A driving instructor’s job is to teach people to drive
safely and to prepare them for their test.
The instructor introduces the pupil to the controls and the basics of driving, but the rest of the lessons are usually held on the road with the learner driving the car and carrying out manoeuvres. Before the lesson, the instructor plans a route. During the lesson, they monitor the learner, the road and other vehicles very carefully. The car will have dual controls so that the instructor can stop if necessary.
They teach general road craft, including knowledge of the Highway Code. When the pupil is ready for the test, they apply for a driving test date.
The driving test has recently changed to include questions about checking fluid levels and tyre pressures. There is also a separate theory test. Part of a driving instructors job may be to prepare learners for these parts of the test.
Instructors who are self-employed are responsible for keeping their own paperwork.
Some instructors may specialise in particular area of driving instruction. This could be advanced or high- performance driving, tuition for passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) or large goods vehicle (LGV) driving. They might also be asked to assess newly recruited drivers before a company takes them on.
Working hours vary and can often include weekends and
evenings. Part-time work is possible.
Most of the instructor’s time is spent in the car, driving to collect pupils and then sitting in the passenger seat during the lesson.
To be a driving instructor you should:
Nearly all driving instructors are self-employed, but may
start off by operating within a franchised driving school.
They may also work as a specialist instructor for a large commercial transport company or a bus and coach operator. The police, fire service, ambulance service and the armed forces employ their own driving instructors.
The main career progression is into self-employment, which means they need to own and maintain a dual-control car. Because there are no restrictions on how many instructors can operate within an area, competition can be intense.
There may be opportunities to become a senior instructor or a driving school manager and the DSA occasionally recruits experienced driving instructors as driving examiners.
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