If you are an ADI and you want a web presence on the first page of google and be a member of a highly skilled and respected driver training group, then you must seek membership of the fastest growing directory of Surrey based driving schools 'Driving Surrey'.

If you are looking for professional driving instruction delivered by professional driving instructors in Surrey, then you have found the right place.

Please email your schools details and tell us a about your school and the reason you would like to become a member of a well respected association of professional driving instructors.

Module 2 of the new Diploma in Driver Education

How can you Identify a Professional Driving Instructor

The driver training profession is a 'service industry' requiring a trainer to be available to deliver a professional service of driver training for monetary gain at times of the day that would otherwise be regarded as recreational time for employees of other industries. An instructor's professionalism has to be shown at all times due to the high public profile which their advertised vehicle attracts, but is not limited to the example shown to others in their driving technique.

An instructor should be clean and presentable, polite and respectful, organised, have good time-management skills, be knowledgeable, numerate and articulate and capable of improving the standards of the new and experienced drivers in order to reduce the number of accidents, deaths and casualties suffered on our roads. They will need to:
have a thorough understanding of the rules and principles involved in safe driving;
be able to put these principles into practice by driving thoughtfully and efficiently;
be able to patiently teach the client how to use those principles while other drivers are trying to get from A to B as quickly as possible;
instil safe attitudes into clients at all levels of driving.

The knowledge held by the trainer must be extensive, relevant to the training task and current. They must be able to establish a good rapport but stay at a professional distance from the client's social environment. Information held on the client should include statutory details such as name, contact details, and driver licence information. A professional instructor would tactfully request additional information such as details of physical encumbrances or areas of possible learning barriers, such as dyslexia, diabetes or similar and would enquire about any regular medication and also about the client's aspirations in order to ascertain the motivation of the client.

The client should be given an induction pack that should establish how the learning environment will be managed. This should include terms and conditions which would include such clauses as prices and lengths of lessons, pick up and drop off points, notice of time to be given for cancellation of lesson by either client or instructor; proof of vehicle insurance to show that the client is permitted to drive whilst under training and assessment; the trainer should also provide evidence that they are registered with the Driving Standards Agency (in GB), or the Driver and Vehicle Agency (in Northern Ireland), that the trainer is an Approved Driving Instructor, or appropriately registered to give tuition for reward and numeration; a code of conduct which should extend to both trainer and client which should possibly include a clause detailing issues of personal space, correct footwear, and language which refrains from profanity or offence etc.

Depending on the age and/or vulnerability of the client, the trainer may have to engage the client's parents or guardian in order to confirm terms and conditions and how payment will be made for the services of training. This meeting should take advantage of any additional information that the trainer needs to know about the client, such as, personal confidence issues.

Before practical training takes place, a professional trainer would ensure that the client's licence is current and valid, that regulatory eyesight criteria is met and establish any previous driving history that the client may have. It should also be established how the preparation of the client's theory test is best managed.

One of the main aims should be to produce drivers who will help make our roads safer, but at the same time to ensure that they will enjoy their training and future motoring. In order to do this the trainer must be an effective trainer, holding the attention of the client through planning the session to meet the client's preferred learning method.

Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)

The Certificate of Professional Competence was introduced for the vocational sector. The reason we are explaining it here is because there are many ADIs who still rely on their commercial licence as part of their income and there are serious changes to their livelihood afoot if they are not aware of the CPC rules.

The Certificate of Professional Competence was introduced for minibuses, buses and coaches on 10th September 2008, and for vans (over 3500kg) and lorries on 10th September 2009.

For those who had 'acquired rights' (D1, D1E, C1 and C1E) by attaining those categories prior to 1st January 1997 the five-year countdown started from 10th September of the respective year. These drivers, who have not necessarily taken a driving test for these sub-categories have been allowed to continue to drive commercially, but they will have to have completed 35 hours of CPC by 9th September 2013 for minibuses and buses, and 9th September 2014 for vans and lorries. The same rules apply to those vocational licence holders of D1, D1E, D, and D+E, C1, C1E, C, C+E, who took tests prior to 10th September 2008 for buses and coaches, and 10th September 2009 for large vans and lorries.

Certificate of Professional Competence includes 35 hours of continual professional development with an organisation who are registered to deliver courses through the Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT). The courses are usually 7 hours in duration, but it is possible to do two 3.5 hour sessions providing they are completed in one 24 hour period.

New drivers to the vocational sector are required to undertake initial Driver CPC (DCPC) which includes 4 'qualifying to drive modules'. The successful candidate will obtain a Driver Qualification Card (DQC) to give credence, but have to undertake 35 hours of CPC over the next five years in order to keep the DQC 'live'. The vocational driver gets their DQC upon the completion of their 35 hours in the five-year period.

The card is important. It is effectively a permit for commercial employment. Effectively, from 9th September 2014, if you have no DQC then it is illegal for you to drive for monetary gain, and your licence becomes a permit to drive for private use only with no reward for services. There are a few exceptions to this.

For those Category D drivers who have done some of their CPC but are unable to complete it by 9th September 2013, their CPC hours will carry over past 9th September, but the licence to drive commercially is put in abeyance, meaning that it is illegal for your employer to allow you to drive until the remainder of the CPC has been completed and the DQC has been received by the driver. Once the 35 hours of CPC is completed, then the five years cycle starts again. The same problem will exist for lorry drivers next year.

If you have both bus and lorry entitlement then you only have to do one lot of 35 hours in each 5 year period, however, it would all have to be done by 9th September 2013.

If you have lorry entitlement only and want to qualify for buses, then DCPC must be completed to acquire the new category and vice-versa.

So those of you who are using your commercial, vocational licence for driving (not training), may have to take action now to preserve it's validity or you may find yourself driving illegally or only being able to use your licence on a voluntary, unpaid basis!


Ergonomics- v- Painful Posture Tom Harrington LL B March 2012
Ergonomics is the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body, its movements and cognitive abilities. It is concerned with the 'fit' between the user, equipment and their environments. It takes account of the user's capabilities and limitations in seeking to ensure that tasks, functions, information and the environment suit each user. The overall goal of ergonomics is employed to fulfil two goals of health and to optimize productivity. It is relevant in the design of such things as furniture and easy to use interfaces to machines and equipment. The study of ergonomics as a way to reduce human error began in the military during the Korean War, when air force pilots accidentally ejected themselves due to a poorly situated eject button in their training planes. Sometimes, they ejected at too low an altitude and their parachutes failed to open. Eventually, when the eject button was relocated, fewer lives were lost. Principles of ergonomics are now applied to the design of many elements of everyday life, from car seats to garden tools. Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries which can develop over time and lead to long-term disability. Many occupations are involved in implementing these "human factor" principles in the workplace, such as human factors/ergonomics specialists; safety engineers; industrial hygienists; engineers; designers; human resource managers; occupational medicine physicians; therapists and chiropractors.

This article deals with ergonomic principles and the ergonomic issues associated with driving. The basic human sciences involved are: anatomy, physiology and psychology. Movements and postures that pose a risk to drivers and instructors will be examined and pain relief exercises that drivers/instructors can use will be explored. A UK study into the consequences of poor posture and repetitive driving injury will be examined; other expert research will be looked at, tips on vehicle selection and driver comfort given. And finally, some past personal experiences on driving posture by novice drivers will be recounted who used their own cars for training.

Note. The coining of the term ergonomics is now widely attributed to British psychologist Hywel Murrell made during a 1949 meeting at the UK's Admiralty, which led to the foundation of the Ergonomics Society.

The Problem
Following a long drive we've all experienced some discomfort at some stage. This may be nothing more than a slight neck discomfort to a more painful back ache. And to relieve these we would normally stop, have a break, stretch and loosen up. If, however, you stop more frequently e.g. at traffic lights or in a traffic hold-up, you can do some 'carobics' by moving your body, neck etc. and making small adjustments to your posture while stationary. About 80% of us will experience back pain at some time in our lives. Chronic back and neck injuries from driving are caused by two main factors – (a) sitting for long periods and (b) whole body vibrations.

A number of work and leisure activities can contribute to back pain, but if you spend long hours driving or sitting in the passenger seat, you may suffer from prolonged discomfort or pain in your back. Bumps in the road cause up-and-down vibration of your vehicle along the length of your spine. Sitting in the same position for long hours gripping the steering wheel and being exposed to vibration from the road can contribute to wear and tear on your back, but there are things you can do to reduce your chances of suffering back pain.

Vary your work activities as much as possible during the day.
Swap between the roles of driver and passenger, so that your posture changes. Try not to keep the same role for more than four hours.
Take a break from driving every couple of hours.
Make sure you get out of the vehicle as often as possible, move about and carry out small stretches if you can. But beware of any sudden intense activity, such as lifting, bending or stretching, without warming up first.
Make small adjustments to your driving position every couple of hours or as you feel necessary.

Back Pain & MSD
Research by Porter and Cyi shows that prolonged exposure to driving a car has been identified as a risk factor for lower back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Those who drive cars as part of their job, e.g. sales people are at particular risk. This risk is increased for those who driver for 20 hours or more. Driving forces the driver to sit in a constrained position. Research at Loughborough University has shown that interventions designed to prevent MSD are most effective when they are tailored to the particular needs of an organization or occupational groups. Such interventions are relatively low cost, but the costs and benefits of these for the company are often not directly quantifiable.

Besides ensuring comfort and ease of use, ergonomic design or the lack of, has a role to play in safety in the event of an accident. Many head restraints are not designed in an ergonomic manner. They don't work with the driver and offer proper support for his/her head and neck and therefore do not provide adequate support and protection in the event of a crash. A study by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that most car head restraints didn't protect well against whiplash. The Institute tested 70 seat and head restraints for whiplash protection and just eight received good ratings, while 30 were rated as "poor". Some restraints couldn't be tested at all because they were incompatible with tall passengers. Another study by the Institute found that the Saab Active Head Restraint (SAHR) reduced neck injuries among car occupants by 43%. Apart from the 43% reduction in neck injuries, SAHR also provided a 55% reduction in claim rates for women and 31% reduction for men. Saab's 2003 9-3 Sports Sedan features a 'second generation' SAHR for even faster activation in rear impacts at low speeds. The head restraint is activated as soon as the lower back is pressed into the seatback by the occupant's inertia during rear impact.

'Tool of your Trade'/ 'Mobile Office'
When buying a vehicle, there are many factors to be taken into consideration e.g. make, model, colour, economy, reliability, CO2 emissions, road tax, insurance, airbags, air conditioning and in-car technology etc., but what importance do you attach to its ergonomical features? In other words does it provide a good 'fit' for you, taking into consideration the type of work you do and the mileage and hours spent behind the wheel or as an instructor sitting in the passenger seat. Once a vehicle has been purchased, there are a number of factors which may contribute to the development of back pain e.g. remaining in a fixed position for long periods of time, driving for long periods and not taking adequate breaks. Awkward positions adopted when using the car as an office and poor manual handling techniques when lifting items in and out of the rear seat or boot can cause problems. How many times have we observed driving instructors slouched or casually reclining in their seat whilst giving lessons? Not only can this be detrimental to correct seating posture but they cannot be in full control of the pupil should an incident occur that requires immediate physical intervention.
Many people including salesmen and driving instructors use their car as a mobile 'office' and may use a laptop computer, make or receive phone calls and do paperwork, all of which can affect posture.

Drivers/instructors who purchase their own cars or larger organizations who supply cars to their workers/franchisees should carefully consider the following for health and safety reasons:

Car selection
All seat adjustments including head restraint
Able to reach pedals – without stretching or too close
Steering adjustments – in/out, up/down, without stretching or being 'bunched up'
Vision/ front/rear/side
Working from the car
Unloading and lifting
Regular breaks and exercise

We now see that certain cars are not accepted for the driving test because of restricted vision or are unable to accommodate some testers/supervisors who are not able to fit comfortably and properly into the vehicle.

A new study in the UK found that 48% (14,000,000 million) or almost half of all drivers could be suffering from what is being coined as Repetitive Driving Injury (RDI). Ergonomic experts believe that drivers can develop long-term joint muscle and spinal injuries simply because they do not know how to adjust their seat. The following symptoms were found in the study:

Foot cramps 81%
Stiff neck 74%
Side aches 74%
Lumbar pain 74%

Headache/eye strain account for 73% and after 15 minutes of driving, 6.5% felt some hurt while 9% only need to drive 22 miles before symptoms start. The way you sit in your vehicles – especially on long drives – will have a noticeable effect on your body. Even if you don't drive for a living, long hours in the car on an extended drive can cause muscle tension and soreness, especially in the upper back and shoulders. Everything from how your mirrors are set to where you put your hands on the steering wheel will play a role in how you'll feel when you eventually step out of your car. Making some basic changes to your driving habits can make your drive much more comfortable. It is well recognized that the driving industry is notorious for people developing back and shoulder pain. According to studies, foot cramps are the most repetitive driving injury, followed by back pain, side ache and eye strain, which often lead to headaches.

Driving in Comfort
Before getting into your car, you should always take your wallet out of your pocket. Driving with a wallet in your back pocket puts a lot of pressure on the lower back because it raises one side of the pelvis and tends to twist it. Ideally, drivers knees should be at the same level of their hips or slightly lower. A lumbar support can be an advantage provided it is shaped to 'fit' and support your lower back with no pressure points or gaps. If your car doesn't have good lower back support, use an external lumbar support. Suggestions include, rolling up a sweater or towel and put it behind your lower back or, better still consider buying a ready-made support. Also, try and get out of your vehicle as often as you can on a long drive to walk around and stretch.
This is also important for driver trainers who may work in their car all day. An easy stretch is the back extension – place your hands on your hips and gently bend backwards. Using your car as an office i.e. laptop use; diary and paperwork use, can have adverse effects on you because of constrained postures, resulting in increased stress on your back. The driver should have sufficient room – 10/12 inches between the steering wheel and his/her chest in order to provide maximum safety protection in the event of a crash. The steering wheel column should not interfere with leg movement or bump the knees when getting in or out of the vehicle or while steering or operating the pedals.

Ergonomic Tales from the Past
The most common problems experienced were related to seating and improper mirror(s) settings. Pupils either sat too close to the steering (hunched forward) or too laid back (straight arm) and others had to behave like demented chimpanzees to check mirrors. Many instructors will have their own stories about their pupil's posture and ergonomic behaviour in cars. The following are some anecdotes about pupils who turned up with their own cars over the years.

The married young lady who turned up for her first professional lesson and could not properly reach the pedals of her Austin 1100. She did not know how to adjust the seat and explained that the seating position suited her husband and was warned not to attempt to change it.

The 6'4" gentleman who could hardly operate the pedals because he was glued to the steering wheel and his long legs were splayed wide open. Once the seating and steering positions were adjusted, he was much more comfortable and was correctly able to operate the controls.

The elderly farmer who virtually leaned into my lap due to the interior mirror being totally offset. It was adjusted properly before moving off but once underway he re-set it to its original incorrect position. Initially, we had a number of close encounters.

The local lady who arrived with no passenger seat and lesson was conducted from the comfort of the rear seat. However, the passenger seat was installed prior to her driving test.

The elderly farmer who turned up in his Austin A40 that had no passenger seat and requested that I sit on the substitute wooden butter box. (EEC referendum day 1972).

The farmer's wife who turned up with an old Volkswagen Jetta and the passenger door secured with some baler twine. (Twine for securing bales of hay/straw). Passenger seat slides were rusted and seat could not be adjusted. She indicated that she would request the driver tester to access the car via the driver's door. However, she was unable to explain how the tester would vacate the vehicle in the event of an emergency.

The young man who turned up for lessons with no seat belts (static) in his car. He said he would borrow his brothers for the test. I advised him to make sure he was insured to drive that car. Oh! No, he retorted: 'I am going to borrow my brother's seat-belts for the test and then replace them afterwards."

Then there was the overweight instructor who continuously complained to the local Ford dealer about the broken seat frame of his Mark I Ford Escort. He didn't sit in the seat, he just slumped into it. Needless to say, he blamed the poor make and design of the seat.

Back in the late 60s in the Harrow-on-the-Hill, Midd'x area, this writer remembers a Zephyr Zodiac with a column gear change being used by a driving school. Then, the largest car in the Ford range which must have posed an ergonomic challenge to the more vertically challenged pupils.


It is well recorded that back and shoulder pain is prevalent among many drivers and driver trainers/instructors. The posture you adopt in your vehicle on long drives or after giving a full days instruction will affect your body quite noticeably. Did you ever notice how you sit higher in the morning and lower after a day's training or a long drive at the end of the day? If you drive for a living or spend lots of time in a vehicle, driving for long hours on a long and tiresome drive can cause muscle tension and soreness, especially in the upper back and shoulders. Drivers vary in shape and size ergo; it is important to choose a car that 'fits' you and is suited to your work. Achieving a good physical fit is no mean feat when one considers the range in human body sizes across the population. Whilst safety, reliability, overall running costs etc. are important to the driver/instructor and the fact that many pupils prefer a 'small' car for learning, serious consideration must be exercised in vehicle selection as picking the smallest car could be problematic and somewhat disadvantageous for the instructor.

However, your car needs to accommodate your body measurements and have a highly adjustable package i.e. adjustment mechanisms on the seat base, back rest, lumbar support, steering wheel and be able to reach the auxiliary controls easily. By maintaining good and comfortable postures whilst driving, back pain and other posture related problems can be avoided. It is important to 'listen to your body' and not drive with discomfort. Remember to take your wallet out of your pocket when driving as this can put a lot of pressure on the lower back because it raises one side of the pelvis and tends to put it in a twist. Finally, if the discomfort, pain etc. persists, consult your doctor in the first instance because you may well be suffering from Repetitive Driving Injury. If it is established that your symptoms could be a result of the wrong vehicle for you, you will have to carefully examine your driving posture and in the final analysis you may have to consider purchasing a more ergonomically suitable mode of transport.