30: The Briefing – What does a customer need to know?

Unit 30: The Briefing – What does a customer need to know?

Research Material:
The Driving Instructor’s Handbook – Chapter 5

Depending on which phase and which PST is involved, your briefing will give your customer the information which they will need to know in order to achieve the objective for the lesson.

KISS! – We go for the less rude version here: Keep It Short and Simple!
To do this we need to be ruthless with the information we put into a briefing.

This will involve finding out about your customer – what relevant experience do they have about the subject in hand. Start with closed questions to establish Knowledge and Skill, then open questions to assess Attitude. Remember that to teach something new is to move from the ‘Known’ to the ‘Unknown’. Anchor the start of any lesson in the ‘Known’.

Now you know about your customer, you can decide on your Objective, remember this objective must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Timed, for example ‘I think we should aim to be able to perform the Turn in the Road safely (specific) with nothing more than a little prompting (measurable & realistic), by the end of the session (timed). How do you feel about that? (agreed – hopefully!)’. Obviously the level attained (measurable) must be realistic, given the answers you have received on your recap.

Main Points & Action Plan:
With a Phase 1 customer, this will involve diagrams and references to the highway code in order to describe the safest approach. Run through the skills which will be needed, and how the lesson will flow – with a route (if known), and the level of instruction you intend to use, for example ‘And remember that I will be guiding you through the whole of this, and will talk you through all of the hazards.’.

With a Phase 2 customer, after establishing what they already know about a subject, we will have identified any gaps in their Knowledge, and these can be filled before moving off. Gaps in skill should be noted, and will decide the level of instruction, and problems involving attitude must be fixed with encouragement and solid reasoning. Main points for a Phase 2 customer will not take as long as for a Phase 1 customer, in order to get more practise in.

Discussion Points:
Flexibility after recap
‘Must know’, ‘Could know’ and ‘Might come in useful’
Use what you can see

To Do:
For each of the following subjects (units 28-40), note down important points to be included in your briefings.

Use the PST sheets included in each unit – the important (need to know) points to be covered are in the left column.

Expand on these main points with information you feel important about necessary knowledge, skills and attitude towards each subject.

Before each session with your trainer you will be expected to have thoroughly researched the subject in hand.

Practice the subject yourself, and think carefully about how you – an advanced and experienced driver – deal with it.

Using your notes and the guidelines on timings for the main points of each subject, practice delivering the necessary information in a clear and concise manner.
It is worth practising this against the clock.

If you wish to write a script for yourself, this can be useful, but learn the script (recording it and playing it back can be helpful at this stage), and work up bullet points as cues. Reading from a script is impossible in an interactive situation, but easily followed cues can be picked up during a briefing.

Have diagrams ready to be referred to. Remember ‘what I see, I remember’.

While doing these briefings – consider:
Control skills
The Highway Code – Law and Guidelines
Reference points and clearances

Refer to:
The PST Sheets
Driving: The Essential Skills
The Highway Code
The Driving Instructor’s Handbook
Lesson Presenter

Make a start – work on the beginner lessons (units 28 & 29).

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