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What we're doing to improve the ADI part 2 and 3 tests

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Driving instructors

Driver at the wheel on her ADI test, alongside male examiner

As you know, we’re making changes to the ADI part 3 test to align it with the national standard for driver and rider training and the standards check test. It’s important the ADI tests are realistic of real-life driving, to help new drivers through a lifetime of safe driving.

I wanted to update you on the implementation date for the part 3 test and to tell you about changes we’ll be making to the part 2 test.

ADI part 2 test changes from 4 December 2017

As you know, the car driving test is changing from 4 December 2017 to make sure that new drivers have the skills they’ll need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving.

The driving instructor national associations suggested the driving test changes are replicated in the ADI part 2 (driving ability) test, to make sure instructors:

  • are familiar with the test their pupils will take
  • have been tested on the same skills

In May, we carried out a survey to find out what you thought about this - and the majority agreed that we should update the test.

So, from 4 December 2017, the ADI part 2 test will include the same changes we’re making to the car driving test.

We’ve updated the guide to the ADI part 2 test on GOV.UK, and we’ve published the new list of ‘show me, tell me’ questions for the test - it’s the same as the car test, with one extra possible ‘show me’ question.

ADI part 3 test changes

Since Mark Magee updated you in April on the changes to the ADI part 3 test, we’ve been busy preparing for the launch, including training our examiners.

We still need to gain parliamentary approval for the timing of the implementation, so the changes won't be happening on 2 October 2017 as we previously told you.

The changes will still happen, but we’re aiming for later in October as the legislation needs to go before Parliament. We then have to wait a minimum of 21 days till we introduce the change. We’ve only had confirmation this week that we won’t be able to do this in time to meet 2 October.

I’ll let you know as soon as I can when the changes will be coming in, so you can prepare for them.

We’ll contact anyone with an ADI part 3 test booked in the first 2 weeks of October to let them know what options they have, such as postponing their test to a later date.

The ADI part 3 test marking sheet is now available on GOV.UK. I hope this helps you better prepare for the new test.

Working with the industry

We sent out a survey in May, you to help us understand how we can continue to work with and support the driver training industry to implement the part 3 changes.

We also wanted to hear from PDIs on how and why they chose their instructor trainer. You may also remember that we’ve asked you about this in March and November 2016, the responses to both of these surveys have been published on GOV.UK.

I’d like to thank everyone who took part in these surveys, it’s given us some really useful information and I wanted to share some of the highlights with you now.

Findings from the survey

It was really positive to hear that 80% of you who answered the survey felt you were aware of the changes we’re making. I hope our communications have helped you to stay up to date with what we’re doing and why we’re making the changes.

Most of you told us you’ve already made changes to the way you teach trainee instructors, but if you haven’t, it’s because your teaching is already aligned with the national standard for driver and rider training.

You also gave us some really positive feedback on the changes. You felt the changes would:

  • better prepare PDIs - as it’s in line with the standards check and is more realistic of what it’s like to be an ADI
  • make the examination more objective and realistic - as the examiner won’t have to role-play a scenario as well as observing the instructor’s performance
  • give PDIs a stronger skill set as an instructor - as you’ll cover more topics in your training helping them to develop a wider range of teaching and learning strategies

I’m glad you understand why we’re making the changes to the part 3 test, as it’ll better prepare instructors for their standards check.

Adapting your lesson plan

Some of you did say you were concerned the new part 3 test might make it easier for instructors to rehearse a planned lesson with their ‘pupil’. But, we don’t think this is the case.

You won’t be able to plan for the driving conditions during the test, such as the amount of traffic, the weather conditions and the behaviour of other road users.

So even with a pre-planned lesson, you’ll have to constantly adapt to fit the driving conditions. Failing to adapt a lesson plan when appropriate is the most common reason for failure for qualified ADs taking their standards checks.

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  1. Comment by Angus McFadden posted on

    Interesting that DVSA reckons ADIs ought to still teach turn in the road and reversing around a corner to pupils when the L test changes in December, and yet here we have the new Part 2 where PDIs aren't expected to show they can do either manoeuvre (and I presume Part 3 won't include them either).

  2. Comment by Bart Harrington posted on

    How can having the option for instance of taking a full licence holder up in an automatic for a part three Show the Examiner that they are capable of taking a novice driver out in an manual the next day after passing actually show they are capable of teaching appropriately....madness?

  3. Comment by Gary Fossey posted on

    The Part 3 change is being introduced despite concerns across the industry that it is open to abuse which could result in an influx of inadequately trained and poorly prepared ADIs who'll struggle to remain in this industry after considerable personal financial expense and, most importantly, substandard training and a negative impact on road safety.

    In a statement dated 1st September 2017, NASP stated "NASP had previously asked DVSA to consider delaying the implementation of the changes to the Part 3 on the basis of a lack of confidence that the agency was at the point of readiness to resource the changes".

    An industry expert has also, within the last few days, advised there are rumours that there has been an increase in the numbers of ADI's (who normally teach learners) taking full licence holders for Standards Checks and asking how will this test a PDI's ability to do the job if, as is likely if the rumours are correct, this spills across to initial qualification SCs?

    Legal advice was obtained from Nick Armstrong of Matrix Chambers who advised that since the DVSA had committed itself to do an impact assessment before a final decision it should carry out such an assessment. In response DVSA stated that the final decision had been taken and the changes would be going ahead. DVSA also stated that a further impact assessment was considered unnecessary and just a technicality. Nick Armstrong is of the view that this approach is "questionable".

    This fiasco highlights the need and provides an opportunity for DVSA to meet its legal duty to publish the impact assessment together with draft legislation and consult with stakeholders, including the driver training industry, to introduce measures which will ensure as far as is possible that it is not open to abuse. In my opinion, simply requiring PDIs to undertake two SCs, one with a novice and one with a more advanced pupil or FLH with each SC focusing on different subject areas, would be a significant improvement.