Introducing DIA’s Help Desk

Women's arm in car pressing on sat nav

One of the many benefits a Driving Instructors Association member gets is access to the ADI Helpdesk, which is run by a group of qualified ADIs ready to assist with anything driver trainer-related.

Accessible from 9am to 6pm via phone or email, the ADI Helpdesk has years of experience in the field and is always willing to not only share their knowledge but also to help DIA members with any problems, queries, or advice they may have. 

DIA members receive expert advice at their fingertips. Whether it’s addressing pupil problems, navigating standards checks, resolving business or contract issues, or enhancing your skills and knowledge, the DIA Helpdesk team is there to guide you every step of the way.

Here are just a few of the questions DIA’s Helpdesk has recently answered.

Q:

I have a couple of people training as instructors at the moment (not on trainee licence). They have passed Part 2 and are well on their way to Part 3. They wanted to get some experience teaching family and friends free of charge while training with me. They had dual controls put in their cars, but insurance is proving difficult! They have been told by one of the large brokers that they have to have a fully qualified instructor sit in on all lessons. PDIs on trainee licences only need supervision on some of their lessons, so this doesn’t make sense.

A:

The insurance company you have spoken to may have a caveat placed by their underwriter that insurance may only be issued to PDIs on licences. However, the Road Traffic Act 1988 clearly states that a full licence holder may supervise (not for money or ‘monies worth’) provided they are 21 and hold a licence for three years for the type of vehicle that they are supervising (i.e., manual or auto). The couple can train with dual controls without charging, provided they can get insurance. They do not have a vehicle signed up as a driving school business. Such insurance that they seek may be obtained from the DIA Insurance.

Q:

Our local test centre has started insisting on sat navs being removed when our cars go out on test. Would you know if this is a requirement by the DVSA or just our local centre?

A:

The DVSA allows an examiner to have the autonomy to ensure that they feel safe in any vehicle that goes out on test. There are a few issues that you raise: 1. Sat navs that are attached to the window by suction cups can be a vision problem and distraction to the driver even if they are turned off. 2. Sat navs that are attached to the window by suction cups can cause a potential injury if an airbag were to detonate, as many vehicles now have airbags in the windscreen pillars as well as in the steering wheel. 3. Built-in sat navs can cause distraction and should be turned off.

The only sat nav that should be used on a test is that supplied by the DVSA. This will only have been brought to light due to an incident that must have been experienced on a test somewhere in the country, which has produced a risk assessment. We advise that your sat nav be removed, or if built in, turned off.

Q:

I have a student who has admitted that they suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I have started training them and moved the lessons to accommodate their needs for a better time of the day, but now they are cancelling at short notice and I feel awkward about charging for the late cancellation.

A:

I think that in order for you to be able to run your business smoothly you need to get medical confirmation from the client’s GP to say that their condition allows them to drive. This syndrome does not appear on the official Medical Condition reporting list for DVLA, but that does not mean that it does not have to be reported. Without this information you could be jeopardising the validity of your motor insurance policy, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity policies.

Make the student aware of this and cease training them until you have medical evidence to qualify that they are allowed to drive. Just because they have a provisional licence does not mean that the DVLA Medical Unit is aware of a potential dangerous medical condition.

To become a member of the DIA and to find out about more benefits DIA member get, please click here.

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