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Leigh Brookes

“I Don’t know, you’re the instructor”

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The open-ended question of “What do you want to work on today” is often met with incredulity by some instructors along the lines that the learner will always answer along the lines of the headline for this post.

And they are most likely correct. Their learners probably will give that answer.  That’s because just as deficiencies in instruction can lead to learners displaying certain types of fault, being instructor-led from the very beginning will lead to reliance on the instructor for the topic.

Think back to when you first trained to become an ADI. I’ve no doubt there were times you were aware of something you wanted to work on but your trainer was more led by the syllabus they wanted to deliver rather than what you thought you needed to work on.

The next point, of course, is how does the trainee know what they need to work on?

I usually start each lesson with a question along the lines of “What are we doing today?”,  on the first lesson, I usually ask “Where do you want to be in an hour?”, or “what would you liked to have done in an hours time?”

People are invariably sensible, on the first lesson some people want to stop and go, some want to turn into junctions and some want to change gear.  No-one to me at least has ever suggested they want to go 70mph down the motorway in the first 30 minutes.

You can then build on that first lesson to each subsequent lesson. The natural progression from moving off and stopping will be into slow speed clutch control and 2nd gear, maybe third depending on the pupils’ ability, then left and right turns.

In these early stages, a suggestion to help the pupil who wants to improve steering and/or clutch control would be the turn in the road which practices these skills, all of which are transferrable to all of the other manoeuvres later in the training. I use the DVSA learner record, merely because it’s there and I’m lazy, but you can use whatever progress sheet you need as long as it lists the overall requirements. In this way, the learner knows what they need to achieve and knows what level they need to reach to be independent in each area.

And carrying the topic of manoeuvres forward, my opening gambit is to suggest the pupil has a go themselves. Well over 50% of the learners can complete the exercise within reasonable accuracy only needing further guidance on observations. Time spent on those early sessions with clutch control and steering reaps benefits later.  I’m not concerned, and neither is the examiner (within obvious limitations) of  “how” the exercise is completed, just that is done within  “O,C,A”

If you talk the pupil though what they need to acomplish, and identify the faults, then when you let them have a go independently they will almost always tell you what the faults are themselves.

So let me slay this beast once and for all if you explain to the learner the standard they need to reach overall, and allow them the freedom to assess themselves where they are against that standard, then they will guide you in their learning process.

If you start each session with ‘this is what we’re going to do today’ and ‘this is how I’m going to score you on this today’ then you’ll always get “you’re the instructor, you tell me”

How to setup routes for the new driving test on TomTom

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How to set up routes (My Tracks) on TomTom from the comfort of your own home.

One of the reasons the DVSA  picked the TomTom was its ability to record and playback routes, so they can keep them standard for the test.

The syncing features of MyDrive are currently compatible with GO and START 4x, 5x, 6x series / GO 400, 5×0, 6×0 / 5×00, 6×00 / Trucker 5000, 6000 as well as Rider 40/4×0 devices and the Android and IOS Apps so you don’t need a Start 52 to make use of them.

Now you don’t actually have to drive around a route with record pressed to do this, there is a much faster way as long as you’ve got a PC,

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New DL25 and DT1 Officially Released

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The new DT1 has been released and can be read here

The draft DL25 I reproduced sometime ago has also been signed off and can be downloaded here

(The forward bay park will be marked in the new box 8, the pull up on the right will be marked on the right reverse box)


The New Vehicle Safety Questions (Show me tell me) can be seen here.

On marking the new SMTM questions a DF for an incorrect “tell me” will be “held” until the “show me” has been completed.
If the Show Me results in a serious then only that will be marked, otherwise only a single DF will be recorded.

Part 3 Update – Not changing this month guys

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“Earlier in October we updated you on the delay to the changes to the ADI part 3 test.

We wanted to let you know that we still do not have parliamentary approval to make them and that we’ve written to candidates with tests booked until 1 December to explain their options.

It is important to note that this delay does not affect the changes to the driving test that are being introduced on 4 December.

We’ll keep you informed of further developments and let you know when the changes will be implemented.

We understand this has been frustrating, and we thank you for your patience.”

The follow up to ORDIT trainers says there are two options if you have a test booked between 13th of Nov and 1st of December you can either take the existing Part 3 or move the date out for the new one.


The Cardington Special Test

By | ADI's, Advanced | No Comments

Cardington, oh, Cardington,
I still hear your learners crashin,
while I watch the indicators flashin’.

(That’s a Glenn Campbell reference in case anyone was wondering)

I recently decided it was time to bite the bullet and take the only driving test I hadn’t taken – The Cardington Special Test.  Created in collaboration with the ADINJC back in the 70’s it was designed to test ADI’s against the same criteria as Driving Examiners.

This test can only be taken by ADI’s and can only be taken at the DVSA Training Establishment in Cardington. It’s examined by the staff examiners, the same people who test and retest new entrant, and driving examiners.

The test lasts 90 minutes and covers a variety of roads including motorways.

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More Part 3 News

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Updated Information from DVSA on Part 3

We have this afternoon received the following from Jacqui Turland, Registrar –

“Further to my email of 1 September 2017, I wanted to let you know that we have yet to gain Parliamentary approval to introduce the change, but are still hopeful that we will be able to do so by late October.

Having written to all PDIs with a test booked up to 13 October, we will now been contacting all those with a test booked up to 27 October. We’ll be able to give them more options on what they can do, such as postponing their test to a later date or keeping their test date and taking the test in the current format. They’ll be advised to speak to their instructor trainer to discuss the best option for them.

We will also be contacting all those on the Official Register of Instructor Trainers.

I will, of course, update you as and when I have more clarity on an implementation date.”


As I said before – I’m still hopeful I’ll win the lottery as well…..

The Hangover Part 3 – Again

By | ADI's | No Comments

Further update – There will be no change before the 1st of December. Also, rumour has it the new part 2 will now include 2 manoeuvres out of both the old and new. (Which makes far more sense to me – maybe they read this blog 🙂 )

The ADI Part 3 test isn’t changing on the 2nd of October. It’s been postponed as the legislation wasn’t able to be updated in time.

I have no-one going through at the planned change over time, by design, (There’s an old saying in sales – “The sale doesn’t count until the money is in the till”, and personally I think in a similar vein with dealing with dealing with target dates from Gov’t departments – It doesn’t happen till it happens, and my clients won’t be the guinea pigs on month one when it does) so I’m not out banging my head against the wall in frustration, but there are plenty of PDI’s and trainers now left in a mess because of this.

If you’re a PDI (and I’m speculating here), you’ll be offered to either continue your booked date and take the old test, or an extension on the pink badge (if you’re on one) to take the new one when it eventually changes. I think it’s extremely unlikely that they’ll run both tests in parallel for a short period as they’d have to amend the redrafted legislation to allow it, but you never know.


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TRL Study Released

By | ADI's, Learner Drivers | No Comments

The moment you've all been waiting for

The publication of the TRL study into the new driving test has been published.

How the new car driving test impacts learning to drive, test performance and post-test driving, based on trials held in 2015 and 2016.

The full study can be read here, but some key points are listed below

No difference in post test collision rate

“The two test groups did not differ in their post-test driving exposure, except that those in the revised test group were more likely than those in the existing test group to have used a satnav. In terms of attitudes to risk and confidence, the groups did not differ significantly at six months post-test.

There were no differences in collisions (number, or rate) between the revised and existing test groups. There were familiar patterns in the collision data, with younger age and greater exposure being linked to more collisions. Collision modelling, which held driving exposure and age constant and included the age-matched national comparison group participants directly, showed again that there was no effect of test type on collision risk post-test. A range of factors related to pre- and post-test experience were related to changes in collision risk, but these applied to all groups”

“The final analysis in the study modeled collisions using a base model which controlled both age and exposure and then added other variables to establish which, if any, increased or decreased collision risk. The analysis confirmed that that test type had no statistically significant impact on collision risk”

Slight change in style of training

“A comparison of both trial groups with an age-matched group of participants from non-trial test centers showed that the national comparison group undertook more training with their ADIs than trial participants, were more likely to spend time learning in quiet residential areas and following road signs, and were more likely to spend no time learning on country roads, fast dual carriageways, or when using a satnav. If these differences were due to training bias (and not simply the particular ADIs or test centers in the trial) then it is possible that the revised test has the potential to alter the learning to drive process to a greater extent than shown through the comparisons between the main trial groups”

No change in test difficulty

“The revised test had no noticeable impact on test difficulty, whether measured by self-reported number of attempts before passing or DL25 minor faults.”

Black box policies have increased accident rates!

“The findings that those drivers with a telematics-based insurance policy are reporting more accidents is certainly worthy of further investigation, especially given the claims for safety benefits often made by providers of these policies. While it is possible that collisions under such policies (and work-related collisions) are more likely to be recalled or reported by participants, the very large increase in risk (around 50% in both cases) seems larger than might be explained by memory effects alone in a six month period.”

Advanced Driving Options

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My latest column in the NJC newsletter covers the different types of Advanced Driving test available. Regular readers on this site might notice it’s similar to another post from earlier in the year, but if you can’t plagiarise yourself, who you can you plagiarise?

adv driving1