The ADI Part Three Test: Instructional Ability

ADI Part Three examines a candidate’s ability to teach learner drivers to drive. This test assesses the teaching ability, with the examiner observing a driving lesson from start to finish. It is the final test a candidate must undertake before qualifying as an ADI.

The candidate must provide a pupil to teach during the test. The pupil chosen for this test can be either a normal learner driver or somebody who already holds a full driving licence. The person cannot be another driving instructor or someone who is training you to be a driving instructor.

The examiner is judging the quality of driving instruction, not the pupil. The test lasts about an hour.

How is the Part 3 Test Structured?

The instructional ability test is structured around a typical driving lesson, which includes 5 parts:

  1. The candidate teaches a learner for a driving lesson lasting about 45 minutes.
  2. The first three minutes of the lesson are spent explaining and discussing the goals for the lesson with the learner driver. Key aspects of risk management are repeated to highlight the importance of safe driving to the pupil.
  3. The learner must drive the vehicle for no fewer than 40 minutes of the lesson. The candidate driving instructor will sit in the front passenger seat with the examiner in the rear seat.
  4. The candidate must teach a variety of manoeuvres during the lesson to demonstrate effective teaching methods.
  5. The lesson is then concluded with a three-minute reflection of the learner’s performance.

The whole examination is about the driving lesson and how it is taught.

What is the Scoring System for ADI Part Three?

The examiner marks the candidate on 17 areas of competence grouped into three categories:

  • Lesson planning.
  • Risk management.
  • Teaching and learning skills.

For each area of competence, the examiner awards the candidate a mark between 0 and 3.

What are the Pass Marks for ADI Part Three?

A candidate receives their results as soon as the assessment is complete. 

Regardless of how many other points are accumulated, the candidate fails the test outright if:

  • They score 7 or fewer points in the risk management category.
  • The examiner must stop the assessment because the candidate has endangered themselves or another individual during the course of the test.

If neither of these has occurred, then the candidate’s result is graded according to the total number of points they have scored:

  • 43-51 points: The candidate is awarded a pass with Grade A, and joins the ADI register.
  • 31-42 points: The candidate is awarded a pass with Grade B, and joins the ADI register.
  • 0-30 points: The candidate fails ADI Part Three.

Candidates who pass ADI Part Three are able to apply for their ADI badge. Application must be made within twelve months of passing ADI Part Three, or the candidate must pass all of the exams (Parts One, Two and Three) again.

How Many Times Can You Attempt The ADI Part 3 Test?

Candidates failing to pass are able to make a total of three attempts to pass this test. Each attempt must be booked within two years of the date on which the candidate passed ADI Part One.

If the candidate applied for a trainee driving instructor (PDI or Pink Badge) licence with the option to complete extra training then they must undertake an additional five hours of training before they are eligible to retake ADI Part Three.

If a candidate fails ADI Part Three three times, their ADI application is halted. They must then wait two years from the date on which they passed ADI Part One before reapplying.

After reapplying, they must retake ADI Part One, ADI Part Two and ADI Part Three.

A candidate is able to appeal their result if they believe the examiner failed to follow the law. If the appeal is successful the candidate receives either a refund or a free retest, but the original test result is not changed.

How to Book an ADI Part Three Test

Candidates are able to book an ADI Part Three as soon as they have passed ADI Part Two.

Tests are booked online up to 24 weeks in advance. Each candidate needs the following when booking:

  • UK driving licence number.
  • Driving instructor’s personal reference number.
  • Credit or debit card.

The test costs £111, with an extra fee for taking the test out of office hours.

It is possible to reschedule or cancel a test up to three working days before the test date (‘working days’ excludes Sundays and public holidays). 

Changes or cancellations requested fewer than three working days in advance result in forfeiting the test fee unless the circumstances are exceptional. This is handled on a case-by-case basis.

On the day of the test, the candidate is responsible for bringing:

  • A learner driver to instruct during the assessment.
  • Their UK driving licence. If the candidate has a paper licence rather than the photo ID card,  they must also bring their passport.
  • A log of the training they have undertaken to become an ADI.
  • A suitable vehicle.

The test is cancelled if the candidate

  • Forgets their licence on the day of the test.
  • The vehicle brought for the test is unsuitable.
  • The learner driver is unsuitable.

In any of these situations, the test is cancelled without refund.

If the examiner must cancel the test owing to other circumstances that prevent a normal examination process, for example extreme weather or blocked roads, then the test is rescheduled free of charge.

Who is a Suitable Learner Driver for ADI Part Three?

The learner driver a candidate brings must be:

  • A partially or fully trained learner, or a full licence holder.
  • Able to drive for up to forty minutes without the need to make frequent stops.
  • Neither an ADI nor someone preparing to take ADI Part Three.

In practical terms, it is wise to select a pupil for the exam who will be confident with a third person in the car and is unlikely to have problems with basic operation of the vehicle such as steering or stalling.

What is a Suitable Vehicle for ADI Part Three?

The minimum specification of a suitable vehicle for ADI Part Three is the same as that for ADI Part Two, which is a properly maintained vehicle with good all-around visibility and in good working order.

In addition, however, for ADI Part Three, the vehicle must be suitable to give a driving lesson with a rear-seated passenger. This means it must have the following:

  • Full-size rear seats.
  • Working rear seat belts.
  • L plates (D plates in Wales) if the learner is not a full licence holder.
  • Must not be a soft-top convertible.