Hi, I’m Laura Great-Rex, I work for the enforcement directorate at DVSA. For those of you that don’t know me, I started my career as a driving instructor before joining DVSA to specialise in the Agency’s ADI-related work. Like you I am passionate about improving road safety.
Leading the ADI team during the pandemic gave me an opportunity to look at how we could innovate and improve the service we deliver and support consumers through a lifetime of safe driving. I’ve used my experience to help create a new service that has been designed to support driving instructors and help them to develop and improve.
In my blog post I want to explain more about the parameters and the data we are now using to help us to prioritise standards checks, what this means for you and how you can benefit from this.
But first… thank you
I know that the pandemic has been a difficult, uncertain time for you and your businesses. I know how hard you are working to meet the demand for lessons and prepare your pupils for their tests.
Everyone at DVSA appreciates the role you are playing in helping the driver training industry and indeed our nation, to build back better.
Now for the data bit
I know some ADIs are concerned that candidate test results are a rather blunt tool to use to decide who needs a standards check.
Having been an ADI myself I know that every pupil is different but I also know that ADIs specialise in adapting their training to suit each customer. So, when an ADI presents a candidate for a driving test, whatever the journey they have been on to reach the point of being test ready, they are, in an ADI’s professional opinion, ready and safe to drive independently. Whilst we don't expect an ADI to have 100% pass rate (we all know nerves can play a part on the day) there is a pattern to the standards presented by higher performing ADIs and those that regularly present a lower standard.
I want to reassure you that the data we are using to prioritise goes beyond a simple pass or fail result. During lockdown when standards checks had to be suspended, my team analysed thousands of pieces of data to create 4 parameters.
- Driver Faults This is set at an average of 5 or more
- Serious Faults This is set at an average 0.5 or more
- Physical Intervention by a driving examiner (ETA P) This is set at 10% or more.
- Pass Rate Nationally it has been at around 46% for many years (this is all tests not just those presented by ADI’s). Currently it is 51.6%. We have set the parameter at 55% or below. The average pass rate achieved by ADIs who have presented candidates for test, displaying their badge (certificate) is currently 52%. This clearly shows that those using a professional instructor drive to a higher standard but we can and should expect this and more from professional instruction. We want to raise training standards and I’m sure you agree 55% should be a minimum achievable professional standard.
We’re using the analysis of this data to prioritise standards checks. It is true that, to create a level playing field, we need you all to display your certificates to help us prioritise those ADIs that need some extra support. I believe if everyone supports this approach we can help pinpoint major concerns and recurring patterns fairly and reliably and let the majority of excellent ADIs get on with the business of instructing.
To help give you confidence in the process and our intentions you can watch a video for more information on how we made some of the above decisions.
Your report, your development
Find out how to request your ADI driving test data report.
You can also request a standards check if you email PADI@dvsa.gov.uk detailing the reasons why.
There are 4 other important things I want to explain to help put your mind at ease.
- The engagement call is voluntary, we developed it with support from a group of ORDIT instructors and NASP. It will be offered once you have confirmed your standards check date. Our ADI examiners will give you a call to arrange. They will send you a copy of your ADI analysis report by email too, so you can discuss it during the engagement call.
- If you don’t want the call that is ok, it is not linked to your standards check outcome at all. It’s an opportunity for some continued professional development (CPD), a conversation that will help you reflect and point you in the right direction for further support or guidance if you need it. We will then send you a record of the engagement call (questions, notes and links to useful guidance) as a reminder
- This call is designed to help ADIs reflect on their own performance and contribution to road safety standards. You can ask any questions or share any concerns you have about the standards check itself with your ADI examiner on this call too. The only thing our examiner cannot do is provide any technical training. You should consult an ORDIT trainer for that.
- The standards check assessment itself has not changed and the number of attempts should you need them remains at 3.
Find out more
We have published additional guidance about your standards check and what it means. We have also emailed a letter from our ADI registrar to all ADIs on the register on 6 October 2021.
If you have further questions, please speak to a local ADI examiner. Alternatively the ADI Enforcement Manager for the area will have their name and telephone number available in your local driving test centre.
Other useful information
We’ve developed information and resources I hope will support your development and help you help your pupils make their test count.
The top 10 reasons people fail the driving test
We’ve published the top 10 reasons for failing the driving test which you can use to help your pupils understand the common faults and knowledge and skills they need to work on to pass first time and how our examiners assess how safely they are driving.
Keep a record of your pupil’s driving lessons
You can use our form (sometimes called the driver’s record) to track your pupils' progress as they learn to drive.
The records allow you to:
- easily check what your pupils need to know by grouping together key skills
- include new stages of learning so your pupils can reflect on their lessons
You can download it from GOV.UK.
Your pupils can also record any extra practice they do so using a free form at GOV.UK. They can then talk to you about their experience in their next lesson.
Helping your pupils who fail
We know failing a driving test is extremely disappointing and your pupils will feel frustrated if they fail and have to wait longer for another test.
To help pupils who fail their test, we have published guidance which explains the driving test report.
You can use this with your pupils to better understand the results of their test, and get the information you need to help them better prepare for their next test.