New ADI Part 3 – on the way

pay-100337_1920It seems not everyone is in favour of the new ideas about the ADI Part 3 examination which have come after talks with the Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Industry, National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP) and organisations on DVSA’s Official Register of Driving Instructor Trainers (ORDIT),

DVSA’s Registrar Mark Magee said:

“The industry has confirmed to us 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 needed when qualified.

“The changes will now mean new ADIs will be better prepared to deliver effective training from day one of qualifying and won’t need to 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 training has taken place. 

“However, it is also important to reassure individuals that consideration will be given to PDIs currently part way through the qualifying process. Also, DVSA ADI examiners will receive training to deliver the new ADI Part 3, and DVSA ORDIT inspectors will  be updated on the inspection requirements.”

MSA GB Chairman Peter Harvey MBE, who has been closely involved with the DVSA on delivering these changes said:

“I feel a real pupil is the correct way forward, the current PSTs do not show a breadth of knowledge just an ability to learn a number of set routines, neither does it test ability to teach roundabouts or gear changing or high speed driving or use of car parks etc.

“Role play is an outmoded form of examination, for the profession to improve, we need to be teaching the real thing to allow modern PDIs to better understand what dealing with real people is all about.”

In my view a competency based Part 3 makes sense I think it is what this industry needs. Many years ago there was a deputy chief driving examiner who used to upset ADIs when they asked him how to teach various things in order that their pupils would pass the test. He had a stock answer “teach them to do what you would do in the same circumstance”.

His view was that, generally speaking, the theory test checked you had a (theoretical) grasp of the subject. The part 1 checked your eyesight was good enough to see what was going on and the Part 2 checked that you knew how to drive properly. The idea of the Part 3 was to make sure you could teach others to do what you could do. That the PSTs were let out of the bag in the early 1980s simply meant that trainers tried to teach people to pass them rather than teaching/coaching/training them to teach/coach/train properly.

It would seem to me that a person who is a really good teacher/coach/trainer should be a good driver teacher/coach/trainer if they can pass the theory test, the eyesight test and the driving test. I appreciate that they may need a bit of specialist advice to ensure their teaching/coaching/training skills are compatible with driver teaching/coaching/training but with that bit of help they should be off and running.

tricoaching_logo1_72Susan McCormack from the Tri-coaching Partnership puts her latest thinking on the subject as follows

‘Points in favour of the Standards Check replacing the Part 3.

Let’s look at three points:

1 Training versus testing
2 Skills versus subject
3 Individual responsibility and client-centred learning

1 Training versus testing
The DVSA is responsible for setting and maintaining the standards in all categories of drivers and driver trainers. It has no responsibility for the training. Anyone, who applies to become a driving instructor and takes the three-part qualifying exam, can do so without ever once undertaking professional training. In the same way, anyone can sit the ‘L’ theory and practical tests without ever having training with an ADI.

The three-part qualifying examination to be an ADI is a summative assessment of the knowledge, skills and understanding the potential driving instructor (PDI) has of the National Driver and Rider Training Standard. These are the standards that are set by the DVSA, against which PDIs are tested.

Therefore, it follows, that the training (whether the PDI takes this formally or trains alone) must be around developing the knowledge, skills and understanding of the National Driver and Rider Training Standard.

2 Skills versus subject
Let’s focus on the training – not the testing – for a moment. The training currently unashamedly prepares the individual to pass the Part 3 test. The training usually consists of forty hours that focus on the ten pre-set test combinations (PSTs) of the Part 3 rather than a syllabus of training that matches the National Standard. There is no context.

If you are against the Standards Check replacing the Part 3 then you might be overly concerned about individuals learning the ‘content of subjects’, rather than recognising that the most important thing is the ‘skills that need applying’ to any situation – the ‘skills’ that are robustly assessed with the seventeen competences that make up the Standards Check. The subject is irrelevant. Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable for the candidate to prepare the subject they are most familiar with on a route they feel comfortable with – because they still must demonstrate ability in seventeen competences.

3 Individual responsibility and client-centred learning
Coaching and client-centred learning (CCL) is all about raising self-awareness and building self-responsibility. The trainee driving instructor must take ownership of their own learning and work out their individual development needs in becoming a driving instructor. If they do this successfully then they are more likely to recognise the importance of CCL when it comes to teaching people to drive. Raising awareness and building responsibility in newly qualified drivers will help keep them safe on the road – the starting point lies in the self-development of the PDI.

It is about looking at the bigger picture and keeping the context in mind.’

Driving licence codes


M5AGBI was recently asked a couple of questions about Driving licence codes:

  1. How does a full Category B licence holder go about removing the “01” restriction from their driving licence?
  2. Where can I find a schedule of the codes within regulations. I can find plenty of copies of the codes on government and other websites, but not within the schedule to a regulation. Do you know if they are not set out in regulation?

Continue reading

To signal or not to signal, that…

Picture © Copyright Stephen Sweeney

Picture © Copyright Stephen Sweeney

I was recently discussing the merits of lane departure warning systems, which many readers will know is an in-car mechanism designed to warn the driver when the vehicle begins to move out of its lane unless a turn signal is on in that direction.

The systems are designed to minimise crashes by addressing the main causes of collisions: driver error, distractions and drowsiness. Continue reading

Porsche: fancy a drive?

Porsche Carrera 911 C2S

Porsche Carrera 911 C2S

“This time we are going to try a launch control start”, said Mark, my Porsche driving consultant as we sat at the start line of the circuit’s straight.

We were on a safe and controlled part of the circuit at the Porsche Experience test track, a place designed to allow drivers to fully explore how a Porsche accelerates and stops.

We had already tried accelerating hard – and braking equally hard – along these straights, Continue reading

They can have all the advice they want – as long as it’s on driving

Driving instructors are asked for information and guidance about all aspects of learning to drive and road safety, but how much advice should they give?

The first question most learners ask is “When will I be ready for test?”. Instructors are often somewhat guarded in answering this question, many turning to the joint TSO and DVSA web page, which advises: “Check out our infographic – a pdf file that opens in a new window.” This states that, “on average you need 40 hours of tuition with a professional driving instructor and 20 hours of private practice before passing your driving test.” Continue reading

Not Nostradamus …

nostradamus_by_lemudAs the end of the year approaches my thoughts turn to what next year might bring. However, I won’t be making a lot of predictions after the abject failure of my forecasts over recent times.

It started in May 2015 when I confidently predicted that there would be a hung parliament … clearly, I was wrong and David Cameron’s Conservatives won an, albeit small, majority and he formed a new Government.

Moving on to this year and in June the long-awaited EU Referendum took place. I felt sure that the people of the UK would vote to stay in the EU despite its many obvious faults. I had always believed the view of Winston Churchill “to jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war”, would prevail, and we would continue in membership, to ensure peace and seek to find political solutions to our disagreements with our fellow Europeans. Not to be: a majority of those voting decided we should leave. Continue reading

Create a stir over cocktails

BSM Training Course Standing third from right me.

BSM Training Course Standing third from right me.

Writing the post Now, just reverse out on to the main road for me… about my own driving test experience reminded me that everybody remembers something that happened on their driving test.

Many of these stories become embellished over time and to the ears of many a professional driver trainer or driving test examiner they are clearly a bit tedious and Continue reading

Now, just reverse out on to the main road for me…

The Clock Tower, Herne Bay believed to be the earliest purpose-built, free-standing clock tower in the World.

The Clock Tower, Herne Bay the earliest free-standing clock tower in the World.

In the September issue of Newslink (the MSA GB members’ monthly magazine) Tony Phillips, MSA GB Greater London, discussed in his column the driving test trial. One section stated: ‘Upon entering a side road which is a two-way road but is heavily parked on both sides with no immediate passing places, you see a removal van stopped in the middle of the road and just about to commence loading. What would you do?’ He was suggesting that the best course of action would be to do a manoeuvre you wouldn’t usually recommend, mainly reversing out of a side road on to a busy main road. Otherwise, you could be sat there all day!

In my mind’s eye I was immediately transported back to Arkley Road in Herne Bay, Kent on a pleasant spring day – the day I took my own driving test. I had just turned left off King’s Road, down Stanley Road, and as I passed King’s Road School, where I had been a pupil, I was asked to turn left into Arkley Road. Continue reading

Future offers hope for a better link between testing and real driving

Graphic © Competency Frameworks

Graphic © Competency Frameworks

At a recent meeting I attended I was surprised to hear one of the speaker’s state that driver testing was flawed because the new drivers who pass the driving test in the shortest time, have the fewest lessons, incur the fewest driving faults on test, have the highest pass rate are the group of drivers who are involved in the most collisions?  The speaker also suggested that the driving test would be much better if it was competence-based rather than fault-based, and they were not too impressed with the current driving test trial, either. Continue reading

NASP looking to update the ADI CoP

Safeguarding LsThe number of complaints against driver trainers regarding incidents of a sexual nature with pupils have increased in recent times.

Some of this increase has been attributed by some commentators as down to the “Saville effect”, whereby there is a general increased awareness of abuse and a greater willingness to come forward and report it.

The official Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has also proved a catalyst for many to report incidents to the police, both recent and historic.

All the ADI representative bodies and the DVSA take these complaints very seriously and act quickly if cases demand it. Continue reading