Trainer’s Top Tips – Lesson Planning

Over the next few weeks, the Training Team at Bill Plant Driving School will be giving tips and advice to the trainees on various topics connected with the Part 1, 2 and 3.

We hope you find these tips useful and can reflect on them for when relevant Driving Instructor Training resumes. We are starting with the higher level competencies of the Part 3 Test to help you all, but this is specifically aimed at PDIs close to their Part 3 Test.


1. The key goal is to produce a bespoke lesson that is tailored individually for the pupil on the day and based on their needs and wants (A bit like measuring up for a tailor made suit, rather than forcing the pupil into an off the peg suit.)

2. Ensure you carry out a good in-depth recap. Dig deep on the recap to set good foundations for the lesson. The recap should find out what aspects of the subject the pupil NEEDS help with. Recapping a lesson will keep things realistic in terms of what the pupil needs. Question them on what they should know and teach them what they don’t know.

3. Set a “SMART” goal with your pupil that your pupil wants to achieve. The task should be, by following the SMART methodology – “specific” “measurable” “achievable” “realistic” “timed.”

4. Keep the lesson client-centred but not client-lead. The pupil should be at the centre of the decision-making process, but you still need to remain in charge of the lesson.

5. Find out how much help your pupil needs to achieve their goals. This could range from guided instruction, prompted assistance, or letting the person drive independently.

6. Always be prepared to change the lesson if needed. Adapt “down” if the pupil is having a bad day to a level where they’re comfortable with and build up again from there. Adapt “up” if the lesson is going well, remembering to make it progressively more challenging. Adapt for errors your students may make and use the core competencies on each fault and potentially have the lesson goals changed if required. Don’t leave faults for another day!

7. Your choice of pupil is key! Make sure your pupil is reliable and a good communicator. They should always have something to learn. It is therefore advisable not to take your best or your worst pupil.

8. Ensure that you know your practice area in good detail as you may well have to adapt the plan during the lesson. Don’t choose fixed routes as you need to be far more flexible in your teaching.

9. Never assume, always check understanding. Ask and listen to what your pupil is saying, as well as looking at facial expressions and body language to measure their understanding.

10. If the pupil is struggling, try thinking outside the box and be more creative.

In the next of these “Trainer’s Top Tips”, we will outline key guidance for “Risk Management.”

Best wishes to you all and keep safe,

Peter, Paul, Malcolm, Mark, Richard and David
Bill Plant Driving School Training Academy