• Congratulations to Tahlia Parker for passing her driving test first time with only five driving faults.

I am a retired Police Officer with 31 years service, the last 12 of which I spent as a Police driving instructor. I hold an Advanced Class 1 Police Driving and Instructors Certificate and have run courses from basic to advanced level, including emergency response. I also ran various specialist courses.

I am currently a Grade A DVSA Approved Driving Instructor, a member of the Driving Instructors Association (DIA) and am registered with the Hampshire County Council Pass Plus Scheme. I am also a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and in the past have been an examiner for the IAM.

Learning to drive is a life skill and I am committed to educating my pupils on how to be safe for life. For this reason I will not allow my pupils to take their driving test until I am completely confident in their ability to be a SAFE driver and I expect pupils and their parents to trust my judgement on this.

Statistics show that 1 in 5 newly qualified drivers will be involved in an accident during their first year of driving. I believe that experience is the key to reducing this alarming statistic as the more driving experience a novice can gain, the more adept they will be at dealing with high risk situations. As a result I encourage my pupils to combine their lessons with a significant amount of private practice. 

Probably the most common question I am asked as a Driving Instructor is, how many lessons is my son/daughter likely to need in order to pass their test.

The DVSA says that on average pupils take 47 hours of professional training combined with 22 hours of private practice. However, everyone learns at a different rate.

All driving instructors are subject to a regular test of continued fitness and ability to teach. The Driving Vehicle Standards Agency grades each individual instructor from Grade A (85% or over) - an overall high standard of instruction, Grade B (60% or over) - a sufficient level of competence, Fail(less than 60%) - an unsatisfactory performance.

From experience I know that pupils who follow a regular lesson plan will reach test standard more quickly than those who take a break from lessons and return to them at a later date. For this reason, before learning to drive, pupils should consider other commitments i.e. exams, extended holidays, etc.

Pupils should aim to pass their theory test within 6 to 8 weeks of beginning their lessons as this forms the basis of knowledge required for practical driving lessons.

I am registered with the Hampshire County Council Pass Plus Scheme which enables 17-24 year olds, living in the Hampshire County Council area to take the Pass Plus Course at a significantly reduced rate. Pass Plus offers extra driving experience and covers skills such as night driving and motorway driving.

I pride myself on the high standard of the pupils I enter for test and my main priority is to ensure that all my pupils are not only capable of passing their practical test but are also experienced enough not to endanger their own life and the lives of others.