Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Do Pupils Care What Grade Their Driving Instructor Is?
With the introduction of the new standards check for driving instructors and a simpler grading system it is hoped by some that those who achieve a top grade will be better positioned in the market place when selling driving lessons. I have found that grades and further qualifications do little or nothing to promote an instructor above those with lower grades and no further qualifications whatsoever.
The old 1 - 6 grading system was no use at all in distinguishing a driving instructor in the eyes of the public owing to the number given to the top grade. The number 6 is actually quite a bad number for this purpose. Grade 1 is understood to be a top grade universally and on a scale of 1 to 10 a 6 is neither here nor there. No point promoting yourself as a grade 6 instructor if nobody except industry insiders know what it means.
Now we have grades A, B and fail. A little more sensible it seems. A is generally accepted as a top grade for most things. On the other hand a grade B is still perceived by the public as being pretty good. if an instructor just manages to scrape through the Standards Check they will still look OK to the public who may assume that grades C and D exist as well. Many people pass school exams with a grade B and regard this as a success. An instructor who misses an A by one point will have the same grade as someone who just managed to pass even though there is a significant difference in the scores.
The main problem is that the public just don't seem to care about grades. If I hire a tradesman I would need to understand the exams he took and the criteria for marking if the grade was to mean anything to me. If someone else recommends that person then I know they can do the job so I don't have to bother about the grade at all.
Instructor grades will only have meaning inside the industry. If a school is looking to take an instructor on then they would be interested to know their grade. Some insurers offer a discount for grades 5 and 6. An instructor trainer should be of a high grade in the interests of credibility. When selling to the public, a friendly demeanor and a reputation for punctuality and reliability will do more to create new business than touting a top grade on the standards check.