If you enjoy driving and enjoying showing people how to do things, then you should probably consider training to be a driving instructor. You get to set your own hours and, naturally, a company car is essential! Training to be a driving instructor isn’t as difficult as you might think. Just like learning to drive in the first place, obtaining quality driving instructor training is essential to help you prepare for the exams and learn all the tips and tricks of the trade.
 
Am I Eligible?

Before you go any further you need to check that you are allowed to become a driving instructor. You will need:

  • to have held a full UK driving licence for 3 years
  • to be over 21
  • no more than 6 penalty points
  • DBS clearance (even if your current job requires this you need new clearance for driver instruction).

If your licence is automatic only you won’t be able to teach in a manual car unless you pass the manual test and update your licence.
 
If you haven’t had your licence for long enough or aren’t yet 21 you may be able to begin training, but it is best to discuss this with your instructor training centre first.
 
What Do i Need To Do To Qualify?

Just like when you took your driving test there are a number of assessments you need to undertake before you reach ADI (approved driving instructor). To give yourself the best chance of passing first-time check that your chosen driving instructor trainer is ORDIT (Official Register of Driving Instructor Trainers) listed.
 
There are three tests you will need to pass. These are:

  • The ADI Theory Test
  • The ADI Driver Ability Test
  • The ADI Instructor Ability Test.

 
The Theory Test

Before you begin you will need to show that you understand the theory of driving and driver instruction and that you know the Highway Code. You will be able to attempt practice papers with your trainer before you take the real thing.
 
The Driver Ability Test

Within 2 years (and with at most 3 attempts) you need to pass a second driving test. This is very similar to your original driving test and ensures that you are still a safe and competent driver. If you have slipped into bad habits since your last driving test you would be advised to take some time with your trainer and practice to get rid of them.
 
The Instructor Ability Test

The final test is to ensure you can teach competently and safely. Once you have passed the driver ability test you can apply for a trainee instructor licence. This enables you to supervise learner drivers, and you may be able to start charging for lessons. You need to have completed at least 40 hours of ADI training (at least 10 in a car) before you can apply for a trainee licence and will have to decide whether to be supervised for at least a fifth of your lessons or take extra hours of instruction when you apply. Your trainer will be able to advise on the best choice.
 
The instructor ability test takes place in your car, with your student (who can hold a full licence). You give a lesson and if the examiner considers it to meet the required standard in 17 areas of competence you will be allowed to apply for your ADI licence, which must be done within 12 months. You will have to repeat the test at least every 4 years as part of the ADI standards check.