Here are my standards check tips so you can become a better instructor and pass your test. Watch the video below to see my number one standards check tip that over 90% of driving instructors get wrong.
You can see many more by watching my standards check videos designed for driving instructors wanting to improve their skills.
Client centered learning is essential
You must base the lesson around the pupils needs and not just teach any old topic because it’s what you like best.
The best way to start a lesson is usually to ask the pupil a question such as:
“What would you like to improve today?”
“What do you think could be better about your driving?”
“Is there anything we’ve worked on before that you’d like to get better at?”
“What would you like to be able to do that you can’t do at the moment?”
All those questions show that you’re taking the pupils needs into consideration. The pupil must set the aim of the lesson, not you.
If you have a quiet pupil who can’t answer questions like that then you’re probably taking the wrong pupil for a standards check. Again, that is client centered learning. Don’t force someone to go on a standards check when they clearly don’t want to be there!
Don’t just get in the car and say you’re doing roundabouts because in your mind that’s what you like doing the best and you think you’ll get a good grade for it. If you don’t teach something the pupil needs to be taught and wants to improve on then you will fail.
Risk management is a major part of the test. If you put yourself or anyone else in danger you will fail immediately.
You can read my page on risk management for more videos and advice on it.
Choose your pupil wisely
It’s true that it’s your performance that matters and not the pupils but why make it harder by taking a difficult pupil?
Why take a quiet pupil that never speaks? That’s going to make it very hard for you because you’ll have no feedback. Why take someone who is going to get very nervous and fall apart?
Choose a pupil that is talkative, will give you feedback and won’t mind having an examiner sitting in the back.
Do something you normally do
Lots of driving instructors fall down by simply trying to do something that they don’t normally do.
A classic example is that many instructors take along a FLH (full licence holder) when they normally only teach learner drivers. The lesson isn’t as good as it needs to be because it’s not something they’re used to doing and it results in a fail.
Here’s a conversation I heard once after a failed standards check:
Examiner – “Do you normally teach full licence holders?”
Instructor – “No.”
Examiner “So why did you bring one for a standards check?”
Do what you normally do! Take a learner if you spend most of your time teaching learners because that’s where your strength is. A standards check is your chance to show what you can do, not what you can’t do!
Train for your standards check
You should always Invest in training for a standards check. Even though I constantly keep up to date with the standards check and deal with it all the time I still take training for my own standards check. Most of my training involves watching my own videos; it’s surprising how much I forget and it’s strange to be watching yourself saying things you’d forgotten about!
Any training is good, it doesn’t have to be with me or any other trainer sitting in on a lesson. If you don’t want me in the car with you then there are other options available on my standards check training page.
A good instructor never just practices to pass a standards check. Good instructors constantly work to improve the standard of their teaching and not just when a standards check comes around.
I have met many people that have failed two standards check and are on their third and final attempt. It’s not a nice situation to be in so don’t leave training until it’s too late. I have seen instructors on the floor in tears in test centres after being told they have failed and will likely be removed from the register. I can’t help you then so get the help now.
Keep your friends close…
You may have heard the saying “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. You can apply this principle to the standards check by always assessing your own standards in an honest way and always trying to improve.
By keeping up to date with things and monitoring your standards more regularly, the standards check will no longer be this horrible event that comes crashing into your life every few years. Instead you’ll be used to dealing with it on a day to day basis and when the real one comes along there will be no need to be as concerned.
One reason I make my videos is so I can look back and see how I can improve my teaching. I’m constantly trying to improve and that’s the sign of a good instructor.