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New Way of Working

Given that current social distancing requirements cannot be met during a driving lesson, I’ve spent some time developing a new way of working for when driving lessons resume. The changes are either highlighted in bold text or contained in new sections (4a and 4b) of my revised terms of business  but, to make it easier, I’ve summarised the key changes below along with the reasons/benefits:-
  • A health risk assessment will need to be completed for all new learners starting lessons with me before registering them for lessons.
  • I will no longer accept cash payments (to avoid handling banknotes and coins, which can harbour harmful bacteria and viruses). All payments should be made by bank transfer.
  • Lessons must be cancelled if either of us have been suffering from any symptoms in the last 7 days that are consistent with those of coronavirus (Covid-19), if a member of our household currently has the symptoms (or had them within the last 14 days) or if we have have knowingly come into contact with someone who has had coronavirus (Covid-19) within the previous 14 days. Contact with a suspected coronavirus (Covid-19) sufferer may also be informed by an NHS Contact Tracing App (when this becomes available).
  • There will be no cancellation charges applied to any lesson which is cancelled due to you (or a member of your household) suffering from the symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19)
  • I will use disinfectant wipes/spray to clean everything you are likely to touch in the car (and exterior door handles) before you get in the car, allowing more time between lessons to enable this cleaning activity
  • I will open all windows fully between lessons (to freshen the air within the car) and keep the car ventilated during lessons (leaving one or more windows partially open, to allow for a constant flow of fresh air)
  • We will both wash our hands (with soap and water or hand sanitiser) immediately before the lesson and avoid touching our phones between the time of washing our hands and the start of the lesson (mobile phones are rarely cleaned and have been proven to contain harmful bacteria and viruses).
  • You should only bring essential items to the car (e.g. house keys) and keep them in your pocket or in a small bag (placed on the floor behind the driver’s seat) – rear doors must be used to access this area.
  • As you do not need your mobile phone during a driving lesson, I will now discourage you from bringing this to the car. However, if you feel that it is absolutely essential to bring it with you, it should be held in your pocket or in a separate bag (and the bag placed on the floor behind the driver’s seat) and not accessed (touched) during the lesson.
  • I have always aimed to avoid any physical contact in the car. However, sometimes this is accidental or unavoidable (e.g. if I need to take control of the steering wheel). If I do make accidental contact with your hand or arm, I will ask you to park up and offer you some hand sanitiser.
  • We will both wear face masks/face coverings during the lesson (see note below)
  • Although it may not feel very natural, we should both aim to speak to each other while looking towards the windscreen (rather than facing each other)
  • Where possible (and weather permitting), longer conversations (e.g. at the beginning and the end of the lesson) can be held outside the car. If I stand next to the front tyre, and you stand next to the rear tyre (on the kerbside), we will be 2.5 metres apart. An umbrella will be provided, in the event of rain.
  • Feedback at the end of the lesson will now be limited to verbal feedback only. Written feedback (in a Driver Record) will now be maintained in an electronic format and updated at the end of the day (to avoid us both handling the same paper record in the car).

Note: FACE MASKS/FACE COVERINGS – Although many countries are now requiring people to wear face masks (or face coverings) in public, this is only voluntary guidance across the UK when in shops or in situations where social distancing guidelines cannot be met (e.g. on public transport or where social distancing is simply not possible, such as when visiting a hairdresser, nail salon or in a driving lesson).  Although it is not yet a compulsory requirement to wear face masks or face coverings in the UK, I think it is sensible for us to use them in lessons. It is generally suggested that face masks may help the wearer from passing on a virus, with only a limited benefit of preventing the user from catching it. However, if we both wear a face mask, we will both helping to protect each other.