By The Acclaim Team on 24th May 2023 in News

Becoming a driving instructor in the UK can be an incredibly rewarding career, allowing you to impart valuable knowledge and help others gain the life-changing skill of driving. However, no matter how experienced of a driver you are, it’s important to understand the processes, requirements, and time it takes to become a certified driving instructor before you dive into an exciting career change.


Eligibility Requirements

Becoming a driving instructor involves more than just knowing how to drive. You'll need to guide new drivers through the intricacies of road rules, safety regulations, and practical driving skills.

To become an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) in the UK, you must:

·      Have held a full UK driving licence for over 3 years without holding any motoring convictions

·      Be aged over 21

·      Be able to read a licence plate at 90 Feet (27.5m) – the use of glasses and contact lenses are acceptable

·      Have no more than 6 points on your licence

·      Allow the Government (DVSA) to complete a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check and a Disclose and Barring Service (DBS) check

·      Have the ability to say the word “stop” clearly and immediately

·      Be knowledgeable about the roads within a 5-mile radius of where you live


You can check your eligibility to become a driving instructor on the DVLA website.


Qualification Process

Once you are confident you have everything in place to become a driving instructor, it’s time to take the first steps toward your qualification!


Apply to become a driving instructor

Before you begin your driving instructor training, you must first register with the DVSA. To do so, you must be over 21 years of age, have held a driving licence for over three years without any motoring convictions, and you must get a new DBS check, even if you already have one.


Find a tutor

While it isn’t a legal requirement to have any training before you take your ADI tests, it is strongly recommended.

The ADI testing process can be difficult, and choosing a training instructor who can fully prepare you for all aspects of your ADI tests can be extremely beneficial. At Acclaim, our team of highly qualified driving tutors offer an integrated approach to training, ensuring that you acquire the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to become a successful driving instructor.


Testing process

The ADI testing process consists of three parts:


Part 1: Theory and Hazard Perception Test

This initial step assesses your knowledge of road rules, driving regulations, and hazard perception, and is split into two parts: multiple choice questions and a hazard perception test.

During the first exam, you will be asked to complete a series of 100 multiple-choice questions and be required to score a minimum of 80% in each of these 4 categories:

·      Road procedure

·      Traffic signs and signals, car control, pedestrians and mechanical knowledge

·      Driving test, disabilities, and the law

·      Publications and instructional techniques

During part two, you will watch 14 video clips featuring everyday road scenes. Each of these scenes will contain at least one ‘developing hazard’ - but one of the clips features 2 developing hazards. You will score points for spotting the developing hazards as soon as they start to happen and you will need a minimum of 76% to complete the test.


Part 2: Driving Ability Test

The second stage evaluates your driving skills. It involves an advanced driving test that ensures you have a high level of driving competence. The test takes around one hour, and there are 5 parts to the test:

·      An eyesight check

·      ‘Show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions

·      General driving ability

·      Manoeuvres

·      Independent driving

To pass part 2 of the ADI test, you must receive no more than 6 driving faults and no serious or dangerous faults.


Part 3: Instructional Ability Test

The final stage assesses your ability to teach others. It’s a test of your instructional techniques and communication skills. It involves a 45-minute practical test in which the examiner will sit in the back of the car and observe your ‘live lesson’ with a pupil.

The test is marked on 17 different areas including how you plan the lesson, how you manage risk and which teaching and learning strategies you implement.


Estimated Timeframe

Everyone’s journey to becoming a qualified driving instructor is different, and you should always take things at your own pace.

On average, it takes around 12 months to train to become a driving instructor, but training can sometimes be completed in as little as 3 months. There is often a waiting time of around 3 to 6 months for parts 2 and 3 of your tests depending on where in the UK you are based.

Don’t be disheartened if you are unsuccessful in passing your tests the first time around – it’s very common for those looking to become a qualified driving instructor to have to retake parts of their exam. You will have 3 opportunities to take parts 2 and 3 of your training – if you are unsuccessful a third time, you will need to wait until 2 years after the date you passed part 1 before you can undertake the testing process again.


Support Throughout the Journey

Becoming a driving instructor is a rewarding yet challenging process. When you choose Acclaim Driving to help support you through your ADI training, you'll have access to a network of training providers, experienced driving instructors, and resources to support your learning.

Remember, the journey to becoming a driving instructor is not just about passing tests; it's about becoming a skilled and confident teacher who can guide new drivers safely onto the roads. The effort you invest in your training and development will be reflected in the quality of instruction you provide to your future students.

The time it takes to become a certified driving instructor varies based on individual circumstances, but with dedication, practice, and the right support, you can embark on this journey confidently and make a positive impact on the roadways.

Find out more about the journey to becoming a qualified driving instructor, and get in touch today to take the first step in your new driving instructor career.