As most you will know if you’re signed up to receive our email alerts, I’ve taken over from Mark Magee as your Registrar. I’m looking forward to working with you all and continuing to make our roads some of the safest in the world.
I joined the Driving Standards Agency (as it was then) in 2004 and have worked in Information Assurance, Policy, and Communications before becoming Deputy CBT Register Manager in 2012 and taking over as Deputy ADI Registrar in 2014.
I wanted to give you some information on why instructors might fail their standards check, so you can better prepare yourself for your own standards check.
Working to the national standard
During your standards check, your examiner will be looking for evidence that you meet the national standards for driver and rider training.
You’ll be marked on 17 areas of competence that are grouped into 3 categories:
- lesson planning
- risk management
- teaching and learning skills
The 17 areas of competence are listed in the ADI standards check form, which the examiner will assess during your check. Look at these before you take your standards check, so you know what the examiner will be assessing.
Analysing standards check data
The standards check replaced the old ADI check test on 7 April 2014. After it had been running for 3 months, we analysed the results to understand which areas most people were failing on, so that we could help people focus their training in those areas.
We have repeated the exercise this year, analysing data from over 2,000 standards checks.
The top 5 reasons
Our latest analysis shows the top 5 areas where instructors fail to demonstrate competence are where they haven’t:
- adapted the lesson plan, when appropriate, to help the pupil work towards their learning goals
- taught the lesson in a style suited to the pupil’s learning style and current ability
- encouraged the pupil to analyse problems and take responsibility for their learning
- given the pupil appropriate and timely feedback during the session
- given enough feedback to help the pupil understand any potentially safety-critical incidents
You need to show you can adapt your lesson plan, where appropriate, to help your pupil work towards their learning goals.
You shouldn’t stick to a planned lesson because the needs of your pupil might change throughout the lesson and it’s important you can adapt to that.
Teaching and learning strategies
You need to be able to show you can teach your pupil in a style that’s suited for them. This means using methods that work best for them. For example, when giving verbal directions, your pupil might find it easier if you referred to left and right as ‘my side’ or ‘your side’.
It’s important you give your pupil appropriate and timely feedback rather than giving it all at the end of the lesson. Having regular discussions throughout the lesson helps your pupil understand what they might have done wrong.
You should encourage your pupil to analyse problems and take responsibility for their own learning. For example, if your pupil forgot to check their blind spot before pulling out, you might:
- ask them if they know what they did wrong
- explain why they need to make sure they check their blind spots next time
Another area instructors commonly fail on is not giving pupils enough feedback on any potentially dangerous situations.
As well as providing your pupil with timely and appropriate feedback, it’s important that if they make any serious or dangerous faults they know what they’ve done and why it’s dangerous.
It’s up to you to make sure they understand this, so they don’t make the same mistake again.
At the end of the test
At the end of the standards check your examiner will give you feedback about any areas where you need to develop. You can refer to the national standard for driver and rider training to help you understand what you could be doing differently.
If you fail the standards check, the examiner will recommend that you seek further development from an instructor trainer.