Teaching people to drive is one of those jobs that many may see as one that is out of reach. However it is one that can bring huge rewards, not least the chance to be your own boss.
It goes without saying that one of the qualities you will need to teach learner drivers is an endless supply of patience. You will also need to be at least 21 years of age with a good driving record. But, if you want to know what else is needed then read on.
Where to Start – the Legal Requirements
No matter how good a driver you may be, in order to become an approved driving instructor (ADI) you first must apply to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) with your driving license details_you must be the holder of a full UK or European Union unrestricted license and have held it for at least 4 of the previous 6 years_and information about any criminal record you hold. Be prepared to undergo an enhanced criminal record check. All this is required to ensure that you are a ‘fit and proper person’.
Once you have been accepted by the DVSA you are then required to pass a three-part test as part of your training to become an ADI. The three tests are:
- A theory and hazard perception test (part 1)
- A practical driving test (part 2)
- An instructional ability test (part 3)
As you might imagine, these exams are vital to test your level of competency to teach others. The exams must be taken in the precise order listed above and must be passed within a two year period of completing part 1 before you can be accepted onto the register of Approved Driving Instructors. Just as some learner drivers need several attempts at passing their driving test so you may need more than one attempt at passing the three ADI tests. Don’t worry if you fail at the first attempt. You are allowed to take the theory test as many times as you want but when it comes to the practical tests the rule is tougher; you can only attempt these no more than three times within each 2 year qualification period. If you can’t pass the tests within two years you have to start again from the beginning of part 1.
How to Choose an ADI Training Course
It is always advised that, rather than plunging straight into the ADI tests, you embark on some specialist training first. Being a successful driving instructor is about more than simply passing tests, important though these are. A specialist driving instructor training course is useful in preparing you expertly for the tests and in addition can offer support and advice all the way through and beyond. You will also learn all about the ‘ins and outs’ of being a driving instructor including how to manage your pupils’ expectations. If you decide to join a driving instructor training company make sure it is one that is a member of ORDIT. This is the Official Register of Driving Instructor Trainers and is managed by the DVSA to protect members of the public from sub-standard training. You can then be sure that you receive training of a high standard from an instructor who is subject to regular inspections and who has to abide by a strict code of practice.
So if you are ready for a rewarding change of career and you’re eager to help learner drivers achieve their dream of passing a driving test why not take the first step today?