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ADI Standards Check Test Explained

Information in this section explains how to prepare for your approved driving instructor (ADI) standards check in the United Kingdom.

Find out how often instructors get assessed, how to book a 'check test' at the DVSA, and how long it takes to get your score and grade.

What is the New ADI Standards Check?

The modified ADI standards check replaced the old ‘check test’ in April 2014. The new version provides a regular assessment of your teaching ability.

Further guidance is available in the national standard for driver and rider training. You can also send questions if you are giving driving instruction.

DVSA National Driver and Rider Standards
Mail: [email protected]

The national standard explains what you must be able to do as a registered ADI. It also clarifies what you need to know and understand to give training to drivers and riders.

As a result, all registered driving instructors are assessed through the ADI standards check at least once during each four year period.

You might be wondering:

What if you are not working as an approved driving instructor (ADI) or do not have a car? You would still need to take your ADI standards check (available in English and Welsh only).

Note: The DVSA can remove you from the ADI register if you fail to book or take your standards check test.

How to Book ADI Standards Check Online

The DVSA will send you a notification letter when it becomes necessary to book your approved driving instructor (ADI) standards check.

There is no charge to book a standards check online through the GOV.UK website. It is important to have some information ready, including:

  • Your driving licence number
  • Your ADI personal reference number

You can contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to get extra help booking your ADI standards check test:

Mail: [email protected]

Note: The DVSA national standard for driver and rider training applies in England, Scotland, and Wales. But, the rules for taking ADI standards checks differ in Northern Ireland.

What to Take to Your Assessment

The essential items that you will need to take to your standards check include:

  • Your approved driving instructor (ADI) registration certificate
  • A car (one that meets all the requirements)
  • A pupil (cannot be someone preparing to take the ADI part 3 test or another ADI)
Requirements for the Car

The car requirements for an ADI standards check include:

  • Being in a roadworthy condition, safe, and reliable (e.g. a vehicle less than 3 years old or one with a valid MOT certificate).
  • Having rear seat belts in good working order.
  • Being fitted with the correct ‘L’ plates (or ‘D’ plates in Wales) if the pupil you take is a learner.

Under the rules of the program you will not be able to use:

  • A soft-top convertible
  • A car with a 2+2 seating arrangement (e.g. does not have full-size rear seats)

The DVSA will cancel your approved driving instructor (ADI) standards check if the vehicle you take fails to the requirements. If it happens, they would book another appointment for you.

NoteDVSA can remove you from the ADI register if you bring several cars that do not meet the requirements.

If there is Bad Weather on the Day

Check with the bookings team (ADI examiner) early on the day of your standards check if the weather looks bad.

If you don’t get an answer, and the local conditions do not look too severe, it would be reasonable to assume the examiners are:

  • Already conducting driving tests because the weather conditions are suitable.
  • Carrying out checks on the local roads to see whether driving tests can go ahead.

The bookings team will make you a new appointment if yours is cancelled:

ADI Standards Check Booking Team
Telephone: 0300 200 1122
Monday to Friday: 8am to 4pm
Information on UK call rates.

ADI Standards Check Procedures

An examiner from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will watch as you give a normal driving lesson to one of your pupils. They will assess whether you are meeting the national standards for driver and rider training (see above).

How the Marking Sheet Works

The marks relate to seventeen (17) areas of competence – grouped into three (3) different categories – which are:

  • Lesson planning
  • Risk management
  • Teaching and learning skills

The approved driving instructor (ADI) standards check report form SC1 lists all 17 areas of competence. It is the one that the examiner fills in during an assessment.

Your score will range from zero (0) to three (3) for each of the seventeen (17) competencies. Adding them up produces a total score out of a maximum of 51 for your grade.

Shortly after your lesson ends (usually within 15 minutes), the examiner will discuss your performance and tell you what grade you achieved.

Note: Even though you can take your trainer or mentor along with you, they will not be allowed to take part in the actual lesson that you give to your pupil.

ADI Standards Check Results

The examiner will inform you of your grade and give you the completed standards check form after the test has finished.

  • A total score from 0 to 30 is a fail (unsatisfactory performance).
  • A total score from 31-42 is grade B (you can stay on the approved driving instructors register).
  • A total score from 43-51 is grade A (showing a high standard of instruction and you can stay on the ADI register).

You would ‘automatically’ fail if:
  • Your score is seven (7) or less in the category for ‘risk management’.
  • The examiner needs to stop the lesson because you endangered yourself or someone else.
What Happens If You Do Not Pass?

If you fail the standards check the DVSA will allow you two (2) more attempts to pass. But, if you fail the third attempt:

  • They will remove you from the approved driving instructors (ADI) register.
  • You would need to retake and pass all three ADI tests again to try and join the register (starting with the ADI Part 1 theory test).

Note: There is a set complaints procedure to follow if you feel that you received a poor service. You can also appeal a standards check if you believe your examiner failed to follow the regulations.

Old ADI Check Test Grades

The new approved driving instructor (ADI) standards check replaced the outdated ADI check test from the 7th of April 2014. Even so, grades from the old ADI check test are still valid until your first standards check.

Getting a grade two (2) or three (3) in your last ADI ‘check test’ would mean you have two (2) attempts to pass the new ADI standards check.

  • 6: Very high
  • 5: Good
  • 4: Satisfactory
  • 3: Inadequate
  • 2: Poor
  • 1: Extremely poor
  • E: Educational check test

Educational Check Test Grades

No educational grades (E) will be given to newly qualified instructors under the rules of the new ADI standard checks.

Note: The video is useful to help you understand how to manage risk and prepare for your ADI standards check test.

New ADI Standards Check Explained for the United Kingdom