Driving Lessons
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Did the trainer identify the pupil’s learning goals and needs?

Goal Setting

Goals may well have been agreed upon at the end of the previous lesson, based on what the trainer and pupil recognise as the next step in the learning journey. This can be moving onto more challenging topics or exploring current topics further.

It’s important to re-establish these goals at the start of the lesson, as the pupil’s needs may have changed based on drives they’ve done at home or queries they’ve thought about during the week.

I would suggest not allowing your pupil to drive to the test center on the day of the Standards Check, as this can open a whole can of worms of new goals needed, also you may fall into the trap of missing out on parts of your goal setting with your pupil as you’ve just had that chat but the examiner wasn’t there and they can’t assume it’s been discussed.


Try to be specific with your goals; using S.M.A.R.T (Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-based) goals can help with this but if you have your own way that works, that’s great too.

A discussion about the topic to be covered should include,

  • enquiring with the pupil what they already know
  • why they want to work on that topic
  • anything they may find challenging
  • solutions to any issues.

You end this chat asking something like this,

“by the end of today’s lesson, where would you like to be?”

Questions like this can really help in narrowing down the goal for the session.

Ongoing goals

It’s IMPORTANT to remember that this box isn’t just ticked at the start of the lesson. During the lesson, it’s important to set new goals if needed. This might be because new needs have shown themselves in your pupil’s driving or knowledge or that your pupil has achieved these goals and you may want to explore the topic in more depth or add further challenge.

“It is also important to remember that a better understanding of the pupil’s needs may emerge as the lesson progresses. It follows that this criteria cannot be ‘ticked off at the beginning of the lesson and then forgotten.” ADI 1


Key criteria the examiner is looking for:


• encouraging the pupil to say what they want from the lesson
• asking questions to ensure understanding
• checking understanding as the lesson progresses
• listening to what the pupil is saying
• taking note of body language

What to avoid?


  • making assumptions about understanding or experience
  • failing to note negative or concerned comments or body language that shows discomfort
  • undermining the pupil’s confidence by continually asking questions clearly beyond the pupil’s knowledge or understanding
  • pushing the pupil to address issues that they are not happy to talk about, unless there is a clear need, such as an identified risk or a safety critical issue

Need more support?

If you would like more advice and support then we are here to help.

We offer different types of training to suite your needs. Visit our Standards Check page or get in touch for more information.

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