Phase 4 : Semi-guided to independent driving

Your learner is now ready to begin phase 4 of the RSEP program.

And yes, this is the last phase of the program. (In other words, you may soon be able to definitively quit your job as the family taxi driver!)

During this final phase, the learner will complete two theoretical modules on the following topics:

  • fatigue and distractions;
  • eco-driving.

The learner will also have 5 practice sessions with the driving school, the last of which will be his final evaluation.

This phase is completed over a minimum of 56 days.

Towards independant driving

The practice sessions in phase 4 are semi-guided to independent driving sessions. During this entire phase, the learner must be able to independently perform a wide range of maneuvers. The more he advances in this phase, the closer he should be to full independence (the time when he will no longer need instructions from you to be able to successfully complete various maneuvers, observe and evaluate different driving scenarios, and determine the best behaviours to adopt and act accordingly).

In other words, you should be on the brink of becoming an active passenger (rather than an accompanying rider) for most driving scenarios. The roles will now be inverted!

The time has come for your learner to be fully independent. In addition to driving and knowing what behaviour to adopt while behind the wheel, the learner should now be able to carry out a basic check of the vehicle. This verification includes checking the oil level, windshield washer fluid, lights, battery, gas gauge, etc.

Advice for helping the learner be even more independent:

  • Let the learner personally choose the route of a practice session.
  • Give him fewer instructions as the number of practice sessions increase (and none whenever possible).
  • Allow the learner to describe the route he is considering taking and as he sets off, the actions he adopts and why.
  • Let him fill up the gas tank (show him how if necessary).
  • Let him add windshield washer fluid (show him how if necessary).
  • Explain him how to jumpstart (boost) the vehicle.

Watch two last videos

Near the end of this phase, you will be invited to watch two last videos. The first video will focus on the consequences of drunk driving. The second video will focus on the importance of making a team with your learner driver. However, as your learner is just about to receive his probationary licence, we would like you think about this scenario that emphasizes the importance of good communications as a means of avoiding critical situations. Your learner will also watch these videos during his classroom sessions. Please be advised that these are hard to watch if you’re sensitive.


Did you know that Tecnic rents vehicles for learners to pass the SAAQ’s road test?

This has many benefits:

  • The Tecnic rental vehicle is already on site when the learner goes to take his test.
  • The SAAQ has inspected the vehicle ahead of time.
  • The learner is used to driving with this type of vehicle (it’s what was used during his driving courses).
  • The vehicle is insured by Tecnic.
  • The vehicle is equipped with a brake for the driving examiner.

Always stay vigilant when in a vehicle with the learner, even if the latter is at the very end of his program. Go to Phase 2 in the Toolbox to read over a few tips and advice one last time.

A few reminders

To avoid being blinded by glaring lights...

To avoid being blinded by glaring lights when you meet another vehicle, you can either look towards the right side of the road or slow down if the lights are extremely bright.

Tips for driving in rain or snow

When driving in rain or snow, it’s important to use your low beams to see better and to be more easily seen by oncoming vehicles. This is true even in the daytime.

When another vehicle is passing you and you fear there will be a collision...

Whenever another vehicle is passing you and you fear there may be a head-on collision, slow down to allow the passing vehicle to get in front of you. Should this same vehicle look like it wishes to get behind you again, speed up a bit to allow the driver to do so safely.

Merging onto a highway

In Québec, the vehicle that merges on a highway must yield the right-of-way to cars already on the road.

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Phase 3 : Semi-guided driving

Your learner is now ready to begin phase 3 of the RSEP program.

During this phase, he will complete two theoretical modules on the following topics:

  • driving speed;
  • sharing the road;
  • alcohol and drugs.

When it’s time, you will receive an invitation to watch a video about speeding. The purpose of watching this video is to favour a discussion about these topics and the associated risks with your learner.

Training Assessment: What to do if your learner is falling behind

Your learner will take part in 6 in-car sessions with the driving school, and will need to successfully complete a training assessment during sessions 5 and 10. We will send you an e-mail with further details at the appropriate time.

If you find that your learner appears to be falling behind in his training, we suggest that you:

  • Go out for more practice sessions with him if you can;
  • Speak with the driving school if you are having a hard time scheduling such practice sessions. We should be able to provide further training;
  • During an upcoming in-car session, speak with the driving school instructor to obtain advice on your learner’s specific situation.

The practice sessions in phase 3 are semi-guided practice sessions. During this phase, the learner must begin to perform a greater number of maneuvers in increasingly diverse environments. The more he advances in this phase, the more independent he will become. In other words, he will need fewer and fewer instructions to be able to successfully complete various maneuvers. The learner should also be able to identify and evaluate any dangerous situations, and act accordingly.


Safety Tips and Advice

Below are different driving scenarios you could ask the learner to practice as well as tips to help you in your role as an accompanying rider.

Main thoroughfares, boulevards with fluid to heavy traffic

  • Whenever possible, choose boulevards you are familiar with.
  • Make your way to areas where traffic can sometimes be heavy. This will be a good opportunity to practice more complex maneuvers such as dealing with blind spots and changing lanes.
  • Continue to have the learner practice turns (with or without stops at an intersection), further familiarize himself with the right-of-way rules at intersections with stops, intersections with traffic lights, etc.
  • Always offer concise and clear explanations while remaining calm.
  • Make sure the learner moves his head as needed to observe and evaluate, then act on the basis of his observations.
  • Check out blind spots along with the learner (two pairs of eyes being better than one).

Country roads (main and side roads)

  • Whenever possible, choose roads you are familiar with.
  • Make your way to roads that have numerous curves rather than those laid out in a straight line. This will be a good opportunity for the learner to practice maintaining a safe speed, slowing down when taking certain curves and using his long-distance and side vision to stay in the centre of his lane.
  • Make sure the learner understands the importance of looking left and right to check for possible hazards (e.g., animal crossing the road, etc.).
  • Explain to the learner that he will need to stay vigilant to avoid the natural tendency to move closer to the shoulder of the road when meeting another vehicle. You should also advise him to look farther ahead, on the side of the white line.
  • Stay alert for potential hazards.
  • Be aware that on country roads, the learner will likely focus on the stretch of road directly ahead of him rather than looking farther in the distance.
  • The learner may also be less vigilant, as there are fewer stimuli to keep him alert.


  • Make your way to a highway you are familiar with.
  • Have the learner practice exiting and merging onto the highway. These maneuvers should be practiced no more than 2 or 3 times (in total) during a practice session, to avoid the learner (or you!) becoming too tired.
  • Ask the learner to practice driving a short length of highway in a straight line, to develop his 360-degree vision and thereby enable him to see everything around him (long-distance vision, side vision and blind spots). This skill will help him be proactive should he ever need to do a quick maneuver.
  • Have the learner practice changing lanes. Begin by asking him to change lanes when there are no vehicles to his left. Once he is confident with this maneuver, have him change lanes in heavier traffic.
  • Make sure the learner moves his head as needed to observe and evaluate, then act on the basis of his observations.
  • Stay alert for potential hazards.
  • When nearing a highway on-ramp, the learner will tend to poorly estimate the speed of the traffic and to either slow down or even brake while merging onto the highway. He may also forget to visually check his surroundings.
  • When nearing an exit, the learner will generally tend to drive too fast while accessing the off-ramp. He may also forget to visually check his surroundings, particularly if the highway section in question has both an on- and an off-ramp.


Ask your learner to practice the parking skills he learned with his driving instructor, namely:

  • parking backwards at 45- and 90-degree angles;
  • parking forwards at 45- and 90-degree angles;
  • parallel parking.

Practice frequency and duration

At this stage of his training, practice sessions should be longer, ideally between 30 and 60 minutes each. This being said, the frequency of the sessions is more important than their total duration.

In addition to the phase 3 in-car sessions with an instructor (before beginning phase 4), a total of around 20 hours of additional practice is recommended. Remember that the learner’s practice sessions take place over a 12-month period, from the moment he first obtains his learner’ licence.

A few reminders

School buses and dividers

If a school bus stops with its lights flashing on the other side of a divider, you aren’t required to stop. But, you need to be careful nonetheless!

However, in the same situation, if there is an existing space (road or pedestrian crossover) in the median, leaving a driving access between your lane and the bus lane, you must stop.

City buses and roads with a speed limit of under 70 km/h

On roads where the speed limit is less than 70 km/h, drivers must yield the right-of-way to a city bus that uses its turn signal to notify others that it intends to re-enter its lane.

Speed limit on unpaved gravel roads

For gravel or dirt roads, the speed limit authorized by the Road Safety Code is 70 km/h. However it can be less in certain areas.

Railway crossings: what to do

When nearing a railway crossing which lights are not flashing, drivers must nonetheless slow down, look around and listen for any approaching trains.

Meaning of road signs (found on farm,  maintenance vehicles, etc.)

Meaning of this road sign (found on farm vehicles, maintenance vehicles, etc.). This “road sign” authorizes drivers to pass the vehicle in a straight line only when it is safe to do so and at speeds below the speed limit.

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Phase 2 : Guided driving

Your learner begins phase 2 of the RSEP program

As your learner begins phase 2 of the RSEP program, he will complete two theoretical modules on the following topics:

  • Accompanied driving;
  • OEA strategy (Observe, Evaluate, Act).

The learner will also have 4 practice sessions with the driving school. This phase is completed over a minimum of 28 days.

This is also when you will begin your role as an accompanying rider and start your driving practices with your learner.

The practice sessions in phase 2 are guided driving sessions. The learner is not yet at a point where he can anticipate dangerous situations or perform various maneuvers without instructions.

Exercises for your first road practices

  • Make sure your learner has is learner’s licence with him (mandatory for practice sessions).
  • Get behind the wheel and drive the vehicle to a quiet parking area.
  • Provide the learner with concise and clear explanations.
  • Allow the learner to get a “feel” for being behind the wheel.
  • Stay alert and keep an eye out on everything in the environment.
  • Start with simple exercises
    • Moving the vehicle forward without pressing on the gas pedal.
    • Slowing down in a straight line.
    • Decreasing the vehicle’s speed and braking.
    • Backing up.
    • Practicing how to drive into a parking spot (in between the lines).
    • Becoming aware of depth perception.
  • Begin with short 20-minute sessions.

Ask the learner to bring the vehicle close to a street light. Have him evaluate the distance between the front of the vehicle and the light, then tell him to go outside and measure the actual distance.

Learn how to tell if the learner is tired or stressed. Signs include: yawning, asking you to repeat instructions, using the wrong turn signals, squirming or shifting position in his seat, etc.

Practice exercises for your upcoming in-car sessions.

For the next sessions or once you feel your learner has mastered the maneuvers you’ve had him practice, ask the learner to drive to a quiet residential area (with little traffic and a speed limit of 50 km/h). This will be an excellent opportunity to practice basic maneuvers such as:

  • turning (curves).
  • stopping (intersections), determining right-of-way.
  • parking (driving forward or backing into a spot).
  • changing lanes.
  • Make sure the learner moves his head to Observe and Evaluate, which will then allow him to Act on the basis of what is happening around him (in his environment).

In addition to the phase 2 in-car sessions with a driving instructor (before beginning phase 3), a total of around 15 hours of additional practice is recommended.

Driving Safety Tips

As an accompanying rider, how can you control the vehicle?

Learning how to drive is not easy, and it’s normal for an accompanying rider to not feel fully at ease in the passenger seat. In fact, you most likely think you have no control over the vehicle when you find yourself in the passenger seat. You may be surprised to learn that this isn’t the case!

The driver’s state of mind

First, you need to remember what it was like to be young; words such as introverted, shy, touchy and overconfident will probably come to mind. This exercise will help you better understand your learner’s state of mind  and by extension, allow you to take stock of things before jumping to conclusions or thinking the worse.

Set clear and succinct guidelines before heading out for a ride

Make sure the learner understands that he must immediately react and listen to all of your instructions even when he is not aware of or does not understand a given hazard. Clearly indicate that complying with this rule is what will allow you to take control of the vehicle in a high-risk situation and thereby ensure his and your safety. Remember that a learner may have a more fixed (hence, narrower) field of vision than an experienced driver. Because of this, he may not be aware of something that you will have easily noticed well ahead of time.

Make sure the learner listens to you!

Exercise (a test!): First, make sure you’re in a safe place and that there are no vehicles behind you. Then, ask the learner to brake (despite the fact that nothing would lead him to believe that braking is necessary). What you want is for him to brake despite not understanding why you asked him to do so. This exercise (remember, in a safe place!) will get the learner used to complying with your orders.

Control the vehicle by sight

Most driving errors are due to a visual hitch. You can essentially take control of the vehicle by having the learner shift his vision. Example: If the vehicle is drifting towards the sidewalk, a garbage bin or the other side of the road, ask him to look further ahead and focus on a reference point where the vehicle is headed. The results will astound you!

When should you grab the wheel?

It’s perfectly normal to grab the wheel to avoid an accident when something unexpected occurs or if the learner is unsure how to respond to a hazard. However, if you find yourself wanting to do so on a regular basis, this could be a sign of poor communication.

How to communicate

How well a learner and his accompanying rider communicate is the key to everyone’s safety. Whenever you have a request or an observation, you must let your learner know ahead of time. Giving him a 3-second heads up will allow him to think about his next maneuver and avoid sudden maneuvers that he might do before checking if it was safe to do it

Example of effective communication

Ask the learner ahead of time about what he should be on the lookout for.

  • Before stopping at an intersection, ask him whether it’s a four-way stop.
  • When driving on a straight road, ask him to tell you when he sees a speed limit sign.
  • When driving on a straight road, ask him to tell you as soon as he sees vehicles ahead, behind or on either side of him.

Once he understands what he should be on the lookout for, he will be able to better control his driving and you will be able to help him focus when and where necessary.

Use of the neutral position by the accompanying rider

If you fear that the learner may move forward quickly and can’t reach the mechanical brake, put the transmission in Neutral.

If the vehicle has an automatic transmission, push the shifter forward with your hand (without pressing on the push-button, as this would put the transmission in Reverse or Park).

If the vehicle has a manual transmission and is in first gear, you only need to give the shifter a push downwards. Neutral is between the third and fourth gears.

Foot position while parking

When parking, make sure the learner keeps his foot atop the brake pedal (as though covering it); this is an easy way to ensure that he will not inadvertently press on the accelerator.

You’re a model for your learner!

As a model for your learner, it’s especially important that you follow the Highway Safety Code! Never encourage your learner to make rolling stops or to exceed the speed limit, as this could be his first step in acquiring bad driving habits.

Drive safe!

A few reminders

Backing up

When backing up, it’s important to turn around ¾ of the way. Relying solely on your rear view and other mirrors is not sufficient.

Buckling up and backing up

The law allows a driver to unbuckle his seatbelt while backing up.

Before braking, a driver must…

Before braking, a driver must always look in his rear view mirror to avoid being rear-ended.

Mirrors and blind spots

Whenever a driver changes lanes, he must use his mirrors and check his blind spots. Tip: Always check your blind spot when you put on your turn signal. If you always think of these two actions as “never one without the other”, you’ll be all set!

Holding on to the steering wheel

When driving, one’s hands must be positioned in a very specific manner, not too high, nor too low on the steering wheel (pretend the wheel is a clock and place your hands at 9:45 and 10:15 OR 9:50 and 10:10). Your elbows must be angled down and your thumbs outside of the curve of the steering wheel (never inside of it).

Crossing your hands over the steering wheel

Making a turn (90 degree angle or more) is easier if the driver crosses one hand over the other on the wheel.

Where a driver looks and what he sees are critical while at the wheel

Where a driver looks is extremely important, as it determines in which direction the vehicle will go 90% of the time. This being said, it’s not just about steering in the proper manner. Actually seeing what’s ahead is also critical for driving safely.

Also, every driver should get his eyes checked on a regular basis!

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Phase 1: Prerequisite to learner's licence

Phase 1 is the prerequisite phase that precedes the actual driving.

During this phase, the learner will participate in 5 theoretical 2-hour modules. The topics covered will include:

  • the car;
  • the driver;
  • the environment;
  • risky behaviours;
  • the summary and driving school evaluation.

He should be an active co-pilot!

Your role begins at this very moment, and complements these various elements that the learner will be taught. When you are in a vehicle with the learner, make sure he acts as an active co-pilot.​

Even if the learner is not behind the wheel, ask him questions regarding:

  • the vehicle’s various functions and controls;
  • what he learned during his last few courses or what he’s discovered that surprised him;
  • what he feels are sources of danger (children playing, pedestrians, cyclists, animals, people on their cellular phone, etc.);
  • which vehicle proceeds first at an intersection;
  • the meaning of various road signs;
  • sources of danger that must be identified.

For this type of exercise, both the learner and you must be in good physical condition and mentally alert. To avoid wearing yourselves out, it is recommended that you do these types of exercises for short periods at a time (maximum of 10-15 minutes).

Checklist – Important points

  • Insurance

The minute the learner gets behind the wheel of your vehicle, you must make sure he is covered by your insurance policy. Call your insurance company and ask them to add him to your policy as an occasional driver. And of course, don’t hesitate to ask them any questions you may have!

  • Driver’s licence

During practice sessions with your learner, you must always have your driver’s licence with you even if you are not driving.

  • Mirror with suction cup for accompanying rider

Did you know that you can buy a small mirror equipped with a suction cup in most large retail stores? Many accompanying riders find this to be an excellent safety tool.

  • Zero tolerance

Drivers with a learner’s licence are subject to a zero tolerance rule with regard to alcohol consumption.

  • Learner’s licence = 4 demerit points

When the holder of a learner’s licence accumulates more than 3 demerit points, the SAAQ will send him a written notice that his learner’s licence has been revoked. (In other words, his licence is cancelled and he is no longer entitled to drive a vehicle.) The learner will not be able to obtain a new learner’s licence for at least 3 months after such a revocation.

  • Adjustments prior to hitting the road (mirrors, seat belt, etc.)

When a learner gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, the first thing he should do is buckle up. This should be followed by a check of the mirrors, seat position, etc.

  • Obligations of learner's licence holders:
    • Be accompanied at all times by an accompanying rider who has held a valid Class 5 driver’s licence for at least 2 years and who is capable of providing help and advice;
    • Not accumulate more than 4 demerit points on their driving record; otherwise, their licence will be revoked and they will be unable to obtain a new one for at least three months;
    • Not drive between midnight and 5 a.m.; 
    • Not drive after consuming alcohol.

Fostering good habits.

Updating your knowledge of driving rules

It’s important to remember that obtaining a driver’s licence takes a bit more time today than it used to. Because a few steps have been added to the former process, you may need to familiarize yourself with current requirements to best help your future driver.

Fitting the driving course into his current schedule

Your learner will need to dedicate time and effort to obtaining his driver’s licence. This will require him to add the 39 hours of his driving school program into his schedule, all while making sure he doesn’t neglect his school work, exams, personal activities, etc.

To become a safe and responsible driver, he will need to supplement his driving school courses with additional practice sessions. You were selected as the accompanying rider! Keep in mind that it is important for your learner to practice with his accompanying rider at least 50 hours during his whole training program. That’s on top of the in-car sessions included in the training program. This will require that you set aside periods of time to practice with your learner.

Below are two tips to simplify matters and make practices easier to organize:

  • Plan shorter rather than longer practice sessions (15 to 30 minutes).
  • Let your learner take the wheel whenever possible; every opportunity he has to drive with you will make him a better driver!

Planning practice sessions ahead of time and entering them in both of your calendars or planners

Get together to plan practice sessions ahead of time, making sure to enter them in both of your calendars or planners. For example, you could have the learner get behind the wheel when you go grocery shopping every week, when he goes to sports practice, when you head off to the cottage for the weekend, on the way to the driving course, when the learner goes to see his friends, etc.

Here’s an example of a week of practice sessions that provide the learner with a total of 60 minutes behind the wheel, broken down into 5 separate outings:

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Total
10 minutes
  15 minutes
Grocery store
5 minutes
  15 minutes
15 minutes
60 minutes
of pratice
Sunday 10 minutes
Tuesday 15 minutes
Grocery store
Wednesday 5 minutes
Friday 15 minutes
Saturday 15 minutes
Total 60 minutes
​of pratice

Getting prepared for Phase 2.

Being a good - model! - driver

Your learner has likely been watching you drive for years. You will now need to be even more mindful of your attitude while at the wheel. Are you calm or more likely to react? This is truly the time to set an example. Remember, your goal is to help the learner become a responsible and safe driver, in other words, someone you wouldn’t mind sharing the road with.

Bringing up the topic of safety

Getting a driver’s licence is a big step in becoming more independent. Of course, for you, it likely also constitutes a source of stress: texting, driving impaired, speeding... It’s normal to worry, but also important to discuss these types of issues with your learner as soon as possible. Doing so will bring you closer and help reinforce the trust you have in each other. So, where do you start? Begin by drawing up a contract! This document could include elements such as: being a courteous driver, never drinking and driving, never using a cellular phone while driving, etc. Both parties should sign the contract to make it official. This agreement will make it possible for you to set guidelines and refer to them as needed.

Supervising the practice sessions - To read before each phase / Advice for each phase

Bear in mind that aside from the important role played by the driving school, YOU are the guide who will spearhead the learner’s driving education! Give due consideration to the pace at which he’s assimilating the material and suggest that you hold practice sessions in scenarios where you are both at ease. For example, you could make your way to a parking lot to test out certain basic maneuvers. This is a good way for both of you to build confidence. Over time, gradually modify the scenarios, driving in various weather conditions and on different types of roads.

We’ve created the following documents in the Toolbox with regard to the four phases: Advice - Phase 1, Advice - Phase 2, Advice - Phase 3 and Advice - Phase 4.  We recommend that you read over these respective documents prior to beginning a new phase and heading out for practice sessions. They’ll provide you with a lot of ideas and safety tips to implement with your learner.

Setting safety rules for unexpected situations

It’s highly recommended to establish a list of simple rules that your learner must follow, particularly in unexpected situations. For example: What should he do if he loses control? Make his way to the shoulder (of the road)? Slow down? Setting certain ground rules will help the learner both prevent and better manage unexpected situations. When it's time to start Phase 2 practice sessions with your learner, we suggest that you to read the article: Driving Safety Tips. It will give you tips and advice that can be useful for your practice sessions.

Communicating with your learner in a clear and calm manner

Communication is critical to successful practice sessions. Stay calm when intervening with the learner. Always strive to give clear explanations and specific examples. Some of the things that appear “natural” to you may still be uncharted territory for your learner! Certain reflexes, such as putting on a turn signal, looking around before changing lanes and checking out blind spots, are things that learners need to develop over time. It will greatly help your learner if you remember this.

Developing good “accompanying rider” reflexes

Accompanying riders need to react very quickly when necessary. You also need to pay as much attention to the road as you do when you’re behind the wheel. To ensure you’re well-prepared, this will be explained to you in further detail by a Tecnic instructor during the Module 6 classroom session that you will be invited to attend with your learner. We also suggest that you read the document entitled Safety tips for driving, which is included in the Toolbox (Phase 2).

Staying calm at all times

Regardless of the circumstances, take a deep breath and... stay calm! This tip applies to both you and your learner. Familiarizing oneself with the ins and outs of driving can be very stressful. To start things off on the right foot, both you and your learner should be open about any aspects of the process that you find worrisome. After this, trust your learner, no matter how difficult it may be initially. His driving courses have provided him with a very good foundation; give him a chance to become more confident with time... and practice!

Doing your best

Thus far, you have no doubt done your best to teach your learner important facts of life. A similar approach should prove very useful while he’s learning to drive. Don’t forget – you’re giving your learner his independence, as he is just about to obtain his driver’s licence. That’s great - keep it up! We’re confident that your learner will receive all of the support he needs. You can count on us to teach him the fundamentals of driving and in so doing, support you in your role as an accompanying rider!

A few reminders

Seatbelts and airbags

In the event of an accident, the combination of seatbelts and airbags reduces by 75% the risk of suffering serious head injuries. It’s extremely important for drivers to properly buckle up and adjust their seat (including the back).

What to do when there are no speed limit signs in sight?

If there are no visible speed limit signs, drivers should not exceed 50 km/h.

Driving in a school zone

According to the Highway Safety Code, the speed limit in a school zone is 50 km/h whenever children are arriving at or leaving the school. Many municipalities, however, have lowered this limit to 30 km/h. Therefore unless you know the speed limit, we recommend that you do not exceed 30 km/h in a school zone. Stay alert!

Learners can also receive a ticket

The police can - just like they do with other drivers - stop a learner and issue a ticket (including demerit points) when applicable.

Risk factors while at the wheel

Several factors can increase the risk a driver faces whenever he gets behind the wheel. They include things such as time of day and day of the week, fatigue, receiving bad news, etc. All these can become problematic when combined with a lack of experience. Stay alert and keep an eye on your learner!

For more information on your role as an accompanying rider, take a look at the following document prepared by the SAAQ:

Accompanying Rider’s Guide​

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The importance of the 50 hours of practical training

To fully master various driving scenarios and understand the proper behaviours to adopt while driving, the learner must get behind the wheel as often as possible in addition to completing the in-car sessions offered by the driving school.

This is why all learner’s licence holders in Québec must be monitored by an accompanying rider for at least 12 months.

It is recommended that a learner drives anywhere between 3,000 and 4,000 during the year of training to fully understand all of the maneuvers and become a safe, cooperative and responsible driver. This represents around 50 hours of practice sessions under your supervision.

Below are the recommended hours of practice sessions for each phase of the program:

  • Phase 2 : Around 10 hours
  • Phase 3 : Around 25 hours
  • Phase 4 : Around 15 hours

So 50 hours seems like a lot?

Did you know that, according to a serious study by the developer of the Maps application for iPhone, the average driver stays about 10 hours per week in their vehicle? Therefore every year, the average driver would stay around 520 hours in their car.

In a year this represents about:

  • 8 minutes/day
  • Two 30-minute in-car session/week
  • 1 hour/week
  • 2 hours/2 weeks
  • 4 hours/month

When you think about it, 50 hours of training in a year isn’t that much after all!

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Road Safety Education Program - Competencies

The Road Safety Education Program (RSEP) covers four competencies:

  • Establishing the profile of a safe, cooperative and responsible driver
  • Handling a passenger vehicle
  • Sharing the road
  • Using the road network independently and responsibly


The program comprises 4 phases:

Phase 1 : Prerequisite for a learner’s licence (theory only);

Phase 2 : Guided driving, where the learner becomes familiar with basic maneuvers in easy driving environments (e. g., parking lots, small residential streets, etc.).

Phase 3 : Semi-guided driving, where the learner becomes familiar with more complex maneuvers and displays safe driving behaviours in varied driving environments.

Phase 4 : Semi-guided to independent driving, where the learner acquires greater knowledge of the proper maneuvers and good behaviours to adopt in varied driving environments and is able to prepare a summary of what he has learned.

Detailed information on each of the four RSE Program phases

Minimum duration of each phase

  • Phase 1: Minimum duration of 28 days to complete all of the courses in this phase.
  • Phase 2: Minimum duration of 28 days to complete all of the courses in this phase.
  • Phase 3: Minimum duration of 56 days to complete all of the courses in this phase.
  • Phase 4: Minimum duration of 56 days to complete all of the courses in this phase.

It is highly recommended that learners practice driving with an accompanying rider not only in between the courses taught by the driving school instructor, but also between the various program phases.

Exams and process for obtaining a learner’s licence and a probationary licence during the required training

A learner’s licence is delivered once a learner has successfully passed the knowledge test at his driving school (module 5). This licence must be kept for a minimum of 12 months during which the learner will take his driving courses (including in-car sessions and classroom lessons) and practice with an accompanying rider.

The learner will then need to pass a second knowledge test, this one at a SAAQ service centre, once all 12 theory modules are completed and he has held a learner’s licence for at least 10 months.

The probationary licence is delivered once a learner has successfully passed the SAAQ road test. To take this test, the learner must have completed the driving school RSE Program and have held a learner’s licence for at least 12 months.

Total duration of the RSE Program

The minimum duration of the RSE Program, from the time a learner registers in a driving school until he receives a probationary licence, is 13 months.

Layout of the RSE Program steps for the whole 13-month duration

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Role of the accompanying rider (in collaboration with the driving school team)

The Tecnic team appreciates your willingness to guide, help and provide advice to the learner during the learning stage.


No need to worry however! We will make your job easier by teaching the learner correct driving techniques and various notions concerning highway safety.

For the safety of the learner along with that of other road users, driving education consists of the following two phases:

Who can be an accompanying rider? (From the SAAQ Accompanying Rider’s Guide)

Since most new drivers are 16 to 24 years old, an accompanying rider is generally the driver’s father or mother. Another family member, a spouse or a friend can also fulfil this role.

Accompanying riders need to:

  • have held, for at least two years, a valid Class 5 driver’s licence (passenger vehicle);
  • know the various driving techniques and be able to explain them to the learner driver;
  • behave safely, responsibly and cooperatively.

THE ACCOMPANYING RIDER’S ROLE (From the SAAQ Accompanying Rider’s Guide)

An accompanying rider is like an additional instructor. You play your part in several ways:

  • by being a role model as a driver;
  • by working in harmony with the driving school;
  • by discussing the learner’s strengths and points to improve;
  • by helping the learner progress toward independence

In your role, you should normally:

  • Use the tools offered to you via the Toolbox to offer your learner as much assistance as possible. During your entire stint as an accompanying rider, you will receive various helpful messages prompting you to explore specific tools at specific times.
  • Support the learner by having him get behind the wheel (when you are present!) on a regular basis. If possible, aim for the learner to drive a minimum of 50 hours during his year of learning (see the article on this topic in the Toolbox).
  • Have regular conversations with the learner regarding his strengths, the maneuvers he needs to practice to get ahead, and the attitudes that will serve him well while driving.
  • Teach the learner how to be a safe, cooperative and responsible driver.
  • Have the learner drive in different places and conditions (road, weather, etc.).
  • Remember that you are a role model for the learner and display good driving habits.
  • Be patient.

For more information on your role as an accompanying rider, take a look at the following document prepared by the SAAQ:

Accompanying Rider’s Guide


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