There is a bit of debate about how to get the most effective driver training carried out, especially as most clients want to train to the situation and environment that their drivers and staff will be operating in.
When OnCourse started carrying out driver training for their workshop clients, we didn’t have a specialist training area and we would go to the client. While this is quite effective, because we could deal with specific road conditions, there were a few issues that caused concern.
The main being safety. And still is as we still carry out training for clients in situ. What we find is that it is difficult to find safe training areas to effectively carry out the practical exercises.
The last thing we need is, when promoting road safety issues, is an innocent bystander to get injured. Controlling the public, especially as they have as much right to use the roads as we do, can be difficult if not impossible at times. Also, we have to take into consideration that general road safety issues are not addressed in rural communities throughout the developing world. For example, children are still not taught the basics in schools and therefore this is a main contributor for local populations to not have the same road sense, if you like. For instance; once we had to stop a self recovery training session because the onlookers refused (including the local big wigs) to move out of the danger zone.
Another problem we encounter with carrying out the training on site is distractions. Students may turn up late for class or be taken out of class to fulfil obligations for the client. Not only does this have an effect on the class as a whole but that person will be missing important issues.
On site training does not flow as well. You have to spend a chunk of time going through theory and then go out to the training site. Not only does this affect the effectiveness, it can also increase the amount of time that we have to spend carrying out the training, therefore a whole syllabus may not be covered and the clients costs goes up to cover the extra session(s).
Therefore, we made the decision (nearly 10 years ago now) to develop a training site to cater for the different off road driving environments commonly found in developing countries.
This has enabled us to develop our courses with a structure that enables us to back up the theoretical with appropriate practical exercises immediately. This gives a definite flow to the training that ensures effectiveness. It also, ensures that the training is carried out in the timeliest manner making it as cost effective as possible for the client. With safety being our first concern.
OnCourse have a privately owned and secure driver training facility that mirrors the driving conditions found in developing countries, as well as specialist training areas and equipment which enables us to safely carry out practical exercises that are not able to be carried out on site.
Of course developing this type of facility is forever ongoing. For instance we are in the process of putting in an off road skid correction facility and sprinkler system to cater for the dry season months.
We are on-course for being the most effective 4×4, off road training facility internationally.