Training to Become a Driving Instructor
If you are interested in becoming an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI), your first port of call would be to contact our company director, Glyn Morgan, who can talk you through the process and let you know everything that is involved in gaining your certificate, as well as give you a clear idea of what the actual job is like. He would then suggest meeting over a coffee, which would give you both the chance to see whether UDrive would be a good fit. It would be an opportunity to learn more about the guidance offered throughout your training, and why a UDrive franchise would help your career.
To train to become an ADI you need to have held a UK driving licence for at least four years and be over the age of 21.
The first step is to apply for a DBS check (criminal record check) which can be done online for free. The result will come through the post.
Next you will apply to the DVSA for approval to train to be an ADI. Ideally your driving licence will be clean, however the DVSA can look at any points on your licence and decide if they are caused by ‘minor’ offences. You will also need to provide the details of your DBS check.
When we have confirmation of your approval from DVSA, we will begin your training. You will need to pass three tests to become an ADI. U Drive will provide as much or as little training as you need to get you through these tests, and make you the best driving instructor you can be. We don’t skip any corners as we don’t just want you to pass; when you qualify we want you to be confident that you can offer your pupils the best quality instruction.
Part 1: Theory Test
The first challenge is to pass the Theory and Hazard Perception test. This is a more advanced version of the theory test you will have passed when learning to drive. The theory test checks your knowledge of the Highway Code, general road safety, driving techniques, basic first aid knowledge and the theory of instructing a pupil. We will provide you with all the software needed to become proficient, and will give any additional assistance required to get you ready for the test. You can attempt as many mock tests as you wish to gauge your progress.
The test comes in two sections. The first consists of 100 multiple choice questions, and the second is a hazard perception test, with 14 CGI video clips. It is booked as a single test and you must pass both sections to be successful. The test lasts 90 minutes and you must achieve an 85 percent mark to pass. There is no limit to the number of times you can attempt this test.
Part 2: Driving Ability
Your practical driving test can be taken once the Part 1 test has been passed. Regardless of your current driving ability, you will need lessons for us to assess you and take you to the skill level required to pass this test. We usually expect a trainee driving instructor to need 5-10 hours of lessons to prepare for the Part 2 test. Any necessary alterations to your current driving method will be explained, and will stand you in good stead when you start making alterations to your pupils’ methods.
The test is split into five sections; similar to what you will recognise from the practical driving test you took to gain your licence.
- Eyesight check – read a registration plate from a distance of 26.5 metres.
- ‘Show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions – three ‘tell me’ and two ‘show me’.
- General driving ability.
- Manoeuvres – you will be asked to complete one reversing manoeuvre out of a possible four.
- Independent driving – for 20 minutes either by sat nav or by following traffic signs.
The test lasts for around an hour. You can receive a maximum of six minor faults, but no serious or dangerous faults. You only have three attempts to pass the test, and if unsuccessful on the third attempt you would have to wait two years from the date you passed your Part 1 test. However, we will not put you in for this test until you are ready, and we can provide as much extra training as is needed for you to become confident.
Part 3: Instructional Ability Test
This is the final part of the qualifying process. Its purpose is to assess your capability to teach others. To prepare you for this test you will need approximately 40 hours tuition. We will teach you how to plan and structure your lessons, and then replicate a pupil’s mistakes so you can learn how to correct them. This is the most important part of becoming an instructor; we take great pride in the quality of our UDrive instructors, so we do not cut any corners in your training. We are not simply guiding you through passing your test; we want you to be confident and prepared for every eventuality that will occur once you are a qualified instructor out on your own.
To become a fully qualified driving instructor immediately, you would need to do approximately 40-50 hours of training before taking and passing this test. However, after 40 hours you can choose to start teaching as a trainee driving instructor, with what is known as a ‘pink badge’. This means you can start earning quicker (on lower rates) but in order to become a fully qualified driving instructor you would have to log an additional 20 hours of training and pass the final test within 6 months of gaining your pink badge.
During the test, a DVSA examiner will sit in the back of your car and observe you teaching a pupil (this can be a genuine learner driver, or someone who already has their licence).
You will be marked on 17 competencies, which are grouped into three categories: Lesson Planning, Risk Management, Teaching Learning Strategies. You will be given a score of 1-3 for each competency. You need a minimum of 31 to pass and receive a Grade B, whilst a score of 43 and above will receive a Grade A. You would automatically fail if the examiner has to stop the lesson at any point, due to you putting someone in danger. Scoring 7 or less in the Risk Management category would also result in a fail.
You have three attempts to pass this test. If unsuccessful on the third attempt you would need to wait two years from the date you passed your Part 1 test, and begin the process again. However, because of UDrive’s extremely thorough approach to training, we have never had a candidate restart again at Part 1.