Becoming a driving instructor is a fantastic career change and one that gives you the opportunity to be your own boss, work your own schedule and earn around £30,000 a year in the process. You also get the opportunity to work with new and interesting people every day, all from the comfort of your own car.
To become a driving instructor you’ll need to pass a criminal record check before applying to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). Once you’ve passed this preliminary stage there are 3 tests to take to become an approved driving instructor (ADI).
You much pass each in order. This is a guide to what you can expect in each section.
The first test is a combination of driving theory and hazard perception. The test takes roughly 1 hour 45 minutes to complete and is made up of multiple choice theory questions, followed by the type of hazard perception test you will have taken in your own driving examination. The test costs £81 to take.
The theory test includes questions on the Highway Code, traffic signs, the Driving Instructor’s Handbook, essential driving skills and the Official DVSA Theory Test Pack that you receive on applying for the test. There are a number of ways to practice for the test, including taking lessons or purchasing a driving instructor training DVD course.
There are 100 multiple choice questions to answer in all, with 25 questions on each of the following topics:
– Road procedure
– Traffic signs, mechanical knowledge, pedestrians and car control
– Driving tests and the law, including disabilities
– Teaching techniques
You must score at least 20 marks out of 25 in each section, and 85 marks out of a 100 overall to pass.
You’ll then be shown 14 clips that depict everyday hazards. You’ll need to identify hazards as quickly as possible by clicking on the screen.
On the day you’ll need to bring your driving license or, if you have an old style paper copy license, a valid passport too. It is imperative you do not forget this ID as without it you will not be able to take the test and will have to book and pay for a re-take.
Once you’ve passed your first test you are able to book the second section. It includes an eye test, a driving test and questions about vehicle safety. The test costs £111 to take.
During the test you’ll be asked to read a new style number plate at a distance of 26.5m, you’ll be asked 5 questions about vehicle safety and you’ll have to pass a driving test.
During the driving test you’ll be expected to drive in various road and traffic conditions, displaying to the examiner that you have an expert handling of a car and fully understand the correct procedures to follow on the road. In addition, you’ll be examined on your judgement of speed, stopping distance and timing as well as your consideration for the environment and other road users.
There are a number of maneuvers you will be expected to be able to demonstrate to the examiner, including overtaking, an emergency stop, reverse bay parks and a reverse around a corner. There will also be ten minutes of independent driving, where you are expected to navigate to a destination based on a series of road signs or directions given to you before you set off.
You are only permitted three attempts at passing this second section of the ADI tests.
Finally, the last ADI test examines you on your ability to teach students. It also costs £111 to take. Bear in mind you must have completed test 2 before you enter yourself to take this final test.
The test is set up in the form of a role play, where the examiner takes the role of the student. You will then have to instruct them as if you were instructing a student in your car. The examiner will play 2 out of 3 possible roles. These are:
1) A beginner student who is new to driving
2) An experienced student who is almost ready to take their test
3) A qualified driver on an advanced driver training course.
The test will be made up of 2 exercises, each lasting roughly 30 minutes, where you will be expected to instruct the examiner (who is in role as a student) as if it were a typical lesson. You are permitted to ask the examiner questions to learn more about their knowledge and use a lesson plan.
On completing this final test you are qualified as an ADI in the eyes of the DVSA. Congratulations, and welcome to your career as a driving instructor!