How To Become An Approved Driving Instructor

How To Become An Approved Driving Instructor
How To Become An Approved Driving Instructor

Becoming an approved driving instructor (ADI) in the United Kingdom is a rewarding career choice for those who are passionate about driving and teaching. The process involves several steps, including meeting eligibility requirements, passing examinations, and completing a training program. This guide will walk you through the essential steps on how to become an approved driving instructor.

Understanding the Requirements

  • Eligibility Criteria

Before embarking on your journey to become an ADI, you must ensure you meet the following eligibility criteria:

• You must be at least 21 years old.

• You need to have held a full UK or EU driving license for at least three years.

• You should not have been disqualified from driving in the four years before you apply.

• A clear criminal record, particularly in relation to motoring offences, is crucial.

The Path to Becoming an ADI

  • Step 1: Apply for a Criminal Record Check

Before you can register as a potential driving instructor, you must complete an enhanced criminal record check. This ensures that you are suitable to work with the public and particularly with young adults.

  • Step 2: Apply to Become an ADI

Once you have your criminal record check, you can apply to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to become an ADI. This involves filling out an application form and paying the relevant fees.

  • Step 3: Pass the ADI Qualification Exams

To become an approved driving instructor, you must pass three qualifying tests. These are:

  • Part 1: Theory Test

The theory test consists of multiple-choice questions and a hazard perception test. It assesses your knowledge of driving theory, road safety, and the highway code. It’s similar to the learner driver theory test but more comprehensive.

  • Part 2: Driving Ability Test

The driving ability test assesses your practical driving skills. It is similar to the practical driving test that learner drivers take, but the standards are higher. You need to demonstrate a high level of driving competence, including advanced driving techniques.

  • Part 3: Instructional Ability Test

The instructional ability test evaluates your teaching skills. During this test, you must demonstrate your ability to provide effective driving instruction. You’ll be observed giving a driving lesson to a pupil, and the examiner will assess your teaching methods, communication skills, and ability to manage the lesson.

  • Step 4: Complete an ADI Training Course

While not mandatory, completing an ADI training course is highly recommended. These courses prepare you for the qualifying exams and provide valuable insights into the responsibilities and techniques of a driving instructor. Many training providers offer comprehensive packages that cover all three parts of the ADI tests.

Benefits of Becoming an ADI

  • Job Satisfaction and Independence

Being an ADI allows you to work independently, set your own hours, and take satisfaction in teaching a valuable life skill. It’s a rewarding career that offers the flexibility to manage your work-life balance.

  • Competitive Earnings

Approved driving instructors can earn a competitive income, with the potential to increase earnings by offering advanced driving lessons or specializing in areas such as motorway driving or driving in adverse conditions.

  • Continuous Professional Development

As an ADI, you have opportunities for continuous professional development. You can take further qualifications to enhance your skills and knowledge, keeping you up-to-date with the latest driving standards and instructional techniques.


  • Who can become an approved driving instructor?

Anyone who meets the eligibility criteria, including age, driving experience, and a clear criminal record, can apply to become an ADI.

What is the first step to becoming an ADI?

The first step is to apply for an enhanced criminal record check, which is required before you can register with the DVSA as a potential driving instructor.

Where can I take the ADI qualification exams?

The ADI qualification exams can be taken at designated DVSA test centres across the UK.

Why should I complete an ADI training course?

An ADI training course prepares you for the qualifying exams and equips you with the skills and knowledge necessary to be an effective driving instructor.

How long does it take to become an ADI?

The time it takes to become an ADI varies, depending on how quickly you can pass the qualifying exams and complete the training. On average, it can take several months to a year.

Will I need to renew my ADI license?

Yes, you will need to renew your ADI license every four years and undergo regular standards checks to ensure you continue to meet the required standards.


At Full Documents, we aim to provide clear and comprehensive information to help you achieve your career goals. Becoming an approved driving instructor is a fulfilling and lucrative career path. By following the steps outlined above and dedicating yourself to thorough preparation, you can successfully navigate the process and embark on this rewarding journey.

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