Learner driving with supervisor

By Viv

My name is Karen and my Dad taught me to drive. Every weekend was lesson time and my Dad used to take me on a training drive. When I took the wheel, Dad was by me on the passenger side guiding and helping me out. It all turned out quite well and I was proud when Dad used to say that I was a ‘really good driver’ or he’d say ‘great driving’ every time our driving sessions ended. I was on cloud 9 and was really sure that my driving was top notch. However, all that changed when it was time for me to take my drive test with the examiner. It came as a shock when he quietly wrote ‘failed’ on the test form and with a smile said ‘better luck next time’.  

This is a typical situation that many student drivers face. Many students are under the misconception that their parents are expert drivers and if they learn under them, they are sure to pass the drive test. This cannot be further from the truth. Read on to know why parental teaching is not as effective as getting professional instructions from a Learner Supervisor.

According to a random feedback survey done by greenflag.com - UK, the student pass rate had taken a downturn from 48% -to 42 %. Considering that over 1.5million students usually sit for the final drive test, this figure is shockingly high.

The greenflag post goes on to say that parental driver teaching is not creating a positive impact on the way students learn their driving.

So what is the remedy? The obvious answer is ‘Professional instructors’. For clarity in this blog post we will term the instructor as a ‘Learner supervisor’.


Getting the right learner supervisor to help you with your driving is the first step. To teach driving to a student, the learner supervisor has to be thoroughly conversant and able to identify and comply with all the stipulated road rules, regulations, be updated with new changes as and when they occur. The Department for Infrastructure and Transport places special emphasis on what a learner supervisor should know and what they compliances they should adhere to when teaching a student. Some of vital specified rules for the Learner Supervisor to follow include the following:

  • Must be an instructor with a valid drivers license and no disqualifications
  • Should be full license hold for at least 2 years prior to taking up an instructor position.
  • A strict learner supervisor alcohol limit, which under no circumstance should exceed a bac (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.05 or more.
  • In addition to the above, a learner supervisor is expected to log in their hours of compulsory driving in their log book after each driving session is completed.

An essential component of course is the car that is used for teaching. If the car used for the training belongs to the Learner Instructor / Supervisor, he or she needs to ensure that the car in proper working condition and road worthy. Teaching a new driver is always unpredictable. Having a safe car to provide safety to both the student and the instructor is vital.  As a precautionary measure, a car with safety reinforcement bars is recommended in the event of an accident.


Learning to drive is a practical experience. Unlike a study course that can be conducted online or by reading a book, the final proving ground to a learner obviously comes in the form of actually driving the car. The first day drive with a student can be somewhat unnerving. Developing the relationship between the student and the learner supervisor with help identify the student’s strengths and weaknesses which is a place to start off. It is the skill of the instructor to help the student relax and see their first time drive as an interesting challenge.

Placing him or herself in the place of a student will help to empathize and relate to the student’s reactions when driving. Since most lessons take an average of at least 10 hours, it will give both the student and the learner supervisor the opportunity to better understand each other as well as the lesson content. Here are few ideals a Learner Supervisor should try to adopt when teaching a student. The learner supervisor should be confident about the way they teach, and be able to instill confidence in the student. Should be patient and have strong communication skills.  This will create an easy to approach environment where both the student and the instructor will be able to relate to each other on common ground.


A learning supervisor is the front-line person responsible for teaching students how to drive safely and confidently. While constantly upgrading their own knowledge levels, they are responsible to impart that knowledge and skills to their students. Depending on the relationship between the instructor and student, the outcome of the learning process might be a positive or a negative one. And this may finally reflect at the drive test, resulting in a ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’.

While there are many aspects that can be included in this post, we try to outline the essentials a Learner Supervisor should have as well as what to expect by a student. We hope you found this read interesting and knowledgeable. Do let us know what you think  by leaving a comment.

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