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  • Writer's pictureSimon Harrison

My story - How I became a driving instructor & how I can offer you the same service.

Updated: Mar 24, 2021

I became a driving instructor when I really needed a career change. I felt that I had the necessary credentials to become an instructor and my current job at the time held many transferable skills as I was a teacher for many years. There are many transferable skills you may have from your current job or career path that would be of an advantage when training as a driving instructor such as:

  • Caring, patient, and understanding,

  • Communication skills,

  • Awareness and planning,

  • Forward thinking,

  • Risk management skills,

  • Self-discipline and time management,

  • Coaching skills and techniques,

  • An ability to teach,

  • Customer service skills,

  • Differentiation,

  • Quick reaction skills,

  • Commitment

  • Self management

  • A business sense

My career background went from retail to teaching in a secondary school, to teaching primary, to become a driving instructor, to run my own driving school and deliver driving instructor training programs.

My teaching career got to the point where workload, stress levels and targets were taking over my work life balance and I needed out. I had a mortgage to pay, a family to feed and young children so I was concerned about the risks of ditching my job and the impact it may have if it did not go to plan. There are many people in the same position, in many other jobs but my thought was how would I afford to train and support my family if I am not working whilst training. The good thing was I could train around my existing job. So I planned my path to a new career. First I went and did supply teaching - this took the pressure off. I found an honest local company who could deliver my training. I met with the director of the company who I could meet up with and talk to at any point during my training for advice and support. Something I would have never have got from a large company. He gave me plenty of useful advice and sold the idea to me. I was aware of the risks and that I would have to take to pass all 3 stages of training to qualify. But my determination and commitment are what got me through this part of the journey.

I had thought about being a driving instructor for a number of years, but never committed to it until my feelings towards my job pushed me to make the leap. Maybe I should have made that commitment a long time ago as this was one of the best decisions I had ever made. Don't get me wrong, but the training does have its stresses and there is that uncertainty and what if you don't pass. At the end of the day I gave it a go and I am so glad I did as I passed and succeeded and have gone even further by building on that career and being able to be my own boss.

Being an approved driving instructor (ADI) can be a very rewarding career: I believe that you can help people to learn an important skill for life. You are training others to be safe and confident drivers.

And the greatest thing about the job that caught my eye was that I could be my own boss. I so wanted that break from being called into my managers office and wondering what to expect. So I started my training - I used a number of resources such as The Driving Instructor's Handbook and The Official DVSA Theory Test for Approved Driving Instructors (does what it says on the tin), which will come in very handy throughout your training. And for part one I turned to 'Driving Test Success' which I was able to refresh my theory and learn all the additional topics needed to pass that stage with no hiccups.

When I passed my part one I had an amazing feeling - a sense of achievement - this path is possible and I had not experienced that kind of feeling for a long time. I rang my trainer and told him the good news. Maybe I was a bit too over excited. It was just a test, but I was proud of myself and that the hard work - hours of reading and revision had paid off.

Then it was time to look at part 2. This was harder for me to accept - like you I had been driving for some time without anyone else criticising my driving skills. But I had to accept that over the years I had developed bad habits that needed rectifying before I had any chance of passing my part 2. I also believe that like a learner driver - the older you get - the harder it is to learn a new skill as you are stuck in your own ways, habits, views and opinions. I do believe though that the training I received for part 2 was an integral part of my success story. So I strongly recommend that any trainee driving instructor takes the training offered to pass their part 2.

There was so much relief when I passed my part 2 training. The nerves had built up and I could see how they can affect someones performance when taking a test. This is so commonly seen in learner drivers taking tests so as an instructor I wanted to develop more of an understanding of ones mental well-being when under pressure. I have compiled a range of resources over the years to support individuals in this field as when someone is learning with you they want to pass - that's their goal but I needed to understand their requirements too - the needs and requirements of that individual to base my teaching around to be able to get any where near ready for my part three. That again is where my training came in.

I started my training for part 3 and spent many one-to-one hours in the car with my trainer and covered all the necessary areas of training, to then feel ready to deliver to real students and earn some money from it. So I applied for my pink licence and took my first student out. That was a fantastic day, a proud moment and it went to plan.

To obtain a trainee licence you have to be sponsored by, and work with, an established driving school which is exactly what I did and now offer here to trainee driving instructors at 4front Driving School.

I made full use of my pink licence and earnt a full salary. I was not required to pay a franchise fee until I had passed my part 3. I did pass my part 3 and was over the moon. My client portfolio grew and most students I took on would come from recommendation as you would always ask your good students to recommend you. I build up reviews on social media and google which helped my name spread as I was recommended locally to many students.

Later on when I felt confident I flew the nest and ventured into building my own driving school which has grown and developed into a success story. I would always encourage others who join me to train, to do just that. There are no strings attached and you can stay with me for as long as you need to. I am here to support you and offer you the same service that I got when I trained and would continue that support for as long as you need it.

You can check if your eligible to train to become a driving instructor via the gov website. This will take you through the first steps of your application. So at 4front Driving School we can offer you a package to suit your needs - we have competitive rates and no ties. If you fancy meeting up to discuss your situation, options or way we can help you then please don't hesitate to contact me for a chat.

Call Simon on 07905657229

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