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Choosing your Driving Instructor
A lot of students choose their DSA Approved Driving Instructor through personal recommendation, while this is fine there is a lot more information available if only the right questions were asked.
What grade Instructor are you and can I see proof of this?
What other driving qualifications do you have?
How many years experience as an ADI do you have?

Grading
Not many driving instructors advertise their grading, there may be a reason for this.
As of February 2009 (the most recent published figures I can track down) the percentage of driving instructors in the UK by grade was as follows;

Percentage of instructors / DSA’s Grading Description
Grade 1 – 0% / Instruction is grossly wrong, potentially or actually dangerous
Grade 2 – 0.09% / Numerous deficiencies such as inaccuracies, errors or serious omissions
Grade3 – 0.76% / Unacceptable shortcomings in technique and/or behaviour
Grade4 – 51.32% / Some shortcomings that need attention
Grade5 – 31.03% / Minor deficiencies
Grade6 – 5.99% / The highest standard with no significant weaknesses
Ungraded – 10.81% / (new instructors are officially ungraded until their first DSA “check test” is completed)

It makes sense that there is a close relationship between how well you are taught to drive and how quickly you become a safe, confident, able and knowledgeable driver, therefore, a Grade 6 Driving Instructor could need less lessons to get you ready for your test and could save you money.

Matt Baxter DSA ADI is a top grade 6 Instructor with an unblemished report.

ADI Qualifications
There are numerous qualifications that a Driving Instructor can work towards here is a small selection:
• Dsa Fleet Trainer
• SAFED
• MiDAS
• Institute of Advanced Motorists

All of these qualifications help your Instructor teach you the latest methods of vehicle control and impart the knowledge that they have gained from different aspects of driving on their quest for improvement. An ADI without any “extra” qualifications may be comfy teaching pupils but it may be worth asking yourself the question… “If they haven’t made any steps forward in their qualifications and abilities, have they taken any steps backwards”?

Matt Baxter has gained all of the above qualifications.

Experience
As with just about any job when you are new to it you may have the general idea of what to do but you definitely get more proficient and knowledgeable with experience, being an ADI is no different.

I qualified as an Approved Driving Instructor in 2004 and as my grade suggests I am by far better now that I was when I qualified. During my time as an Instructor I have experienced many things and learnt many different styles of teaching as every client presents different issues and as everyone is different, to get the best out of them requires tailored instruction/coaching. I have been learning more about my job and how to get better at it for many years and I have already come to the conclusion that the more knowledge that I gain the more I realise what there is left to learn.

I consider myself lucky to have found a profession that I really do enjoy, I believe that it is important that the client sees my passion which I have for driving safely and hopefully they will take away with them a lasting ability, knowledge and enjoyment that I get from my job.

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