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New driving instructor grades introduced

New system will see driving instructors given one of two grades or a fail, making it easier to know who to learn with.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has introduced a new grading scheme that highlights how good a potential instructor really is in a bid to help learner drivers get the best possible start to their driving career.

The new system, which instructors will be graded with once every four years, uses a three-tier rating system. An ‘A’ grade means the instructor has an 85 per cent or more pass rate, ‘B’ grade means 60 per cent or over and ‘Fail’ means less than 60 per cent.

Grade A is ‘an overall high standard of instruction, Grade B is ‘a sufficient level of competence’ and Fail is ‘an unsatisfactory performance’. The new system replaces the 1 to 6 grade structure of old. It’s hoped the change will make it easier for customers to shop around for the right instructor.

“The new standards check will enable qualified driving instructors to better demonstrate their competence to deliver effective training,” DVSA chief executive Alastair Peoples commented. “A high level of tuition can make a real difference in helping new drivers to become safe and responsible and the grading structure will make it easier for learners and parents to identify the best instructors.”

“Most driving instructors are grade 4 on the current structure, which means that they have demonstrated sufficient competence to remain on the register. I want all instructors to strive to achieve the new ‘A’ grade. I also want to work with the industry to identify ways that we can help top grade instructors to promote the higher level of competence that they have worked hard to achieve,” he added.

Plans to reform the driving test were brought to light in 2013. The proposal, which included upping the minimum driving age to 18 years old, has since been put on ice amid fears it could affect youth employment.

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