10 essential podcasts that all driving instructors should be listening to:
(In no particular order!)
Project EDWARD - Every Day Without A Road Death. Surely that’s the goal for every driving instructor? It’s a great show by James Luckhurst that’s highlights some real issues on our roads.
Back Bedroom to Big Business - a great show by Dino Tartaglia and Simon Hartley that delves into some of the fundamentals of running/growing a business and talks about some of the common mistakes business owners make.
Dipod Adi - the granddaddy of all instructor podcasts, a source of news and some excellent guests, including me.
Fitter Food - thoughtful and insightful conversations around a huge variety of health and fitness topics. I’ve been listening for years and always pick up great advice.
Selling Without Sleaze Podcast - as instructors, we’re often anxious about things such as price increases and up selling, Sarah Jolley-Jarvis offers invaluable help around these and more.
The DID Podcast - Mick Knowles brings a wealth of knowledge and a great variety of guests to his show.
Richard Nicholls - the psychotherapist with the most calming voice in the world address some key mental health issues. As instructors we can become quite isolated and this show has certainly helped me in the past.
The DITC - short news features in bite sized audio form. Chris Bensted keeps us updated with relevant news.
Boss It - Carl Reader brings us his thoughts on good business practice and a whole host of topics, and has some excellent interviews. While not aimed at the industry, there’s plenty we can take away.
The Instructor Podcast - of course. Fantastic guests and a mediocre host, holding a mirror up to the industry.
Be sure to check out any shows you haven’t listened to, and share any you think we should be listening to in the comments.
You can listen to Chris's episode on Apple, Spotify, Google and more.
Chris Bensted is NOT just a driving instructor.
Despite what he says.
Chris is the co-founder of The Driving Instructor and Trainers collective, the signposting point for the industry. He also started the first ever Facebook group for driving instructors – I’m an ADI/PDI and I’m on Facebook.
Chris can often be found on various local and national news channels discussing the industry and the latest goings on for driving instructors.
As well as running a driving school with multiple franchisees, Chris also now does 1:1 theory training via zoom, working particularly with those who have dyslexia, autism, and memory issues.
In this episode Chris describes himself as a conversational instructor and I loved this phrase. I’ve used it to describe myself ever since. This description seems apt as Chris recalls tales of asking examiner not to call him Christopher as it makes him think he is in trouble and the time he played the Imperial march when the examiners entered the waiting room.
Chris is also a big believer that instructors should work with students, helping them, rather than telling them. So much so that he took a course in NLP – neuro linguistic programming, to assist him in his nurturing of students.
This lead to him taking a different approach to the driving test, compared to many instructors, including trying to desensitise the test centre and using phases like “we’re going pass the test centre” to put his students at ease.
He also explains how he learned not to assume that learners and instructors are not already experts. At the test centres, you can meet instructors from a whole world of different back grounds, whether that is a doctor, lawyer, or builder.
When talking about driving instructors, Chris talks a lot about minimum standards and how he considers what he does, not as going above and beyond, but actually what we all should be doing. Not just for our students, but for the industry.
He talks about being handed a green badge and being told that we teach learner drivers, but how the world is much bigger than that and opportunities are so much bigger than that. He discusses how he just keen for instructors to me a positive influence.
We also discuss how ADI are, by default, self-employed. We may not set out to be, but that’s just how the industry is. So, as well as teaching people to drive we also need to look at accounts, marketing, advertising, social media, counselling…
Chris also makes some interesting points discussing whether driving instructors are actually necessary, explaining how there’s no evidence to show that driving instructors actually help the process.
The DITC is a platform for driving instructors to come together and was forged during the 2020 lockdown after the DVSA drew a line in the sand, essentially not offering driving instructors the support and guidance they required.
From there it continues to grow, not least by providing regular news features for The Instructor Podcast, but also by taking the initiative and linking up with The Queer box to provide LGTBQ+ training for the driving instructor industry.
The DITC has also been creating badges to try to encourage instructors to be more active, these include a member’s badge, founder member badge, CPD badge and a start up badge aimed at those who have an idea but perhaps are not sure how to go about it. They can be linked with people who have that knowledge and skillset, whether that be graphic design or helping to create video intros and outros.
There are some great rewards for being a member of the DITC, including getting a student card for instructors, which give you all the perks you’d expect from a student card, which should save you more than the £6 monthly membership fee.
Chris’s final pieces of advice:
Read the contract before you sign it, and be open to change!
You can find out more about the DITC here: https://linktr.ee/TheDITC inculding how to sign up, social media and their podcast.