Project Description

This page showcases the overview of the entry of a 2015 Peer Awards for Excellence finalist, which was judged at conference.
Winner of Inspiration in the Nurturing Talent category and the Education & Training sector.

Interested in this year’s Peer Awards?
Entry Title: Driving Talent
Talk Title: Driving Talent
Category: Nurturing Talent (People & Performance)
Education and Training

Given the vital role that driving instructors play in the safety of our roads, it’s had an unfortunate image of being a career with limited options or potential for growth. A new strategy was required; one worthy of the importance of the role.

Adopting a strengths-based approach has changed our philosophy on the attraction and development of driving instructor talent.

Through performance analysis of our most successful driving instructors we’ve developed a profile for what makes a really great driving instructor, which we now use to attract, engage, retain and develop the best talent for AA Driving School and BSM.


We’ve completely overhauled our approach to recruiting, developing and supporting driving instructors. With over 3000 self-employed franchisees, historically it has proved challenging to engage with them effectively, and we have suffered from high attrition.

Through implementing strengths-based assessment and development, we have seen engagement levels rise significantly. Regional Managers have fully bought into the approach and revamped their business structures to offer tailored support to their local instructors.

The team responsible for recruiting trainee instructors and new franchisees are asking very different questions, so that people who train with us are much more likely to succeed and stay with us.


Developing this approach to recruiting and developing franchisees is pioneering for our sector.

We previously recruited anyone meeting the basic criteria to be a driving instructor, largely attracting people who liked driving and could afford the training. We are changing this business model forever, refocusing our marketing to attract franchisees with the right strengths – a passion for developing others’ life-skills, the motivation and skills to run their own business, and a deep sense of professional pride.

Furthermore, we now offer a Career Gateway to ambitious instructors who exemplify these strengths, with opportunities to move into other training and coaching roles.


We have a guiding vision of ‘getting the right people on the bus’; attracting and recruiting talented individuals who join our business, develop, grow and stay with us.

The inspirational moment for us came when we recognised our driving instructors as the core ‘talent’ for the success of our business. We hadn’t thought of them like this before. Now we absolutely think of them as just that, with the strengths and potential to drive the future success of our business.

Our ambition now is for our people to become role models not only for our industry, but for life-skills development.