The most common bit of advice you read is ‘treat the standards check as a normal lesson’ but is this true?
The Standards Check is your opportunity to demonstrate to the DVSA that you are fit to remain on the ADI register. It is not just a ‘normal’ lesson.
Here’s some quotes from recent Tribunal decisions (The Transport Tribunal makes judgements if you appeal the decision to strike you off the register after 3 failed tests)
“The Appellant’s name was first entered on the Register in February 2010 and in the normal course the current period of registration will expire on the last day of February 2018. 3. The Appellant failed the standards check on 27 January and 28 April 2016 and was giving guidance on how to improve his performance on both occasions. On 29 June he took the test for the third time and failed”
“The Appellant has failed the test on 3 occasions; 19/5/2015, 1/9/2015 when guidance on preparation for future tests was give and on 2/3/2016. He was given the opportunity to make representations before a final decision was made on whether his name should be removed. In his representations he stated that he had been teaching for over 30 years, and had a sense of job satisfaction in contributing to road safety. He had a good pass rate, and considered himself a good instructor. He did not wish to lose his livelihood”
“The Appellant’s name was first entered in the Register in August 2014 and in the normal course his period of registration would not expire until the last day of August 2018. b. On 23 September 2015 and 9 February 2016, the Appellant undertook standards check tests and failed. Following each of these tests the Appellant was notified of the examiner’s findings and advised to consider further personal development. On 13 April 2016, the Appellant undertook a third standards check test that was conducted by a more senior driving examiner and again he failed. The Appellant has appealed to the Tribunal raising the following matters in support of his appeal: a. He had been mislead by the good results of his clients and had not realised that he needed help with how he planned and organised his lessons. He had only failed his first two tests by a very small margin and so had not sought further training. His pupil during the standards check test had completely fallen apart and everything then went wrong. 3 b. He has since undertaken 14 hours of training in respect of core competencies and delivering lessons and had learned a lot. He considered that his level of instruction has considerably improved. He requests another chance to take the test.”
“The Appellant’s name was first entered in the Register in November 2007 and in the normal course his period of registration would not expire until the last day of January 2020. b. On 6 August 2015 and 5 November 2015, the Appellant undertook standards check tests and failed. Following each of these tests the Appellant was notified of the examiner’s findings and advised to consider further personal development. On 22 April 2016 the Appellant undertook a third standards check test that was conducted by a more senior driving examiner and again he failed”
Some of these ADI’s have been on the register for 10 years, most of them will have passed an ‘old’ check test at least at grade 4 – there’s even a case from an ADI who qualified in the 1980’s, who was struck off.
All of these appeals failed. In fact they almost all do. The only successful one I read was where an ADI cancelled the SC due to medical reasons and eventually they tried to remove him from the register but the appeal was allowed.
Treating the Standards Check as a normal lesson only works if you are a good instructor/trainer.
Wow – That’s contentious (possibly) – So let’s rephrase. Treating the Standards Check as a normal lesson only works if you normally cover the competencies they are looking for in all your lessons.
If you’re a poor instructor then you’re going to fail or just scrape a ‘B’, if you’re an average instructor you’ll get a mid to high ‘B’, if you’re a Good Instructor you’ll get a high B to scraping an A and so on… – Poor / Good and Average based on the DVSA requirements of course – but at the end of the day it’s their pitch and they’re the referee.
If you understand the competencies and demonstrate them in the lesson then no matter your ability as an instructor you’ll get a higher score.
Even the DVSA themselves in the ADI 1 don’t claim that it is a ‘normal lesson’
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.
Should I take a learner or a Full License holder?
Well again it depends on your strengths – you’re the one being assessed on your ability as a teacher, why make it difficult for yourself?
Teach the lesson and to level you’re most familiar with.
I took an IAM Masters Distinction holder on my SC. That’s the highest civilian driving grade you can get, (some might say equivalent to an old Police Class 1 without the speed limit exemptions) and I passed comfortably with an A because I’m used to instructing at and above that level. (and because I hadn’t got anyone else to drive at the time either), while wrestling at the time the DVSA’s views on straight lining roundabouts and signalling when there was no-one to benefit.
So, how do you demonstrate the competencies?
Well there’s lots of free help and advice out there in the DVSA documentation, Youtube and facebook videos.
But if you’re in Worcestershire and you’re the sort of person that needs interaction with a trainer, or your lessons assessed for a second opinion, or mock standards checks and rescue training then give me call.