Lesson 5, Topic 1
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1. Support Your Clients to Understand The Risk And Form Strategies To Manage Similar Situations Better In The Future

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What do I need to do to do well here: 

  1. Support your client to understand the risk and form strategies to manage similar situations better in the future

Once you have pulled into a safe, legal and convenient area reflect on the safety-critical situation. It is important to remember that we learn through a cycle of practise, reflection, forming strategies, and putting the new strategies into practise (repeat cycle). This is client-centred learning, not instructor-led learning, particularly since we are not in a safe environment, pulled in at the side of the road. It  is therefore essential that you involve your client in the discussion, in a non-judgmental manner:

Talk to me about the situation back there ‘

‘ Is there anything you could do to make it safer next time?

The aim here is to ensure that your client feels comfortable enough to be open and honest about the reasoning behind their actions, rather than providing the answer that they feel the instructor is looking for, which is most likely to be the outcome of an instructor-led approach or worse, in the case of the instructor providing all the input into the discussion, then it is highly likely that the learner would miss the opportunity to reflect on their understanding of the event, any areas where they may lack knowledge or would benefit from improving skills and any emotions that might have triggered their response, thereby learning very little about what motivated them to act in the way that they did or in how to form strategies for safer driving in the future for themselves. Instead, the behaviour would be controlled by the instructor at the moment and the pupil might once again be left with feelings of low self-worth, then once the instructor’s control is removed post-test the driver is left poorly equipped and lacking in self-awareness to manage situations for themselves. 

As often as possible, illicit feedback from the pupil around what they understand about the safety-critical situation, what led them to take the actions that they took and what potentially could be the full consequences of continuing to take these actions in similar situations in the future.

Your role, therefore, is to check knowledge and understanding around the answers your client provides, perhaps requesting that your pupil delves deeper into the cause or possible consequences within the boundaries that they are comfortable exploring. You should add input of your own if there are any gaps in the learner’s knowledge about the area of risk or potential consequences, especially where the client is unaware of any risk to their actions. Help the learner to form an effective strategy that they can use the next time around, again adding input that prevents risk and helps to develop understanding where necessary and form a new plan for practise. You must ensure that the client agrees to the new plan and that the levels of support are sufficient to help them gain a more positive outcome next time around, adding context to their learning. 

The DVSA NSDRT says we must understand how to: Use ‘ client-centred’ techniques to make sure the learner is better equipped to deal with such hazards in the future.

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