After the Drive
The learning doesn't stop when you get out of the car; discuss with your learner what happened during the practice afterwards.
If you have telematics in the car, it will record the drive so you and the learner can review it later. If not, use the Driver's Record for Learner Drivers (PDF) or make notes about the journey so that you can talk about it with your learner afterwards.
Review what happened during the drive and ask the learner what they think about the situations that arose, and how they dealt with them.
It is important to bring out the positives of the drive. If the learner did something well, then tell them and discuss why it was good. Don't be afraid to give praise where it is due.
If you encountered situations where the learner had difficulty, discuss what they could have done to deal with it better, and what they would do next time in the same situation.
You may have spotted several hazards that the learner missed. If so, talk about them. However, if there are several faults to discuss, deal with the higher risk ones first and leave the others for later. This helps to keep the learner optimistic, rather than becoming discouraged.
Remember that it is important to talk about the dangers of the road and encourage good attitudes and behaviour.
Talk about hazards that you have seen on the drive and how they may have become dangerous situations.
Talk about some of the times that you have felt in danger whilst driving, and try to pass on your experience. A story from you about the dangers of icy roads, for example, may have more impact than reading about why you should slow down in cold weather.
Monitoring Your Learner's Development
The best way to monitor your learner's development is to keep a record of the details about the drives. The Driver's Record for Learner Drivers (PDF) will help you to record and monitor.
Consider using telematics, either by having a 'black box' fitted or by using an App on a smartphone during the drive (but do not use the phone for any other purpose during the drive). Telematics records the way the vehicle is being driven, and provides feedback about the driving, advice on improvements and a driving risk rating. The feedback is usually provided online or by an app, and provides very useful, objective data on driving style and risk, and can be helpful when discussing practice drives with the learner.
Regular Communication with Your learner's Instructor
It is very important to maintain good communication with your learner's instructor. First of all, to check when it is safe to begin private practice, and then to co-ordinate what happens during practice drives with the professional lessons. This will ensure that the learner gains the maximum benefit from their learning experience, and the best value for money for the lessons.
The instructor will tell the learner driver what skills he or she needs to brush up on after each lesson, and you should concentrate on these skills. Although the learner will probably have some idea of the parts of their driving they need to improve, encourage them to ask the instructor at the end of every lesson what they should practice before the next lesson.
If you have any concerns about the driving techniques being taught by the instructor, discuss these with him or her rather than contradict them during practice drives.
Ask to sit in on some of the lessons; most instructors should be happy for you to do this. It will help you pick up how professional lessons are structured and how the driving instructor helps and encourages the learner to develop their skills as a safer driver. It will also give you a good idea of the routes being used and traffic situations they encounter on them.
If possible, show the learner's instructor the 'Driver's Record' or the telematics data frequently so they can see how the learner is doing in their practice drives.