This is typically the time that people start to review their occupations and review how satisfied they are with the home/work life balance. It can be daunting to consider a new path of Driving Instructor training and this blog aims to provide some light on the many unknowns that regretfully often put people off from discovering an occupation that offers flexibility of hours, job satisfaction and financial reward.
Continuing on from the popular BIG TOM blog about Driving Instructor training that provided you with a 20 minute questionnaire looking at how suited you are to this new career, a real life Case Study to reflect on, and the industry pass rates to qualify, now in this blog, I will be focussing on some of the typical questions that PDI’s (Potential Driving Instructor) often ask before starting the training.
Question: How long will it take?
Answer: The qualifying process can be turned round within a short number of months with some careful planning. Typically, people take between 1 – 2 years if they are fitting the training around their own work/home commitments; our last instructor took 9 months and 24.5 hours of training. Whilst there can be more to Driving Instructor training than the Part 1, 2 & 3 tests, the number of hours that you will need for each varies depending on previous related experience, driving ability, and prior theory knowledge. I would advise you to beware of a learning programme that tells YOU how many hours you will receive; this approach is not client centred as by its very nature, it is treating all clients like they are the same, with the same needs. All of us come into the profession with our own strengths and weaknesses, and being aware of those will help to plan an appropriate learning programme – this piece of advice can save you time & money!
Question: How much will it cost?
Answer: The answer to this question will very much depend on the training needs identified in the previous question; the most recent instructor paid £980 for his training. It is not uncommon for some people to need very little assistance for Parts 1 & 2. However, in much the same way with learning to drive, there is a risk associated with setting yourself a cap on time or financial allowance, as the path you take will be individual to your needs. If you ask around, you will hear of ADI’s (Approved Driving Instructor) spending between £1000 – £4000. Be careful here though, you are considering starting a new business and any new business will have needs that fall outside the Part 1, 2 & 3 assessment scope – being technically able to use effective marketing for your new driving school is not to be underestimated. See our website for key foundation blocks leading to a successful driving school.
Question: Who should I go to for my Driving Instructor training?
Answer: You would do well to spend some time researching the options that you have available. From personal experience many years ago, bigger most certainly does not necessarily equate to better. The progress that I made in my own qualifying period was severely restricted by the work schedule of the national organisation that I selected. I ended up having to do my Part 2 training many miles away from my home just so that I could be trained sooner rather than later, and even then it took me a year to qualify. With large organisations can come inflexibility and waiting lists. Beware contracts; do read the small print, often organisations will be wanting you to sign up to a specified number of hours training that it will be impossible for you to change after you have formally agreed to it. A trusted, reliable, good quality provider of training will not need to use these tactics, they will be able to retain their clients because they are providing a transparent, well conducted service that clients can see is providing value.
Question: Will I be able to fit my Driving Instructor training around my normal daily schedule – can I train on weekends?
Answer: You certainly would be able to at BIG TOM Driving School but this is something that will need to be checked thoroughly with other providers. Regarding the in-car training you will need to check if you are picked up/dropped off at your home address, where your training will take place, over what duration per session, whether you will be the only PDI in the car at the time. These are all important considerations to check out because crucially they affect the learning environment. Ensuring you have a comfortable, enjoyable learning environment is often overlooked and can be a source of regret at the time and after the experience.
Question: Do I have to buy a new car to set myself up once qualified?
Answer: Certainly not! To run a reliable service that customers can trust and become to depend on you, your driving school car will need to be in good working order, but nowhere does it say you have to be in a brand new car. A frequent reason for newly qualified ADI’s struggling to stay in business initially is due to being committed to high weekly/monthly payments that include a brand new driving school car – it is an easy trap to fall into, and entirely avoidable
BIG TOM Driving School website for driving instructor training
Call Tom for some more helpful advice like that given in this blog 0800 689 4174