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Driving School Ireland
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Application of Standards for the Practical Test


Driving tests are conducted under the authority of the Board of The Road Safety Authority, and driver testers should be aware that they are representing the Road Safety Authority when they are carrying out their duties.

In dealing with a test applicant, the tester should be fair and courteous at all times. Courtesy may be defined as politeness towards, consideration for, and treating a person with dignity.

The tester should try to create a harmonious and stress-free atmosphere by the initial greeting of, and subsequent dealings with the applicant. Applicants may be nervous and self-conscious when in a formal 'exam' type situation and this may prevent them from performing at their best. While the tester must assess the applicant's performance, the tester should not contribute in any way to the tension and stress which is inevitably being felt by the applicant.

Applicants should be addressed as Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms. or by their professional title, but it would be in order to use an applicant's first name if appropriate.

In carrying out their duties, testers should be: -

  1. Punctual
  2. Formal but friendly - a polite smile should be used on occasions.
  3. Low-key and not hurried.
  4. Presentable, and should dress in a manner appropriate to the position.

Documentation should be prepared prior to calling an applicant. The tester should go into the waiting area and call the applicant's name using a pleasant tone of voice. Where there is no response to the initial call, the tester should repeat it if necessary and/or should check regularly for a period to see whether the applicant has in fact attended. The tester should wait for the applicant to respond and should accompany the applicant to the desk.

The tester should introduce each stage of the formalities with the same type of friendly courteous tone of voice and body language, and should make a reasonable amount of eye contact without 'staring' at the applicant at any time.

The tester should say 'please' and 'thank you' from time to time, and should not rush the applicant through the formalities.

During the oral test on the Rules of The Road, if the applicant is unable to answer a question, the tester should go smoothly to the next question. The tester should try to probe briefly if it is felt that the answer is known, and that the applicant is simply 'tongue-tied'. A reasonable amount of time should be allowed for the applicant to answer each question.

The tester should not show impatience towards or disapproval of the applicant in any way and the tester's rate of speech and accent should allow time for the applicant to absorb and understand what is being said. All faults should be recorded discreetly, and the Report Sheet should be concealed as much as possible throughout the test, once a fault or faults, have been recorded.

While the vast majority of test applicants are helpful and co-operative, regardless of the test result, it can happen from time to time that a applicant may become upset. It is not possible to formulate a procedure for dealing with every possible eventuality, but the tester should in all circumstances remain calm and in control of the situation, and should not allow himself/herself to be provoked. The tester should respond to any comment that the applicant may make in a reasoned and diplomatic manner, and on no account should become involved in an exchange of offensive comments. If necessary, the applicant should be advised to contact 'Head Office' in Ballina to obtain further information.

The tester should follow the Standard Procedures closely at all times, and should make a note of any incident or comment, including all relevant facts, on the facing sheet.

These Procedures may be revised and/or amended from time to time, and testers will be apprised of this, if and when it occurs. Any amendments will also be available on our web site and from our head office in Ballina: The Road Safety authority, Primrose hill, Ballina, Co. Mayo. Telephone 096 25000.

Application of standards for the practical test

The tester conducting the test is responsible for assessing the competency of the applicant, based on the application of the uniform standard as determined by the Chief Tester, in accordance with E.U. Directives 2006/126/EC and 2012/36/EC, and the most current Road Traffic (Licensing of Drivers) Regulations.

It is the responsibility of the Chief Tester and the Supervisory Testers to ensure that these standards are correctly and uniformly applied.

The correct standard of fault assessment and recording must be known to, and applied by each tester on each occasion.