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ADI Training: The First Steps To Take

There are countless benefits to pursuing a career as a driving instructor.

You can be your own boss, with flexible working hours and, if you go independent, the chance to set your own rates.

You can choose from a wide variety of companies to work for, with the ability to move anywhere in the country.

You’ll get the satisfaction of seeing your students pass time after time. And, if you keep at it, you’ll have the chance to grow your annual salary to £30,000 or more.

If you like the sound of this and have the drive to push yourself, here are the first steps you need to take in order to become a fully Approved Driving Instructor.

Licence And Checks

Before embarking on this career path, you need to first check whether you’ve held your full licence for at least four years out of the past six.

Automatic or foreign licences can count towards this total.

Although penalty points shouldn’t count against you, if you’ve been disqualified at any point in the past four years then you won’t be able to start training for the time being.

Convictions, including non-motoring ones, will also be taken into account. A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be necessary.

Learn The Programme

Before applying, you should ensure that you know what the instructor training programme involves.

This will help you prepare in advance for what will be expected of you.

In brief, the first part of the test will focus on theory and hazard perception.

Throughout both, you’ll be tested on driving laws, instructional techniques, road procedures and your general reaction times.

The second part of the test will focus on your ability to drive, as well as your eyesight.

Following a series of standard one-to-one training lessons that should be familiar to any qualified driver, you’ll have to pass an hour-long test.

As well as this, you’ll need to prove that you can read a number plate from 27.5 metres away.

Finally, the third part of the test will assess your ability to pass all of this knowledge on to others.

Following further training, your examiner will become the student for this test, examining your teaching qualities from the driver’s seat.

You’ll have two years to pass all three tests. If you fail any of them three times, you’ll need to wait another two years to begin the process again from the start.


When you first apply, you’ll have to undergo an enhanced security check.

Once this has been successfully completed, you’ll be sent an eligibility number, which will then allow you to book your theory test. At this point, it’s important that you make the authorities aware of any criminal history you’ve had.

Once you’ve applied, you’ll be sent a guide on becoming an Approved Driving Instructor.

Using this, you’ll be encouraged to run through an ADI Job Preview online programme, which will help you decide whether you’re suitable for the job, as well as testing your current skills and understanding. You can find one such programme at this site.

Got What It Takes?

Finally, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions before taking your ambitions any further.

Ask yourself if you believe you’re the kind of person who can remain calm under pressure, give clear instructions to others and react quickly in the event of an emergency.

If you are convinced that you have these qualities, then driving instructing may well be the career for you.

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