Trainer’s Top Tips – Risk Management

In the second of these Trainer’s Top Tips we’re going to continue with the higher-level competencies for the Part 3 Test. We continue to hope that you find these tips and can call upon these guidance notes for when our Driving Instructor Training resumes. This week’s focus will be looking at “Risk Management”.


1. Watch your pupil.  You’re not driving the car so look at the person who is – maintaining focus on their eyes, hands and feet. Balance your observation between watching your pupil and watching the road ahead and behind.

2. Responsibility for risk should be shared using the most appropriate level of instruction. Always look to transfer responsibility throughout the lesson. Just because you talk about risk and sharing responsibility during the briefing doesn’t mean you will get 3 marks. It must be demonstrated on an ongoing basis throughout the lesson.

3. Before your pupil moves away from the side of the road get your pupil to explain to you what’s expected of them and deal with any verbal/theoretical errors before they become physical/literal ones. Never compromise safety.

4. Correct terminology is vital so as not to mislead or confuse your pupil. Give instructions and directions in good time and keep it simple and clear. Think about what you are saying.

5. Don’t teach retrospectively – get your thinking and planning in AHEAD of your pupil. Always be prepared to help your pupils through a difficult situation. Early verbal intervention can help prevent you having to use physical intervention.

6. Even if you can’t fix a fault immediately, mention it to your pupil and say that you’ll go through the issue as soon as it’s safe to do so. Always have places in your practice area where you can pull up.

7. Remember when discussing risk, this will include how the driver is feeling, any medication they may be taking, weather conditions on the day and any identified risks specific to the lesson topic of the day. Get your pupil’s understanding of where they think the responsibility of risk lies and deal with any discrepancies.

8. Be aware of your pupil’s actions. If you ask them to do something watch closely to make sure they are doing it correctly. Don’t just assume they will do it. Furthermore, don’t simply take your pupil’s word on what they’ve done previously, thoroughly ensure that they have.

9. Think about how you would personally deal with any situation and then watch to see if the student is dealing with it in the same way.

10. Remember to explain to the pupil that you will always keep them safe and that you have dual controls available and that you may have to assist them with their steering if necessary.

In the next of these “Trainer’s Top Tips”, we will outline key guidance for Teaching and Learning Strategies next week.

Best wishes to you all and keep safe,

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