For many years, Young Driver has worked closely with our medical adviser, Dr David Perry, and our NEBOSH qualified health and safety officer, Russell Vincent. When the pandemic struck, we were fortunate that Dr Perry has specific experience of planning for pandemics and therefore his help in developing our Covid measures and processes, sourcing PPE and training staff was invaluable.
We always follow government advice and are working with the driving instructor associations and other trade bodies to ensure that our processes and PPE are not only appropriate but are best in class. We have shared our processes and supplier details with UK driving instructors so that they too can benefit from the advice and experience we have received.
Each Young Driver site is different and we have avoided the ‘one size fits all’ approach taken by some businesses. Instead, we created detailed processes and measures for each individual site to ensure that we operate as safely as we possibly can at each venue. You will see that some sites are no longer used and that some are working with fewer cars. These changes are due to our Covid risk assessment processes.
Following are some of the measures we are taking. Please note that these may vary slightly depending on the site you are attending -we will send detailed, site specific advice to customers by email ahead of your lessons so that you are informed of any changes in plenty of time.
Where we used to have groups of people checking in, we have sought to change the process to avoid this. At most sites, we have moved to a car-park based check in system. A member of our staff will greet you as you arrive in your car and will check you in through your car window, away from other people and avoiding queues.
Where we have larger sites, there may be two or more separate check in points – directions to the right one for you will be notified to each guest ahead of their day and signs will be on site on the day.
If you are arriving on foot or don’t check in via our car park-based check in host, then our usual check in desks will be open and manned and will feature Perspex screens.
We are not using our bus based or indoor hospitality areas at this time unless we can safely do so for example at venues where there is a large reception area where we can operate a one way flow.
We are not serving refreshments in line with health advice to avoid handling items that have been touched by other people.
We ask all guests and staff to please follow the onsite guidelines of keeping 2m apart when queuing, following any one way systems and other directions. Face coverings should always be worn when inside a building/hospitality area or inside a Young Driver car.
We recommend that parents view from outside viewing areas, maintaining social distance from other guests. Alternatively, you are welcome to watch from your car and we have reconfigured many of our sites so that the car parks now oversee the driving areas. We also recommend that families reduce the number of people coming on the day to watch the lesson to keep our viewing areas as clear as possible and conform with government ‘rule of 6’ advice.
One of the biggest risks we identified was the point when the driving instructors collect the young people for their lesson. To avoid the risk of close contact, we have changed this process as follows: at check in, we will give you the car number for your child’s car. Instructors will hold up your number at your allocated lesson time. Your child will then be guided to that instructor. We ask that pupils wait in the viewing area no more than two minutes before the lesson is due to start, ensuring social distancing.
At all sites, our teams have received surface wipes, hand sanitisers and PPE items and we have provided video training on how to correctly use these. We have a regime of cleaning surfaces and public areas regularly. Cars are sanitised between each and every lesson.
Track and Trace
At each venue we have displayed a QR code. We encourage all customers to scan the QR code on arrival, using the NHS COVID-19 app. This is to help trace and stop the spread of Coronavirus.
In line with government guidelines, it is now mandatory for us to collect customer data to support the NHS Track and Trace system. The data that we will need to share with the NHS should we need to do so, is the name of the customer, contact telephone number, venue, date of visit and arrival time. All this data is collected automatically when the lessons are booked and will only be shared with the NHS if necessary. It is absolutely not available to any other organisations.
We have established cashless facilities at every location, so if you wish to book an additional lesson (subject to availability) or buy an in-car film, we would ask that you do so safely via our cashless facility at reception.
Drive Diaries and Magazines
Following medical advice, we will not be using or giving out these in order to avoid multiple people touching printed items and risking passing the virus on. Our magazine is available to view here.
Please note that our instructors will give feedback to the pupil on what they have covered and what they need more practice on next time. Our instructors are also able to see the number of lessons that each pupil has had, so they can pick up where they left off on the previous lesson.
In car films
We will still provide in-car films but the process will be slightly different. The SD cards will be kept in the cars and the driving instructor will insert in the video camera at the start of your lesson. At the end of the lesson, we will hand the SD card to the pupil having wiped it down with alcohol based sanitiser. (We have tested this process extensively and it does not affect the quality of the film). If you choose to buy an in car film on the day, we would ask that you pay by contactless debit or credit card transaction rather than cash at this time.
We ask that all drivers arrive with their own face covering to wear in the car. (We have disposable masks available at check in if you forget to bring yours.)
Drivers will have been given a car number upon arrival and we ask that pupils wait in the viewing area no more than two minutes before the lesson is due to start, ensuring social distancing.
Each driving instructor will hold up your number at your allocated time when they are ready. Your child will then be guided to that instructor. Pupils will be asked to clean their hands with an alcohol based hand sanitiser before they get in the car. We will not shake hands at any time. Our instructors will wear face protection and masks. We have chosen items which allow vision and speech to be unaffected.
At the end of the lesson, our instructors will ensure that the pupil is returned to the viewing area.
In the cars, each instructor has hand sanitiser and surface wipes. We have produced a series of training videos to ensure that our instructors understand how to ensure that the car and their PPE is clean and fit for purpose.
Each individual site has its own risk assessment to which the specific measures for each site have been added.
We are confident that the measures we have in place exceed those used by the government on driving tests and surpass those used by on-road driving schools. Our video training will ensure that staff know how to use their PPE equipment and we have also arranged for additional staff on etc days to ensure that customers are protected and public areas are kept clean.