Sunday, 7 September 2014
Saying Goodbye to ORDIT
I've been on the Official Register of Driving Instructor Training for a good few years now. It's either 6 or 8 I'm not quite sure. My current registration expires in a month but I don't think I'll be renewing it. There's the cost to consider. After buying a new set of books and paying for the inspection it'll come to three hundred pounds easily. I don't have a trainee at the moment either to do the inspection with. I'd have to ask one of my previous trainees to stand in and probably pay them for their time.
Whenever I do take on a trainee driving instructor they are very rarely starting from scratch. some have been with an instructor they know personally who is not ORDIT registered for the bulk of the training. The lack of knowledge and skill shown after paying for 40 hours of training can be quite shocking. The trainees don't seem to mind that their trainer is not on the register and in some cases don't know the register exists at all. Maybe it doesn't carry the weight I think it does. Several prominent schools I know offer training without being on the register and nobody seems to mind at all.
I think most people from outside the industry tend to go with the most high profile advertising. The national schools will always win on this front. TV adverts showing driving instruction as a relaxing job where you work the hours you want and still earn a packet give the wrong impression. Perhaps my honesty about what you can earn and the difficulty of the qualification process put people off.
It seems that paying for a complete course up front appeals to potential instructors. The thought of making one payment and getting it out of the way certainly makes sense. This is something I am loathe to do. Fees are generally non refundable after a certain time. Company policy is a good thing to hide behind when refusing to give someone their money back but as a solo operator I would definitely have to return the money. Not something I would want to do if it's already sitting in my bank.
I thought at first that potential ADIs would make for reliable customers compared to learner drivers but this has not always been the case. I have had plenty of short notice cancellations which included a lot of booked hours. Many trainees don't even tell me when they have passed so I can keep my records up to date. Of course the record books have to be printed at home at my own expense. This can be a real pain after a full day's work. It's something I'm not going to miss. I'll consider all things over the next month until the registration runs out but I don't think I'll miss being an instructor trainer.