My ADI Check Test Experience Advice

If you are nervous or need to make sure you get a good grade on your next check test, I recommend to get a copy of the book on the left, which helped me with my latest DSA check test after the incident mentioned below and the good thing is that it is not too expensive, less than the cost of a lesson with an ORDIT grade 6 trainer.

For a driving instructor to continue to remain on the DVSA register of approved ADIs, we need to have our skills checked and verified every few years, so it is not a guaranteed licence to make money once you pass the qualifying exams.
I mentioned in previous post on this blog that I had an ADI check test today, it didn't go well, having taken all the time to prepare and get ready, I will be seeing the SE-ADI again in Mill Hill within a couple of weeks or months.

Late last night someone texted me to take up the free lesson offer I had made on my website because I did't have anyone willing to act as a pupil on my check test, so I now had a pupil instead of having to perform with the examiner doing a role play (this option is no longer available with the current re-certification checks).

After my first driving lesson of the day which was in West Hampstead NW6, I had about 40 minutes to dash across to HA8 pick up the learner driver and then go to the Mill Hill test centre on Bunns Lane, NW7. This unfortunately meant that the learner driver only had about 7 minutes of driving to get used to my car. My candidate told me he had a test booked for next week, had taken about 40 lessons with his current instructor in a diesel toyota yaris, I had a petrol version and wanted to use the free training session for a second opinion and practice for his appoitment with the 'L' dsa examiner.

We drove to the test centre, and along the way he stalled the car because he was not using enough gas (this is probably not a problem in the diesel car he normally drives), so I had to remind him to press the gas pedal when moving off. Just after getting to the waiting room the check test SE-ADI entered the room, I introduced myself and the pupil, and we were off.

The examiner asked my learner driver pupil to get into the car while we had a quick chat, I give him details of the learner as being new to me, but had about 42 lessons with another driving instructor, and had a test booked next week, so I was going to be using the lesson to access him and correcting any faults found in preparation of his practical driving test.

I gave the pupil the lesson objectives, and before moving off asked him what the letters MSM stood for, and how he would use it to approach a junction turning left, to which he answered appropriately. I told him to then proceed when ready as the first 10 minutes or so of the session I would just be giving directions in order to access him fully. A quick check of the right hand side of the car, and we were off (I noted that the observations were not complete as the left handside of the car including blind spots had not be covered).

We drove towards the car park exit, and turned left onto the main road, I noticed the learner driver did not check the left exterior mirror, we then turned left at a roundabout, another 2 junctions and I asked for the driver to stop on the left, again no left mirror check. After the car stopped I asked him to move off when ready, and the same observation faults occured no checks on the left, so I pulled him over again.

I explained that even though I had initially said during the brefieng that I would access him for about 10 minutes before having a chat, I had noticed some basic faults which I needed to address, explained the left mirror checks which he was not doing even though he gave me the right answer during Q&A (he did say he checked them but I was watching him the 4 times and didn't see the head or eyes move in that direction, so I asked him why we needed those checks to which he again answered positively cyclists among other things) and we would practice those a bit, Next I asked him what POM meant to which he said he couldn't remember so I told him asking where he would check when moving off from the left and his answer confirmed what he had been doing (interior mirror right mirror and right blind spot and behind) so I had to educate him on that and we then set off to practice these.

To cut a long story short he probably became a little nervous and upset because of the attention to detail his faults were getting, he didn't use the handbrake, approached junctions too fast to make effective use of LADA, coasted round a junction going wide at the same time and when I pulled him over to ask why he had not slowed down when turning left at a junction major to minor with a car approaching us, he swore at me, open the car door and walked out on me and the dsa examiner. A few seconds later he opens the door leans in (I honestly taught he was going to hit me) says 'Oh and I forgot my jumper and stormed off!

So that was the end of my ADI check test, about 35 minutes in, and it was all over. The SE-ADI in the back was just as surprised, said he would arrange for another appointment for me, since we hadn't completed the alloted time. I drove him back to Mill Hill test centre, asked him for any feedback from what he had seen, to which he said I had been on the right track, the pupil had been a little quick with instructions acting before getting the full picture and was surprised he had a driving test next week, the only other thing he said was that if I had noted that he was getting upset with repeated remedial action I might have taken him on a longer road to give him a slight break.

I don't know when my next appointment will be, but lesson learnt, either stick to pupils you know, or get the SE-ADI to perform the role play during check test. I honestly did not have anything against the guy's driving, and was only tryng to help, and with the dsa examiner in the car, I couldn't let anything slip.

Additional reading for Instructors
Independent driving on the test.
Marketing your driving school services
Pay as you Go ADI Training.
Driving Lesson Briefings.
Booking driving test and ADI number

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  1. Anonymous7:56 pm

    When I pass my test next Friday, which I will, I will gladly let you know with a big fat smile all over my face.

  2. Jesus talk about an over reaction - best of luck on your next assesment

  3. Anonymous6:02 am

    i shouldnt say this ..but...that was so funny... absolutely loved your story...better luck next time!

  4. albert5:36 pm

    had 4 check tests over the last 13 years never heard anything like this. my next check test is in seven weeks time hope nothing like this happens good luck

  5. David Braby9:24 am

    Check tests are very poor value for money. They cost us about £120 - hidden in the registration fee. The failure rate is miniscule and we get pathetic feedback- a few minutes worth. Most SEs come up through L testing and haven't given a paid driving lesson. They don't hold any teaching qualifications and yet judge our teaching. You can no longer phone the SE to ask for advice. A nice sinecure for the SE.

  6. I got good feedback from my SE, both after the test, and by letter. I therefore know how get ready for the next one - get someone to assess you and guide you. The advice my ex-examiner trainer then gave me was select the pupil you want to take, and at the test give a very brief set of aims based on what you saw on the way to the test centre, and then deal with those in the hour. Then, proactively use Q&A appropriate to the task (butt in, don't just sit there) you'll get the result.




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