Technology, cars, mobility – topics that have interested me since my youth. But it’s not only the technical side of my job that is incredibly important to me, but also the contact with people. I will tell you why in my blog post my job as a driving licence examiner combines both.
Career aspiration: from driving instructor to driving examiner
The first time I came into contact with TÜV Rheinland, as I’m sure many of you did – was during the driving test. At that time, when I was 15 years old, I acquired the moped test certificate. One year later the driving licence class A1 followed. Bit by bit I passed all tests up to class D. Besides my regular school time I also helped out in the driving school: Evaluating paper questionnaires, accepting applications, and accompanying learner drivers to the theoretical and practical driving tests. In my free time I was active in a motorcycle club, which was run by my then driving instructor.
So my idea to become a driving instructor after graduating from high school did not come about by chance. But it didn’t work out, because I was simply too young at the age of 19. There is a minimum age of 21 years for training as a driving instructor. So I changed my plans and completed a dual mechanical engineering course. After my Master’s I stayed at the university and worked there as a research assistant. After many hours at the PC, the desire to combine technology and contact with people in my profession came back. That’s how I ended up at TÜV Rheinland in 2015 in the mobility department for the driving licence department.
My job highlight as a driving licence examiner
In order to be allowed to work as a driving licence examiner, I had to be trained as an officially recognised expert with partial authorisation. My main business consists of conducting theoretical and practical driving licence examinations. My day depends on the tour plan which I get from the scheduling department. Usually I know my appointments two weeks in advance so that I can plan my free time well. For practical tests, the tour schedule includes the test location, the dates of the driving students and the respective driving schools. An app on my smartphone provides me with information about the exam candidates. This enables me to correctly assign the person in the test vehicle and provides me with information about requirements, such as the wearing of glasses. The daily changing test locations and the different driving licence classes offer variety.
I take particular pleasure in providing expert opinions for people with reduced mobility. We advise people with disabilities on how they too can be made mobile. On the basis of a medical report, we look together at what technical changes are necessary to the vehicle so that the learner drivers can operate the car. This is followed by a driving test. During this test, we check whether the converted vehicle can be handled safely. It’s great to help people become more mobile and thus more independent.
Good team spirit
In my everyday life I am alone as a staff member. If I should have any questions, my colleagues can be reached by phone or can be found at the regular team meetings. It also happens that several examiners are working at the same exam site on the same day, so that we can have lunch together. The atmosphere is very friendly.
With so much reference to vehicles, I enjoy physical exercise after work and often leave the car behind. However, when it comes to my circle of friends about who is behind the wheel, I prefer to drive myself. Otherwise I am actually a quiet passenger. But then, unconsciously, a directional indication like “the next left, please” slips out. 🙂
Laura Winkel is an officially recognised expert for driving licence examinations. As a driving licence examiner, she conducts the theoretical and practical driving tests for driving licence candidates. In addition, she uses her technical knowledge and expertise to prepare expert opinions for people with reduced mobility. In her free time she enjoys sports activities. Whether hiking or mountain biking – in her home town, the rural Müschenbach, there are all kinds of chances to do so.