From 7 April 2014 approved driving instructors will have their instructor abilities assessed with the new standards check. Find out everything you need to know about the standards check below.

The background

In 2011, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) published its National standard for driver and rider training which set out the skills, knowledge and understanding required to be a good trainer.

The practical standards check, which will have to be taken every 4 years, will assess how well driving instructors meet these standards.


When will I have to do the standards check?

If you’re an ADI you will receive an invitation to take their standards check at your local test centre.

In the guidelines released by DSA they remind ADIs that it is their responsibility to know the area well to be able to give appropriate directions to the learner.


What will the standards check look like?

A driving examiner will accompany and observe you on a normal one hour lesson. The new standards check is purely a practical in-car assessment and no off-road or classroom alternatives will be offered.

Typical scenarios that you might be assessed for include:

  • Partly training, inexperienced learner
  • Experienced learner – about ready to take their practical driving test
  • New full licence holder
  • Experienced full licence holder

The learner you choose cannot be on the ADI register or have passed the second ADI test.

DSA has published its guidelines for the standards check. Read from 1.6 for details about how to deliver the lesson during the check.


What will I be assessed on?

The assessment will look at 3 broad areas:

  • Lesson planning
  • Risk management
  • Teaching and learning strategies

To pass the assessment you must:

  • actively recognise the need to understand the pupil’s experience and background
  • ask suitable questions
  • encourage the pupil to talk about their goals, concerns etc. and actively listen to what the pupil has to say
  • understand the significance of what they say
  • recognise other indications, e.g. body language, that the pupil is trying to express something but perhaps cannot find the right words

You have the opportunity to gain up to 51 marks which will dictate your final grade. There are two situations which will result in a fail:

  • Achieve a score of 7 or less on the ‘risk management’ section
  • At any point in the lesson, behave in a way which puts you, the pupil or any third party in immediate danger, so that you have to stop the lesson

For more information please see the full guidelines from DSA