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Changes to the ADI part 3 test in line with the standards check03-03-2017  
Changes to the ADI part 3 test assessment of instructional ability will be introduced on 2 October 2017. Comments from ADI Registrar, Mark Magee and MSA GB Chairman, Peter Harvey MBE

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced that the part 3 test will now be aligned with the Standards Check and require a ‘real’ pupil in a lesson tailored to their individual learning goals and needs.

The changes 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) in a bid to improve the standard of training and testing of trainee driver instructors. This in turn, will support DVSA’s strategic aim of helping learners through a lifetime of safe driving.

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."

The DVSA will publish the new assessment form and accompanying guidance soon, but main changes that trainers and trainees need to be aware of are:

  • The same criteria as the standards check will be used with a competency-based assessment 
  • Trainees 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 will be assessed using the additional 17 sub-competencies set out in the current standards check assessment form and to the national standards of Driver and Rider training.
  • Examiners will no longer be able to role play.
  • Trainees will be required to provide a ‘real’ pupil which could be friends, family members or colleagues, and the lesson will have to reflect their learning goals and needs. This doesn’t have to be a learner, but could be a full licence holder seeking driver development


In April 2014, DVSA introduced the ‘standards check’ which changed the way they assessed ADIs; focussing on assessing their competence to deliver effective training in line with the National standard for driver and rider training.  This assessment has been well received by both instructors and DVSA examiners. 

In 2016, DVSA conducted two industry surveys, March and November, to identify awareness and impact of the proposed change and how well prepared instructor trainers and ORDIT organisations were to deliver the new training requirements.

The research also set out to establish if they had already changed training methods and processes following the introduction of the standards check. Click to view survey results


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