x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Instructors to sit driving tests

Driving instructors in Dubai will soon have to qualify for an internationally renowned training programme.

DUBAI // Driving instructors in Dubai will have to qualify for internationally recognised certificates. The Licensing Agency at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has teamed up with a European driving examination company, TUV SUD, to introduce the new standards. The scheme, Qualifying Driving Instructors and Examiners, will be the first professional certification for driving instructors and examiners in the Emirates, according to Mahmoud al Marzouqi, the director of the RTA agency's driver training and qualifying department. "Through this project, the agency aims to ensure the availability of facilities for instructors and examiners and improve their driving skills and qualifications," he said.

Odo Litz, the project manager of TUV SUD, said: "The Emirate of Dubai will have a long-term privilege of awarding specialist certificates known as TUV SUD. This will ensure that properly qualified persons will obtain internationally accredited certificates." Peter Richardson, general manager of technical and operations at the Emirates Driving Institute, said anything that focused on development and advancement of instructors, and ensured consistent delivery by both instructors and examiners across the industry "must be very good". He added that TUV SUD was widely respected in Europe for its attention to detail, and welcomed the group's involvement. "We are pleased to see them on board and bringing their expertise to raise the quality and consistency of both training and testing," he said.

Mr Richardson also thought encouraging driving institutes to focus on quality and higher standards in training would have a ripple effect in terms of better driving on the roads. "It must raise the overall standard, and it seems it is within the context of the needs of the region," he said. The project will have six phases, the first five of which will take three months and involve administrative and organisational work. Examiners and instructors will be studying throughout the three-month period while the syllabi will be constantly updated. Instructors and examiners will be categorised according to skill and experience. The project will start with the enrolment of 120 examiners in the Licensing Agency for the certification. Instructors at the five "model" driving institutes in Dubai then will be prepared for the certification. The model institutes that have gained the accreditation from the Licensing Agency are the Emirates, Al Ahli, Dubai, Galadari, and Belhasa driving institutes. The sixth phase will see implementation of the programme. TUV SUD is part of the German TUV SUD Group, which conducts roadworthiness tests and emissions inspections on cars as well as driving tests that cover the certification for driving instructors and examiners. eharnan@thenational.ae