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ADI Driving Ability Test Part 3

This guide to the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 3 test is ideal preparation. It will also help you prepare for being tested on your ability to teach pupils.

We explain what you will need to take with you (e.g. a suitable car), ADI test procedures, what the examiner will look for, and how the test result works.

Booking and Taking the ADI Test Part 3

You must have already passed the ADI part 2 driving ability test to book the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 3 test.

The third and final part (in the series of three) is a test of your ability to teach students.

The DVSA produce helpful guidance notes on the national standard for driver and rider training.

You can use the Royal Mail postcode finder to help you find driving instructor training courses near to the area where you will qualify to become an ADI.

Rebooking the Theory Test

You should use the same booking service to rebook the ADI part 3 test (e.g. to resit it after failing the second or third attempt).

If you chose to apply for a trainee driving instructor licence you may have elected for the extra training (option 2). If so, you would need to complete five (5) hours of extra training before retaking the ADI part 3 test.

Note: Some of the procedures for the Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Part 3 Test differ in Northern Ireland.

How to Change or Check Test Details

After booking the ADI part 3 test you can use the GOV.UK website to change your driving test appointment (e.g. to find a ‘cancellation appointment’).

The same service also works for checking your test details online (e.g. if you lost the confirmation email sent to you).

Things to Take to Your Test

You will need to bring along:

  • Your United Kingdom driver’s licence
  • A pupil
  • A car that meets certain requirements
  • Your training log

Note: Failing to bring the correct things to your test can result in a cancellation. In this case, you would not get a refund of the money.

UK Driving Licences

You can replace a driving licence online with the DVLA if yours is lost, damaged, or stolen. But, keep in mind that it can take up to two (2) weeks to get a replacement.

  • Take a valid passport along with your paper licence (or trainee driving instructor licence) if yours is not the new photocard version.
  • Take the Northern Ireland photocard along with the paper counterpart if yours is a licence from Northern Ireland

Note: It would be necessary to change your driving ability test date if the new licence does not arrive in time

Using Your Car for ADI Test Part 3

Strict rules apply to all cars used for practical driving tests in the United Kingdom. So for example, you must be using a car that:

  • Is taxed and insured for a driving test (your insurer can confirm this).
  • Is roadworthy and has a current MOT (for vehicles more than 3 years old).
  • Is a saloon, hatchback, or estate car in good working condition (it cannot be a convertible)
  • Has full-size rear seats.
  • Has no warning lights showing there is a fault (e.g. the airbag warning light).
  • Has the legal tread depth on each tyre and none of them should be damaged.
  • Is smoke-free (meaning you must not smoke in the vehicle before or during the test).
  • Can reach at least 62mph (with a speedometer calibrated for miles per hour).
  • Has four (4) wheels and a maximum authorised mass (MAM) not more than 3,500kg.

Note: The Lorry and bus section explains the definition of MAM in more detail. In basic terms, it refers to the weight limit of a car when loaded.

Your car must also be fitted with:

  • The correct size L-plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear if your pupil is a learner.
  • Rear seat belts in good working order.

Note: The ADI test part 2 section also covers the procedures for using dashcams, hire cars, vehicle features, manual and automatic cars, and a list of cars with known safety faults.

What Happens on the ADI Test Part 3?

The examiner will be from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. Their role is to watch you conduct a client-centred driving lesson to one of your pupils. The lesson should last about one hour.

They will be looking for evidence that you are meeting the national standard for driver and rider training.

Your Student Driver

Your pupil can either be a genuine learner driver or it can be a full licence holder. You can also take your trainer or mentor along with you. But, the DVSA do not allow them to take part in the lesson.

Note: Your pupil cannot be an approved driving instructor (or someone preparing to take the ADI part 3 test).

What You Get Marked On

The marks cover seventeen (17) areas of competence grouped into three (3) categories, which are:

  • Lesson planning
  • Risk management
  • Teaching and learning strategies

The examiner will fill in a report form in at the end of your test. You can see an example of the test report form used to mark approved driving instructor (ADI) part 3 tests. In short, it assesses your ability to teach pupils.

Your score will range from zero (0) to three (3) in each of the 17 areas of competence. The total score you get will define whether you passed the test (or not) and your grading.

ADI Part 3 Test Result

The examiner will discuss your performance after you finish giving the lesson to your pupil. That is when you will get your result, grade, and your ADI part 3 test report form.

  • A total score from 0 to 30 is a fail (unsatisfactory performance and you do not join the ADI register).
  • A total score from 31-42 is grade B (you can join the ADI register).
  • A total score from 43-51 is grade A (showing a high standard of instruction and you can join 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 Pass?

Passing the ADI part 3 test means you can apply for your first approved driving instructor (ADI) badge. Keep in mind, to avoid having to pass all three qualifying tests again, you will need to apply within twelve months of the date you passed your test.

What Happens If You Do Not Pass?

Failing either the first or the second attempt means you can resit the test. But, you would need to book the next attempt within two (2) years of passing the approved driving instructor ADI part 1 test.

If You Fail the Third Attempt

Failing the ADI part 3 test at the third attempt would mean having to retake and pass the ADI part 1 test and the ADI part 2 test again.

Note: You would need to wait a minimum of two (2) years from the date you originally passed the ADI theory test before taking it again.

How to Appeal the ADI Part 3 Test

You can make an appeal if you believe the examiner failed to follow the regulations during your test. A successful appeal would not get the test result changed, but it could get you a free retest.

You would need to make your appeal to either a magistrate’s court or to a sheriff’s court (depending on where you took your test). So, appeal to:

  • A magistrate’s court within six (6) months of sitting a test in England or Wales.
  • A sheriff’s court within twenty one (21) days if you took it in Scotland.

Note: Read through the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 test section to check what happens if the test is cancelled or there is bad weather on your scheduled date.

Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Part 3 Test Guide for United Kingdom