To become an ADI (approved driving instructor) you have to be at least 21 years old and you must have held a full UK manual driving licence for more than three years. The next step is to take a criminal record check; if you’ve already got one, you’ll still need a new one in order to start your driving instructor training.
Every driving instructor goes through the three-part training process and all the exams are conducted by the driver vehicle standards agency (DVSA).
When you take your test as a learner driver, you have to pass your theory first. It’s much the same when you’re becoming a driving instructor. The theory test is made up of two sections: multiple choice and hazard perception. With the multiple choice section, you will have 90 minutes in which to answer 100 questions. The questions will test your knowledge on instructional techniques, the driving test, road procedures, traffic signs, car control and mechanical knowledge.
The hazard perception section will show you 14 video clips. In 13 of the clips there will be a developing hazard and in one of the clips there will be two developing hazards, simply click the mouse every time you notice one. To move on to the second part of the training, you’re required to pass both the hazard perception and the multiple choice sections.
This is where you’ll be tested on your own driving skills in order to ensure that you are a safe, competent driver who displays all the abilities needed in order to instruct others. The test takes one hour to complete and is much more stringent than a regular driving test. It features three or four manoeuvres and an emergency stop. In order to pass, you are only allowed six minor faults.
This is known as the most challenging part of the training. Pass rates are notoriously low but with the right training and temperament, there is no reason why it should cause you serious problems. The test takes place in two parts with each one lasting 30 minutes. In the first part your examiner will assume the part of a novice learner driver and in the second part, they’ll be a more advanced driver. In each section, the examiner will designate you a pre-set test which you have to pass, so you will have to display excellent knowledge and organisation.