Over the past few months, we’ve been speaking to the approved driving instructor (ADI) industry and organisations on DVSA’s Official Register of Driving Instructor Trainers (ORDIT) about improving the training and testing of trainee driver instructors.
In this blog post, I’ll be talking about how we’re proposing to change the ADI part 3 test and the reasons for doing so.
Aligning with the national standard
In April 2014, we introduced the ‘standards check’ which changed the way we assessed ADIs; focussing on assessing their competence to deliver effective training in line with the national standard for driver and rider training.
We therefore want to mirror this in the qualification process so that new instructors are trained in this way from the outset.
Why we’re changing
The industry has confirmed that the current fault-based ADI part 3 test, which relies on pre-set tests and role play exercises, is both unrealistic and restrictive. It doesn’t give trainee instructors enough opportunity to demonstrate the full range of skills that will they need when qualified.
The change will mean that new ADIs won’t need to undertake additional training or learn different teaching methods ahead of their standards check.
It will also enable the test to be delivered at a greater number of test centres and local to where their training has taken place.
The main changes
We’ll be moving to a competency-based assessment. Trainee instructors 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’ll also be assessed on an additional 17 sub-competencies.
Also, there’ll be no more role play by a DVSA examiner – trainee instructors must provide a ‘real’ pupil. This could be a friend, family member or colleague.
The lesson will have to reflect the learning goals and needs of their pupil.
To ensure that trainee instructors obtain the required range of skills, knowledge and understanding we’re exploring the use of a log book in which they and their trainer record the subjects covered, the different levels of instruction given and overall progress.
Most, if not all instructor trainers already record progress like this and DVSA is happy for them to continue to use or adapt their existing processes.
When will this happen?
We need to produce an impact assessment first, setting out the costs and benefits of making the change. We also need to consider those trainee instructors who are already in the process of qualifying and give trainers time to develop their learning materials. Therefore, we won’t be introducing this change until autumn 2017 at the earliest.
We’ll keep you updated on timing and how we’re developing ORDIT as things progress.
What we’ve done so far
In May this year, we conducted research to identify awareness of this change and how well prepared instructor trainers and ORDIT organisations are to deliver the new training requirements. The research also set out to confirm what impacts and benefits the change might have.
Early analysis of responses indicates that:
- there’s a very high awareness level (95%) of the proposed change to align the existing ADI part 3 with the standards check
- many instructor trainers (70%) have already made changes to their training methods, for example to increase the use of client centred leaning methods or reflective logs
- those who haven’t yet made changes, say this is because they’re unclear about when the change will happen etc.
We’ll publish the final report soon, and we’ll be undertaking further research with instructor trainers to help us finalise our impact assessment.
Working with the industry
We also met with the National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP) and spoke with some ORDIT organisations (small, medium and large) to discuss our findings and agree the principles of the new part 3. Reactions were very positive, showing a clear enthusiasm about the prospect of a new ADI part 3.
If you’re not an ORDIT registered organisation, it’s important that you contact DVSA so that your instructor trainer organisation can be included in further work around the ADI part 3 test.