Former instructors could find re-registering as an ADI simplified after the first reading of a bill in Parliament this week.
A bill allowing for the voluntary removal from the ADI register as well as a simplification of re-registering if the registration has lapsed for between one and four years was introduced to the House of Commons on Wednesday (26.01.2016) by Conservative MP Sir David Amess.
Citing current legislation where a person can be removed from the register only if the registration runs out or they are removed from the register for conduct, competence or disciplinary reasons, Amess said the Bill would allow for voluntary removal from the register in the case of illness or other commitments such as caring for an older relative, maternity leave or a period of residence overseas.
The second part of the bill would allow a driving instruction re-joining the registrar from between one and four years after it had lapsed to take a standards check rather than go through the three-part process that currently exists.
Amess said: “As the role of a driving instructor is not a physical one, many ex-driving instructors would like to get back to instructing, but the lengthy re-qualifying process is making them decide against it, which is a shame as they have much in the way of skills and experience to give the industry.
“If the ADI is within 12 months of their registration finishing, however, they can just reapply without having to go through the whole process again. To help alleviate the problems of getting ex-instructors back into the industry we need to streamline the process, and, if possible, extend the 12-month period.”
The MP added that by simplifying the process of returning to the register after a break of one to four years by allowing the instructor to pass a standards check instead, would reduce the qualifying time from 36 weeks to only six weeks and avoid the £194 cost of undergoing the three-part qualification.
The bill would allow a person applying to re-join the register by that route to have a maximum of three attempts at passing the standards check. If they failed three times they would have to repeat the full requalification process if they wanted to re-join the register, thus ensuring that the highest standards are maintained. This faster route would not be available to those removed from the register for disciplinary reasons.
Amess added: "They would allow ADIs to be placed on the register more quickly and at a lower cost, benefiting both instructors and driving school owners such as my constituent. There would be no lowering of standards as the returning instructors would be tested to the same rigorous standard as their colleagues already on the register.”
The Driving Instructors Association said it understood the rationale and need for many of the points in the bill and its chief executive Carly Brookfield added: “In relation to the requirement for re-entrants to update their qualification and re-register after an absence of more than four years from the industry, I think, (as an industry) we all want to be sure all trainers have up to date knowledge and their competency has been properly developed and assessed before they are re-admitted to the profession - and entrusted with the responsibility of developing drivers, particularly young novice drivers. Indeed, many regulated professions require individuals to periodically refresh their qualifications whilst still continuing to work in the role - in this case it is merely a requirement for those who decide, at their own discretion, to leave the industry for a number of years and who will inevitably need to refresh their skills and knowledge before re-joining the profession."