What are the requirements for becoming a driving instructor?

What are the requirements for becoming a driving instructor?

If you’re considering making the change and learning how to become a driving instructor, there’s a lot you need to know. Just like when you first learn to drive, you need to get qualified. This means there are a number of hoops you’ve got to jump through and things you need to tick off before you can start teaching others.

At Bill Plant Driving School we help people become Approved Driving Instructors with our driving instructor training courses. For anyone thinking about getting qualified, we’ve put together everything you need to know about becoming a driving instructor.

The main requirements for driving instructor training

The main requirements for becoming a driving instructor are:

  1. You must have held a full UK driving license for a minimum of 3 years
  2. Have 6 points or less on your driving license.
  3. Be capable of passing the eyesight test; i.e. proving that you can read a number plate at 90 feet, even if that’s with the aid of glasses or contact lenses.
  4. Pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and meet the legal requirements.

Once you meet each of these, you’ll need to register for training. The driving instructor training you undertake will help prepare you for the 3 tests you’ll need to take to become an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI).

There are two legal requirements that you must meet before you can become a driving instructor. These are:

Pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check

This is to check whether you have any outstanding convictions. Essentially it checks the Police National Computer for your criminal history. This is standard for many jobs, particularly ones that require working with people or teaching.

These checks can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks. You can undergo a DBS check via the Government website.

Register as a Potential Driving Instructor (PDI) and obtain a Personal Reference Number (PRN)

Before you can take your tests you’ll need to register with the DVSA. You’ll need your DBS Certificate Number to hand, as well as your driving license number and any details of motoring or non-motoring offences.

Once you apply for your Personal Reference Number (PRN) the process can take 4-6 weeks. Once you’ve received your confirmation you can go about booking your part 1 exam.

What tests do I need to take to become a driving instructor?

There are three tests you must pass if you want to be a qualified instructor. These tests are performed by the Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and are:

ADI Part 1: Theory & Hazard Perception

Just like when you are learning to drive, you have to pass a theory and hazard perception test before you can become an instructor. You need to prove you have the practical knowledge before you can teach it to others. You need to show that you understand the highway code, different road signs and road safety.

This test is divided into two parts:

  1. A multiple-choice test – you must answer 100 questions and receive a minimum score of 80%.
  2. A hazard perception test – Watch 14 video clips of cars driving on roads. When you see a developing hazard you must click your mouse.

ADI Part 2: Driving ability test

You then need to prove that you can drive to the required standard. These driving ability tests include:

  1. An eyesight check
  2. A show me, tell me question
  3. Driving off test routes to prove your overall ability
  4. Performing certain manoeuvres
  5. A period of independent driving

The first two exams are essentially more stringent versions of the driving tests you would take as a pupil learning to drive.

ADI Part 3: Instructional ability test

Once the DVSA are happy with your knowledge and driving skills, you’ll need to show that you have the skills required to impart this knowledge onto your students.

This final test involves a real hour-long lesson with a learner driver that’s assessed by an examiner. The examiner will be assessing your teaching abilities, particularly your ability to:

  1. Put together a lesson plan
  2. Perform risk management during the lesson
  3. Provide feedback to the student at the end of the lesson
  4. Impart knowledge to the student

How long do you have to have been driving to become an instructor – what driving ability do I need?

To begin your training you must have held your full driving licence for at least 3 full years. You’ll have to provide this when you apply for training and your tests.

Your driving ability is then assessed through Part 2 of the ADI tests that are run by the DVSA.

At what age can you become a driving instructor?

As you have to have been qualified to drive for a minimum of 3 years, you won’t be able to start instructor training until at least the age of 21. You’ll not be able to register with the DVSA unless you are 21 and have held your license for at least 3 years.

Do I have to have my own car?

To undertake the tests to become an instructor you must have a car that complies with DVSA standards. When you join our driving school franchise you’ll get a market-leading Volkswagen tuition vehicle to use for your lessons, so you won’t need to buy your own car.

Andrew Frobisher