A copy & Paste from the professional body to which I belong, that represents driving instructors, concerning what I would call ‘ barrier teaching’ is shown below.
I have preceded the actual report with a summary of the legalities I received (thankfully) and this is shown in italics. Though not mentioned in the summary, the use of disinfecting the touch points of the car between lessons will also be necessary.
Much to think about and implement:
- You are at higher risk of being directly exposed to respiratory droplets (released by talking or coughing) when you are within two metres of someone and have face-to-face contact with them. You can lower the risk of infection if you stay side-to-side rather than facing someone.
- You can lower the risks of transmission in the workplace by reducing the number of people you come into contact with regularly, where you can.
- If you can, wear a face covering in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas, for example, on public transport or in some shops. Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you. However, if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with. Face coverings do not replace social distancing.
- encourage the use of digital and remote transfers of material where possible rather than paper format, such as using e-forms, emails and e-banking
- where it is not possible to remain 2 metres apart, staff should work side by side or facing away from each other, rather than face to face if possible
- where face-to-face contact is essential, this should be kept to 15 minutes or less wherever possible.
NASP appreciates the huge impact on the business of driver and rider trainers due to Coronavirus (COVID 19). As we develop our understanding of how changes in Government or Health and Safety Executive (HSE) policies impact upon your business we will endeavour to share and communicate as much advice as we possibly can. Primarily we encourage you to follow all Government and Health and Safety advice. Whilst we are all keen to be working the priority must be the health of your clients, yourself and the population at large.
At this time the population does not have any proven immunity from COVID 19 and, as yet, we have no vaccine or nationwide tracing app for the virus so it still has the potential to spread extensively. Trainers will need to remain ALERT and make their own risk assessments concerning the provision a safe system of work. The health and wellbeing of clients, ourselves and those closest to us must be our primary consideration if we are able to safely return to work.
In evaluating your return to training on-road, you should also be alert to the risks to your vehicle insurance, public indemnity, and public liability insurance of making modifications to vehicles that are not approved as safe by road manufacturers and insurers. Failure to follow Government and HSE Guidance provide a safe environment for clients may breach HSE Regulations.
Each of us will need to consider:
• If we ourselves or our client have any symptoms
• If we ourselves or our client fall into higher risk groups
• If as an ADI we have a relative or partner we are living with who is also moderate or high risk
The main symptoms of COVID 19 described by the government are (but not exclusively):
• a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
• a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
• a loss of taste or smell
COVID-19 can make anyone seriously ill. But for some people, the risk is higher. There are 2 levels of higher risk as described on the gov.uk website:
• high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable)
• moderate risk (clinically vulnerable)
People at high risk from coronavirus include people who:
• have had an organ transplant
• are having chemotherapy or antibody treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy
• are having an intense course of radiotherapy (radical radiotherapy) for lung cancer
• are having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system (such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors)
• have blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
• have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the past 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppressant medicine
• have been told by a doctor they you have a severe lung condition (such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or severe COPD)
• have a condition that means they have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID or sickle cell)
• are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids)
• were born with a serious heart condition and are pregnant
If you’re at high risk from coronavirus, you should have received a letter from the NHS. If you’re at high risk from coronavirus, you’re advised to take extra steps to protect yourself. This includes not leaving your home for any reason (called shielding).
People at moderate risk from coronavirus include people who:
• are 70 or older
• are pregnant
• have a lung condition that’s not severe (such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis)
• have heart disease (such as heart failure)
• have diabetes
• have chronic kidney disease
• have liver disease (such as hepatitis)
• have a condition affecting the brain or nerves (such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy)
• have a condition that means they have a high risk of getting infections
• are taking medicine that can affect the immune system (such as low doses of steroids)
• are very obese (a BMI of 40 or above)
If you’re at moderate risk from coronavirus, it’s very important you follow current Government advice about staying at home to avoid getting coronavirus. This means you adhere strictly to the Social Distancing and should only leave your home for things like getting food or medicine, or exercising once a day. Unlike people at high risk, you will not have received a letter from the NHS advising you to stay at home at all times.
If you’re pregnant and worried about coronavirus, there is advice on the gov.uk website
Remember that these rules apply to your customers too.
Government advice for employers is for those who cannot work from home to follow social distancing guidelines which suggest keeping 2 metres apart from colleagues or customers. This is impossible for driver trainers in car. The current guidance does not require every workplace to have a 2 metre distance between people it says, “Where possible” and so if it is not possible it doesn’t mean you can’t necessarily work.
However, you should ask yourself if this would be considered a necessary reason to leave the house, also check with your driving school insurance company whether they have made any policy changes or stipulations about your cover due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
If you make the choice to return to work then make sure that you follow these guidelines:
When and if you make the choice to return to work it will be an individual decision for your business, but we advise that you make sure that you follow these guidelines:
Before collecting the client:
• Consider whether you or they have had any symptoms of the virus within the last 7 days or have been in contact with someone who has within the last 14 days.
• Before you leave to collect the client for a lesson call or text them and check if they have had any symptoms of the virus within the last 7 days
● If they know anyone or have been in contact with anyone that is showing symptoms or has been doing so within the last 14 days
● Remind them to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, in line with Government guidance, immediately before leaving the house for their lesson. If they want to wear disposable gloves, to put them on just before getting into the car
● Make sure you ask the client to wear clothing that is suitable and covers as much of them as possible, including arms and legs
● Once you arrive to collect them you should again assess whether they are well enough to start the lesson. Do not let them get into the car straight away but have a conversation with them at least 2 metres away and see if you notice any symptoms. Arrange to meet by the vehicle not at their front door.
● You need to be 100% happy with their state and if you are not don’t start the lesson and explain you need to cancel until they have recovered fully. Ideally do this before every lesson you have even if you only saw the pupil the day before
● Make sure then that they have washed their hands or have hand sanitizer ready for them
● Explain that you have also just cleaned your hands with hand sanitizer, or soap and water where possible and that both of you should avoid touching your face and hands
● Explain you will not shake their hand share visual aids, pens etc. with them and will be minimising contact with them for safety
● Explain that between lessons you have cleaned down door handles inside and out, windows and mirror controls, seat and head restraints, seatbelt and its connection, gear lever, steering wheel, indicator and wiper stalks, car keys and training resources
● Explain that the windows will be down as much as possible during the lesson to allow for ventilation, and tell them to wrap up warm as it might be cooler in the car
● Avoid using the air conditioning if possible however if it is used don’t set it to recirculate
● Explain at this time that the clients parents, guardians or friends, will not be able to sit in on the lesson
● Any new clients will need their licence checked electronically at https://www.gov.uk/check-driving-information You need: the last 8 characters of their driving licence and the check code from the client, ask them to hold the licence up so you can check it. Don’t touch or take the licence from them. The code will be valid for 21 days and you can only use the code once.
● If you are considering making any additions in the vehicle, i.e. plastic screening or dividers, please check any construction and use rules, as they may affect the airbag deployment and could mean you can’t safely reach all the controls when required.
● Also check with your car insurance before making any construction and use adaptations.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
● It is essential you have hand sanitiser and clean your hands as frequently as you can
● Antibacterial wipes or spray (check they also say virus) should be used to clean down the car between lessons. Household disinfectant can also be used.
● Have a supply of disposable bin bags in the car and put all wipes and tissues in the bin bag. Change the bin bag after each lesson and dispose of it responsibly
You may also want to consider the following:
● Disposable gloves could be worn by yourself and the client but you will still need to wash your hands and clean down surfaces and controls. Some people have a latex allergy so check with your clients. You will need to change them after each lesson
● Face masks: You could also use face masks or coverings. The advice on the effectiveness of face masks and coverings varies but if it makes you or the client feel more comfortable during the lesson then the option is there. Wearing a face covering is optional and is not required by law, including in the workplace
● Have a supply of both gloves and masks to offer your client before they enter the vehicle
● If you do use a mask, make sure you use a new one frequently and dispose of the old one safely and responsibly. Cloth ones need to be washed at least daily and at 60 degrees and above to be effective. Gloves need to be changed frequently.
● Wear clothing that is suitable and covers as much of you as possible, including arms and legs and we would suggest you give your clients the same advice
● Wash your clothing as soon as you have finished work for the day
● Avoid beaded seat covers that are difficult to clean between lessons
● It is essential that the PPE equipment you choose does not impede yours, or the client’s ability to control the vehicle or communicate with you. For that reason we do not recommend plastic face visors or plastic screen dividers between yourself and the client. They could be dangerous if they mist up or an airbag is deployed and they may be regarded as an adaptation to the vehicle.
● Have a supply of disposable bin bags in the car and put all wipes and tissues in the bin bag. Change the bin bag after each lesson and dispose of it responsibly.
During the lesson consider the following:
• Visual aids and any training resources should be held up and not passed between the two of you to hold and touch
● Writing should be done by the ADI don’t share a pen or other devices where possible. If you do then clean with anti-bac wipes straight afterwards
● Try to avoid directly facing each other when discussing scenarios, it is safer to face forwards in the vehicle because we cannot maintain being 2 metres apart
● If you give a demonstration drive you will need to wipe down the controls before and after the drive
● Consider wherever possible giving any brief notes digitally
● Consider wherever possible reducing the handling of cash and use electronic payments and receipts
After the lesson:
• After you have finished the lesson you will need to repeat some of the same processes that you did at the start of the lesson. If you then drive to pick up your next client, you will need to repeat the process again, in short, each time that someone has been in the driving seat. Make extra time between lessons to allow for this.
• No hand shaking, clean your hands but do not go into the clients house to do this
● Remind the client to wash their hands as soon as they get back into their house
● Wipe the car down ready for the next lesson or your journey home
● Call your next pupil and assess their state to avoid a wasted journey
● Consider wherever possible to use your vehicle solely for work purposes and minimise allowing family in it if at all possible
Taking a client to test:
● Allow time on arrival at the test centre to wipe down the examiners side of the vehicle, including
seat and head restraint, seatbelt and its connection, the dashboard area and passenger door contact points
● It may not be possible for both of you to enter the test centre waiting room
● Explain to the client how the examiner will behave on arrival at the test centre
● You will not be allowed to accompany the test
● You may not be allowed to attend at the end of test debrief
Terms and Conditions (T&C’s) during COVID 19:
Your usual T&Cs may need to be revised during this time. An example would be for your late cancellation policy due to COVID-19. This could relate to the following situations:
• If your client or anyone in their household becomes unwell and has symptoms
• If your client believes they may have been in contact with someone showing symptoms
• If you become unwell and are showing symptoms or if anyone in your household is showing symptoms
• If you believe you may have been in contact with someone showing symptoms
Please keep checking the NASP website www.n-a-s-p.co.uk , individual NASP member association websites, member emails and social media for updated information. This advice is for everyone when your government say it’s safe to work.
Please remember that ADINJC, DIA and MSA are the only Tier 1 consultative stakeholder of DVSA within the ADI industry and as such receive information and communications direct from the regulator to disseminate to members. It is wise to check the source and validity of any other information you see, particularly on social media, if it does not come from a professional body within the sector.
These are available to read on the NASP website.