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A.D.I Check Test

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Your role is to assess the ADI’s competence to deliver effective driving instruction. The ‘National standard for driver and rider training’ is expressed in terms of learning outcomes and there may be more than one way for an ADI to achieve those outcomes. Of course if an ADI does, or says, something that is clearly wrong it is important that you pick this up, especially where it could lead to a safety issue. However, your overall approach should be focused on recognising achievement and promoting improvement and development - rather than purely identifying faults.

The ADI’s task is to provide an effective learning experience for their pupil. An effective learning experience is judged to be one in which the pupil is supported to take as much responsibility as possible for their learning process. The ADI should, where it is correct and safe to do so, feel free to introduce wider issues from the driving standard into the lesson, such as assessing personal fitness to drive, the use of alcohol or drugs or dealing with aggression.


 If, for example, a pupil offers an inappropriate comment about the use of alcohol it would be appropriate for the ADI to challenge this. Similarly, it would be appropriate for the ADI to encourage the pupil to think through what might happen, in particular situations, if the conditions were different. For example, after negotiating a particularly difficult junction it might be helpful to discuss how different it would be at night or in bad weather. The important thing to remember here is that the most effective learning takes place when the pupil finds the answers for themselves.

If opportunities arise for discussion of issues between the ADI and the pupil, while on the move, these can be used, but this needs to be tailored to the pupil’s ability and should not create distraction. Too many unnecessary instructions from the ADI can both de-motivate the pupil and create a real hazard. Remember it is an offence to use a mobile phone whilst driving because this is known to create a level of risk equivalent to or, in some cases, greater than driving whilst drunk. It cannot, therefore be good practice to constantly bombard the pupil with unnecessary questions.

Recording assessment
In normal circumstances you should record your assessment, on the assessment form, immediately after the standards check has been completed, taking into account the guidance given above. You should record the main subject of the lesson and what level of experience the pupil is said to have e.g. FLH for a full licence holder. If at any point during the lesson the ADI behaves in a way which puts you, the pupil or any third party in immediate danger you should stop the lesson. You should put a tick in the appropriate Yes box in the review section and mark the form as a Fail.

If the ADI scores 7 or less in the section marked Risk Management you should put the appropriate Yes box and mark the form as a Fail. The ADI can still be given a score, determined by the scores they achieve against the other criteria but, in any case, the outcome cannot be assessed as satisfactory. If you have to stop the lesson and record a Fail, this outcome must be referred to the Registrar. If the ADI scores 7 or less in the section marked risk management, this outcome should be reported to the bookings team for rebooking (see 3.09). The Registrar will
monitor these cases.

Assuming you do not have reason to award an automatic fail, the marks given should then be totalled to determine the grade achieved.At the end of the standards check the Outcome box on the form should be marked with the grade achieved: “A”, “B” or Fail. 

Giving feedback
When you have finished filling in the assessment form you should inform the ADI the grade they have achieved. If you have assessed them as a Fail they must be told clearly that their instruction is not at an acceptable level. Depending on the reasons for the unsatisfactory assessment the ADI should be told they will need to have a further standards check and the bookings team will contact them. You can then give more detailed feedback but, if you do this, you must make sure that it relates to the competences against which the ADI has been assessed:
 lesson planning
 risk management
 teaching and learning strategies

The partly trained, inexperienced, learner

ADIs should be working to understand where the pupil is having difficulties and how they can help them develop sound basic skills. If the ADI is not making the effort to understand, they are not demonstrating competence. By asking questions or staying silent and listening and watching they are clearly making the effort to understand and demonstrate competence. It doesn’t matter if they don’t achieve full understanding by the end of the lesson.

In the same way, pupils at this level should not feel they are being patronised or talkeddown- to as this will make them unreceptive. They do not all learn in the same way. Consequently there is no single, correct, way to transfer responsibility to them and, in any case, this is not going to take place instantly. In this context, just as it is unreasonable to expect a pupil to get it right instantly, so it is unreasonable to expect an ADI to transfer responsibility instantly. The key thing that an ADI must demonstrate is that they understand the need to transfer ownership and make the effort to do so.

It is important to understand that, at this level, a pupil will not always ‘get it right’ as soon as the ADI gives them some direction or coaches them around a problem. They should understand the issue, at least in principle, and what they need to do in theory. They should generally be willing to try to overcome weaknesses, but their efforts may not always be successful. You should not penalise the ADI if they do not immediately ‘solve the problem’.

ADIs should use a variety of tools to encourage the pupil to analyse their own performance and to find solutions to problems. The ADI should be supportive and give suitable and technically correct instructions or demonstrations where appropriate. Of course, where a pupil cannot come up with a way forward the ADI should provide suitable input – especially if failure to do so might result in a risk to any party.

During their standards check the ADI must demonstrate that they understand the key issues that need to be addressed to try to reduce the numbers of newly qualified drivers who crash in the first 6 months. They should be working to develop a realistic understanding of ability and an enhanced understanding of risk. They should be checking, developing and reinforcing systematic scanning and planning tools. They should be strongly encouraging reflection.

ADIs should be supportive, not over-instruct and give suitable and technically correct instructions or demonstrations where necessary. However the emphasis is likely to be on the use of tools, such as practical examples, to develop a more joined–up and outward looking approach.

Interpreting the assessment criteria Planning
The purpose of all driver-training is to assess and develop the learner’s skill, knowledge and understanding in relation to the contents of the NSDRT. Research indicates that is best achieved by placing the client at the centre of learning process. In this context the assessment criteria should be interpreted as follows. Did the trainer identify the pupil's learning goals and needs? Usually this process will take place at the beginning of a lesson.

However, where the ADI and the pupil have been working together for some time prior to the standards check, they may have already laid down the basic structure of the pupil’s learning goals. This needs to be taken into account when assessing this element. If the ADI has not worked with the pupil before it is perfectly OK for the ADI to ask the pupil to undertake a demonstration / assessment drive.

This should give the ADI a good idea of the pupil’s level of competence and provide a basis for a discussion of the pupil’s needs. It is also important to remember that a better understanding of the pupil’s needs may emerge as the lesson progresses. It follows that this criteria cannot be ‘ticked-off’ at the beginning of the lesson and then forgotten.

As you observe the lesson you should be looking for Indications that the elements which go to make up the low-level competence are being demonstrated. In this case the sorts of things that would give you an indication of competence include: encouraging the pupil to say what they want from the lesson.

 asking questions to ensure understanding
 checking understanding as the lesson progresses
 listening to what the pupil is saying
 taking note of body language

If an ADI encourages the pupil to say what they want, asks questions to check understanding at the beginning and as the lesson progresses, listens to what they are saying and also picks up on body language they are likely to get a 3. If, on the other hand, the do all the listening bits but fail to spot the learner getting very tense and nervous in a particular situation they would probably get a 2. They would have demonstrated their understanding of the need to listen etc. but have not yet developed their ability to spot nonverbal clues. Indications of a lack of competence could include:

making assumptions about understanding or experience failing to note negative or concerned comments or body language that shows discomfort undermining the pupil’s confidence by continually asking questions clearly beyond the pupil’s knowledge or understanding pushing the pupil to address issues that they are not happy to talk about, unless there is a clear need, such as an identified risk or a safety critical issue

Was the agreed lesson structure appropriate for the pupil's experience and ability?
The lesson structure should allow the pupil to progress at a manageable rate; stretching them without overwhelming them. For example, a pupil who is concerned about entering roundabouts should not be asked to tackle a fast-flowing multi-lane, multi-exit junction as their first attempt. Neither should they be restricted to very quiet junctions, unless the ADI identifies a potential risk issue that they want to check out first.

Indications that all the elements of competence are in place could include:
ensuring the pupil understands what they plan to do and agrees with that plan a lesson that reflects the information given by the pupil and the learning goals they want to tackle building in opportunities to check the statements made by the pupil before moving to more challenging situations checking theoretical understanding

Indications of lack of competence include:
delivering a pre-planned, standard lesson that doesn’t take into account the pupil’s expressed needs or concerns
failing to build in a suitable balance of practice and theory

Were the practice areas suitable?
The ADI should use an area or route that allows the pupil to practise safely and helps them to achieve their goals. It should provide some stretch and challenge, but without taking the pupil out of their competence zone.Indications that all the elements of competence are in place could include choosing a practice area / route that provides:a range of opportunities to address the agreed learning objectives challenges, but is realistic in terms of the pupil’s capabilities and confidence Indications of lack of competence include the ADI taking the pupil into an area that takes the pupil outside of their competence zone - so that they spend all their time ‘surviving’ and have no space left to look at learning issues exposing the pupil to risks they cannot manage

Was the lesson plan adapted, when appropriate, to help the pupil work towards their learning goals? The ADI should be willing and able to adapt if the pupil: appears to be uncomfortable or unable to deal with, the learning experience that the ADI has set up suggests that it is not providing what they were looking for If the pupil’s inability is creating a possible risk situation they must adapt quickly.

This might require a few extra questions to clarify what is out of line. It may be that the problem is because of the teaching and learning style being used by the ADI rather than because the overall plan is wrong. Whatever the reason for adapting the plan, the ADI must make sure the pupil understands what they are doing and why.
Indications that all the elements of competence are in place could include:
comparing the actual performance of the pupil with their claims and clarifying any differences responding to any faults or weaknesses that undermine the original plan for the session responding to any concerns or issues raised by the pupil picking up on non-verbal signs of discomfort or confusion

Indications of lack of competence include:
persisting with a plan despite the pupil being clearly out of their depth
persisting with a plan despite the pupil demonstrating faults or weaknesses that should lead to a rethink of the plan
changing the plan without reason failing to explain to the pupil why the plan has been changed

Risk management
It is vital that all parties in any on-road training situation understand, and are clear about, where the responsibility lies for the safety of themselves, others in the vehicle and other road users. There are two aspects to the management of risk in any training situation.

At all times the ADI is responsible for their safety, the safety of the pupil and the safety of other road users. In particular circumstances this can extend to taking physical control of the vehicle to manage a safety critical incident. If the ADI fails in this basic responsibility, at any time, they will fail the standards check. 

From a training point of view, the ADI is also responsible for developing the pupil’s awareness of and ability to manage risk (as the driver, the pupil also has responsibilities). This is the objective that is being assessed in this section.

Did the trainer ensure that the pupil fully understood how the responsibility for risk would be shared? The ‘balance of responsibility’, between the pupil and the ADI, will inevitably vary in different circumstances. For example, compare the following two scenarios: a) A pupil in the very early stages of their training, in a car fitted with dual controls. In this situation it might be reasonable for an ADI to start a lesson by saying something like.

At all times I expect you to drive as carefully and responsibly as possible. I will expect you to be aware of other road users and to control the car. However, I do have the ability to take control of the car in an emergency. I will only use these controls when I feel that you are not dealing with the situation yourself. If that happens we will take some time to talk about what happened so that you understand for next time A pupil who has passed their driving test but has asked you to give them some additional training in their own car, which is much bigger and more technically advanced than the one they learnt in.

In this situation an ADI might say something like: ‘You have passed your test and I will therefore assume that you are taking full responsibility for our safety. I will be talking to you from time to time but I will try to keep that to a minimum so that I don’t distract you. If I am quiet don’t worry; that just means I am comfortable with what you are doing. I will, of course, let you know if I see any risk that you appear to have missed.’ However, such opening statements are not all that is involved in meeting this criterion.

The ADI should be managing this process throughout the lesson. So, for example, if the pupil makes some sort of mistake carrying out a manoeuvre the ADI should, ideally, find an opportunity to analyse that mistake with the pupil. Having achieved an understanding of what went wrong they might then ask the pupil to try the manoeuvre again.

At that point they should provide the pupil with clear information about what is required of them. So, for example, they might say ’Let’s try that manoeuvre again. I won’t say anything. Just try to remember what we have
just been talking about.

On the other hand they may want to take back a bit of control and they might say:
’Let’s try that again. I will talk you through it this time. Just follow my instructions.’
The ADI should work with the pupil to decide the best way of tackling the problem and that might mean a temporary change in the ‘balance of responsibility’. The important thing is that the pupil knows what is expected of them.
Under test conditions there are no circumstances in which an ADI can assume that the issue of risk management has been dealt with.

Even if the ADI and the pupil have had
discussions about risk before the observed lesson, they must show that they are actively managing the issue for assessment purposes.

Indications that all the elements of competence are in place could include:
asking the pupil what is meant by risk
asking the pupil what sorts of issues create risk, such as the use of alcohol or drugs
explaining clearly what is expected of the pupil and what the pupil can reasonably
expect of the.

ADI checking that the pupil understands what is required of them when there is a change of plan or they are asked to repeat an exercise.

Indications of lack of competence include:
failing to address the issue of risk management giving incorrect guidance about where responsibility lies for management of risk failing to explain how dual controls will be used

undermining the pupil’s commitment to being safe and responsible, eg by agreeing with risky attitudes to alcohol use
asking the pupil to repeat a manoeuvre or carry out a particular exercise without
making sure that they understand what role the ADI is going to play.

Were directions and instructions given to the pupil clear and given in good
time? Directions’ should be taken to mean any instruction, such as ‘turn left at the next junction or ‘try changing gear a little later’.
Any input from the ADI must be sufficient, timely and appropriate. It is important that ADIs take account of the ability of their pupils when giving directions.

Directions given late, or in a confusing or misleading way, do not allow the pupil
to respond and can make weaknesses worse.

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Drew Purdy School Of Motoring Ballymoney. A.D.I, D.V.A, and D.O.E approved driving instructor. My school of motoring was established in 1983. At School Of Motoring Ballymoney, I will teach you throught a series of sessions on road, on pre-defined routes particularly chosen to give the learner a comprehensive experience on driving in various road and traffic conditions.


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