At the end of this section I have listed my driving qualifications. Itís not a definitive shopping list of what you must have to be an ADI but itís a good list to use for Continuing Personal Development.

As we are all self-employed we can be left feeling isolated. Now, with CPD being brought in by the DSA itís time to look to the future, not just for CPD but for our own survival. In 2000 there were about 29,000 ADIs. In 2006 the figure was nearing 40,000. The figures for PDIs will be huge as well because there is money to be made in selling training, sometimes more than in actually teaching learners to drive. That in itself should tell you just how competitive the learner market is for new instructors to get a foothold.

So why bother with CPD? Once the DSA gets it sorted, CPD will become compulsory. Many instructors seem to be taking the view that, until they actually have to do something, they wonít bother. Once again I think about the ostrich burying its head in the sand.

The time to start CPD is now. By increasing your background knowledge and gaining additional qualifications, you can become different to the ďrestĒ. If a learner wants to book lessons, what is it about you that will make them pick you instead of any of the others? If they are picking on the cheapest, donít worry that it isnít you. Selling on price is a recipe for disaster. Itís short term gain but long term suicide, unless you love working 40 hours a week, 6 days a week to try and get enough paid into the account to cover depreciation, your tax bill, all your overheads, as well as your sickness/accident cover and pension contributions.

As you can see from my qualifications, I can give you guidance on many types of CPD. Not all will suit everyone. Sometimes it is actual spare time that is the deciding factor, sometimes it is cash. Very often it is the fact that there is no awareness of just what can be achieved.

In my mind, CPD is joined with marketing. If you want to stand out then you have to do something about it. As self employed instructors it is rare for anyone else to show an interest in our own professional development.

I can offer that interest.