Standard Operating Procedure for RED Instructors – Issued: 24th June 2020. Reviewed: 19th July 2021. These guidelines are intended to ensure both you and your customer are protected as far as is reasonably practical from the risk of infection from COVID-19.
Before the Lesson
RED recommend that you send an SMS to your customer before the lessons to check if they have had any symptoms of the virus within the last 7 days or have been in contact with anyone that is showing symptoms or has been doing so within the last 14 days. If yes, to any of these points, the lesson should not go ahead. You will be sent access via a hyperlink to RED’s standard self-certification SMS template in advance of resuming tuition which you can use for your customers. To see an example declaration click here.
Remind your customer to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, in line with government guidance immediately before leaving the house for their lesson. If they want to wear disposable gloves, they should put them on just before getting into the car.
Ask your customer to wear clothing that is suitable and covers as much of them as possible, including arms and legs.
Once you arrive to collect them for their lesson, you should again assess whether they are well enough to start the lesson. If you have any doubts about their condition, you are not obliged to start the lesson. Ideally. do this last check before every lesson even if you only saw the pupil the day before.
Ask them to confirm that they have washed their hands immediately before meeting you or have hand sanitizer ready for them, making sure they sanitize their hands before getting into the car.
Explain that you have also just cleaned your hands with hand sanitizer, or soap and water where possible and that both of you should avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
Explain you will not shake their hand, share visual aids, pens etc. with them and will be endeavouring to minimise physical contact with the exception being a road safety critical situation.
Explain that between lessons you have cleaned down door handles inside and out, windows and mirror controls, seat and head restraints, seatbelt, gear lever, steering wheel, indicator and wiper stalks, car keys and training resources.
Explain that if at all possible, the windows will be open sufficiently to aid ventilation during the lesson and advise them that the inside of the vehicle might be cooler than normal.
Avoid using the air conditioning if possible, however if it is used don’t set it to recirculate.
Explain at this time that the client’s parents, guardians or friends, will not be able to sit in on the lesson.
As usual, any new clients will need their licence checked electronically at https://www.gov.uk/check-driving-information in the normal manner. Before the lesson, ask the customer to hold the licence up so you can check it. Don’t touch or take the licence from them.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
It is essential you have hand sanitiser and are able to clean your hands between lessons.
Antibacterial wipes or spray (read the label and check the product claims to kill viruses) should be used to clean down the car between lessons. Household disinfectant can also be used provided it does not contain bleach or any ingredients which will damage the car.
Public Health England (PHE) household guidance on the disposal of waste that could be infected with COVID-19 states that you must securely store the PPE waste in disposal rubbish bags. You must place these bags in another bag. You must tie this bag securely and keep it separate from other waste. This waste must be set aside for at least 72 hours before being put in the usual external household bin for non-recyclable waste.
The use of disposable gloves is optional for you and your customer but you will still need to wash your hands and clean down surfaces and controls. If using gloves, you will need to change your gloves after each lesson and dispose of them as per the PHE advice.
It is recommended that face coverings are worn by both instructor and trainee.
You may choose to have a supply of both gloves and masks to offer your client before they enter the vehicle but this is optional.
If you do use a disposable mask, make sure you use a new one frequently and dispose of the old one safely and responsibly in line with the PHE advice. Non-disposable masks need to be washed at least daily and at 60°C and above to be effective.
Wear clothing that is suitable and covers as much of you as possible, including arms and legs and we would suggest you give your customers the same advice.
Wash your clothing as soon as you have finished work for the day.
Avoid beaded seat covers that are difficult to clean between lessons.
It is essential that the PPE equipment you choose does not impede your ability, or the client’s ability to control the vehicle or communicate with you.
During the lesson
Visual aids and any training resources should be held up and not passed between you and your customer to hold or touch.
Don’t share a pen or other devices where possible. If you do, then clean with anti-bac/ anti-virus wipes after use.
Try to avoid directly facing each other when discussing scenarios. It is safer to face forwards in the vehicle to reduce the risk of infection.
If you give a demonstration drive, you will need to wipe down the controls before and after the drive.
If you have to touch the controls during the lesson, the customer should be asked to stop when safe to do so, to enable the appropriate controls to be re-sanitised.
If you or the customer becomes unwell, or starts to cough continuously during the lesson, the lesson must be stopped.
After the lesson
At the end of the lesson remind the customer to wash their hands as soon as possible after leaving the car.
It is recommended that all progress log cards stay with the instructor at this time. You should fill out the progress log at the end of the lesson and explain to the customer where they are on their learning journey