Learner drivers on the hunt for a good instructor may soon be able to base their choice on public rankings of the UK’s 40,000 driving instructors.
The DVSA is keen to raise the standards of driver training and educate the public better as to what good looks like. One measure they are currently considering is to automatically publish instructor's individual grades so that the public can make a more informed choice of trainer drivers based on their regulatory assessment performance.
Currently ADIs are not obliged to publish their grade but an encouraged to do so voluntarily with the introduction of a facility to do so on Find Your Nearest earlier this year. However, just three per cent do this voluntarily, which is just not good enough according to the agency.
In a recent media interview DVSA Gareth Llewellyn intimated that if enough instructors did not engage in publishing their grade voluntarily, the agency may make it compulsory. In an interview with The Times, Mr Llewellyn, said that more driving instructors should share their rankings publicly, otherwise the DVSA will publicly share the information for them.
However, Carly Brookfield, CEO of the Driving Instructors Association, the largest representative urged a note of caution in this approach: “I am concerned that what is supposed to be a positive move designed to engage instructors, is now being discussed as being made mandatory in what appear to be somewhat threatening terms.
“Many instructors argue that DVSA itself hasn't really delivered yet on educating the public as to what the grading system means, what the Standards Check is all about, etc. – essentially what good looks like when it comes to driver training – so some see little point engaging in a scheme they don’t feel has been communicated to their customer base. Additionally not enough ADIs are aware that they can now publish their grade voluntarily on Find Your Nearest so perhaps a greater effort on communicating that is needed to engage more trainers in that process.”
Ms Brookfield added: “We’d like to discuss further ways to promote and incentivise trainer engagement in the scheme before we look at more draconian measures.
“Making mandatory publication a threat, before you fully exhaust all avenues to encourage trainers to engage voluntarily, will possibly cause further disengagement with the scheme at a time you still want trainers to engage by their own volition.”