Why undertake check test training?
Put quite simply to gain a grade initially or to consolidate or improve your grade.
After qualification as an ADI you should really be ‘check tested’ within the first twelve months. This is irrespective of your score achieved on the part 3 initially.
If you were graded below 4 on two consecutive check tests (after twelve months of qualification) you would have one more check test with an Assistant Chief Driving Examiner before possible removal off the register. In effect ‘three strikes and you are out’
It is really in your own interest to receive an early check test for the following reasons:
The longer you instruct on your own with no guidance, the more bad habits you will get into!
If you are check tested within the first twelve months, the DSA consider you relatively inexperienced, and as such if you were graded a 3 or below then it would be treated as ‘educational’. You would be advised to undertake suitable training and the next check test would be the ‘real’ one. The first wouldn’t count hence ‘educational’.
Once past the twelve month mark, you are considered experienced enough to be graded on your first check test. The check test really isn’t something to be dreaded! Don’t listen to test centre gossip. You may hear things like: ‘I don’t want to be told how to do my job by somebody who’s never even done it!’
Hang on a minute… the SE probably has 30 years experience in this field and knows everything there is to know about instruction and how to deliver it; they were probably an instructor before examiner and will have seen every instruction method possible in every situation available!
The SE is there to advise how you could improve, remember they will advise how to improve even if you get a six! It really is in your interest to gain a good working relationship with your SE.
Remember a normal examiner’s job is to examine. They state what was wrong, that is their job. The SE’s role is different, when check testing they will advise how to improve.
If you are still not convinced then think of it this way:
The higher the grade you receive the longer before you receive another check test!
If you are graded 4 you will (in theory) receive another check test within 2 years. If you receive a grade 5 or 6 then you will (in theory) receive a check test within 4 years.
I put in theory because the DSA are behind, Grade 5 or 6 could wait 6-8 years before receiving a check test and grade four 3-4 years.
Consolidate or improve your grade
If you are currently a grade 6, then it is probably a while since you had a check test! And some brushing up may well be necessary to maintain the grade. If you are a grade 5 improvement is obviously required to get that 6! There can be a very fine line between a 5 and 6 and just polishing is often all that is required.
If you are a grade 4 then again work is obviously required to gain either a 5 or preferably a 6.
Too many ADI’s are happy with a grade four; you should always strive to improve. Looking at today’s competitive driving instruction market can you really sit back?
Get yourself a high grade and extra qualifications (See further professional development section) and be ahead of the crowd.
What you must achieve on your check test?
A minimum grade of 4 needs to be achieved. If you were graded 1, 2 or 3, then your SE would need to see you again in either 1 2 or 3 months corresponding to the grade achieved. If on this next check test you again failed to achieve at least 4, you would be invited for another check test normally with the assistant chief examiner for the area. If you didn’t achieve a 4 here, steps for removal from the register would normally follow.
If it was your first check test within the first twelve months, and you were graded below 4 , then it would be an educational check test and another offered within six months, this one being your first ’ proper one’.
The training format – Initial consultation
The first step is normally to discuss your needs. Whether your first check test is approaching or whether you wish to improve your grade, discussing your needs.
The best way to assess your instructional ability initially. Many times in the past I have seen ADI’s who have taken ‘professional’ check test training, and they haven’t been observed instructing! Simply undertaken ‘Role play ‘training. Also in this way you will get a very good idea of your chosen pupil’s ability to handle the pressure with an extra person in the car! After this session we will discuss areas where improvement may be required.
This may involve some ‘role play’ instruction as required or further sessions observing and improving your instruction with pupils.
Improvement work often consists of the following (All essential to achieve a high grade)
• Choosing the correct pupil for your check test.
• Interactively recapping the previous lesson
• Setting achievable aims /objectives for the lesson
• Planning an appropriate route for the pupil’s ability.
• Choosing the lesson content
• The correct structure of the lesson
• Precise timing of the lesson
• Delivering correct route directions
• Improving your instructional techniques
• Using positive instruction
• Correct use of the core competencies-fault identification, analysis and remedial action
• The correct attitude and approach to the pupil
• Winding up the lesson positively
• Different check test options
Test of continued ability and fitness to give instruction (Check test)
There are several different approaches that can be taken for a normal check test. Most ADI’s opt to take one of their pupil’s; you may also take a full license holder as long as your instruction matches the pupil’s driving ability. The examiner can also role-play your ‘pupil’ or client.