Trainee License

The DVSA Trainee Licence Can Be A Great Way To Prepare For Part 3

Working on the DVSA trainee licence can be a great way to prepare for Part 3Once you’re successful at part 2 and have completed your 40 hours basic instructional training, one of the options you have open to you is to work on a trainee licence, giving real driving lessons to real learners, and getting paid for it too

There will be no requirement for any of our trainees to take out the pink licence unless they wish to, and we will in no way support any trainee who wishes to use the pink solely to make money whilst training. The trainee licence should be a training tool, not a money making tool . . . read on

The trainee licence lasts for a period of 6 months only. Normally, only one licence will be granted to each trainee, although the registrar can issue a further licence in some circumstances. You would need to contact the DVSA headquarters to discuss this if ever the need arose

Instead of the usual ADI green badge in your windscreen, you’ll have to display the trainee pink licence instead. The vast majority of the public have no idea what the green or pink badges mean anyway, so most learners will never know that you are a trainee

We have to say that we are very much in favour of the “pink” when it’s used properly – as a training and learning tool, not as a “make money for all concerned as quickly as you can” tool

The Trainee licence is a wonderful opportunity to gain real experience whilst developing your skills. Unfortunately, many training organisations propagate the completely false myth that you will never pass Part 3 without being on a pink . . .

Rubbish . . . this is one of those Part 3 myths that spread far and wide. I truly believe that many companies say that you should take out a pink licence to gain further experience because their training has been generally insufficient to train a PDI to pass the Part 3 test

Teaching real learners is not the most effective way of learning to teach real learners. It sounds quite contradictory, and is certainly a controversial view, but airline pilots do not learn to fly airplanes by flying airplanes! They learn and develop on simulators, before they progress to flying real planes

Teaching learners has a definite element of risk and danger involved. Your trainer or the SE will not kill you, but a learner just might. You can very effectively learn how to deal with all and every situation through effective training and effective role play. In the case of a PDI, role play is your simulator. With effective training, you can learn how to deal with dangerous situations without ever being put in any danger. You can then progress to supplement your training by taking on the pink

In many cases, the pink is not a supplement to effective training, it’s a substitution because of a lack of it!

We’ll be telling you the conditions that you have to meet to take on the ‘pink’, and also point out one or two of the pitfalls that trip up a great many trainees

Some of you may have heard the rumours that the DVSA are considering withdrawing the ‘pink’ scheme. To our knowledge, this is absolutely true. They are considering abolishing it for very many reasons, not least of which are the ones at the bottom of this page

First, lets look at the conditions you need to satisfy . . .

Conditions To Work On A ‘Pink’

In all cases, the below must be fully complied with:

Firstly, you must have been successful in the part 2 test of driving ability, and you must be ‘sponsored’ by an established driving school or ADI.
You can only give any form of paid instruction for your selected driving school. If you change your school, you must apply to have your licence reissued.

For every trainee there must be at least one ADI working for your selected school. So, if a school has 3 instructors and 3 trainees, they would be breaking the law by assisting you to gain a trainee licence.

You must have at least 40 hours’ practical training within the 6 months prior to applying for the trainee licence, and this training must be completed by the date the licence is issued.
You must be Trained in teaching all of the following :

  • use of Signals
  • use of mirrors and The Emergency Stop
  • anticipation of road users actions
  • Moving Off And Stopping
  • reversing to the left and right
  • turning in the road
  • use of speed, hesitancy, and making normal progress
  • positioning
  • Controls of the car
  • Emerging At T Junctions at junctions
  • dealing with crossroads
  • meet, cross, overtake, adequate clearance
  • traffic signs, road markings and traffic lights
  • reverse parking
  • instructional techniques
  • Approaching Junctions junctions to turn left and right
  • communication methods

As well as the above, you cannot advertise yourself as a fully qualified instructor.

You also have to comply with any one of the following options:

1) The sponsoring ADI must supervise 20 per cent of all the lessons you give. You must keep records of all the lessons you give, along with the supervision by your trainer (sponsoring ADI). These details must be fully and clearly recorded on form ADI 21S, which you’ll receive with your licence. This must be signed by you and your sponsoring ADI and, returned to the DVSA as soon as the licence expires;


2) The other option is to forego the supervision from your sponsoring ADI. You must receive a minimum of 20 hours extra training covering all the above topics. This training has to be completed within the first three months of the licence being issued, or before you take your first attempt at Part 3, whichever is the soonest. If you have already had an attempt at Part 3, this option is not open to you. A full record of this training must be kept on form ADI 21AT, and this record must be submitted to the DVSA before the end of the three-month period, or given to the SE on your Part 3 test, whichever comes first. A minimum of 25 per cent of the period of training must be of a practical nature, taken in the car at a ratio of not more than two trainees to one ADI. If you chose this extra training option, and you fail either your first or second Part 3 test, you must have another five hours training before you can take another test. You will have to give the SE a declaration signed by you and your ADI that you have had this training on the day of your Part 3 test.

So, those are the conditions on which you can take out a ‘pink’. They seem a bit complicated at first, but as you read them a few times, it becomes much clearer.

Now, lets discuss some of the pitfalls and why we are very wary indeed of the ‘pink’ scheme.

Pink Pitfalls

As we’ve said above, we are very much in favour of the pink so long as it is used properly. Sadly, that is not always the case.

First a few facts. The DVSA’s own research has shown that there is no greater chance of passing Part 3 by taking on a pink licence than there is by going straight for Part 3 without teaching learners. This is despite what a great many training organisations will tell you. Why should this be so? read on . . .

Also, there is a significant difference in pass rates in learners Trained by qualified ADI’s of any grade, to those Trained by PDI’s on a pink. The latest figures tend to show a 25% lower pass rate for learners Trained by those on trainee licences. This is not encouraging, yet the learners are almost universally charged the same lesson rate

We have re Trained and advised many PDI’s who have been on the pink scheme with various companies across the UK. Strangely, almost all of them had it as a condition of their training that they would take on a ‘pink’ licence as part of the training process, despite the DVSA figures showing that there is no advantage in this, and that they would always take the second option – extra training, rather than have the sponsoring ADI supervise 25% of their training

I wonder why this could be?

Well, lets see what all this means to the training company . . .

You pay for your initial training, say £2,500. You then pass part 2 and have to pay a further £100 (at the time of writing) for the pink licence application.

Then you pay for 20 extra hours of training, usually around £600, although some companies give you this as part of the original deal. But the 20 hours extra training is not all practical training in the car. They can give you 75% of it in a classroom with 20 other people present and only one trainer. Read option 2 again, and it may become clearer. Further, because the company are sponsoring you, you are now completely at their disposal, and they will no doubt charge you a franchise fee (varies from £100 per week to over £300 per week) whilst offering you learners to teach. You continue with your licence, almost completely unaided by your trainer, which often ends up being for the full 6 months period, hoping to pass your Part 3 test

You will have paid your original training fee, and a further franchise fee, for 6 months whilst you try to pass

As an example, if the franchise fee was £100 per week, you could pay out over £5,000 in training costs and franchise fees before you become qualified. Indeed, you may never become qualified

Yes, you’ll have earned some money to pay it, but is it any wonder that a lot of training companies just love the ‘pink’ scheme?

Always keep in mind, that with the current state of ADI training, only 25% of trainees who pass part 2 will go on to pass Part 3. Having a ‘pink’ makes no difference to your chances at all

It is very often the case that trainees working on the ‘pink’ learn bad habits, become de-skilled and do not develop into the good, effective teachers that they need to be to get through Part 3. They are left alone, for weeks and weeks at a time, just hoping that they are doing things right

We receive a great many calls and e-mails for advice from trainees in exactly this position. With their 6 months almost up, having spent over £5,000 on training and franchise fee’s, and not a hope of passing Part 3 with their current level of skills. What is even more concerning, is that a great many of these trainees have been franchised to some of the very well known ORDIT registered establishments

There have even been cases we know of where trainees have been threatened with legal action if they divulge any details of their training. They are not even allowed to say who their training company were, despite failing Part 3 three times

We find this absolutely appalling . . .

It will be very difficult for the DVSA to change things, as a lot of the very big major companies use the pink scheme and will not be too happy to see it’s demise. Believe me, they are making a lot of money from it, and the trainee is not a major concern. If those companies did not make profits from the trainee licence scheme, they simply wouldn’t use it

That’s business, I’m afraid