Back to basics

DIA Insurance ADI News

ADIs are approved by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to deliver training, for reward, to provisional and full licence holders, in a vehicle that is within category B on the driving licence. This is car and car derived vans, through to light commercial vehicles, generally up to 3.5 tonnes Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM).

The term ‘fleet’ refers to a company that has more than one vehicle for use to carry out its business activities. It can be a fleet of all one brand and specification, or can be of different brands and MAMs (known as ‘mixed fleet’) within category B, or mixed with other categories, such as A (motorcycles), C (generally commercial lorries (rigid) over 3501kg), CE (generally commercial lorries dragging a trailer, or articulated over 3501kg), D (mini-buses and buses/coaches over nine seats), or DE (as ‘D’, but articulated or drawing a trailer).

Let’s deal with category B because that is what we are registered for.

We are very much involved with coaching and client-centred learning when dealing with the training of provisional licence holders. That doesn’t change when training full licence holders; suffice to say that the planning of the session is different and more subjective.

Objective vs subjective

DVSA examiners are quite objective in their marking. They have criteria to follow, based on the National Driving Standards, which uses best practice and statutes of law, all of which are in the Highway Code. As ADIs, we are endeavouring to get provisional licence holders to the National Driving Standard through the National Driver and Rider Training Standards – the basis of the Standards Check.

There are disciplines that the DVSA examiner is looking for on a driving test and they have little leeway of discretion because they are looking to see if the knowledge and understanding of the candidate is producing the correct performance, ie is all of the vehicle response correct in any environmental condition, at any time, due to the candidate’s appropriate input in that environment, at that time? The examiner assesses this and marks accordingly. If the responses are correct, nothing is marked.

When training full licence holders, we are generally dealing with experienced road users and so decisions become slightly more subjective, that is, the driver often has more knowledge and understanding, producing better dexterity in the handling of the vehicle. This handling may not be strictly to the National Driving Standard, partly because they have never heard of it, and hence knowledge of the Highway Code may not be as it should be.

As a trainer in these situations, we are looking at the safety aspects of how the driver is considering the environment and what they feel are the appropriate responses. If that response is not in keeping with our idea of safety, then we have to do something about it. But how? By using coaching and client-centred learning, but on a higher level.

How do we use the higher level? By understanding the reason why they use that vehicle. You have to know their background and job description to be accepted into their subjective norm – their daily routine, with all the pressures it puts on them. They are driving for work – their journey is not about going out for a ‘jolly’, it has to be productive and it is often time-pressured.

So, with provisional licence holders there is usually one objective and that is to pass the theory and practical driving tests to attain their full licence. It’s about the individual. With full licence holders, driving for work, there could be numerous objectives, but they stem from the employer. The employer does not want to fritter money away and so the organisation must use budgets to keep within their business plan, a part of which will be mandatorily keeping within Health and Safety Law and there are lots of Statutes that they have to comply with. As far as we are concerned, it is the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 1974. There are other amendments that affect the company as well. I will deal with those in future editions.

Health and safety

I now want you to envisage a railway station from the air. The HSWA is the station buildings and the platforms, the sidings are the amendments that store additional criteria that makes the whole place function. They will be discussed in the future.

The HSWA states that all businesses must have a health and safety policy. If a business employs more than five employees, then it must be written down for inspection. Every company in the land must do what is reasonably practicable to ensure a safe environment for its workforce. The workforce has a legal duty to help the company maintain that environment. Let’s strip this down.

Often, businesses are not confined to one site, therefore ‘reasonably practicable’ can mean the following:

  • According to the nature of what is being produced
  • According to geographical location and unusual local conditions
  • According to an appropriate percentage of turnover

‘Environment’ means the property or properties being used by the business which is not necessarily confined to a boundary or border of a site. In other words, it includes extensions to the workplace, ie vehicles leaving site to carry out business duties, whether that be conveying, delivering or transporting. This is where we come in.

The ADI badge has 43 different functions, or allows you, with additional professional development and qualifications, to use it for training! It’s not all about provisional licence holders in cars.

The ADI wishing to carry out fleet training would be advised to seek training from a DVSA appointed fleet training provider, such as the DIA. The information you need goes beyond what you have learned from your time of training to become an ADI at parts one, two and three. There is information on Occupational Safety and Health, how to write reports properly that will stand up in court if a company you have delivered training to is prosecuted.

You have to know how to deal with full licence holders that are put before you by their company – the driver thinking that they are the best driver this side of Bristol, but the company has a track record of thousands of pounds of damage to vehicles caused by that individual. In terms of fleet, we are trying to reduce the company’s risk of drivers having accidents. In some cases, that is too late and you will be engaged by the company to do post-crash training.

So, if you wish to consider upskilling to do a professional job, talk to the ADIs on the DIA helpdesk.

The post Back to basics appeared first on Driver Trainer.


Source: ADI News

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