Overtake the rest: advanced driving courses
Congratulations! You’ve passed your driving test. Unfortunately for you though – in this day and age, professional drivers need a bit more than their test certificate to stand out amongst the crowd. Passing your test certainly isn’t going to make you a driving expert (as we know by some of the poor practice encountered on the roads!).
Luckily, there are a number of advanced driving courses for those drivers who want to further expand their knowledge of the road. In this article, we outline the four best driving courses for drivers looking to boost their profile and impress their employers.
This is the most popular advanced driving qualification scheme available. While this test is primarily aimed at new drivers, it can still be useful for anyone looking to gain further driving qualifications and clock up recorded miles as experience. The course takes six hours to complete and covers multiple topics. These include: driving on dual carriageways, motorways, how to drive safely in bad weather, rural vs urban driving and driving at night.
All the modules are practical, however occasionally drivers will be required to complete some theory based assessments. Rather than taking a final test (as you would to get your driving licence) you’re assessed by a Pass Plus driving instructor throughout the course. The instructor then decides if you’ve reached the required standard in all of the modules. If you want to know more about the Pass Plus scheme, you can read more about it on their website.
Price: There’s no set cost for the Pass Plus course, but the price tends to range between £160-£200.
IAM RoadSmart ‘Advanced Driver’ course
Offering a slightly more advanced qualification, the IAM RoadSmart ‘Advanced Driver’ course is the only advanced driving course in the UK to be accredited by the DVSA. Whereas Pass Plus can be taken by drivers who have just passed their test, it’s recommended that those wanting to complete this RoadSmart course drive at least 10,000 miles before applying. This to ensure that all applicants are confident with driving before taking the course.
The course trains drivers to develop their control, observation, timing and road positioning further. It also covers how to deal with unpredictable roads and other badly behaved drivers. As you work through the course the instructor provides the driver with detailed feedback, helping drivers to recognise the areas where improvement is needed. Drivers will then have to pass a 90 minute advanced driving test to gain their qualification.
Given that the course takes place across a number of two hour sessions – which can be completed over a period of three to six months – it’s a great way to build a deeper and more long-term level of training and driving knowledge. If you want to further improve your driving expertise, but feel too qualified to take the Pass Plus qualification, then the IAM RoadSmart Advanced Driver Course could be for you.
RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders Course
This course isn’t as well recognsied as the IAM RoadSmart Advanced Drivers Course but it’s a good alternative for those who want a slightly cheaper means of improving their driving knowledge. Those taking the course will have to complete a 1 hour test, which is then graded as Bronze, Silver or Gold.
To prepare for this test, drivers can attend one of the many RoSPA groups held throughout the country. Joining one of these groups will cost you £20, but this up front cost will give you training from one of their experienced driving tutors. As the tutors are usually volunteers, these training sessions often take place at the weekends or during the evening.
Unlike some of the other driving courses, the RoSPA require drivers to complete a re-test every three years to ensure that their driving knowledge and skills are up to date. You can apply for this course here.
- For drivers under the age of 26 – £67.
- For drivers over the age of 26 – £62.
- For large goods vehicle or bus drivers – £70.
Drivers Domain C+E LGV/HGV Advanced & Defensive Driving Course
If you’re a LGV/HGV driver, then this course is the one for you. The courses discussed so far focus more on general driving skills, while this course is specifically targeted at those operating the larger vehicles.
Drivers can either complete a half day (3 and a half hours) or a full day (7 hours) course and all the training is completed in your own vehicle. The instructor conducts an initial assessment of your driving, taking note of both your strengths and weaknesses. The instructor then caters the remainder of the training to the specific areas for which the driver needs to improve. For example, if an instructor found that a driver taking the course had trouble negotiating with difficult drivers, then this would be the main area of focus. Overall, the course covers forward planning, manoeuvres, vehicle control, fuel efficient driving, speed awareness and more. If you’re a lorry driver looking to enhance your CV, then check out the full details of this course here.
- Half day course (3 and half hours): £210.
- Full day course (7 hours): £320.
Whether it’s delivery drivers, removal assistance, transport provision at events or simply a staff taxi service, employers and small business owners often need professional, qualified drivers. Having accredited courses and qualifications on your CV or Grafter profile is a tried and tested means of improving your chances of landing the job.
By completing one of these advanced driving courses, you can build upon your driving skills and boost your Grafter profile. If you don’t have a Grafter profile, sign up and join the ever-growing community today.