The history of IMTD
The IMTD has been in existance since 1957 and what has happened since then is given below.
Driving instruction has existed in the UK since 1903 and the driving test since 1935 (although suspended during the Second World War). In 1956 the Suez Crisis created a fresh challenge to the Industry when, because of the threat to the nation’s petrol supplies, driving tests were again suspended and petrol rationed. Overnight, driving schools found themselves virtually out of business and many driving instructors had to seek alternative employment.
Senior members of the Industry were concerned that there had been no consultation over what had happened and felt that a stronger voice was needed, especially since the two organisations that represented driving instructors, namely the Motor Schools Association (MSA) and the RAC Register of Instructors, were not making progress.
Consequently, a member of the MSA Board, Mr Pat Murphy (photo, right) proposed the formation of an organisation to represent long-established driving school proprietors which could lobby the Government as appropriate. It has to be remembered that in those days there were many multi-car schools and that their proprietors represented a significant voice in the Industry. So it was that in 1957 the Institute of Master Tutors of Driving (IMTD) was established under its motto “Only the best shall serve” (and that is still valid today).
Since those days the make-up of the IMTD has changed, though not its purpose. There has been a decline in the number of large multi-car driving schools since the mid 1950s, thanks to the effects of firstly, the compulsory qualification and registration of driving instructors and secondly the imposition of Selective Employment Tax followed by Value Added Tax. Thus the IMTD is no longer, nor has been for many decades, an organisation for multi-car proprietors but for the best instructors in the Industry. However, a statement made by Pat Murphy in 1970 still holds good:
“It is the intention of IMTD to develop unilaterally because of its exclusive nature. It will remain aloof from the day to day battles of mundane commercial competition and professional problems. It will discuss those problems of a specialist nature, arising from the running of a driving school, problems with a non-partisan bias but common to all operators. It will remain small and selective, it will remain strictly for individual membership only.”