Fiona Adi Driving-Coach on Facebook

Coaching Courses for ADIs and Driver Training for Learners

“I would like to thank everyone who has been part of my working week this week! It really has been wonderful … an example…

Wednesday – session 1 with A:
“I feel scary at traffic light! Fiona we do traffic light”
Chosen option – Drive. Stop. Look at each particular set of lights ahead. Discuss lanes, placement etc. Also discuss ‘what the oncoming driver would see’. Action that plan. Drive to next traffic lights. Stop and discuss and repeat as above etc
Outcome – “Is just look at light and lane and easy!”

Session 2 with B:
“I have a provisional licence, but I don’t know if I can handle driving!”
Me: “tell me more about that please”
Outcome – “I never knew I knew so much – yes I want to do this!”

Sessions 3 with C:
“Because of yesterday, today I will work on, approach speed, right mirror, observing when it ‘suddenly’ all changes ahead (like the bus signal), and my road position. I need to change those”
Outcome – “I did good! and I did do it all in one hour!”

Session 4 with D: (extremely new to driving!!)
Drive an agreed block. Don’t discuss as strongly independent and kinaesthetic. Sit back a watch her develop and improve independently. (F Tries to keep quiet!!) Safety critical intervention only.
Outcome – Smoother moving off and gear changes, route planning, signals/timing, approach speed and planned stops, awareness of other road users, road position, safe gaps and “oh yes the wing mirrors on both cars!”, braking downhill, traffic lights, roundabouts, mini roundabouts, meeting, and crossings.

Next day session 1 E:
Plan – more ‘complex’ roundabouts including double roundabouts and Roundabout with 5 satellite roundabouts around it.
“Can you shown me first please”
Outcome – “So all I need to do is do it slowly and plan where I want to go and it is quite easy really!”

Session 2 – Business Coaching Session for a local small business (and a bit of cake!)
[Confidentiality restraint – sorry]
Outcome after 3 bi monthly sessions- their business is booming, very happy with my support. Business goal projection in place and complete where necessary. Planned sessions complete. Future review with me planned for 6 months.”

Source: (2) Fiona Adi Driving-Coach

Another PASS on the FIRST Attempt!

Fiona Taylor's photo.

I’m selfishly proud to say a massive CONGRATULATIONS to Tony for PASSING today at his FIRST ATTEMPT!!
It was such a pleasure to be part of your driving journey, especially as it will mean SO much to your family! Lovely to help my ‘extended family’ but even more proud of you as you thrived so much! Well done Matey! You really did a great job!

‘Fear’ has a massive impact on learning…

11 minute TED talk on ‘fear’ and a better explanation about why some students get disproportionately ‘scared’ of certain things. It never feels right to just say, “don’t be scared”…. it doesn’t seem to work either!

Karen Thompson – what fear can… 

A little pet project of mine to understand ‘fear’ a little better so that we can tackle it better in the car as a team…/karen_thompson_walker_what_fear_can_t…

Newest string to my bow….

I am now a “DriverMetrics® accredited coach”

I am very proud to be providing this service:

“Insight into Action™ Driver Coaching sessions are delivered by a DriverMetrics® accredited coach. All of our trainers have completed a 12-month BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Coaching for Driver Development, as well as the DriverMetrics® accreditation course, delivered personally by Dr Lisa Dorn. This ensures that our trainers are highly experienced in how to influence any at-risk driver behaviours identified by the Driver Risk Index™.”

Goals For Driver Education….

Goals for Driver Education – 4.

The information in these next articles is based on a research document: Peräaho, M; Keskinen, E; Hatakka, M. Driver Competence in a Hierarchical Perspective; Implications for Driver Education. University of Turku, Traffic Research. June, 2003. This link will take you to the page on our website where you can download the PDF document:–research.html

Goals for Driver Education (GDE) – Level One Vehicle Manoeuvring
The focus on Level One is on the vehicle and its properties, and on the interaction between the driver and his/her car. Emphasis is on skills that have to do with vehicle control and handling.
Vehicle manoeuvring is the traditional cornerstone in driver education. Although goals and motives on a higher level are extremely important, the importance of basic vehicle manoeuvring skills should by no means be underestimated as they have an executive role in relation to the higher levels. The components that are found on this level can basically be learnt through repetition. Bit by bit, from single items to combinations, from basic to complex, and in different settings and on different road surfaces. Basically it is a question of motor learning, of doing things over and over again until they can be done automatically without conscious effort. Sufficient repetition is needed in order to achieve automatism of performance.
Automatic execution of manoeuvring tasks is crucial for safety. The more conscious effort a driver has to put into basic manoeuvres, e.g. the task of changing gear, the less capacity is available for coping with sudden, maybe dangerous events in a driving situation (a skill located in Level Two of the GDE).

Knowledge and skills
The first column on Level One focuses on how to use the car and its controls in a technical sense. The issues to be covered include, for example:Use of vehicle controls
• Basic mechanics
• Starting the car
• Using the clutch
• Changing gear
• Braking (foot and hand brake)
• Seating position and seat adjustment
• Adjustment of rear-view mirrors

Knowledge of vehicle properties
• Tyre grip and friction
• Front wheel drive vs. rear wheel drive
• Manoeuvrability and stability
• Effect of in-vehicle load (on e.g. stability or fuel consumption)

Control of driving direction and position on the road
• Driving straight
• Keeping car in lane
• Turning
• Under-steer or over-steer
• Reversing and parking
• Need of free space around the vehicle, turning radius

Risk increasing factors
Risk increasing factors in column 2 connected to vehicle manoeuvring include, for example:
• Technical faults of vehicle (e.g. neglect of car maintenance, insufficient tyre pressure)
• Insufficient manoeuvring skills
• Misunderstanding of vehicle dynamics and properties
• Unsuitable speed adjustment
• Human reaction times
• Non-use of seatbelts and other safety devices
• Blind spots (not checking surroundings before driving off, mirrors)
• Improper seating posture
• Effect of load
• Over-reaction, under-reaction, wrong reaction
• Over-steer, under-steer
• Effect of different braking techniques

Self-evaluation (Column 3) on this level is to a high degree about making connections between action and outcome of that action. When talking about manoeuvring, this insight is closely connected to the concept of risk-awareness, or ‘why am I doing X in this way and not in that way and ‘what did I do to make the car go so and so’. The idea should be that the learner reflects upon the risks involved in working the car as a machine but also, and most importantly, when manoeuvring this machine. Learners could also be encouraged to reflect upon such things as e.g. the ‘showing-off’ aspect of vehicle handling. An added bonus of this increased insight is that viewing a topic from different angles works as a reinforcement of the knowledge itself.
This column is concerned not only with evaluating and giving the learner a realistic picture of his or her personal strengths and weaknesses regarding vehicle manoeuvring. More importantly, it provides an opportunity to connect basic manoeuvring with behaviour on the other levels, mainly level 2, but also 3 and 4.
As far as driver training is concerned, the hierarchical perspective demands a wide range of methods in teaching / instruction. Skills for vehicle manoeuvring and mastery of traffic situations are the basis for successful operation in traffic and these aspects should be learned well during driver training. Psychomotor and physiological aspects are important as basic requirements for operations at the lowest levels of the hierarchy of driver behaviour. However, the skills that are applied and the choices that are made at the lower levels are under guidance of goals and motives on the highest level. The driver selects the style of manoeuvring and the driving strategy in a certain situation according to his or her goals. In addition to the training of basic skills, driver training should also deal with the higher levels in the hierarchy and take into consideration the driver’s goals connected with driving and, for example, skills for dealing with social pressure during a trip. Training that is targeted at the lower levels only will limit itself to just a narrow part of the total concept of driving. In order to be safe, a driver should therefore not only be skilled but also aware of potential risk factors and his/her own abilities and motives as a driver.
The contents of training should be meaningful and valid not only in training but also in real life. All exercises and discussions should relate to real scenarios that the learners can identify with. They should also be expanded upon to include other scenarios so that the awareness of associated risks is raised. Countermeasures must overall be taken to avoid overconfidence.
Overconfidence has been shown to occur:
• When there is too much emphasis on vehicle manoeuvring skills and coping with danger, and not enough on risk-awareness training (including risks connected to the higher levels)
• Where practical exercises are not followed up with sufficient client-centred discussions, designed to explain and deepen understanding of the message of the exercises.
• When a skill exercise ends in success
• When there is no connection between the practice and reality
• When the amount of repetition is great (strengthens the idea of practising).

If a learner is allowed to believe that he or she is a skilled driver who can handle hazardous situations, then these situations are no longer regarded as equally hazardous. These drivers are therefore unlikely to be motivated to drive more carefully than they feel is necessary. Overconfidence occurs easily if not actively counteracted.
Methods to avoid overconfidence include:
• Training of a skill, e.g. a manoeuvring exercise, should be followed by exercises and discussions aimed at highlighting the risks involved in using the skill (overconfidence)
• Making sure that a skill-based exercise does not end in success (a gratifying experience)
• Compare the exercises with situations that might be encountered on the road, linking them to reality through the learner’s own experiences.
My next article will take a close look at Level 2 of the GDE matrix and show the part it plays in developing safe and competent drivers.

Susan McCormack

Managing Director
Tri-Coaching Partnership

Thank you…



Braintree March 2015

Thank you!


aCCeLerate Btec Level 3



I am lucky to have had such a special time delivering the BTEC Level 3 toAndrea Polley and Neil Hughes!! It was so much fun and I could not ask for more effort and participation from anyone on a course! I am looking forward to keeping in touch and reading those assignments! So much fun because you two just ‘get it’!!! Thank you both!

— with Andrea Polley and Neil Hughes.

Btec Level 4 Course Delivery

It was a great privilege to be asked to deliver the In Car Coaching element of the Btec Level 4 in Coaching for Driver Development yesterday. It is inspiring to be with like minded, forward thinking Driving Instructors, who embrace the idea of adding Coaching and CCL to their instructional skills.

TCP online
Tri- Coaching Partnership Website


“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”

Michael J Fox

–Not just a quote regarding children. I think this applies to all of us!

Overview of the G.D.E – Susan McCormack

Article One 

GDE Overview

The Goals for Driver Education (GDE) are set out in a matrix, which helps us address our responsibilities as ADIs to our learner drivers by giving us a framework, through which to structure our coaching. If we coach across all the levels and columns of the GDE then we are far more likely to produce young drivers, who will be self aware and able to reflect on a ‘near miss’ once they pass their test, learn from it and take steps to prevent something similar from happening again.

Once we accept that skills- and fault-based approaches to teaching do not encourage learning to take place on a deep and meaningful level, we can start to tackle the learning to drive process more effectively. It does not take any extra time to coach the learner driver so that they understand how their personality, values and beliefs impact on the way they control the vehicle. Without a coaching approach the learner drives to impress their driving instructor and to get through the driving test; once they pass the test, their true personality emerges and they enter the ‘expressive phase’ of learning to drive – very risky if they are not aware of their strengths, limitations and development needs.

This is where the GDE Matrix is really helpful.

The framework consists of four levels and three competencies.


                The 4 Levels of the GDE

Level 1: Vehicle Manoeuvring

This level is all about vehicle control skills. The student learns:

  • Vehicle maintenance
  • How to use the controls
  • How to move away and stop on level roads and gradients
  • How to change gear and use clutch control
  • How to deal with junctions, roundabouts and pedestrian crossings
  • Where to position the vehicle
  • How to steer
  • Where to look
  • How to carry out the manoeuvres
  • Etc.


Level 2: Integrating with other road users 

This level develops the learner so that they can integrate with other road users and get to grips with different traffic situations. The student learns:

  • Visual scanning
  • Hazard perception
  • Use of speed
  • Judgement and decision making in traffic situations
  • Road holding
  • Vehicle limitations
  • Eco-safe driving
  • Etc.


Level 3: Goals and context of the Journey 

This level looks at journey specific considerations. The student learns about:

  • Motivation for the journey
  • Route planning
  • Distractions
  • Passenger influence
  • Eco-safe driving (specific to the journey)
  • Effects of alcohol and drugs on driving
  • Etc.


Level 4: Goals for life and skills for living 

This level focuses on the personality of the driver and how their thoughts and beliefs impact on their behaviour generally and driving behaviour specifically. The student learns about:

  • Crash statistics
  • Typical risky personalities
  • Attitudes to risk
  • Personal belief systems
  • Personal goals for life
  • Personal skills for living
  • Etc.


The 3 Competencies of the GDE

There are three competency columns that run across all four levels. For each level the student must:

  1. Learn the knowledge and skills relating to that level
  2. Understand the risk-increasing factors relating to that level
  3. Know how to identify and self evaluate strengths and development needs relating to that level.

Goals for Driver Education


Knowledge & Skill

Risk increasing aspects

Self Assessment

Goals for life and skills for living

(Level 4)


Lifestyle, age, group, culture, social position etc., vs driving behaviour

Sensation seeking,

Risk Acceptance,

Group norms,

Peer pressure

Introspective competence,

Own preconditions,

Impulse control

Goals and context of driving

(Level 3)


Modal choice,

Choice of time,

Role of motives,

Route planning

Alcohol, fatigue,

Low friction,

Rush hours,

Young passengers

Own motives, influencing choices,

Self-critical thinking

Driving in traffic

(Level 2)



Traffic rules,


Hazard perception,


Disobeying rules,


Low friction,

Vulnerable road users

Calibration of driving skills,

Own driving style

Vehicle control

(Level 1)



Car functioning,

Protection systems,

Vehicle control,

Physical laws

No seatbelts,

Breakdown of vehicle systems,

Worn-out tyres

Calibration of car control skills

Hatakka, Keskinen, Glad, Gregersen, Hernetkoski, 2002


Traditionally, driver training focuses on the lower levels of the GDE (Vehicle Manoeuvring and Integrating with other road users) because this is what the driving test requires. Traditional driver training doesn’t need to take account of the second and third competencies of the GDE framework (Risk increasing factors and Self Assessment), because the driving test doesn’t assess these.


As ADIs we carry a huge burden of responsibility, which is to do our utmost to ensure that the young people we teach to drive will have the skills they need to keep themselves safe once they are driving unsupervised. We are relieved of our burden as soon as they pass their driving test because, as far as they and their parents are concerned, we have addressed our responsibilities by getting them through their driving test. (Of course, we may see our students again, post-test, but this is not guaranteed and maybe the ones, who don’t choose to return for Pass Plus, are the very ones, who would most benefit). However, when the road crash statistics show us that one in five newly qualified drivers will be involved in a serious crash within the first year of passing their driving test surely we have to seriously consider where that burden sits and how we can reduce it before the learner even takes the driving test?

Addressing the GDE pre-test empowers students to take responsibility for their learning, their driving and their lives and, in doing so, reduces their risk of being involved in a serious crash when driving unsupervised.