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TTA Assessor/ Trainers, Sharron Sugden and Julie Ann Kirkham pass part three of the DSA Instructor’s Register

TTA is delighted to announce that Assessor/Trainers, Sharron Sugden and Julie Ann Kirkham have successfully completed and passed part 3 of the DSA Instructor’s Register, and are now therefore fully qualified and registered LGV trainers. We’d like to offer Sharron and Julie our congratulations for their achievements. What was it like learning again? Well, surprisingly better than expected is the short answer. Here’s what Sharron and Julie thought of the experience.

When did you take part 3 of the DSA qualification and what did it involve?

Sharron and Julie Ann

“We took the examination on the 19th December. To get the qualification you had to be examined by a DSA examiner whilst instructing a live learner. We didn’t know the person we were instructing; all we knew was that they were part way through their driver training qualification. There were 3 parts to the examination: fault analysis – that is identifying his faults whilst driving, rectifying those faults there and then and you were also judged on how you controlled the lesson.”

Did you find the examination difficult?

Sharron

“Oh definitely. It was a full-on experience, made worse in a way because myself and Julie (Kirkham) took the examination in a new place to us – Widnes. We didn’t know the place at all so didn’t have the benefit of having any routes already planned out. What that meant was that the examiner had to give us the route information as we were driving, and then we had to relay that information on to the learner.”

Julie Ann

“I don’t think I found the experience difficult because really it’s just a reflection of what I’m doing on a daily basis. I did brush on a few things beforehand to smooth the way. I suppose I did find it slightly nerve-wracking though, because you’re being scrutinised by the instructor and to a lesser extent by the live -learner. However, it wasn’t scary. Once I got going I was OK; I just did what I do on a daily basis and that seemed to be fine.”

“I was a little frustrated at times because I missed a couple of things that I would normally do automatically. Maybe that was simply down to nerves on the day. The good thing was both the instructor and the live learner were both really nice people. The instructor was very experienced and very approachable and made me feel relaxed. He also gave me some very useful feedback and constructive advice which I’ll take forward in my career in the future. The live learner too was very nice and helpful and was very keen to make sure I did well.”

“It was a little alien being in an area I wasn’t familiar with (Widnes). I suppose in normal everyday driving you’re working in a comfort zone because you know where you’re going. However, that extra hurdle was offset by the fact that we were instructing on an automatic vehicle, rather than the usual manual range change. That meant it was easier to concentrate and plan ahead whilst on the road.”

Have you now passed all the elements of the DSA Register qualification?

Sharron and Julie

“Yes we have: we’re now fully qualified on what was formerly the DSA Instructors Register, although since January this has now been changed to RTITB – the new regulatory body for workplace transport training and accreditation. But regardless of the change of name, we can now say that we are fully qualified and registered LGV instructors.”

Would you recommend the experience to other drivers who are considering further training?

Sharron

“I would personally, because I teach apprenticeships and part of that training involves preparing and training drivers to qualify for licence upgrades and taking LGV tests. What the examination did bring back to me is how nerves can alter your perception and performance on the day. You forget about those things.”

“I passed the first part of my DSA qualification in 1989 and got my LGV licence then. So having to do it all again 27 years later as well as the theory part of the examination was quite an eye- opener. In spite of that I still felt it was a really rewarding experience. I hope to utilise the knowledge and lessons I learned to help my own students in the future. Having been through the training myself, I now understand how my students must be feeling and I can empathise with them. Hopefully I can use those experiences to make me a better and more-understanding teacher.”

Julie Ann

“Absolutely. I think if you talk to drivers from other schools, they don’t really see why it’s necessary to get this qualification. Personally I see the qualification as a validation. It proves to me that I am able to drive and instruct to a good standard. It also tells me I have a good knowledge and understanding of driving and training. I think it’s vital for our customers to know that they’re being trained by someone who is fully qualified and has a proven track record. At the end of the day I think it gives me extra credence as an instructor.”

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