ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Developing Curriculum Guidelines for Driver Trainers

McDougall, Jeff

Driver Licensing & Training


In 1998 the Australian Driver Trainers Association in conjunction with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau completed the National Driver Competency Guidelines that, for the first time, set out a reference document from which all education, training and assessment systems for licensing procedures for all licence classes throughout Australia could be developed. These guidelines have been presented at earlier Road Safety Conferences and to the National Road Safety Strategy Panel in February 1999.

There is a clear recognition that the Licence Test has become a benchmark that is restricting any education and training to a low level, with applicants only doing the absolute minimum to pass the test. This has resulted in a very high crash rate amongst new drivers, who lack the experience to cope with the complex nature of driving.

Authorities in each State and Territory of Australia, recognise the problems and are trying a variety of counteractive measures to alleviate the problem. Of most interest is the South Australian system of Competency Based Training and Assessment or CBT&A which, in theory, provides a much better method of preparing new drivers than a driving test based system.

In practice the South Australian and other similar systems have inherent problems, which the National Driver Competency Guidelines were developed to address. These Curriculum Guidelines are the next step towards developing training packages from the National Driver Competency Guidelines.