The consultation period for modernising driver training, a momentous change to our industry, but a change that could be very much for the better IF the DSA gets it right, has now closed! It was a ridiculously short consultation period for such a major change, and without proper consultation with those who work 'at the chalk face', there is a danger of it becoming a fiasco!
In my opinion, the principle behind the proposed changes is what has been missing in our industry, i.e. better training for PDI's, so we move into an era that finally includes education in the process rather than the wholly inadequate, simplistic training given thus far, with its reliance on the mastering of pre-set tests! As a teacher I was horrified to find out this was how I was to be trained to teach young people to drive!
So I welcome the introduction of a process that will finally rid us of the PST's and the core competencies in their current format of instructor-based identification, analysis and remedy of driver faults. When a learner commits a driving fault, they should be able to identify the fault for themselves, discuss why they think it happened (this is where the instructor needs to have developed high level listening skills - see Ed Marshall's webinar recording on this topic in the video library) and then offer their suggestions for remedial action. The instructor can guide this process, but ultimately it should be the learner who goes through the process we know of as the 'core competencies', the instructor's skill is in guiding this process.
The proposed changes include all of this within the expectation that client-centred learning is at the heart of the process. Current ADI's will not be required to go through the proposed NVQ process BUT the new standards check WILL require proficiency in driver coaching skills, i.e. client-centred learning. And this is something I am very pleased to see happening. Please do not think this won't happen, because it most definitely will, and the date is set - April 2014. There is no requirement for an Act of Parliament for this to happen because it is an internal change, and this is where the DSA has complete control.
Ged and Claire Wilmot, highly respected and successful ADI trainers, who have long used a client-centred approach with their PDI's and ADI's, have given a very comprehensive response to the DSA's consultation on the MDT proposals. Their experience, knowledge and success in this area is clear in their responses. They have now made their response public for us all to read, so if you have not already done so, then follow this link to read it in full.