Today (Thursday 10 August 2023), we’ve published the results of the 2023 working as a driving instructor survey.
First, I want to thank every one of the 5,795 people who spent time filling in the survey. I know it can be easy to be sceptical about filling in surveys, but your feedback is really important.
The survey looked at these main topics:
- about your business
- managing your business
- your work
- skills and resources
- continuing professional development
- health and wellbeing
I won’t repeat all the results that are in the report - but here are some headline figures:
- 62.2% of ADIs spend at least 25 hours working as an approved driving instructor (ADI) each week
- £31 to £35 is the most common price charged for a one-hour lesson - 46.6% of ADIs charge this
- 29.8% of ADIs currently have availability to take on new pupils
- 90.8% of ADIs agree the role gives them a sense of personal accomplishment
- 85.2% of ADIs intend to continue in the role for at least the next year
- 53.6% of ADIs have done some form of continuing professional development (CPD) in the last 12 months
- 59.3% of ADIs have experienced musculoskeletal problems in the last 12 months
Do take a look at the full report which shows things like:
- which region has the highest proportion of ADIs charging £36 or more a lesson
- how time qualified as an ADI affects average lesson prices charged
- which region has the highest proportion of ADIs with availability to take on new pupils
- which region has the highest proportion of ADIs taking continuing professional development (CPD)
- who’s more likely to have done any CPD - newly-qualified or longer-serving ADIs
Listening to your feedback
As well as asking questions where you selected the most appropriate option, we also asked a number of open-ended questions for you to give more details. Thank you to everyone who took their time to do this.
We received thousands of comments. To help get the results of the survey into your hands as quickly as possible, we’ve analysed random samples of comments to put them into themes. But the full set of comments will be reviewed and shared around teams within DVSA.
We’ve heard loud and clear what your priorities are. I want to address 3 of them here.
1. Driving test waiting times
Understandably, we heard lots about how driving test waiting times are affecting you and your pupils. And you’re absolutely right to ask for more to be done.
Dealing with driving test waiting times continues to be our top priority at DVSA.
Many of you commented about how bots and unofficial booking services are making your working lives harder. Loveday Ryder, our chief executive, recently blogged about how we’re dealing with bots and reselling of driving tests. We’ll be telling you more about our plans on this soon, too.
I do want to highlight how your hard work is paying off, though. Recently published statistics from the Department for Transport show that between April 2022 and March 2023, 816,775 people passed their car driving test – the previous year, 751,914 people passed.
That’s helping the country’s economy. It’s helping people to become independent and unlocking opportunities for them. It’s transforming lives - and not just your pupils - but their families, friends and colleagues’ lives. You should be proud of how your hard work is making a real and lasting difference.
And the latest statistics show that more people than ever who are passing their driving test are doing so with zero faults. Between April 2012 and March 2013, just 1.5% of people who passed the car driving test passed with zero faults (a ‘clean sheet’). Ten years on, and that’s increased to 3.9%. It’s an indication that those who are passing are better prepared than ever.
So thank you for having those difficult conversations with pupils and parents. Thank you for every early start or late finish you’ve done to accommodate pupils. Thank you for being out in all weathers. And thank you for every lesson you rearranged when another test-ready pupil found an earlier appointment at short notice.
2. Support and guidance
We heard lots from you in the survey about needing better support and guidance. If you’ve had chance to read DVSA’s vision to 2030, you’ll have seen that we want to do much more work to inform, educate and advise. So it’s really encouraging to hear you saying the same.
It’s great to see that more of you than ever are aware of some of our newest guidance, with about 9 in 10 ADIs now aware of the ‘Ready to Pass?’ campaign resources. We’ll continue adding to the toolkit in the coming months with exercises you might want to use with your pupils.
ADI standards check guidance
After listening to you, our immediate priority is going to be improving guidance for the ADI standards check.
We’ll shortly be moving to recording ADI standards check results on tablets in the same way we do for other tests. We’re going to use the opportunity of confirming results by email to give you links to more comprehensive guidance to understand your result. And this guidance will be available for you to see before you take your standards check, too.
We’ll also use the same improvements to benefit people taking the ADI part 3 (instructional ability) test.
Other improvements to help you
We’re also going to:
- refresh our guidance on top 10 faults in the driving test, giving you common scenarios that you can include in your lesson planning when appropriate
- start looking at what we can do to make the national standard for driver and rider training and learning to drive syllabus clearer and more user friendly
- start work to develop a series of emails that we’ll send to newly qualified ADIs to support them through the initial months after qualifying
- publish a series of ‘easy read’ guides to help your pupils with learning disabilities to understand the learning to drive process – including how the theory test and driving test work
3. Continuing professional development (CPD)
Thank you for all the comments you made about CPD in the survey. It was great to see so many of you passionate about this topic.
The survey shows that just over half of you (53.6%) have done some CPD activities in the last 12 months. It also shows that about 6 in 10 of you (61.8%) agree that you can access the right CPD when you need to.
Over the coming months we’ll be working with you to help you understand more about what types of things can count as CPD, and what topics could help with your development.
We held a joint workshop with the driving instructors’ National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP) on Tuesday 1 August 2023 to start planning what we can do. We’ll be blogging about this workshop separately soon – so please look out for that landing in your inbox.
Lots more to come
I’ve touched on a few of the main topics in this blog post, but the survey results reveal a lot more.
This blog post is the start of the conversation about how we’ll start to take those findings forward. So you can expect to see us talking about them a lot more in the coming months.
View the full findings from the survey