Port Phillip Drive School

Teach Your Kids Safe Driving


You have chosen wisely when selecting the best education for your child. You have not skimped on their education or extra tuition when needed.

Choosing the right person to teach your child the most important life skill of safe driving, is an important decision that you should not just leave to chance.  Don’t just rely simply on the brand name, or just because you have membership to a particular organisation and you will get your 10% discount. Does your child need the additional stress of failing their Drive test on the approach to their VCE exams? What will a fail do to their confidence, concentration, and focus on that life changing exam.  Remember that the biggest school in Victoria claims their instructors ‘Pass rate’ is not their ‘Key Performance Indicator!” Why do they claim this? Perhaps it is due to a large number of their instructors having a pass rate well below an acceptable standard.

Do we think that it is a key performance indicator of our performance? Absolutely! We are so supremely confident of getting you child through their test first time, that if we tell them that they are ready, and book the test for them, we will unconditionally make ourselves available for a re-test, free of any drive school charge.  With the biggest school you will be charged a full re test fee.





MOST OF OUR WORK COMES FROM REFERALS FROM EXISTING AND FORMER CLIENTS. Take your time to peruse our testimonial page, and you will realise why we are considered the best drive school in your area.  

Q. Does Further Driver Training for Licensed Driver’s Work?

 Well that depends on the quality of the training, the learning outcomes being targeted, the credentials of the trainers and most importantly, the motivation of the driver to change their old way of driving to the new way.
It goes without saying that passengers would not fly if pilots had the limited training drivers receive before licensing. Thankfully pilots are required to undertake regular refresher training and testing.
The problem is that a person can be given a licence without having untaken any formal instruction or training. The licence test, which takes about 40 minutes, mainly targets road law rather than driving capability in all conditions. Once licensed, drivers can drive forever without further training. It is simply left to chance that drivers will learn from experience as they drive but most will crash at least once and some crashes will be fatal. Not a good model for pilots!
Drivers and operators of all dangerous machinery, for that matter, need to continue their learning throughout their driving or operating careers. Short driver training courses can be of great benefit as a refresher and stimulus to that learning. Drivers, who attend accredited post licence courses such as Defensive Driver Training, often express surprise when they discover what they don't know or what they have forgotten, including common road laws.
It is interesting to note that people who take up other skilful activities such as swimming, golf, playing a musical instrument or scuba diving, for example, do not expect to master the skills in a one-off training course.


Q. Why are there concerns about skills-based driver training?


A. The terms “skills-based” or “traditional” driver training have created considerable confusion and uninformed debate within the road safety industry. Skills-based training has been loosely used to describe training that focuses solely on vehicle control skills particularly to deal with emergencies such as skid control.

This type of training is used for professional drivers who may be faced with high risk driving such as ambulance, fire and police drivers.
There is a small body of research that highlights the problem of some drivers (especially young males) becoming over confident when they learn skid control techniques and they tend to have more crashes following training due to experimenting.
We at Port Phillip Drive School have acknowledged this research and skid control training is not used in our defensive driving programs.  However learning what causes skids and how to avoid them is crucial for crash avoidance.
The term “skills based training” is very relevant when we consider the skills of safe driving including vision (looking well ahead), hazard perception (scanning the horizon), risk assessment (recognizing risk) and risk management (e.g. vehicle positioning - staying minimum safe distance from the vehicle in front).
Perhaps the most important skill is being able to self-assess and reflect on your own driving performance. Most drivers tend to be optimistic about their ability and during defensive driver training they may discover that their skills are not as good as they thought.


Q. Can anybody operate a Drive School Business?


Almost.  After a basic 4 week course and obtaining their qualifications as a Driving Instructor, then registering a business, anybody can operate a drive school business. They can then design a fancy website and bribe Google to push them up the list. They may be the first driving school that pops up at you. They will claim that they are highly skilled professionals.


Are all driving instructor’s highly skilled professionals?

After a four week course that has almost 100% pass, anybody can become a driving instructor.
Driving instructors are not all highly skilled. Like in any profession, those who teach usually cover the whole spectrum of capability. The two biggest schools in Victoria regularly hire instructors straight out of that four week course. They even advertise for instructors with no prior experience necessary on their websites. Your child will be used as guinea pigs to train their new instructors. If your child senses a fair bit of incompetency and asks that instructor how long they have been teaching, their manager will already have covered that base. “Tell them you’ve been teaching for a few years.”


Q. Are the biggest schools the best schools?

 Even the largest schools with a well-known brand name, regularly put on new instructors fresh out of their 4 week course. They also employ subcontractors on a part time basis. Why? Perhaps that they are at the age where they cannot physically, mentally or emotionally handle a full weeks work. They may turn up wearing their corporate summer uniform consisting of a tie and knee high socks and shorts. If they are living in the 70’s they are also teaching in the 70’s. (They see themselves as instructors and are extremely resistant to the modern teaching methods). One of those dinosaurs told a 16 year old girl after her first lesson to give up driving for good as she was not capable of steering a car. What a confidence builder he was. When I told his manager about it he simply laughed it off. They may not be available on the days that you are. After a while you will realise that they are never available on those days. They may only teach for two, three or four days a week.

Check their websites and you will find they are constantly looking for instructors with no prior experience necessary.  One of the two biggest driving schools in Victoria, operating under a brand name, is subcontracting your business out to single person operators, for an annual fee of approximately $ 15.000 per year. They do not own a single drive school vehicle. They think of their sub-contractors so highly they will not even insure them through their insurance arm. One school claims an across the board pass rate of 98%. I will call them liars and the can sue us if they like.

The other will claim that their pass rate is not a key performance indicator. They will claim that making you a safer driver is more important. I will call them spin doctors. The two skills are so related that if you don’t have the skill to get me through my test first time around, then how the hell are you going to make me a safer driver?

It’s like your private school claiming that their year 12 teachers VCE pass mark, is not a key performance indicator of their teacher’s performance. Or the surgeon about to operate on me, telling me that his survival rate is not a key performance indicator of his skill, ability and professionalism. Of course it is. 


Who is responsible for a first attempt pass rate of only 54% in Victoria?

A simple calculation. If the two biggest schools have over 210 instructors (single person sub contract businesses) in Victoria, and the state average first time attempt, pass rate is approx. 54%, are they substantially contributing to that pass rate? It does not take an Einstein to work that out.


Q. I have a driving licence, so why would I want to do further driver training?

A. For most drivers, the training that occurred before obtaining a licence focused on passing a test in basic car control techniques and road law.

The very high crash and death rate for newly licensed drivers is evidence that this training and the test itself, is inadequate. However, as a driver’s experience on the road increases their crash rate usually decreases provided they survive.

Undertaking Defensive Driver training programs can help drivers to learn safe driving strategies in a planned way rather than relying on experience alone.


Q. Can better driving be achieved in one lesson?

A. As with any training there is a limit to what can be achieved in short courses. Improving your driving is a continuous learning process.

Our basic Defensive Driving Program has been continually developed in response to research and changing vehicle and safety technology.

People tell us that they have learnt more in one 2 hour session than they have in 20 years of driving. Port Phillip Drive School offers a range of programs and to ensure drivers keep up to date with the latest information.


Q. Are Port Phillip Drive School trainers qualified to deliver Defensive Driving lessons?

A. It is not surprising that some drivers who have an intense interest in driving in all its forms become driver trainers. PPDS trainers have driver training qualifications and backgrounds arising from their experience in police, ambulance and military employment and have appropriate and recognised licenses for the program they are teaching.

As a minimum qualification, Port Phillip Drive School trainers are required to have Certificate IV in Driving Instruction and Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training. (PPDS) also have trainers with specialist occupational health and safety and crash investigation skills. Our head trainer Val, is a Former Sergeant in Victoria Police and during his service he was an instructor in the Victoria Police Advanced Driving School. He has coached and mentored 100’s of young police drivers in emergency situations. He can coach and mentor you to become a safer driver. Call and update your skills today.

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