing since 1985 and not once have I been asked about my grade always it would be pass rate,

  3. Maybe the reason grades have not been touted through out the industry could have been that 79% of ADIs were graded 4 or less and have no interest in advertising the grading system and some higher grade ADIs have been victimised on occasions by other ADIs because they have a higher grade. Maybe this new system will encourage ADIs to achieve a higher standard. Because you are right the customer never asked the grade because the industry kept it pretty well hidden. The DVSA may advertise our grades in the future what impact might that have on our
    customers ?

  4. Good post Russ, the other thing to also consider is that the standards check is only a very quick look into what an instructor does so not really that accurate. An few example being the instructor may have built up a really good relationship with a very nervous pupil and the pupil may free talk about their emotions and how they are effecting them while driving, but if there is an examiner in the back they may be less inclined to do this and it may look like poor instructing on your part. The instructor is also likely to know the pupil a lot better than the examiner, so know what is best for the pupil, but the examiner will believe they know best but this may not work for that specific pupil, and you could get marked down for that.