4x4 CPD for instructors

4×4 CPD for ADIs

We’ve been running 4×4 CPD courses for ADIs for several years now, for instructors on the first steps towards careers as off-road instructors, or to improve their practical knowledge of 4 wheel drive systems, ABS, Traction Control and transmissions. We find there’s nothing like seeing a cross-axled 4×4 to help you understand a differential!

So it was a great joy to receive an email from Rachel of Xcel Driver Training thanking us for the course she attended with us at our Devon training site:

I just wanted to write to say thank you for an excellent Lantra course we attended over the weekend 1st June 2013.

Your patience and knowledge on your subject was very impressive. The location was beautiful and exceeded my expectations.

The detail which you went in to, only shows how much you love your subject. As a fellow ADI/ORDIT trainer, I was impressed with how you applied the core competencies to my training. You quickly picked up on the fact that I learned best by “doing” and adapted your teaching style accordingly. Thank you.

The lunch you laid on was delicious and very much appreciated. The day was well structured and informative from beginning to end. I would highly recommend you to any one wishing to improve their off road skills and knowledge.

You are a true professional, right from the first phone call I made to you several months ago enquiring about the course. At every step you have gone out of your way to explain everything in the tiniest of detail! Rare customer service in this day and age, let me tell you!

I am glad I found you and hope to meet you for more training in the future or call you if I ever need any advice on anything 4 X 4 related!


It was a great day of training, with two outstanding instructors who are already working with manufacturers of luxury 4x4s and wanted to extend their knowledge and understanding of the vehicles.

Well done to Rachel and Simon on passing your Lantra-Awards Off-Road Driving for Experienced Drivers course.

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Advanced driving off road

Taking advanced driving off road

As professional driver trainers who spend a lot of our time in 4x4s, we’ve always been a bit surprised when people tell us that off-road driving is in some way ‘different’ to on-road driving.

So we’ve been spending a lot of time lately with very highly qualified trainers showing them how to apply Roadcraft’s system of car control (Information, Position, Speed, Gear, Accellerate) to off-road driving.

So, when we were approached by Paul Smith to provide him with some CPD training so that he could develop the work he does running defensive driver training for the oil and petroleum industries in Africa and the middle East, we wondered whether we were going to be running an egg sucking lecture.

Thankfully, the course went well, and later Paul emailed us this testimonial:

I first made contact with Tim Manwaring when I forwarded a number of email enquiries to numerous training providers relating to LANTRA 4×4 Off-Road courses and LANTRA 4×4 Off-Road Instructor Accreditation.

Tim’s response and detailed content of information relating to my enquiries was extremely helpful and I had no hesitation in making the decision that Tim was the person that I wanted to provide training for me.

Tim and Ian Shacklock of MTF Training provided LANTRA 4×4 Off-Road Experienced Professional training to me on 16th Sept 2013. The training provided was 1st Class in every aspect and I had a thoroughly memorable day’s training in the hands of both Tim and Ian.

I have absolutely no hesitation recommending both Tim and Ian to anyone wishing to receive LANTRA Accredited 4×4 Off-Road Training.

Paul Smith

Police Advanced Grade 1 Driver & Motorcyclist
DSA Registered ADI & Fleet Trainer Grade 6
RoSPA Diploma in Advanced Driving Instruction
Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Driver Instruction as approved by RoSPA

A huge thank you is due to Paul both for his great company on the day and for his kind words since.

If you’re looking at off-road training and would like to approach it from an advanced driving background, please get in touch.

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Driving Instructor Earnings

There is always a lot of talk about how much a driving instructor earns due to the TV adverts for The Instructor College.

Well £30,000 a year is not a bad target to set yourself, but realistically it is highly unlikely for several years.

Teaching learners is not easy, and certainly while an instructor is less experienced, working more than 6 hours a day is not advisable. Once experienced (after at least a year, preferably 3) working up to 8 hours a day is possible, though not enjoyable.

Bear in mind that for every lesson given, there will probably be around 30 minutes of travel time and you start to realise why so many instructors give discounts for longer lessons. 6 x 1 hour lessons = 9 hours in total, whereas 3 x 2 hour lessons = 7.5 hours in total.

It is also very easy at first to agree to every customer who comes along, fitting them in at weekends or late at night. In the long run this is very tiring and demoralising, though it is an understandable tactic when first starting up.

So, how do the figures break down?

Well, we’ll work this out per year – you can break it down however you like from here:

Car – £3,000 – £6,000
Insurance – £300 – £700
Instructor Association – £100
Green Badge – £50
CPD – £200 – £1000
Advertising £350 – £2000

So outgoings could be between £4000 (for a small enterprise, with lots of hard work, lots of recommendations and word of mouth) and around £10,000 (for a larger enterprise that someone wants to grow into a real business).

Income we will base on lesson price – fuel.

Fuel is usually around £1.50 (diesel) and £2/hour’s tuition, though with a rural area this will be higher.

Average lesson prices are currently around £20/hour after discounts and cancellations, though can be pushed up to around £25/hour.

So for an instructor working around 25 hours of tuition (comfortable) each week, they should receive between £500 and £625 each week.

For an instructor who is willing to really knock out the lessons, work up to 7 days in the week, and do this week in, week out for 48 weeks in a year, then working 50 hours a week could earn between £1000 and £1250 a week.

So, you can see that in the end, if you’re willing to knock yourself out, work hard to get the reputation that you can charge for, and after building up your diary you could earn over £40k a year.

But if you get things wrong, you work things through the wrong way, spend too much on everything, and don’t manage to get the income, you could wind up with less than £10k.

And that’s only if you manage to find those 25 hours of tuition a week.

If you would like any advice on how to increase your earning potential, contact me:


Since this article was originally published on another website, there have been many changes in the industry, including a dramatic increase in both qualified and trainee instructors.

Driving schools are struggling and there are more and more of the 5 lessons for £49 style offers around, encouraging customers to chase offers which pay the instructor less than £10/hour.

Many of these schools have decided that as there’s not so many learners around, they should go into instructor training (following the pot of gold), often making the situation even worse.

There are serious concerns that over the upcoming recession, people will be made redundant and with their pay off cheque they will decide to become an instructor (earn £30k a year, have a new car and work whenever you like!).

If this is why you are here – seriously consider your decision.

If you really want some independent advice, do a search for driving instructor and ADI forums and talk to the guys who are doing the job. Some love it, others are leaving it, the majority are hoping they’ll survive the next couple of years. Some may even try to sell you a course, but you will get a broader view than the one on the TV ads.

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4×4 Instructor Training Courses

Thinking of becoming an off road 4×4 driving instructor?

We’ve started seeing a lot of people searching for this and finding one or another of our websites, so we thought we’d better give a bit of info. This article is an expansion of a previous 4×4 Instructor Training article on another website.

First things first – there’s currently a big problem with the legality of much off road instruction. Recent legislation has superceded some exemptions that 4×4 trainers had to teach people to drive cars when they were off road. The new legislation mean that unless you are a DVSA Approved Driving Instructor you cannot train anyone in how to drive a ‘motor car’ (this has been interpreted quite simply as a category B vehicle – anything up to 3.5 tonnes, so all 4x4s which don’t require an LGV or HGV licence are included, from crossovers, through pick-ups to big expedition vehicles), all it needs for you to break this law is for you to be paid in some way for driving advice. So, step number one:

  • Become a Driving Instructor

Just as a warning – this is neither easy nor cheap! (the majority of ADIs have paid around £3k to qualify)
From here you need to decide which of the qualification bodies you wish to work with. We had a good look at all of the options (even to the point of starting with the other main option, but becoming disillusioned with the process and the organisation) and decided that the most professional of the main 2 was LANTRA.
Before even considering becoming a LANTRA trainer you must have over 5 years of 4×4 driving experience and hold a valid first aid certificate.
So, step number 2:

This is usually a 2 day course, though for someone who has had some formal off road training, or can prove their experience through use this may be reduced to 1 day.
From here you will need to complete some kind of Health & Safety or risk assessment training – for ADIs the DVSA Fleet qualification may be accepted, however a formal NEBOSH or IOSHH course would be preferable. Then you will need to satisfy LANTRA of your instructional ability. This step is covered if you are an ADI, though some classroom training is worthwhile (often recommended before instructor status is given). If you aren’t an ADI you will need to go to step 3:

  • Take the LANTRA 4/5 day instructional techniques course

Which again – is not cheap.
Once you have satisfied LANTRA of your knowledge and instructional abilities, you will need to go to step 4:

  • Take the LANTRA 4×4 instructors 2 day Technical Standards Verification course.

Again – they don’t do this for free.
After satisfying the TSV that you are competent to teach the course (not a foregone conclusion by the way – only 2 of the 3 on the TSV course I attended passed), you will then need to head to step 5:

  • Register as a LANTRA instructor

You guessed it – there’s an administration fee and there’s another one at step 6:

  • Register as a LANTRA training provider

If you want to offer the courses through your own company – something which most trainers want to do, unless they have managed to find a job as an instructor with a training provider (hen’s teeth, gold dust and rocking horse droppings are usually more common than these jobs, sorry guys).
Once you’ve done all of this, you are ready to provide 4×4 training.
As long as you have a LANTRA approved off road site to do them on.
If you haven’t got one of these, you’ll have to ask LANTRA to assess the land you intend to use to do the courses – and that doesn’t come free either.
Once you’ve jumped through all of these hoops you deserve to be an instructor!
There’s a reason for all of these assessments – LANTRA instructors are expected to train to the highest possible professional standards. This is a professional health and safety risk assessment and integrated training course designed for vocational operators and 4×4 drivers who actually do use their vehicles in the workplace – there are no amateurs or volunteers in LANTRA.
Oh and once you pass – you’ll be inspected on a regular basis (and you may be expected to take further training in order to stay qualified if your training is not up to scratch) to ensure that you are still providing the best available training.
All of these things are reasons why we’re having trouble finding good quality DVSA ADIs who are also LANTRA instructors – if you are one (or if you need one), please get in touch!

Update: In early August, Lantra emailed all of it’s 4×4 trainers, appraising them of the other relevant piece of legislation – the Road Traffic Act 1998, which has for the last 13 years been quite clear on this subject. They even quoted the relevant section:

It is a criminal offence to provide driving instruction for money or monies worth unless the driving instructor is registered or licensed to give instruction in accordance with Section 123(1). Section 123 applies to all paid tuition regardless of whether the person receiving instruction possesses a full license or not. Section 123 applies to instruction on public and private roads and also to off road tuition.

They have now clarified their position, which is that they are aware of the law and are looking to clarify things with the DVSA and the Department for Transport. They will not be requiring instructors to be DVSA ADIs. This should mean that volunteer instructors who are not paid for their work, will still be able to become, or continue instructing on Lantra courses. Tim. 15/9/2011.

Update #2: In November, Lantra have now clarified and sought legal advice on this issue. As a result, all 4×4 trainers will be required to become fully qualified ADIs. Timescales are that parts 1 and 2 must be passed by 2012, with all trainers being fully qualified by the start of 2014.

Update #3: After correspondence from some off-road trainers who had been given conflicting advice by the DSA, we contacted them for a statement, which we are glad to say supports our assertion that all category B 4×4 trainers must be on their register of Approved Driving Instructors: See full correspondence here.

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DSA Statement on the Legality of Off-Road Driver Training

Article originally appeared in 2012 on another website.)

Some 4×4 instructors have received conflicting information regarding whether the government’s Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) feel that 4×4 trainers should be Approved Driving Instructors (DVSA ADIs). Some time ago we decided to call the DSA (as they were then, prior to their merger with VOSA) ourselves and unfortunately had a similarly confusing time finding someone who was willing to give an official statement.

As ever, we knew the DSA were happy to reply to emails, though there is usually some delay, so we emailed Rosemary Thew:

You have previously (several years ago) confirmed that there is no exemption from the requirements of the RTA and RSA for paid instructors in category B vehicles, whether training post test or off-road.

Recent phone calls to the DSA by colleagues (and finally yesterday by myself) have received contradictory advice. Similar to my colleagues, I was initially informed by an examiner from Technical Standards that it was not a legal requirement to be an ADI. Once I requested the exemption from the legislation in writing, this advice was then downgraded to ‘it doesn’t come under the DSA Regulations’ with the reasoning that it was post-test training and was undertaken on private land. He admitted that it may be illegal and asked me to contact yourself for clarification.

Could you please let me know whether there is any exemption to the requirement to be on the register of Approved Driving Instructors when being paid to train in a category B 4×4 vehicle with full licence holders on private land?

I appreciate that the DSA do not make the law and that as you have limited experience in this area you may not wish to pursue prosecutions, but I would appreciate the opinion of the DSA as to whether you think the law applies here.

If there has been a change to the legislation, an exemption or derogation for 4×4 trainers (or for any vocational driver training post-test) I would appreciate details.

If there has been no change and your previous advice that all paid driver trainers of category B vehicles should be on the register, regardless of whether the candidates have licences or the training is undertaken off-road, could you please ensure that your staff understand this and avoid giving out potentially incorrect advice.

I provide a lot of guidance for trainers and businesses, so would appreciate being able to quote the DSA in this matter both in meetings and correspondence as well as publicly on my websites. I have no wish to mis-represent either yourselves or the facts, but if you are unhappy to provide a public statement please let me know.

Subsequently, we received this response from Carole Hodgson of Corporate Correspondence, which confirms that their stance has not changed:

Thank you for your email of 19 March about off road driving tuition.

I am sorry we have given you conflicting information.

There has been no change to the legislation. The Road Traffic Act 1988 (Section 123) – renders it a criminal offence to provide driving instruction for money or monies worth unless the driving instructor is registered or licensed to give instruction in accordance with Section 123(1).

Section 123 applies to all paid tuition, regardless of whether the person receiving instruction possesses a full licence or not. Section 123 applies to instruction on public and private roads and also to off road tuition.

This, and more recent correspondence to colleagues and certificating bodies, confirms our feelings that all 4×4 training, both on-road or off-road, and whether involving category B licence holders or not, should only be undertaken by DVSA ADIs.

Possible offences may not be limited to the person by whom instruction is given (the instructor) but also “if that person is employed by another to give that instruction, that other, as well as that person, is guilty of an offence.”. (RTA 1988 Section 123 4b)

We would like to re-iterate that we are happy to correspond with and help any organisation, training provider, training body or instructors who wish to ensure that their training is run with road safety legislation and health and safety legislation.

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Lantra insist 4×4 trainers must be ADIs

(This article originally appeared on another website in August 2011.)

Lantra-Awards are currently working towards the goal of having all of their 4×4 instructors qualified as DSA ADIs. This will ensure their legality as well as their competence. At Beyond Driving we have insisted that all of our trainers be DSA ADIs since we formed in 2006. We are still the only national 4×4 training provider who guarantee to only provide DSA ADIs on all category B training courses.

4×4 Instructors will be qualified to higher standards

August 2011:

In an email from Lantra to all 4×4 trainers on Friday 12th August 2011, we have been informed that Lantra have now decided that all of their 4×4 instructors will need to be DSA registered ADIs. Quoting section 123 of the Road Traffic Act 1998 (and specifically its application ‘…to off road tuition’), they have asked all of their 4×4 trainers, as well as ATV trainers to either provide them with their current ADI registration details, or to give information about whether they intend to undertake the training and stringent DSA examinations in order to qualify for the Register of Driving Instructors.

As far as we know, Lantra are the first and only nationally recognised training body for 4×4 vehicles who have insisted that all of their instructors comply with the legislation. Lantra are determined that all of their trainers will be both legal and competent.

As we have been working with all of the parties to bring the 4×4 training industry in line with the legislation, we give Lantra our full support in what has been a difficult decision. We have lobbied both Lantra and the DSA to give a definite and clear message on trainer legality both to instructors and clients over the last few years. We are very glad that our efforts have finally been acknowledged.

We understand that many organisations may not be able, for economic or other reasons, to train all of their 4×4 instructors to a standard where they can pass the ADI registration examinations. This may mean that the cost of 4×4 training increases, due to reduced numbers of trainers as well as higher qualification standards required.

We intend to provide trainers with the highest qualifications, most experience and a determination to provide the best professional training achievable, while remaining competitively priced. For example, at the time of writing, the cost for the 2 day Lantra Professional Off-Road Driving course for 3 candidates at our venue in Cumbria is £1000. This includes hire of the 300 acre off road site, conference room, lunches and refreshments as well as the Lantra certification (upon achieving the required standard). Cost per candidate – less than £350. Our main trainer in Cumbria is a Lantra Approved 4×4 and ATV trainer, a DSA registered Approved Driving Instructor (ADI), a SAFED commercial vehicle fuel efficient defensive driving trainer, DSA registered Fleet Driver Trainer and he holds the NEBOSH General Certificate in Health and Safety and is trained in First Aid. He has trained the NHS, the military, police, national park rangers, coastguards and personnel from national and multi-national industry – even the occasional farmer has been through the course and found it useful!

Why should you expect anything less?

2012 UPDATE: Unfortunately, due to pressure from some trainers and training providers who are not currently using DSA ADIs for their training, Lantra-Awards have decided not to implement the following process. We feel that they have missed an opportunity to bring occupational 4×4 training up to date and into the professional world. For a bit more information have a look at the 4×4 Instructor Training article, and the DSA Statement on the Legality of 4×4 Trainers.

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