© Crown copyright 2017
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/proposed-changes-to-the-approved-driving-instructor-adi-part-3-test/approved-driving-instructor-adi-part-3-measuring-awareness-of-proposed-changes-to-the-test
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is responsible for regulating the register of approved driving instructors (ADIs).
Only individuals on the register, or trainee driving instructors who have been granted a trainee licence by the ADI Registrar, can teach people to drive for money or reward.
To become an ADI, you must successfully complete a 3-stage assessment process:
1.1 Standards check
Once qualified, an ADI must take periodic assessments with a DVSA approved examiner to make sure that their instructional standards are still reaching the minimum requirements to remain on the register.
In 2014 the ‘check test’ method of assessment was replaced with the ‘standards check’.
As part of this change the role-play option, in which the examiner played the role of the pupil, was removed because it didn’t provide adequate opportunity for the ADI to demonstrate the range of competencies detailed in the national standard for driver and rider training.
DVSA now intends to align the ADI qualification process with the standards check. This will remove the pre-set test format and role-play element from the part 3 test of instructional ability. Instead, the instructor will need to bring another person (who can take the role of the learner) and deliver a driving lesson while the DVSA examiner observes their skills.
The ADI Registrar required research evidence from organisations on the official register of driving instructor trainers (ORDIT), to understand the impact these changes might have on the driving instructor training industry.
This research was to identify:
- how well informed the driving instructor training industry is
- what impacts the change will have
- how well prepared the training industry is for the proposed change
2. Research method
To get feedback DVSA set up 2 anonymous online surveys:
- survey 1 - 22 March 2016 to 5 April 2016
- survey 2 - 9 November 2016 to 22 November 2016
DSVA has contact details of all ORDIT registered organisations. The organisations were sent an email or postal invitation to take part in the research.
In both surveys, the responses to the questions were voluntary. This means some questions have a greater response rate than others.
Text responses were analysed using ‘thematic coding’ to group responses into common themes.
In the analysis sections, spelling errors in organisations quotes have been corrected for clarity.
3. Analysis: survey 1
From 160 surveys sent out DVSA had 73 responses (46.5% response rate), 72 by email and 1 by post.
National distribution of responses
From the 73 responses, 62 answered this question.
|Scotland||6.45 % (4)|
|Wales||6.45 % (4)|
Survey question: Prior to being invited to take part in this research, were you aware of the proposed changes DVSA is intending to make to the instructional test of ability?
There were 68 responses.
|Somewhat Aware||20 (29%)|
|Not aware||3 (4.8%)|
The survey was designed to measure the levels of understanding of those who were aware or somewhat aware of the proposals.
The 3 respondents who said they weren’t aware of the changes were directed to some internet links for more information and at this point could leave the survey.
Survey question: If you can remember, please can you tell us (when/where) you found out about the change?
There were 63 responses and these were grouped into 5 themes.
Some responses covered more than 1 theme.
|Communication from other industry sources||11|
DVSA communication theme
This theme included references to:
- DVSA email communication
- forum events held by DVSA
- previous DVSA surveys that had asked organisations about proposed changes to the ADI part 3 (assumed to mean the Modernising Driver Training Consultation)
This is a reassuring finding as a reasonable number of organisations remember receiving their information directly from DVSA. However, this was only 36% of the respondents so there is opportunity to improve communications in the future.
Informal communication theme
This theme included references to ‘ad hoc’ conversations either with:
- DVSA staff
- other industry colleagues
This finding demonstrates that DVSA staff, going about their duties, can have a significant role to play in communicating corporate messages.
It also highlights the possible influence they could have on opinions. DVSA staff maintaining strong relationships with industry groups and organisations could help to make sure official messages are communicated accurately.
Communication from other industry sources theme
This theme included communications from other industry sources such as:
- trade magazines
- trade events
This reflects the previous point that industry groups have an influential role in communicating messages.
Own research and social media themes
These two themes were similar as the respondents describe finding information about the change to the ADI part 3 test through indirect messages, which included:
- social media comments from friends/colleagues
- reading articles on websites they frequently visit
3.4 Training methods
Survey question: As a result of the proposal, have you already made any changes to the training methods you use for potential driving instructors?
68 organisations answered this question.
|Have made changes||48|
|Haven’t made changes||20|
Have made changes to training methods
The respondents that have made changes to their training methods were asked to describe the changes they made.
There were 48 responses and these were grouped into 3 themes:
- client centred learning
- in line with standards check
- reflective learning
Client centred learning theme
There were 33 comments that related to client centred learning.
For example, an Organisation based in London, England stated:
“As part of the part three training instead of the traditional recap etc. we have started introducing reflective logs, and more client based training.”
An organisation based in East Midlands, England stated:
Mainly risk management and sharing risk and how to share responsibilities, client centre learning, lesson planning to suit pupil’s need etc.
Responses like this were also often coupled with the wider skills that will be assessed during the ADI part 3 and standards check. This suggests that the training industry is already using more learner focused training methods.
In line with standards check
There were 10 comments that related to training being in line with the standards check.
Most of these comments were very short and direct. They often referred to the National Standards documents.
One organisation based in South West, England, did go into more detail and identified a range of changes they had made:
Much more focus on teaching methods and communication skills and leaning towards the standards check - suggesting the potential driving instructor does a PETALS course and that they understand how to use positive and proactive communication and understand customer service & Legal requirements including health and safety and car checks etc. rather than focusing on the part 3 only.
Reflective learning theme
There were 5 comments that related to reflective learning.
These comments included references to the use of written logs and even smartphone/tablet apps to support their client’s learning.
An organisation based in London, England stated:
My potential driving instructors have email records of each lesson with a structured format and app system, ebook and hard copy book structured to use on all the stages of the driving subject.
Some of the unique responses included:
- bringing live learners to training so that a potential driving instructor can experience training a real person while still under supervision
- using local driving environments to train in varied conditions
- use of pre-set tests as current potential driving instructors go through their tests
The findings to this question suggest that there are changes being made to the training of driving instructors. There is evidence of an increased focus on teaching potential driving instructors to think for themselves rather than using routine and memorising skills through repetition (rote learning).
It’s impossible to tell how much of this change is a result of DVSA activity and how much is a natural progression within the driver training industry.
However, the comments from this survey suggest a move towards more modern training and coaching techniques detailed in the national standards documents.
Haven’t made changes to training methods
The 20 respondents that hadn’t made changes to their training methods were asked to explain why.
There were 17 responses and the majority said either that they:
- were unclear about how/when the proposed changes were going to happen
- considered that changes in DVSA often take time and therefore they felt no rush to change what they do
These comments weren’t negative in tone, more statements of their expectations for future change.
The other comments related to no changes being needed because the training methods used by the organisation met the needs of the new part 3 test.
Future changes to training methods
The 20 respondents who answered that they hadn’t made changes to training methods were asked to describe any future plans they had.
There were 8 responses and most of these organisation either stated that they:
- weren’t sure of what the changes will look like
- didn’t want to make changes until DVSA had confirmed its proposals
One organisation based in the North East, England, stated that they are in the process of making changes and are developing an enhanced training course:
We are currently putting a teaching course together for potential driving instructors to achieve an NVQ level 3 in driving instructor training.
Survey question: Can you describe any wider positive or negative impacts this change to the ADI qualifying process might have on your organistion/training methods and /the trainee etc?
There were 39 responses that came under 3 main themes:
- more realistic
- in line with the standards check
- wider skills developed
More realistic theme
The most frequent responses related to the change making the part 3 test more realistic and representative of what new ADIs will need to do when teaching learner drivers.
An organisation based in the North West, England stated:
Changing to new syllabus and more comprehensive coverage of many more subjects, can only result in an increased quality of ADI when first qualified.
In line with the standards check theme
Some of the organisations were satisfied that the change would bring the part 3 test in line with the revised standards check and that this would be helpful for new ADIs when they come to their first periodic assessment.
Wider skills developed theme
There were a few comments about the potential positive impacts the change will have to learning and training overall.
Some organisations stated that the revised part 3 minimises the memorising of skills through repetition (rote learning) and encourages potential driving instructors to think about problem solving and applying their learning to how they will train learner drivers.
An organisation based in the North West, England stated:
It will better prepare potential driving instructors for teaching as apposed [sic] to just role play situations, they will learn more about risks of accompanying a learner driver and learn better how to manage this rather than just focusing on how to teach separate lessons within just 30 minutes.
The negative impacts were slightly more diverse than the positive with the analysis generating 5 themes:
- changes in training
- impact on smaller businesses
- not informed enough
- not an effective assessment
Changes in training theme
The most responses in this theme are for the need to make changes to training programmes.
In particular, the immediate effect the proposed changes might have on their business because of the need to develop new training programmes and supporting material.
Some organisations suggested that the new training required could extend the course overall leading to the potential for increased costs for customers.
An organisation based in Yorkshire and Humber, England stated:
Teaching a ADI trainee to do the job for real will potentially take longer and need real learners as a training resource which ultimately translates into increased cost.
Other organisations felt this change will have an impact on trainees who are part way through their course and there was some concern about how to make sure continuity as the change takes place.
Impact on smaller businesses theme
The issue of adapting to changes also relates to the second most frequent theme, which was the impact on smaller businesses.
There is concern that it’ll be difficult to adapt to large-scale changes and sole traders might struggle to find learners for the part 3 test.
An organisation based in South East, Wales stated:
Changing all the processes we have made over the years. We are a small organisation who will find it hard to make large changes.
Some comments were more focussed on the involvement of a learner in the part 3 test.
The respondents either felt that the:
- learner and potential driving instructor might practice a lesson so that in the test they are performing rehearsed routines
- involvement of a learner in the part 3 test could raise safety risk and/or impact on insurance
An organisation based in South East, England stated:
The potential driving instructors could prime their pupil!
An organisation based in West Midlands, England stated:
How will this impact insurance company’s [sic]?
Not informed enough theme
There were 4 references from organisations who felt they were lacking the information and that this would be the case until the final format of the part 3 test is confirmed.
Not an effective assessment theme
There were 3 comments which questioned the new test and whether it’s challenging the right skills potential driving instructors will need.
Understandably there is always going to be some debate about the ‘best’ training methods. The changes to the part 3 test are no different.
In this circumstance, DVSA should be there to help share best practice and endorse skills, knowledge and understanding required in the National Standard.
4. Analysis: survey 2
From 163 surveys sent out DVSA had 74 responses (45.3% response rate).
National distribution of respondents
From the 74 responses, 34 answered this question.
Survey question: Prior to being invited to take part in this research, were you aware of the proposed changes that DVSA is intending to make the ADI part 3 test of instructional ability?
There were 74 responses.
The results indicate that awareness has improved from 45 organisations in March 2016 to 63 in November 2016. There has also been a reduction in the number of organisations stating that they were only partially aware.
Only one respondent to the survey indicated that they weren’t aware of the changes to the part 3 test.
It’s not possible to say if this increase in awareness is valid because respondents didn’t have to state their names to complete the surveys. However, it’s still positive to find over 95% of responses to this second survey were at least partially aware of the proposed changes.
4.3 Training changes
Survey question: As a result of the proposed changes to the ADI part 3 test have you made any changes to the training methods you use with potential driving instructors?
72 organisations responded.
Have made changes to training methods
The respondents that have made changes to their training methods were asked to describe the changes they made.
There were 20 responses and these were grouped into 3 themes:
- in line with National Standards and Standards Check
- client centered learning
- practice with learner drivers or observation of qualified ADI with learner
In line with National Standards and Standards Check theme
This theme is similar to one of the most frequent responses in the first survey. Organisations often connected the National Standards and Standards check in their responses.
Most of the comments received related to the change making the part 3 test more realistic and representative of what new ADIs will need to do when teaching learner drivers.
Some organisations stated that their training will now also better prepare them for their first check test when their teaching standards will be reassessed.
Client centred learning theme
As in the first survey client centred learning was one of the most common topics mentioned. Some respondents also discuss introducing potential driving instructors to coaching so that they are better equipped to work with the learner in the part 3 test.
Practice with learner drivers or observation of qualified ADI with learner theme
There were a few references to trainers involving learners in the potential driving instructor training programme. This either involved:
- the potential driving instructor directly engaging with the learner to practice their teaching techniques
- having the potential driving instructor observe another qualified ADI giving a lesson to a learner driver
The importance of making potential driving instructor training as close to what they will have to do as an ADI was stressed in these cases.
Have not made changes to training methods
The respondents that hadn’t made changes to their training methods were asked to explain why.
There were 10 responses and these were grouped into 3 themes:
- already use similar training techniques
- too early to change, might confuse current trainee ADIs
- live learner element could be open to manipulation, for example rehearsal
Already use similar training techniques theme
Some organisations stated that they wouldn’t need to change their training programmes because they already use techniques suitable.
Many find that using client centred learning and coaching encourages the potential driving instructor to think about being trainers themselves, which would help them prepare for the revised part 3 test.
One organisation said:
“I have already started to introduce CCL into my training methods and I am pleased the way it is going. My potential driving instructors like this new style and the last one to pass used these new skills and I feel the examiner seemed impressed.”
Too early to change, might confuse current trainee ADIs theme
Some of the more direct responses stated that changing training programmes now could confuse current clients.
Some organisations expressed concern about trainees whose training will still be ongoing when the change to the part 3 test takes place.
Live learner element could be open to manipulation theme
There also still appears to be some concern that the new part 3 test could be easy to plan for and therefore some could manipulate their outcome.
While these are valid concerns, and the practice would need monitoring for, it would seem unproductive as an approach to passing the new part 3 test.
Many of the other comments promote the ‘real life’ aspect of the new test and as such, a rehearsed lesson can’t plan for the actions of other road users or conditions on the day.
The 2 respondents who said ‘not applicable’ had no further comments. But a few general references from respondents said more specific information was needed.
Survey question: Do you use role-play exercises in your current potential driving instructor training programme?
There were 49 responses and they all said that they did.
There were 9 comments in response to this question. Organisations mainly stated that this method was important for trainees’ knowledge and understanding.
Comments also indicated that the use of role-play was a good way of structuring feedback and helped identify any skills the potential driving instructor still needs to develop.
4.5 Involving learners
Survey question: Do you involve pupils in your current potential driving instructor training programme?
There were 50 responses.
Those who don’t involve learners
The ‘no’ responses provided 3 comments.
Overall, their responses explained that they find role-play sufficient to prepare the potential driving instructor for training learner drivers.
Those who do involve learners
There were 10 comments and organisations provided detail of the diverse ways learners can be involved, including:
- the potential driving instructor practices with learners using a trainee licence
- the potential driving instructor observing qualified ADIs giving driving lessons to learner drivers
- observing real driving tests
- the instructor trainer observing the potential driving instructor work with a learner driver
- practice with friends and family
4.6 Involving learners
The survey asked those who responded ‘yes’ to ‘Do you involve pupils in your current potential driving instructor training programme?’ the question:
Survey question: As you involve pupils in your training programme can you say if this is this via the trainee licence or through the instructor trainer’s pupils?
There were 35 responses.
|Trainee licence||3 (8.6%)|
|Instructor trainer’s pupil||9 (25.7%)|
|Combination of both||19 (54.3)|
|Other (please specify)||4 (11.4%)|
Over 50% of those who involve learners in training use both instructor trainer’s pupils and the trainee licence.
Three of those who responded ‘other’ provided comments that suggest they too use a combination depending on the trainee.
The variation in these figures seems to come down to the potential driving instructor and whether they had any training with other providers (or no formal training at all).
4.7 Finding learners
Survey question: how do you find pupils to take part in training?
There were 17 responses.
The vast majority responded that they work for a driving school and therefore a supply of learner drivers is easily accessible if/when needed.
A few mentioned that they tend to offer a ‘free lesson’ as incentive to encourage learners to volunteer.
The other comments referenced using friends, family or colleagues to role-play the part of the learner.
4.8 Recording progress
Survey question: How do you record the progress of your trainee potential driving instructors?
There were 35 responses.
|Paper based workbook||16 (45.7%)|
|e-Learning tool (PC or laptop)||8 (22.9%)|
|A mobile app (smartphone or tablet based)||6 (17.1%)|
|Other (please specify)||5 (14.3%)|
The ‘other’ category had 5 comments:
- 2 were from trainers who use a combination of methods such as digital and paper based records
- 2 referenced specific products developed by third party organisations
- 1 declined to comment
The free comment section on this question received 6 comments. Most were descriptions of why trainers use certain methods above others.
Organisations mentioned the importance of being able to use paper and digital methods. They said:
- digital is easy to update and can be accessed at any time
- paper is useful for reviewing learning and writing records down can help retention of information
4.9 Standards check training
Survey question: Does your potential driving instructor training programme include advance training for the standards check?
The question related to the standards check. There were 35 responses.
|Not applicable||1 (2.9%)|
Survey question: As you provide advance training for the standards check, have you developed any learning materials to support it?
From the 27 who responded Yes to the above, 26 responded to the follow-up question.
|Not applicable||1 (3.8%)|
The aim of this research was to identify how well informed the potential driving instructor training industry is regarding the revised ADI qualification process. It was also important to understand what impacts the change might have on ORDIT registered organisations.
The change to the ADI part 3 test will require a change to legislation. DVSA are using the knowledge gained from these surveys to minimise the impact of the changes to the instructor training industry.
The survey response rate, from all over Great Britain, is good. This should provide some confidence that the findings in this report capture opinions that are representative of the wider training industry.
Only a few of the responding organisations hadn’t heard about the proposed changes to the part 3 test. This suggests awareness is generally good and there is evidence that it seems to be improving over time.
The potential positive impacts are very consistent and are focused on the practical improvements the new part 3 test will make to the ADI training process by making it more realistic. Many linked the change with the revised standards check and referred to the National Standard document which underpins driver and rider instructor training.
Awareness of the connection between education, training and road safety indicates that one of DVSAs core policies, of working to improve driver skills, knowledge and attitudes, is having an impact at all levels of driving and driver training.
Most organisations are getting their information directly from DVSA through either direct formal communication or more relaxed conversation between colleagues. The surveys suggest that there is confidence in this information and, as different and new communication methods become available, DVSA should seek to continue to improve its communication networks.
The negative effects identified by organisations tend to be focused on the possible impact to business due to extended training or the need for new materials being developed. However, some organisations still feel that they are lacking in enough detail about the proposals to make changes to their training methods at present.
DVSA has a role in helping to manage these concerns as the changes begin to move through the regulatory process.
The findings from this research are being used to identify solutions and provide advice to support organisations as they adjust to the new part 3 test of instructional ability.