What does a driving instructor do
14th March 2022
Welcome to Misperception Bridge
28th April 2022

The return to normality

According to latest DfT published figures [DRT0701/0721], it appears that the pass rates for parts 2 and 3 have stabilised again after the upsurge through the lockdown period.

For the Part 2 ADI qualification test, (driving ability), the last 5 months of pass rates have returned to what is historically seen of under 60%.  There were some 60+ % pass rates over the previous two years, in much the same way that the learner test pass rates also increased.  But on both counts, the pass rate has returned to what we would normally expect nationally.  For December 2021 males passed 58.8% and females passed 58.7%.  The learner pass rates by gender normally show an increased rate for males on the practical driving and an increased rate for females on the theory test – a trend that is to be expected given the different nature of the assessments.  But as can be seen, there is no such gap between gender for the ADI qualifying part 2 test.  It is still the case that males coming into the qualifying tests outnumber females by something in the order of 3:1.


And for the Part 3 ADI qualification test (instructional ability), the temporary blip has also flattened out to levels we would normally expect of 34.5% pass rate in December 2021.  Females outperformed males by around 4% but historically there is no consistent trend between genders.


Interestingly, this ‘stabilizing’ of pass rates is also reflected in the learner test passes despite the ADI data trigger monitoring that the DVSA announced in August 2021.  You may recall that when the DVSA announced that they are monitoring ADI pass rates of pupils that they present, they also announced that the monitoring is backdated to August 2020.  What appears to be happening across the UK is that ADIs are presenting far fewer candidates for tests than prior to the data monitoring.  But as the pass rates reflect what has traditionally been seen as ‘normal’ i.e. less than 50% pass rate, then without DfT statistics to corroborate, at this stage we can only assume that all the tests that are now being done in private cars are still dragging down the pass rate.


The gov.uk for Northern Ireland is showing that private cars presented at driving tests there now account for over 80% of all tests.  If this is similar to the rest of the UK (undisclosed at the time of writing), then it is unclear as to what is being “gained” by this latest DVSA data monitoring campaign.