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In order to design effective Courses which make a difference, NDORS retains a Course Development Unit with access to a number of leading academics in the field of designing courses to achieve behavioural change in Road users.

Many offences can lead to an endorsement on a Driver Record as a result of a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecution through the Courts. The classroom-based courses can be offered by the Police as an alternative disposal method for certain offences. However, if the individual declines the Course Offer, or does not complete the Course, the offence is reverted to a Fixed Penalty or a prosecution. It is therefore of paramount importance that the Police can verify that the individual who attends the Course is the person who admitted to the offence. Such verification through an on-line Course, whilst not technically impossible, presents a number of challenges particularly in relation to data protection and admissibility for Court proceedings.

There are also a number of other reasons why the classroom-based delivery is used for endorsable offences:

  • Shared Experience: The objective of our courses designed to address endorsable offences, is to change the behaviour of the individual which lead to their offending. The Courses provides more than just information on the offending. Research has shown that sharing experiences with your peers in a classroom-based situation achieves better behavioural change outcomes than on-line courses.
  • Public Perception: The public see endorsements on a driver record as being a serious punishment. We are regularly challenged on the comparative behavioural changes between the legislative endorsement process and the driver retraining disposal method. The rigorous research accessed or carried out by our Course Development Unit provides legitimacy to the Scheme. There would be a fear that offering a short on-line course for endorsable offences would be reducing the public perception of the seriousness of the offending. Online Course are often seen as a “soft” option.
  • Non-Endorsable Courses: NDORS does offer on-line Courses for non-endorsable offences (e.g. Seatbelt and pedal cycle offences).

The NDORS Course Development Unit are constantly reviewing the courses and their effectiveness in addressing the offending behaviour they target. On-line courses for endorsable offences will only be considered when they are shown to be at least as effective as classroom-based courses and all of the other hurdles can be overcome.

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