With so many driving schools around, you might be thinking about becoming a driving teacher. This can be a very rewarding job, but it's also a challenging one, and it's not for everyone!
Driving Schools Use Registered Instructors Only!
Driving schools only employ registered instructors. The qualifications you need to register as a driving instructor are simple enough, just a written test and a practical advanced driving test. In fact, some would say it is too easy and that the driving schools industry needs to be better regulated than it is now. Many driving schools now organise their own instructor training and testing because they think that bare minimum required by the municipalities to register is inadequate.
But if you're looking to work with driving schools, you'll need to at least register as a driving instructor, so here are the government requirements for doing so.
Essential Paperwork Needed to Be a Driving Instructor
You need to check if your DLTC or local driving schools require you to have a professional driver’s licence (PrDP licence, this is the same process as applying for a taxi license). Some municipalities require this because you will be operating your vehicle for reward (money) when you give driving lessons to paying clients. Regulations change without notice and this is likely to become a widespread requirement sooner rather than later, but there are still some municipalities that don't require this yet.
You should also talk to your insurance company in case they say that a PrDP licence is necessary when you are giving driving lessons to paying clients. This will set you back by around R240, but it might be a good idea to apply for a PrDP licence in any case so you have more chance with any driving schools you apply to as an instructor.
Once you have your own licence in hand you will need to complete many other formalities:
You’ll need a letter from your doctor saying you are in good health. This letter must be less than two months old and you will need to pay your doctor to examine you and to provide the letter. You know doctors are as poor as you are, so don’t be too resentful about this fee!;
You will need two identical photos to complete your application form to be a driving instructor (Form R1) and to pay another R150 to R525 depending on the local charges. On the form you will need to fill in the classes of vehicles you want to be certified to give lessons in. Your own driving licence must cover all of these classes of vehicles;
You'll need a completed R1 Driving Instructor Application Form as mentioned above, which you can pick up from your local driving centre, or can print out from the eNatis website;
You will need to have your fingerprints taken at a local police office. This will cost you R40-R70 depending on local municipality charges;
You then need to apply for a criminal records check which commonly takes three months or more. Yes, all they have to do is to enter your name into a computer, but it still takes three months!.
When you have all your paperwork in order, you can then go back to your driving licence test centre and apply to take the test that will certify you as an approved driving instructor. All this is before you've even started looking at driving schools!
Driving Schools Vs. Being an Independent Driving Instructor
Once you're registered you'll need to think about job possibilities, which means looking at driving schools or at being self employed. Some driving schools will treat their driving instructors as employees, most, however, treat them as self-employed instructors anyway, so perks and benefits will be the same. As a minimum qualification you will need to have the necessary driving instructor registration from your local Driving Licence Test Centre (DLTC).
However, one good point is that driving schools handle the marketing, meaning they will advertise and find clients for you, but there will never be any guarantee regarding how many clients they give you. Obviously you pay a hefty commission to driving schools you work for and only you will be able to decide whether it is going to be worth your while.Driving schools will also sometimes act as an intermediary if there is a dispute between you and a client.
Some driving schools will provide each instructor with a car, but others will insist that you provide your own vehicle. Dual controls are not essential, but are advisable and having the ability to stop the car with your dual control brake will cut your insurance as well as being better for your health!
Driving Schools and Registered Instructors in Summary
You can see that there is a lot of bureaucracy involved in registering as a driving instructor, but if you're looking at working with driving schools then this process is unavoidable. And unfortunately, there's some more bad news: in some municipalities you need to go through this entire procedure every 12 months because your driving instructor qualification is only valid for a year. However, driving schools can be a great employment opportunity, so you'll have to decide if getting registered is worth it for you.
Main Subject: driving schools
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