Presenting pupils for test. Coming out of lockdowns and the pandemic have brought changes to the industry that have some positives and negatives. As ADI’s we have always been urged by DVSA not to present pupils for test until they are ready. It’s true that they back us up should we fall into problems with a pupil that doesn’t take kindly to being told they won’t be taken to test on a certain day due to not being up to standard in time.
Is saying “no” easy
Absolutely not!!! We all learn at a different pace and in different ways. It’s true that some can be ready for the road in 30 hours and others take longer. Many have the opportunity to practice in between lessons with family. Practice is always good as long as it isn’t confusing. In light of all the changes to the way we teach and the test itself . Over the years it can be a source of contention. Easy to focus on the test itself instead of surviving and being a good driver the other side of the big day.
Passing the test is the very minimum standard for a new driver to start their life on the road. An assessment of whether a new driver is able to drive safely unsupervised. This means they need to be able to make safe and quick decisions as the situations on the road change in front of them. Without the advice of a qualified ADI or the supervision they have become used to leaning on.
A new driver must face the growing number of vehicles on the road, completely different interactions with traffic everyday and unfortunately a growing issue with road rage. It is not a requirement for examiners to have been ADI’s. Would that help though?
Expectations are high
Expectations are high on the part of the public, examiners and DVSA. As an ADI we are paid to help a person achieve the standard required to pass a driving test. Believing it goes further than that and we have a responsibility to make sure our pupils have a higher standard than that of the driving test. Opinions on the subject of driving generally run high and strong. With the majority of the general public believing they know more about driving than the next person.
What do you do as an ADI when you have a pupil that has a job riding on having a licence? They are not rolling in money and want it all done yesterday. It’s a vast subject. One that never really ends. When it comes to driving you never really stop learning new information that can improve your skills behind the wheel. Unfortunately many feel that once they have passed the test you no longer need to learn.
Presenting pupils for test
Should a pupil not be up to standard nearing the date of their test, what should we do? Allow them to take the test. A popular view is ” the first test is always for experience anyway “. That is a very outdated way of progressing your knowledge on the road. It is also not why you pay a professional instructor. If you learnt with your parents then of course they are not trained and therefore going for test is a way of gaining a professional assessment of the new drivers progress. As ADI’s we are expected to assess the situation and if a pupil is not ready to pass the test. Be safe the other side of it and respect others on the road. We are expected to withdraw use of the school car. Advice would then be given as to a more suitable date.
In light of the recent pandemic changes have been made to the way ADI’s are assessed. Our pass rates and results at test now determine when we are put forward for standards checks. Should we present pupils that are not up to standard and ready, we are put forward for these checks much sooner than usual. This puts us in a position of having a very difficult chat with the pupil. We are now in a position where we don’t just avoid presenting those not up to standard, we really can’t !!