ADI Standards check

The ADI standards check is a test that driving instructors take every two to four years.

It involves a driving instructor giving a 45-minute driving lesson while an examiner watches from the back of the car. The examiner assesses the instructor’s performance and gives them a grade of A, B or F at the end.

The test length changed from 1 hour to 45 minutes during the pandemic and it was decided to keep this due to it being sufficient.

You can watch all my standards check videos by clicking here. These include me giving mock standards checks and a 3-hour guide to ADI1 – the DVSA standards check examiners guide.

What’s the difference between a standards check and a check test?

Many instructors think the standards check is nothing to worry about because it’s the same as the old check test. If you turn up and do what you normally do you’ll be fine because nothing has changed. Wrong.

The check test is the old version the standards check. It was different in that you were marked from 1 to 6 in 14 areas such as your use of dual controls, approach to pupil and level of instruction. You only had to score 4 or more in 3 of those areas to keep your job.

So long as you spotted faults, took the correct action and fixed them then you’d pass. You could be rude, nearly cause crashes and do a terrible route and you’d pass.

There would be no point in the standards check existing If it was the same as a check test. It’s a totally different approach to assessing a driving instructors ability which works much better. Once you learn what the differences are you’ll see why it’s a much better system. It drags the old fashioned style of driving instruction into the 21st century.

The new elements introduced in the standards check

The key differences include:

  • No role-play because you must take along a real pupil
  • Your teaching must be client based and focused around the pupils needs
  • Just fixing faults is not enough, you must show a wider range of skills
  • Different marking criteria. You’re now marked from 0 to 3 in 17 areas
  • Risk management. You will fail if your lesson isn’t safe and puts anyone at risk
  • Role and responsibility discussions are vital
  • Your performance is assessed for discrimination
  • Grades A, B and F replace grades 1 to 6

Why can’t you do role-play on the standards check?

The huge problem with the old check test was that there was a way you could cheat to get a high grade.

It was no secret that you could ask the examiner to role-play as a pupil instead of taking a real pupil along. The examiner could only then make faults on that subject and nothing else. If you chose to teach pedestrian crossings then you knew they were going to be waving people over, approaching too fast etc.

This was, of course, farcical. Instructors were getting grade 6’s for doing the same old lesson over and over again. Each time a check test came round you could do the same old route and lesson briefing.

Instructors (like me) that took real pupils along would get a grade 4 or 5 because a real pupil is much harder to handle. Unlike an examiner, a real pupil would not only make faults on your chosen topic but they’ll be making mistakes all over the place! You could have to totally change the route, lesson plan and everything.

Now you understand why the role-play was scrapped and many of those grade 6 instructors are no longer working as instructors.

Why experienced instructors struggle to pass

Many grade 5 and 6 driving instructors with years of experience get a grade B on the standards check. This is because just telling people what to do with the various levels of instruction is not enough anymore. You don’t need to worry or change your whole style of teaching. There are differences that you must know about however.

On a standards check you need to use skills including client based learning, psychological techniques and many other methods. These methods make learning far more effective and enjoyable for both yourself and the pupil. If you turn up and use the old rigid style of instruction and fault fixing then you could well fail.

The standards check is nothing to be afraid of but it is different to a check test. In my standards check video section I’ll be talking you through everything you need to know to not only pass your standards check but to make the job more enjoyable and raise your teaching skills to the level now needed to succeed and achieve a grade A.

Watch more of my standards check videos on my YouTube channel.

No educational standards checks

Up until April 2014, you were supposed to take your first check test (the old standards check) within 6 months of passing ADI part 3. This first test after qualifying was an “educational” test to show how you were doing and the result didn’t count for anything.

The system never worked very well though. In fact, it was 6 years after passing my part 3 before they gave me my first check test! I remember the examiner being shocked when I said how long it had been and he said “This won’t be an educational one then.”.

Educational tests no longer happen but you still sometimes have another standards check soon after passing ADI part 3. I met one man that had a standards check within 2 weeks of qualifying!

One aim of bringing in the standards check was to make the system more uniform. It was confusing to have a part 3, an educational check test and then a normal check test. What happens with part 3’s and standards check is all now the same, in theory!

With that in mind, you should now have your first standards check at least 2 years after passing ADI part 3. Your next standards check will then be at least 2 years away.

Just be ready to take your standards check at any time after passing ADI part 3 and yes, the result does count.

So what’s the difference between ADI part 3 and a standards check?

Why I’m a great ADI standards check trainer

The standards check is largely about using modern methods of teaching involving  psychological techniques and thought processes.

I’m not only a driving instructor but also a qualified hypnotist and NLP coach.

I understand how the mind works and can use these skills to help you achieve your goals. You don’t have to be hypnotised and my NLP skills mean I can identify how you learn and talk to you in a way that is far more effective.

Most driving instructor trainers don’t have a clue about the mind and how it works but I do. You might even learn some of it from me along the way.

Contact me today to start your ADI standards check training.