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Adapting the Lesson to Pass Standards Check or Part 3 Assessment

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Passing Standards Check and Part 3 Assessments

Adapting Lessons to the Unique Needs of Each Learner is a Crucial Aspect of Your Role as an ADI or PDI

Adapting the lesson is one of the most common reasons for failing the Standards Check or Part 3 assessment.

This personalised approach can significantly enhance the learning experience and is critical to successful DVSA assessments. 

As a driving instructor, you deliver lessons and guide learning by focusing on the main goals and promptly addressing learning needs or driving errors. 

The lesson goal is the overarching theme for what will likely be achieved during the session. Identifying the needs refers to what is preventing learning from taking place, which means there should be an adaption of the current lesson goal to ensure they’re successful. This makes learning more effective.

When addressing errors, it’s essential to prioritise the most safety-critical ones. Start by analysing the error, ensuring you’ve identified the root cause of the safety-critical incident. This structured approach will help you manage the conversation effectively and guide the learner towards improvement.

A common misconception is that coaching means you cannot identify the learner’s errors. By highlighting the error, you can use a coaching conversation to delve deeper into what happened, which is vital to understanding why the learner took a particular course of action. This approach opens opportunities to develop understanding and improvement.

For example, when driving on a spiral roundabout, the driver chooses or does not recognise which lane they’re in; there is no benefit of asking how you felt about the approach to that roundabout. That statement is just too large. 

Focusing on what happened opens the conversation to understanding the learner’s driving choice. For example, ‘You were in the incorrect lane at the roundabout; what were your thoughts on the approach to the roundabout?’ 


Passing Standards Check and Part 3 Assessments

Using the Let’s Instruct ADI Fault Fixer gives you a structure for identifying errors. 


Observe the pupil and identify the fault. 


Prompt the pupil into correcting the fault at the time with a ‘prompting question’ or ‘give a direct command’ if urgent action is required (Making the situation safe) or directly highlight the error after the event if it is safe to let the error happen.


Use the ‘5-Point ‘FAULT’ Analysis Q+A Routine: 

  1. How do you feel that went? Be specific with the issue (You can ‘Scale’ at this point) 
  2. What went well?  
  3. How could you improve it?   
  4. What are the potential consequences and impact of what you did? 
  5. What can we do differently to improve it? 


Use the ‘Support Routine’ to manage risk. 

  1. How would you like me to support your practice? (Who is responsible for what?) 
  2. Agree on the level of support (Full talk through, Prompt with Questions, Independent with prompt if required) 
  3. Deliver the agreed level of support to the pupil during initial practice! 
  4. Adjust the support level to suit the pupil’s progress. (Always agree on this with the pupil before any change) 
  5. Once the correction has been made, ask ‘what’s the benefit of doing it that way?


Verbalising the error is the starting point for a conversation about what led them to choose the incorrect lane. We must have a starting point. If we ask, how did you feel about that? And the driver doesn’t know what’s happened, how can they come up with a solution? 

Our role as trainers is to ensure they fully understand what has happened; we can help them explore the reasons or techniques to help them make the right choice in the future.

Of course, using this technique doesn’t just have to be when they’ve made a mistake. You will also need to adapt the lesson when they’ve done well to ensure learning takes place. If they’ve done well in this situation, when approaching meeting traffic, you could ask a confirmation question to ensure you fully understand that they made a considered choice rather than an instinctive choice or lucky guess. Tell me about the gap between you and the parked vehicle. 

Using this technique, you can determine the level at which to pitch your next intervention and whether an adaptation to the plan is needed.

For more information, contact Andrew Love via email at andrew@lidiaondemand.co.uk.


Co-founder of Let’s Instruct Driving Instructor Academy

(LIDIA On-Demand) 2019

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