ADI Check Test

Listed below is the official ADI check test guidance notes that you will receive from the DVSA along with your invitation for a check test. The ADI check test guidance notes provide advice on:

  • the documents to take on the check test
  • the suitability of your vehicle
  • the type of pupil to take
  • check test/lesson preparation
  • what happens during the lesson
  • other persons present
  • check test role play
  • check test role play subjects
  • check test results
  • check test result appeal
  • fleet driver training check tests


The Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended) states that continued registration as an ADI is subject to the condition that ADIs will undergo a test of “continued ability and fitness to give instruction”, commonly known as a check test, as and when required by the Registrar. The check test is basically no more than its name suggests: an opportunity for one of the Agency’s examiners to check that your instruction is up to the required standard by accompanying you while you conduct a normal lesson.

Your appointment

Your letter of invitation will indicate the date, time and place for your appointment. Please check the location of your appointment carefully, as this may be different to where you normally present your candidates for test. If you would prefer your check test at a different centre please contact us.

Please return the acknowledgement slip by return of post. It is important that you attend your check test. If you do not attend without good reason action may be taken to remove you from the Register. Not having a pupil, not having a car or not working as an ADI are not acceptable reasons for non-attendance.

1. Documents to bring with you

You must bring your certificate of ADI registration (green badge) or Fleet registration (orange badge) as applicable.

2. The Vehicle

The car used for test must meet minimum test requirements and be roadworthy, safe and reliable. Soft top convertibles are not acceptable, nor are “2+2” vehicles such as a Vauxhall Tigra as the seating arrangements are inadequate. L plates (or D plates in Wales) should be fitted if you are teaching a learner. Rear seat belts in working order must be fitted. If there is the facility for rear head restraints please ensure that these are fitted to ensure the safety of the examiner. If you have any doubts about a car’s suitability or if you intend to use a small vehicle which has limited space in the rear for passengers please notify the check test booking section. Failure to attend in a suitable car could result in removal from the ADI Register.

3. The Pupil

The purpose of the check test is for the examiner to observe what you do on a normal lesson so that they can assess your ability to give instruction, not your pupil’s ability to drive. Ideally you should bring a genuine pupil but if you do not have one available you may give instruction to a full licence holder (but not another
ADI). The lesson should be tailored to your pupil’s needs.

4. Preparation for the lesson

Your preparation should be the same as you would make for any other normal lesson. The examiner will ask you some questions about the pupil’s progress to date before the lesson starts. You should be able to tell them how many hours of tuition your pupil has had, whether or not they are receiving any other training, any strengths and areas for development of which you are aware, and your lesson plan for the check test. If the pupil has a Driver’s Record this should be made available for the examiner to see before the start of the lesson.

You may leave your pupil in your car when you arrive at the test centre. When you return to the car introduce the pupil to the examiner in a relaxed manner. Tell your pupil to drive and ask questions exactly as they would in a normal lesson. You may find that it puts your pupil at ease to tell them that the examiner will be accompanying them on the lesson to ensure the quality of driving instructors.

5. The lesson

You will be expected to give your pupil a lesson lasting approximately an hour. You should allow about 15 minutes afterwards for the examiner to give you feedback. During the lesson the examiner will be checking that knowledge is conveyed and that faults do not go uncorrected. The lesson must be conducted in either English or Welsh. If the test is to be conducted in Welsh you should contact the booking team before the test. The instruction during the course of the check test should be pitched at a level appropriate to the needs of the pupil. Common reasons for failing to provide appropriate instruction are:

  • Under-instruction: it is of no use to the pupil if you sit there in silence, even if they are making few mistakes. Good instruction is positive instruction.
  • Over-instruction: if you give too much instruction the pupil does not have time to think or make their own decisions. This is only appropriate for a complete novice.

6. Other persons present

The examiner may be accompanied by a senior examiner for quality assurance purposes. Your trainer/mentor may accompany you if you wish but they cannot participate in the test in any way.

The role-play check test

Your examiner prefers to see you giving instruction in your normal working environment but if you do not have a pupil or a full licence holder to instruct, your examiner can provide a role play check test and portray a pupil at the ‘trained’ stage. Please indicate that you will need the examiner to play the role of a pupil when you respond to the invitation.

It is important that you ensure that the car is suitably insured for a DVSA examiner to drive. You should choose the route and direct the examiner as you would do in a normal lesson. You should choose the subject of the lesson from the ‘role play’ subjects listed below and tell the examiner the on the day.

Subjects for role-play ONLY:

Please listen carefully to the pupil pen picture described by the examiner who will be a pupil you have not met before. You will be standing in for their current instructor who is unavailable.

  • A remedial lesson. (DL25 issued)1
  • Junctions (all types)
  • MSM and a manoeuvre
  • Pass Plus module3
  • Full licence holder4
  • Meet, cross. overtake, adequate clearance (pick any two subjects and anticipation.)
  • MSM and pedestrian crossings
  • Dual carriageways and open roads
  • Extended, disqualified drivers.2


  1. If a remedial lesson is required, the subject matter will be chosen by the examiner who will provide a DL25 (Driving test report) on the day. (This may take a few moments to prepare). There will be two serious faults recorded, also a few driver faults marked for development.
  2. A disqualified driver needing to take an extended driving test may require a short assessment drive of about 10 minutes to establish the main areas for development. The examiner will not tell you what the simulated faults will be.
  3. Pass Plus modules 2, 3, 5, 6, only; as module 1 includes a classroom element which is not acceptable for a check test and module 4 concerns night driving which cannot be simulated.
  4. Full licence holder lesson will be for a driver who has spent some time abroad and in need of driver development which may include the reverse park exercise, (Examiner to select content)

Please note that the procedure for a Fleet role-play check test is different – please refer to information on Fleet Driver Trainer Check Tests overleaf.

The Result

The overall assessment will be based on your ability to apply the appropriate style of teaching and facilitate a positive learning environment. The result and feedback will be given to you privately or in the presence of your trainer/mentor at your request. You will have the opportunity to ask questions.

If you have proved to be satisfactory, you will be told whether your performance was Grade 4 (competent), Grade 5 (good) or Grade 6 (very good). The examiner will give you a copy of the marking sheet (ADI 26CT) which will show your marking.

A Grade 2 or 3 indicates that your performance did not reach an acceptable standard. Although the Registrar may remove your name from the Register after one substandard check test, if you are graded 3 or 2 you will usually be given a further two attempts to meet the required standards. The final test would be conducted by a different, more senior examiner to ensure transparency and fairness. If you do not achieve a Grade 4 or higher on your final attempt the Registrar will consider removing your name from the Register.

Grade 1 is considered to be dangerous instruction. You would only be given one further attempt with a different examiner to demonstrate you can meet the required standard before action to remove your name from the Register is taken. In all cases where a Grade 1, 2 or 3 has been awarded the examiner or ACDE will confirm in writing the main points where you have gone wrong.


You may appeal to a Magistrate’s Court or, in Scotland, the Sheriffs office, if you consider that your test was not conducted properly. However you cannot appeal against the examiner’s decision.

Fleet Driver Trainer Check Tests

In order to retain your Fleet Register qualification, you must bring a customer who is a full licence holder for your check test, or ask the examiner to act the role of a fleet customer. Fleet check tests (including role-play tests) will be conducted in-line with the DVSA ‘ Fleet Coaching Ability’ examination where you will be expected to demonstrate the following competencies: an occupational road risk briefing, coaching on vehicle safety checks, conduct a driver profile, coaching to correct key risks’ complying with the core competencies and conclude with a driver I customer performance appraisal. The examiner will manage the time for each module. If you require a Fleet check test, please indicate this when you acknowledge your test appointment.

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