Posted: Thu 24th Mar 2016

Is Your Driving Instructor Properly Qualified?

This article is old - Published: Thursday, Mar 24th, 2016

A joint operation between North Wales Police and the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to check that Driving Instructors were qualified and registered with the DVSA was carried out in the Bangor area yesterday (Wednesday 23rd March). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

During a series of roadside checks, vehicles displaying L-plates or driving school logos were stopped and instructor accreditations were checked. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

One man was arrested on suspicion of fraud and taking payments as an Instructor without the appropriate qualifications and authority from the DVSA. He has since been cautioned. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Gareth Edwards, an Investigator with the DVSA said: “We are pleased to be working alongside North Wales Police. DVSA urges all learners to ensure their instructor is qualified to teach by checking they display a valid DVSA badge in their windscreen. Learners can also use the free ‘Find a driving instructor’ service on GOV.UK to see details of their nearest instructors who are approved and registered with the DVSA. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“All approved driving instructors undergo regular assessments of their ability to teach and are also CRB checked. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Illegal driving instruction is rare but when it happens can potentially be very serious. We investigate all reported cases and work with the Police to bring offenders to justice.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

More than 41,500 approved and trainee driving instructors were working in England, Scotland and Wales in 2014-15, and all DVSA-registered instructors giving lessons to learners have to display an in-date badge on their windscreen. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A green badge shows that the instructor is fully qualified and undergoes regular DSA checks. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A pink badge indicates a trainee who can teach for six months while acquiring teaching experience. The badges should carry the instructor’s photograph, a unique reference number and an expiry date. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Learner drivers should check their instructor’s qualifications before getting into the car. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Sergeant Raymond Williams from the Roads Policing Unit said: “The police are also worried that illegal driving instructors may not have been through the obligatory enhanced criminal record checks which all authorised Instructors are subject to. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“As a force we regularly advise people to check that taxis and private hire vehicles they travel in are appropriately registered. Passengers then have the confidence that the person driving that vehicle has been subjected to a process and a series of checks. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“It’s exactly the same with learner drivers. They’re getting into a vehicle with a stranger they may know nothing about.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

To report someone who you think is an illegal driving instructor, email or phone DVSA via their fraud and integrity team on 0191 201 8120 or email:fraudandintegrity@dsa.gsi.gov.uk ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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