How To Become A Driving Instructor – Step-by-step Guide
There are 40.5 million people that hold a full UK driving license, with a further 8.8 million holding a provisional license. With so many people learning to drive, becoming a driving instructor is a good opportunity for somebody who enjoys driving and wants to make a career out of teaching others. It is important that you are aware of what is required and which checks are necessary to become a driving instructor.
The official term for a driving instructor is Approved Driving Instructor (ADI). To become an ADI there are several steps you need to take before you become approved.
This article will take you through the various steps, explaining what you need to do along the way to ensure success when you apply to become an ADI.
Know the required skills of a driving instructor
You cannot just set yourself up as a driving instructor without first demonstrating that you have some of the required skills and attributes.
Some of the skills you need as a driving instructor include:
- In-depth knowledge of driving best practices and techniques
- Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of motor vehicle law
- Understanding of driving tests, including theory, hazard perception, and practical assessments
- Good people skills or interpersonal skills, including communication and patience
- Business skills if you are planning to set up your own driving school.
You also need to be able to work flexible hours as many learner drivers want to fit in driving lessons around work, school, or family commitments.
Of course, the other thing you need if you’re going to set up your own driving instruction business is a car. Most driving instructors prefer to have a car that is fitted with dual controls, which are basically clutch, brake, and accelerator pedals that can be used from the passenger seat.
First steps to becoming an approved driving instructor
The first step to becoming an ADI is to answer some basic screening questions on the UK government website which assess whether you’re suitable. These questions include asking your age, length of time you’ve held a UK driving license, and whether you can legally drive manual or automatic transmission vehicles.
Once you have passed these questions, you will be issued with further information on how to apply to become an ADI.
Applying to become an ADI
The next step is to apply for approval as a driving instructor. The application form will ask you some of the following questions:
- Do you have any motoring offences on your record?
- Have you ever been suspended or banned from driving?
- Do you presently have 5 or more penalty points on your driving license?
- Do you have any convictions on your criminal record?
- Are you presently on the DBS barred list?
Get a DBS check carried out
In the UK, the minimum age for driving a car is 17 years old. Anybody under the age of 18 year of age is considered to be a child. Any role that involves working in direct, unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults is classified as a regulated activity by the DBS.
Therefore, as part of your application to become an ADI, you will need to apply for a DBS certificate. All ADIs are required to apply for an enhanced DBS check with barred list.
An enhanced DBS check is a criminal background check that looks for the following:
- Spent convictions
- Unspent convictions
- Any other relevant police notes or information.
If your enhanced DBS check comes back clear and you are not disqualified from becoming an approved driving instructor, then you can continue to the next step.
Assessments and tests
To become an ADI, you must first pass three ADI tests:
- ADI theory test – approx. £81 fee
- ADI practical driving test – approx. £111 fee
- ADI instructional ability test – approx. £111 fee.
You need to pass the tests in the order that they appear above, and they must all be completed within a two-year window.
Register as an ADI
Once you have applied to become an ADI, obtained an enhanced DBS with barred list certificate, and completed all three of the ADI tests within the two-year period, then you can register as an ADI and begin instructing learner drivers.
As a registered ADI you can either work on contract for an established driving school, or set up your own business.
Becoming an approved driving instructor is a good opportunity for anyone with good driving skills, a willingness to learn, and good teaching ability. It can be a fulfilling career choice and can be the start of a lucrative business.
To recap, all you need to do is answer some screening questions on the government website, fill in an application form, apply for an enhanced DBS certificate, pass three tests, then register as an ADI.
If you want to know more about DBS checks, including how to apply for them online, get in touch today.