Changes to the ADI test

In 2014 the DVSA introduced the standards check for already qualified instructors to ensure that their methods were still in line with the national standard. Overall surveys showed this was well received by ADI’s and examiners.Click here for an example of the marking sheet

Two years later in 2016 proposed changes to the ADI part 3 test were put forwards with two surveys been conducted with the aim of seeing how well prepared organisations would be for the changes and their general awareness of the changes. The full survey results can be found here.

The changes aimed to bring the part 3 test in line with the standards check and abolish the restricted rehearsed scenarios that the examiner plays. Allowing the person sitting the test to use a real pupil and therefore show off a much broader spectrum of competencies.

The goal is to improve the standard of training and testing that the trainees receive to, in turn, improve the quality of drivers that occupy our roads, which is in line with the DVSA’s strategic goal.

Here is a part of the press release:

The DVSA will publish the new assessment form and accompanying guidance soon, but main changes that trainers and trainees need to be aware of are:

  • The same criteria as the standards check will be used with a competency-based assessment
  • Trainees will be assessed over a single one-hour lesson on the 3 main competencies of lesson planning, risk management and teaching and learning strategies. They will be assessed using the additional 17 sub-competencies set out in the current standards check assessment form and to the national standards of Driver and Rider training
  • Examiners will no longer be able to role play. Trainees will be required to provide a ‘real’ pupil which could be friends, family members or colleagues, and the lesson will have to reflect their learning goals and needs. This doesn’t have to be a learner, but could be a full licence holder seeking driver development

The full press release can be found here.


Concerns That Need Addressing

On paper the changes may seem great but you don’t have to be an expert to realise that the door could potentially be left open for abuse and a subsequent flood of below par instructors passing their part 3 with little or no training.

With a “real” pupil been used, a rehearsed lesson could take place. There could become a black market of companies providing “real” pupils that enable the trainee instructor to tick all the right boxes. The DVSA’s response to this is that their examiners will easily spot something rehearsed. How can they be so sure?

Let’s say that this becomes an epidemic in the industry, and there are over all more, but fewer well trained instructors on our roads. Been a driving instructor used to be a symbol of integrity, but if the gates are open for anyone to qualify there lies the real chance that, with the increased number of instructors able to teach on the road the cost of lessons will be driven down, the quality of tuition will be driven down and the number of good instructors will be driven down because there lies a tarnished industry.

Click here to read about problems with the new test

Now that was an extreme example. In reality, it has to be assumed that the DVSA has thought about this and will have methods of avoiding the outcomes mentioned. With the changes coming into place on the 2nd of October, it is surely time that more guidance on the exam structure is given. Until then, I, and many others are not wholly convinced.


Danny Atkin

Surepass Ltd

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