Stage 3 - Instructional Ability

Stage three examines the ability of the ADI candidate to deliver tuition/coaching to the novice driver relevant to the level of skill and experience of the driver.The RSA examiner will take you through the administrative procedures before accompanying you to your vehicle. S/he will then explain the format of the test and explain that s/he will be adopting the role of a learner driver under instruction. Once in role the examiner will stay in role until that phase of the test is over (the examiner will tell you when the phase is complete and s/he is coming out of role). If an emergency arises during the test the examiner will immediately come out of role.


There are two phases to the instruction ability test:

Phase 1 will examine ability to instruct at an appropriate level for a beginner in
one of the following subjects:


  • Explanation of the cockpit drill and starting the vehicle

  • Explanation of the controls of the vehicle

  • Anticipating the actions of others, and taking appropriate preventative/corrective action, where necessary

  • Moving off and stopping/road position

  • Turnabout in the road by using the forward and reverse gears

  • Reverse to the right and to the left

  • Dealing with pedestrian crossings

  • Approaching junctions to turn left or right

  • Dealing with and emerging at road junctions and roundabouts

  • Dealing with crossroads

  • Reverse parking

  • Use of the mirrors and giving signals, mechanical or otherwise

  • Meeting / overtaking and clearance to all other road users

  • Judgement of speed, stopping distances and anticipating the actions of other road users

  • The emergency stop

  • Carrying out various motorcycles manoeuvres i.e. figure of 8, slalom, U-turn, slow ride etc. (category A only)

  • Driving on country roads

  • Use of “running commentary” as appropriate, and

  • Other matters considered appropriate from time to time by the RSA

  • Couple/un-couple a trailer (membership category EC only).



Phase 2 will also examine the aspects above, however the expected level of delivery will be at the level of learner (driving test standard) driver. 
The examiner will give you a few moments between phases to gather your thoughts and prepare your lesson plan for the second phase. The examiner may be taking notes during these brief moments and this is part of his/her administrative procedures. During the instruction ability test the examiner will look for the ability of an ADI applicant to:


  • Recap on previous lesson and link it to the current lesson

  • Explain clearly the lessons objectives

  • Have a clear lesson plan in place and deliver this

  • Impart information in a clear concise manner

  • Have a friendly and relaxed manner

  • Offer encouragement

  • Match instruction to the learners ability

  • Encourage questions

  • Give feedback on performance

  • Develop a learner driver’s self-confidence during the lesson

  • Change approach when current approach obviously isn’t working, and Identify, analyse and assess faults as appropriate


During all of stage three a candidate will be expected to give clear directions in good time and these instructions must be related to the prevailing road and traffic conditions. Language used must not be over technical and jargon should be avoided; the learner must clearly understand any necessary technical terms used. A driving instructor should use simply worded questions to clarify with the learner that the message is being received. The questions must be related to the objectives of the lesson or prevailing conditions .An Instructor must summarise the main points at the end of a lesson, and look forward to the next session setting any appropriate homework/study or revision work that will feed into the next lesson. At the end of the second phase the examiner will tell you that s/he is coming out of role and that you have now come to the end of the test.
You will receive your result of stage 3 within five working days.