Learning to Drive Consultation… The Results! | Latics Driving School Oldham

Learning to Drive Consultation… The Results!

Learning to Drive Consultation… The Results!

DSA Learning to Drive Consultation

Results of the DSA Learning to Drive Consultation

On 7th May 2008, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) issued a Consultation Paper setting out wide-ranged proposals intended to make Britain’s roads safer by getting newly qualified drivers to cope with the challenges of driving unsupervised in today’s modern driving conditions. The Government’s preferred approach to achieving this is through education and incentives, encouraging young people to participate in more effective and efficient learning.

The four key elements of the proposed programme were:

  • An improved learning process
  • Improved driving tests
  • Better information about driving instructors and improved driving instructor training
  • Further options for qualifications and learning

Today (21st April 2009), the DSA published its report on this consultation. Having read the document this evening, I have listed the main changes that will happen, changes that may happen and proposals that have been rejected or indefinitely postponed.

The Definite Changes

Following consultation, Ministers have decided to proceed with the preferred approach based on education and incentives. The planned phased implementation of the programme includes the following improvements (target dates for these improvements are in brackets):

  • Continued roll out across Great Britain of the new pre-driver qualification in safe road use
  • A partial credit towards the theory test for those awarded with the new pre-driver qualification in the form of an abridged theory test. The DSA propose a reduced theory test fee of £24 for those who have been awarded the pre-driver qualification and who therefore qualify for taking the abridged theory test (October 2009)
  • Case studies into the theory test to better assess whether learners have better understood driving theory (October 2009)
  • A trial to assess the effectiveness of the proposed new learning to drive syllabus and process (March 2010)
  • A requirement for the supervising driver to accompany the candidate during the practical driving test (October 2010)
  • Subject to the outcome of trials, an assessment of competence on the practical driving test whilst the candidate is driving independently (October 2010)
  • Increase driving time on the practical driving test by reducing the number of manoeuvres (October 2010)

The Possible Changes

The proposed new learning to drive syllabus and process will include trials, analysis and investigation of the following:

  • A compulsory student workbook
  • Two versions of an ‘attitude advisor’; the first as part of the new pre-driver qualification and the second when learning to drive. This is to monitor whether , and how, attitude to risk has changed over time
  • Separating theory test questions published in learning materials and theory test questions used in the actual theory test (undertake analysis by Spring 2010)
  • Using 3D technology to assess situational judgement exercises as part of the theory test to assess a candidates awareness of specific dangers and risks (trial use by Spring 2011)
  • 3D animation and simulation as an aid to learning and assessment and in particular how this may develop into a new generation hazard perception test (trial use by Spring 2011)
  • Separating the theory and hazard perception parts of the theory test
  • Making more information available to the public about individual instructors so a more informed choice can be made when selecting an instructor (undertake consultation by March 2010)
  • A record, signed by the supervising driver, verifying the candidates ‘test readiness’
  • Working with employers and the insurance industry to develop new courses and qualifications that incentivise newly qualified drivers to continue with additional training and qualifications after they pass the practical driving test
  • Review purpose and content of the ‘Pass Plus’ scheme (introduce new and improved scheme by March 2011)
  • Introducing an assessment as part of the ‘Pass Plus’ scheme
  • Development of a vocational van drivers’ qualification (facilitate development by March 2010)
  • Developing a suite of voluntary training, assessment and qualification, through which drivers and companies can develop and evidence their driving skills and improve the safety of those who drive for work
  • Where practicable, applying the proposed reforms for learning to drive to those learning to ride a moped or motorcycle

Proposals that have been rejected at the present time include:

  • Allowing Driving Instructors to ‘sign off’ manoeuvres (inclusion of the manoeuvres within the practical test is required by EU legislation)
  • A modular practical driving test, e.g. Separating the manoeuvres from the general driving element (similar to the motorcycle CBT)
  • Changing the way the practical driving test is marked, from recording areas of weakness (faults) to an assessment of evidence of competence (this will be investigated further following the introduction of independent driving)
  • Extending the practical driving test debrief for the benefit of the candidate and the supervising driver
  • ‘Signing off’ of test readiness to be restricted to driving instructors only
  • Periodic re-assessment of qualified drivers
  • Allowing learners to drive on motorways

We welcome your thoughts on the above changes 🙂

  • No shock there that instructors are once again not supported in their work as road safety professionals, still there is some good stuff here, independent driving for example.

    23rd April 2009 at 5:08 pm
  • I am not quite sure what taking out a manouvre will add to driving time, possibly a minute?
    What will be the value of having a sheet of paper saying that someone thinks that the candidate is ready for the test.Surely only an A.D.I. knows that?

    27th April 2009 at 1:24 pm
  • max

    Not sure what the positive outcome of eliminating manouevres will be.
    all learners will still have to learn to do them.
    the consequences of not learning them could cause more problems for other road users, and perhaps force learners to take unneccessary and unsafe risks.
    I do like the idea of more theoretical learning for all learner drivers.

    still abit unsure about any changes to the driving test.


    27th April 2009 at 9:30 pm
  • Marie Law

    * I think some of the new ideas seem good. As a very new ADI i think it will be good to sit in on test so you can see what mistakes happen etc and even if they pass their practical test you can still give advise on other aspects of their driving.
    *The ‘abridged theory test’ seems a good idea but will people be charged for this? It says the actual ‘theory test’ will be reduced for people with this qualification but doesn’t seem to mention any other fees?

    29th April 2009 at 2:20 pm
  • Andrew Pitt ADI

    Obviously it is good that the consultation has taken place however the results are dissappointing. ADI’s could have been supported better who are the proffessionals after all. Allowing unqualified persons to ‘sit-in’ on tests may be in some cases detrimental to the candidate. In some european coutries every new driver has to complete at least 20 hours of proffessional tuition prior to a practical test. If applied here we would cut out the new drivers and their parents who don’t seem to rate driving tuition, simply reaching the age limit and passing their test as soon as possible. The other day I heard of a caee where an individual had 1 x 2 hour lesson, took their test and passed, then carshed the same day! Dissappointing that a new driver will be licensed for ever without assessment. Why not assess every driver when the photo card licence is due for renewal? Experienced drivers assume that the rules only apply to learners and therefore they can do what they like ‘becuase they have passed’.

    18th May 2009 at 8:32 am
  • Emily

    is it tru that if you were born after a certain date i 1992/1993 they are saying you cannot take your test until you are 18 years old? Some friends have told me this and I am confused as to what i can do next august. My birthday is 04/08/93 so when can i take my test?! Help!

    15th June 2009 at 4:31 pm
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  • Vaughn Doroski

    Thank you for a nice little read.

    7th May 2010 at 11:48 pm

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