Becoming a driving instructor

Driving instructor teach people to drive safely and to prepare them for their driving test.

The driving instructor teaches the learner driver the vehicle controls and the basics of driving. The remainder of the driving lessons are held on the road with the learner driving the car and carrying out manoeuvres.

Prior to each lesson the driving instructor plans a route. During the lesson, they will monitor the learner driver, the road and other cars.

In most cases the car will have been adapted to include dual controls so that the instructor can take control of the vehicle if necessary.

Driving Instructors teach general road skills, including knowledge of the Highway Code. When the pupil is ready for the test, they apply for a driving test date.

The practical driving test now includes questions about checking fluid levels and tyre pressures. There is also a separate theory examination. Part of a driving instructors job may be to prepare learners for these parts of the test.

Often Instructors are self-employed are responsible for keeping their own paperwork., paying taxes etc

To be a driving instructor you should:
  • have a high level of driving skills and enjoy driving
  • be able to give directions and teach clearly and concisely
  • be able to adapt your teaching style to suit all kinds of drivers
  • be able to stay calm and give constructive feedback
  • have a good sense of humour
  • be able to react quickly
Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) exams
ADI exams are in three parts: a computer-based theory, a practical test of driving ability, and a practical test of ability to teach. You need to pass each part before the next can be taken. To qualify you must pass the whole couse within two years of completing the first part.

Joining the ADI register
After successfully passing all three parts of the register qualifying exams, you join the ADI register and are given an official certificate of registration which must be displayed on the vehicle.

Registration has to be renewed every four years and ADI Registrars require you to undergo a test of continued ability and fitness to give instruction. Your name can be removed from the register if the required standards are not met.

Specialist Driving Instructors
Specialist instructors usually have professional qualifications. Some employers in road haulage and bus and coach services train their experienced drivers to become instructors either within the company or at a specialist training school.

Further information

Driving Standards Agency (DSA)
Stanley House
56 Talbot Street
Tel: 0115 901 2500
Starter Pack Orders: 0870 121 4202

Driving Instructors' Association (DIA)
Safety House
Beddington Farm Road
Tel: 020 8665 5151