Pass Plus – Fit for purpose or just an expensive waste of time?

Pass Plus - Is it a valuable course or a waste of money?

Pass Plus – Waste of Money?

Pass Plus – Fit for purpose or just an expensive waste of time?

Pass Plus, around since 2002, is now considered by many to outdated and a waste of money. It was intended to equip drivers who have recently passed the driving test with skills not acquired whilst learning to drive. On looking back it sounds like an endorsement of the old claim that ‘you only really learn to drive after passing the driving test’.

The worrying bit is that in twelve years no evidence has ever been found to support the claims that it participants in the course actually learned new skills. The insurance industry saw no impact on the high level of claims made by young drivers and this is the real reason that insurance discounts have all but disappeared.

If we examine how pass plus worked, it is easy to see flaws in the system. The course, intended to last not less than 6 hours, was rarely exceeded. It consisted of six modules i.e. Town driving, all weather, rural, night, dual carriageways and motorways.

There was no requirement to actually drive in all weathers if the conditions were not available. It was acceptable to discuss the theory as a means of teaching. If motorways were not available within a reasonable distance there was nothing to say that this module could not be dealt with in a similar manner!

There is no test with pass plus. The instructor is expected to sign off the client in all of the skills covered. I don’t believe any instructor ever refused to sign off a client who had paid for a pass plus course. Without any checks or balances the Pass Plus course could never have real value or credibility.

Perhaps the biggest flaw of all was timing. The scheme was introduced at a time when all driving instruction was the kind where the learner listens to the expert and tries to remember as much as he could. In recent years there has been a move towards ‘Client Centred Learning’ where the learner takes greater responsibility for his own learning.

The shift towards CCL and Coaching in particular has created a different kind of learner driver. Learners are now more demanding, they know what they want to learn and how they want to learn it. New drivers who have learned in this new way are usually more inquisitive and consequently better informed.

Clients today ask about Pass Plus but when they know the facts they rarely seem interested in even the possibility of an insurance discount. Most people agree that passing the practical test should never mean the candidate has completed the learning, rather that he or she is now considered safe to continue learning without being accompanied. If we accept this to be true, why should anyone need to pay for further training?