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The Elephant in the room

Posted 08 October 2021 — Anyone

The Elephant in the room banner

The new Standard Check changes

One of the big errors people are making is analysing what is in front of them. A data set of one pupil, not the twists and turns of the journey.

It reminds me of the blind men who encountered a strange new beast, called an elephant. For those who do not know the story:

They men decide "We must touch it and inspect what is in front of us. ". So, when they found it they felt around it. The first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said, "The elephant is like a thick snake". For another one whose hand reached its ear, “It is like a kind of fan.” As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said “The elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk.” The man who placed his hand upon its side said “The elephant is a wall". Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear.

Depending on who is telling the tale, it results in confusion, fear, anger or violence, but the moral is always related to the need to see the bigger picture.

Personally, I think the mechanism is probably sound and will identify a data set who may benefit in DVSA engagement. More likely, it will encourage some to think twice before taking that 50/50 or short notice pupil. Sadly, we have to trust in the DVSA Enforcement Team to identify those mavericks that are not displaying a weakness but a specialism. They may still require development, but it’s likely in psychological mastery than development of car control. Possibly benefitting from the training of those like Diane Hall or The Guild of Mindful Driver Trainers

Where I think the DVSA need to act is the inaccuracy of the data. From examiner error to unaccompanied tests. I still don’t feel that the solution (the standards check) equals the problem (poor test stats), in the same way that I don’t think a driving test pass makes you a good driver. However, this goal of ‘safe driving for life’ seems to be ours and not the DVSA. Maybe it is unfair to expect maximum standards from a minimum standards agency, and maybe this is a banner that we need to be taking ownership of independently as an industry.