There has been a downward trend in the number of Approved Driving Instructors on the Register in recent years, in June 2011 the register peeked at 47,111 figures published for June 2015 state a figure of 41,050 ADIs a drop of 6,061. This is probably linked to a reduced demand for instructors, related to what was until recently a reducing number of car practical tests.
There was a large peak in ADI theory test passes around 2009, which was only slightly reflected in increased practical test passes. This may have been due to individuals considering a career change during the recession but not continuing through the full process - it would have been relatively easy to pursue this as far as the theory test, but to complete the process is costly and requires a considerable investment of time and effort.
During April to June 2015, 2,622 standards checks were conducted on ADIs, taking the total with a grade under the new standards to 11,748. Of these, 28.2 per cent scored an A, 68.8 per cent a B and 2.9 per cent had failed.
Of 116 CBT instructor check tests conducted during April to June, 99 had a satisfactory result.
The pass rate for car theory tests dropped substantially at the beginning of 2013 with the question changes described to the right. From 1st October 2014, test fees decreased slightly.
The long term trend in theory tests conducted was fairly level from 2008 until the beginning of 2013, then began to increase, continuing to do so over the following year. This increase was largely due to the increasing number of retakes associated with the drop in the pass rate, as illustrated by the fact that the number of passes continued relatively unchanged.
The number of theory tests conducted began to level off again in 2014, but is now showing increases unrelated to the increased need for retakes. The number of tests conducted during April - June 2015 was 10.4% higher than one year before
Practical car tests
There was a long-term downward trend in practical tests conducted of 18.5 per cent between 2007/08 and 2012/13. Several factors are likely to have influenced this, as discussed in the panel to the right.
By contrast, in recent quarters there have been increases in the numbers of tests conducted, which were probably influenced by the upturn in the economy. The number of tests conducted in April to June 2015 was 7% higher than in the same quarter of 2014, but still 16% lower than in the corresponding quarter in 2008.
The practical test pass rate has been very stable over recent years, so the trend in test passes closely mirrors that for tests conducted.
The practical car test pass rate in the last quarter was 43.3 per cent for women and 50.5 per cent for men.
Women made up 48.4 per cent of successful candidates during April to June, although they took 52.2 per cent of the tests conducted.