Starting your new career as a driving instructor couldn’t be easier, especially with ITO.

Our courses are designed to offer you cost-effective learning and mentoring throughout, as well as flexible studying — meaning you can get started in your own time and in the comfort of your own home.

Check if you can be a driving instructor

Before you begin, it’s important to consider the reasons why you want to become a driving instructor. Are you looking to become your own boss, enjoy flexible working hours or simply like to work with and encourage others? All of these are great reasons and once you’ve established yours, it’s time to kick things into gear. In order to become a driving instructor, you’ll need to:
  • Be over 21 years old
  • Have no motoring convictions
  • Register with the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)
  • Have held a driving licence for over 3 years
  • Have a new Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, even if you already have one

Check with the DVSA website for more information.

Take the theory test (ADI part 1)

Your ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) test is split into 3 parts. Part 1, the theory test, consists of 100 multiple choice questions, covering 5 categories:

  • The Highway Code
  • Traffic signs knowledge
  • Driving essential skills
  • The driving instructor handbook
  • Official theory test for approved driving instructor pack

To pass, you’ll need to score a minimum of 80% in each of the categories.

Along with the theory test, you’ll also take a hazard perception test, which involves:

  • Watching 14 video clips featuring everyday road scenes
  • Clicking the mouse to spot any developing hazards
  • Scoring up to 5 points for each hazard
  • Earning a minimum score of 76% to pass

Pass the driving ability test (ADI part 2)

Part 2 of your test is the practical side. Before you start, you must ensure your car complies with the DVSA standards. If not, the test will be cancelled and you’ll have to pay to take the test again. It’ll take around an hour to complete, with an examiner focusing on 5 areas:

  • An eyesight check
  • General driving ability
  • Manoeuvres
  • Independent driving
  • ‘Show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions

To pass, you must achieve:

  • No more than 6 driving faults
  • No serious or dangerous faults

The examiner will talk you through any faults reported, and you can retake your test if you fail at your 1st or 2nd attempt. If you fail on the 3rd, you’ll have to wait 2 years from when you first passed your ADI part 1.

Try some practise teaching

If you want some extra experience, apply for a 6 month trainee licence. You can apply for this once you’ve passed part 1 and 2 of your ADI test and this will allow you to practice instructing real students. This is known as a PDI Licence – Potential Driving Instructor.

driving instructor courses

Take the instructional ability test (ADI part 3)

The final part of your ADI test involves an examiner observing a 60-minute driving lesson with a learner driver or a qualified driver seeking development. Prior to this, you’ll have completed 36 hours of 1-to-1 training with your trainer. As well as 4 one-hour virtual classroom sessions. So you’ll have all the skills and knowledge to pass with confidence.

Your training includes:

  • Developing your driving instructor skills
  • Introducing driving lesson subjects
  • Additional learning materials
  • An individual learning plan and progress record
  • Covering DVSA requirements.

Once you’ve passed all 3 parts of your ADI test, you’ll be awarded a green badge and become a fully qualified DVSA Approved Driving Instructor.

Register and start your new career

Once you’ve passed your ADI tests, you’re now a DVSA Approved Driving Instructor. Here’s what you’ll need to do next:

  • Get your first ADI certificate – once you receive this, you can start charging
  • Renew your registration and a get a new DBS check every 4 years
  • Join a driving school or set up your own business
  • Have one standard check every 4 years
  • Register within 12 months