For an ORDIT inspection you have some choices in terms of candidates and scenarios.
You can use a PDI working towards Part Three exam or an existing ADI working towards a Standard check. You will conduct the session either from the drivers’ seat setting up structured experiences after which they can reflect review and plan. Alternatively, you would conduct the session from the back seat whilst observing them with real learners.
The foundation skills most useful for ORDIT inspection are in satisfying the role as “Manager of risk”, including verbal interventions and the use of dual controls.
ORDIT inspections utilising a PDI with you in the driving seat, I would suggest utilising early-stage scenarios to have the PDI experience one or more of the following to keep things simple and therefore effective:
- Instructor interventions
- Fault finding and correcting
- Giving clear route directions
As with all training we need to agree what we will undertake in terms of setting goals and meeting needs. If this is session number one, then you would have a conversation with the PDI about what the basic skills of a driving instructor were. They should hopefully agree that the short list above is correct. We then have them select a topic from the list and put together meaningful activities to ensure we facilitate learning.
It is important that we practice what we preach and use short repetitive routes that allow for multiple attempts at the subject in a short space of time.
Giving clear route directions:
Ideally have a short route from test centre to a practice area and have the PDI give you route directions to get there. Printing off a map and route directions from Google maps might be useful. Try to make it a short drive, and once you have arrived at the location have the PDI reflect and analyse their performance in terms of clarity and timing. We then apply the chunking methodology, did the plan work? If it did, then congratulate them and move on to whatever topic is next. If it didn’t then a conversation needs to be had about the fact it didn’t work (you seeing that it didn’t work and saying it), and what needs to be done about it (you directing a conversation to point out the consequences of getting it wrong and the PDI agreeing that it needs fixing) and then you giving the PDI the chance to try again with whatever help they wanted from you (this is you sorting the problem out). This is you utilising your core skills (see it, say it, suss it, sort it) to help them develop their skills. You are also making sure that you have transferred responsibility and that learning has taken place.
Fault finding and correcting:
This might be the logical thing to move onto once you are finished with the route direction scenario above. You would have a short route where you can commit the fault three times and end up back at the start point. Careful planning and consideration are needed here, and just as with your PDIs on their Part Three test, a good route will help you greatly on this ORDIT inspection.
You will drive perfectly apart from the one fault you will introduce. The fault needs to be blindingly obvious; we do not want subtlety here. So, a coasting fault with the clutch brought up very sharply once you have negotiated a junction would be a good one, or a wide-open junction where you can go very wide. Any fault you commit should be obvious but most importantly not cause issue for other road users. You must know ahead of time what the fault is that you will commit and where you will commit it.
Tell the PDI you will commit one fault, and that their job is to spot it. If they have not spotted it after three times, then you will pull over to discuss. If they do spot it then pull over earlier and move to the next bit which is dealing with it.
If they have not spotted it, you are hopefully back to where you started, I would advise telling them what the fault was and repeating the route. They should hopefully now see you do it, this would then lead to a discussion about what was different in their observations this time. It is generally looking outside of the car instead of inside, wrong seating position or not looking at the right time that is the issue. You will lead a conversation that is based on the core comps to enable a fix to be affected. Repeating the short route in cycles until responsibility has been transferred and learning has taken place.
We then move on to analysis of the fault and then finally fixing of the fault. I find it useful to isolate each element and to keep things incredibly simple, building up their skills in a way that helps them see how it all pieces together. Pointing out the methodology and helping them to see the mechanics of it.
This should be a logical follow on from the fault spotting and correcting scenario. Interventions should be introduced as ‘prevention is better than cure’. A conversation about how faults might be prevented by the instructor should lead to a list of interventions which should be something like:
- By hand
- By mouth
- By feet
Intervention by mouth
Discuss how they might do this, questioning, informing, prompting, directing, commanding, and instructing.
Take the time to discuss the merits of each and in what order they would be likely to happen. What are the merits of each, which they would use if time were limited as opposed to having plenty of time?
Interventions by mouth should be simply you have them ask you questions about things, give you directions etc, but if they get it wrong, do not compound the issue, simply pull over and let them know it was not correct, why it was not correct and what they need to do next time and then give them another opportunity.
Intervention by hand
Discuss how they might do this. Steering, indicators, gears handbrake etc. when they would do it, why they would do it and how they would do it. Where would they hold the steering wheel to turn it right and left, what are the merits of each.
Interventions by hand should start gently, such as I want you to steer us around these parked cars, but do not worry, if I get it wrong, I will not allow us to crash, then give them opportunities to practice steering at junctions etc.
Intervention by feet
Discuss how and when would they do this, the merits or otherwise of this type of intervention, the impact on other road users.
Discuss intervening in general in terms of staying safe and protecting ourselves and other road users. What would they do to ensure safety and management of risk?
Then look at the hierarchy of interventions, what they would do first and how the intervention would escalate if the intervention were not effective. Then move on to giving them some physical practice at such interventions starting very basic and building up the skills. For example, start foot interventions with slowing the car from 30mph to 20mph building up in stages until they can commit a full-blown emergency stop. It is NOT acceptable to throw coachees in at the deep end with an intervention that is required by you doing something unexpected.
Resist any temptation to make the role play difficult or complicated, it only confuses the PDI and really does not help them to develop quickly. This destroys PDI confidence and is an archaic methodology that we need to leave behind along with putting small boys up chimneys.
Human beings are amazing things but learn best in small easily manageable steps.