3a Reversing

Once you have completed all your theory training, it is time for you to move onto your driver training.

The 3a training is also known as 3a reversing. This is a practical demonstration that you will train to complete successfully and safely.

This will consist of you learning and perfecting an “S” shaped manoeuvre. The 3a reversing is an off-road exercise, so you will not have to complete this in a populated environment.

You will learn in the vehicle category that you are training in. This could be:

The reversing test will also include completing coupling and uncoupling with the vehicle. This would only be applicable for:

  • C+E
  • C1+E
  • D1+E

The Training

When completing the training, you will be given one-on-one training with an experienced instructor. During this period, the instructor will inform you how you will be expected to use provided techniques to aid in completing the 3a test.

“S” Shaped Manoeuvre

When training for this, you will at first be shown how the manoeuvre should be completed. The instructor will split this up into key points to remember when steering the vehicle.

You will then be expected to complete this independently, showing that you have implemented the skills and learning into your practical demonstration.

Coupling and Uncoupling Procedure

This is only if you are required to complete this part of the training.

The instructor will show you how to safely uncouple the trailer from the vehicle, then drive away, showing that the vehicle is fully detached.

You will then show that you are able to reverse back into the trailer attachment. Then, showing you can recouple the trailer and drive away with it reattached.

During the test

The test takes approximately 30 minutes on average. During this period, you will be expected to show that you can safely manoeuvre in an “S” shape. If you are required to complete the coupling and uncoupling procedure, you will be expected to complete this after your “S” shaped manoeuvre.

You must successfully complete the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) part 1 theory test before you can book the Driver CPC part 3a test.

Once you have completed this part of the test, you will find out whether you have passed or failed from your examiner. If you have passed, you can then move to your 3b test.

In the instance that you do not pass, you will not be allowed to complete the 3b test until you have taken the 3a reversing test again and successfully completed it.

Your 3a certificate will be valid from the date of passing. However, you must pass your 3b driving test within 6 months. If you do not, you will have to retake the 3a off-road test.