How to become a driving instructor

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You will need to undergo driving instructor training if you want to become an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) and teach other people the skills to drive. If you are not a registered ADI, it is illegal to charge money for driving lessons. So if you want a job as a driving instructor to either be self-employed or work for a driving school, it is in your best interest to join a specialist training centre, which runs the driving instructor course, and follow their programme. You will need to enquire with individual training centres if you want to know the specifics because the length of the training course, the teaching materials (handbook, dvd, tapes) and the training costs vary from one driving instructor school to another.

Once you have completed the driving instructor training, you can join the ADI register and will receive a registration certificate to display in your car. This certificate needs to be renewed every four years and you will have to demonstrate that you are still fit to be a driving instructor before it gets renewed.

What are the requirements to become an ADI?

There are certain requirements which you will need to fulfil before making an application as a driving instructor to the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). First of all, you will need to have held a full UK/EU driving licence for at least 4 years out of the last 6 years. The second criterion is that you should not have been disqualified from driving during the last 4 years. Thirdly you will need to have criminal records and motoring convictions checks done on you. Lastly you will need to have passed the approved driving instructor exams which entail a theory test and two practical ones. The good thing though is that you do not need any formal academic qualifications to become a driving instructor.

What is the driving instructor course about?

Taking on the driving instructor course will help you pass the ADI exams. As we’ve established before, there are three parts to the exams. You will need to pass a computer-based theory test first before you can attempt the second test and pass the latter before you can do the third. The second test is a practical test about your driving ability and is more tough and strict than that for a learner driver. You will be required to have excellent driving skills, a broad knowledge of road safety and some basic understanding of car mechanics. If you’ve managed to pass the first two tests, you can obtain a trainee licence from the DSA which allows you to charge money for teaching in a driving school. However, the trainee license only lasts for six months and you will need to pass the third test to get your full approved driving instructor license. A practical test of your teaching ability will be done during the last test and the supervising examiner from the DSA will be assessing your way of giving instructions, your style of teaching, your ability to cope with nervous learners, your ability to point out errors in an inoffensive way and your ability to react quickly and safely to problems on the roads during driving lessons.

On completion of these tests, you will be graded on the following scale: Grade 4 (competent), Grade 5 (good) and Grade 6 (very high standard).

The well known driving schools where you can get the driving instructor course are : BSM, Red Instructor Training and TheAA

Learners requesting more female instructors for their driving lessons

Long are gone the days when only men were giving driving lessons. Many women have chosen their career as a female driving instructor, maybe because they feel they can be as good or even better than their male colleagues. This is a good thing because many girls prefer to have a woman instructor teach them as it makes them feel more comfortable by eliminating the risks of someone flirting or behaving inappropriately with them during the lessons. Some boys prefer female teachers as well because they believe they are more patient. Having said this, all driving instructors are professional people and should not misconduct in any way with their students but rather increase their confidence during each lesson and encourage them ask questions to improve their driving skills.

gices Level 6
I'm a Software Developer and the co-founder of Clever Dodo. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.

5 Replies

Amit_1 Level 1

Doing the driving instructor course with NSW licence

Hello Sir/Madam

I have been driving in Australia for the last three and half years on my overseas licence. Now I have NSW (New South Wales) full driving licence. Am I able to do the instructor course?

[Migrated from previous topic 10378 dated 25 Mar 2009]

gices Level 6


If you want to do the driving instructor course and you live in New South Wales, then there's no problem because you have a local driving licence. However if you want to teach learner drivers in Australia, then you will have to check with the appropriate department there. Laws and regulations vary from country to country.

[Migrated from previous post 546 dated 09 Sep 2009]

gices Level 6

bernie and hussain,

Please refer to the Transport Office UK for more information regarding your suitability to become a driving instructor. You will find links to apply as an instructor on there as well.

Hussain_1 Level 1
Dear Sir
If my English is very weak, can I still do the instructor course? Please give me an answer.
Bernie_1 Level 1
As far as criminal checks go, if someone was convicted with a felony can they achieve certification?
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