Become an InstructorHow to become an Approved Driving Instructor…

If you are thinking of a new career as a driving instructor, choose a trainer/company who is on the ORDIT REGISTER. This means these establishments have reached standards set out by the DVSA to ensure YOU WILL BE PROVIDED with a professionally run course.

All training will be provided by a GRADE A, ORDIT registered instructor. Training is provided by Ashley Neal independently from Ashley Neal Driving Instruction Ltd.

To be a fully qualified Driving Instructor, you will need to pass three examinations. The training program will fully prepare you for all three modules of the ADI qualification.

Your Guide to Becoming A Driving Instructor


Driving Instructor TuitionYou have taken your first step towards your new career as a Driving Instructor. This information booklet explains all that you will need to know about the qualification process to become an ADI (Approved Driving Instructor). The process to get this qualification usually takes 6-12 months and involves a lot of hard work and commitment, but the benefits of being self-employed with an earning potential of in excess of £800/per week surely makes it worthwhile.

We always encourage enquirers to contact other training establishments and compare what they have to offer; to decide which one best suits your needs. We are confident that after doing this you will realise that our courses offer the best value for money and flexibility as well as the personal one-to-one training no one else can match.

The course can fit in around any current job or commitments, with training available at weekends and in the evenings. Training is available throughout the Merseyside area but we encourage enquiries from further afield as we are based within easy reach of Preston, Manchester, Liverpool, Southport, St Helens, Warrington, Runcorn and North Wales. Please read on to find out exactly what the course entails.

The Register of Approved Driving Instructors

The Register was set up in the interests of road safety in order to maintain and improve the standard of driving instruction available to the general public. It also ensures that the public can rely upon an acceptable minimum standard of tuition from registered driving instructors. It is administered by the Driving Standards Agency on behalf of the DETR under the provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Under the rules of this Act, it is illegal for anyone to charge (either money or money’s worth) for instruction in driving a motor car unless:

  • their name is on the Register of Approved Driving Instructors, or
  • they hold a trainee’s “Licence to give instruction” issued by the Registrar.

To be an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) you must:

  • hold a full British or Northern Ireland car driving licence
  • have held it for a total of at least four out of the past six years prior to entering the Register after qualifying, but a foreign driving licence, an automatic car driving licence, or a provisional licence held after passing the driving test, all count towards the four years
  • not have been disqualified from driving at any time in the four years prior to being entered in the Register
  • be a fit and proper person to have your name entered in the Register

All convictions, including motoring offences, still in force (i.e. not `spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) will be taken into account when your suitability is assessed to be entered in the Register; and pass the Register qualifying exam which is in three parts:

3 part course     

  • A Theory Test
  • A Practical Test of your driving ability
  • A Practical Test of your ability to instruct

You must take and pass all three parts of the exam in this order and must complete the whole exam within two years of passing the written test. If you are unable to complete the exam within this time you must start again from the beginning and pass each part once again.
You are only allowed three attempts at each of the practical tests. If you do not pass in the three attempts you must wait until the end of your two year period before you can requalify, starting with the theory exam.

TheoryThe Theory Examination  (Part 1)

You can take The Part 1 test at any theory test centre in Britain.

You will need a high standard of knowledge to pass the test. The test consists of 100 questions that need to be completed in an hour and a half. Each question will give a choice of four answers, only one of the answers will be correct. All of the questions will be based on any or all of the following:

  • The principals of general road safety and the application of road safety in particular circumstances.
  • The techniques of driving a car correctly, courteously and safely including control of the vehicle, road procedure, recognising hazards and taking proper action, dealing properly with pedestrians and other road users, the use of safety equipment.
  • The theory and practice of learning, teaching and assessment of driving.
  • The tuition required to instruct a pupil in driving a car, including the items set out above, the correction of pupils’ errors, the manner of the instructor, the relationship between the instructor and pupil and simple vehicle adaptations for disabled drivers.
  • “The Highway Code”
  • “The Official Driving Test” booklet.
  • The interpretation of the reasons for failure given in form DL25A the “Statement of Failure” to pass the driving test.
  • A knowledge of the mechanism and design of a car.
  • The “Driving – the Essential Skills” official DVSA book.

To pass the examination for Part 1 you will need to achieve an 85% mark. However, you are required to achieve a minimum mark of 80% in each of the four areas the test is split into. Candidates are also expected to achieve at minimum 57 out of 75 in the hazard perception test. You must pass both parts of the exam together to be able to pass Part 1 and the results of the test will be given to you at the end of the examination.

You can study for this section in multiple ways, including a mixture of:

  • Home study
  • Classroom-based study
  • In-car training

You can attempt this part of the exam as many times as you need to achieve a pass.

When you have passed Part 1 you can start Part 2 (“the practical test of your driving ability”) of your qualification immediately.

The Test of Driving Ability (Part 2)

During your approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 test there will be 5 sections for you to complete:

  • an eyesight check
  • ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
  • general driving ability
  • manoeuvres
  • independent driving

The test will take around an hour.

The eyesight test

For this section, you will need to read a number plate from a distance of:

  • 26.5 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate
  • 27.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate

The new-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, such as AB51 ABC.

If you don’t pass the eyesight test, you will fail the whole of the part 2 exam as it will count as one of the 3 attempts you’re allowed at the ADI part 2 test.

‘Show me, tell me’ questions

For the ‘show me, tell me’ sections you will be asked 5 vehicle safety questions, these test how well you know how to carry out basic safety tasks.

You’ll be asked:

  • 3 ‘tell me’ questions at the start of your test, before you start driving
  • 2 ‘show me’ questions while you’re driving – for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers

For each incorrect answer, you will get a driving fault and if you answer all of the 5 questions incorrectly or if you lose control of the car whilst answering a ‘show me’ question you will get a serious fault and fail the exam.

Your general driving ability

In the general driving ability section you will have to show the examiner all of the following:

  • expert handling of the controls
  • use of correct road procedure
  • an anticipation of the actions of other road users and then taking appropriate action
  • sound judgement of distance, speed and timing
  • consideration for the convenience and safety of other road users
  • driving in an environmentally-friendly manner

You will be required to drive in varying road and traffic conditions, including motorways or dual carriageways where possible.

You might also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.

Reversing your vehicle

In the manoeuvres section of the exam the examiner will ask you to do 2 of the following exercises:

  • parallel park at the side of the road
  • reverse into a parking bay and drive out
  • drive into a parking bay and reverse out
  • pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around 2 car lengths, and rejoin the traffic

Independent driving

In the last section of the part 2 exam, independent driving, you will have to drive for about 20 minutes independently by following either:

  • directions from a sat nav
  • traffic signs

The examiner will determine which you have to do.

Following directions from a sat nav

If the examiner chooses for you to follow sat nav directions the examiner will provide the sat nav and set it up for you. You will not be allowed to follow directions from your own sat nav during the test.

Going off the route

Your test result won’t be affected if you take a wrong turning unless you make a fault while doing it. The examiner will help you get back on the route if you do.

If you can’t see traffic signs

If at one point during the exam you can’t see a traffic sign (for example, because it’s covered by trees), the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next one.

If you make mistakes during your test

If you make a mistake during the exam you can carry on as if it is not a serious mistake it will not affect your test result. If your examiner thinks your driving is a danger to other road users, they will only stop your exam.

For part 2 you are only allowed to have 3 attempts; if you fail all 3 of the attempts you will have to wait 2 years from your part 1 passing date until you will be able to re-qualify from the start.

When you have passed part 2 you can immediately start the last part of the qualification, part 3 “the practical test of your ability to instruct”.

The Test of your ability to instruct (Part 3)


How the test will work

A Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency examiner will watch you give a client-centred driving lesson lasting about an hour to one of your pupils.

Your pupil can be a learner or a full licence holder. They can’t be an ADI or someone else who is preparing to take the ADI part 3 test.

You can take your trainer or mentor with you, but they can’t take part in the lesson.

The examiner will look for evidence that you meet the national standard for driver and rider training.

What you’ll be marked on

You’ll be marked on 17 areas of competence that are grouped into 3 categories:

  • lesson planning
  • risk management
  • teaching and learning strategies

The 17 areas of competence are listed in the ADI part 3 test report form, which the examiner will fill in at the end of your test.

You’ll get a score from 0 to 3 for each of the 17 competencies, which are added up to work out if you’ve passed the test, and what your grade will be.

Your test result

After you give the lesson, the examiner will discuss your performance and give you your result.

You’ll get your grade, along with your completed ADI part 3 test report form.

Total score Grade Description
0-30 Fail Your performance is unsatisfactory, and you won’t join the ADI register
31-42 Grade B You’ll be allowed to join the ADI register
43-51 Grade A You have shown a high standard of instruction and you’ll be allowed to join the ADI register

You’ll automatically fail if:

  • you get a score of 7 or less in the ‘risk management’ category
  • the examiner stops the lesson because you’ve put yourself or someone else in danger

If you pass

You can apply for your first ADI badge if you pass the ADI part 3 test.

You must apply within 12 months of passing the test, or you’ll have to pass all 3 qualifying tests again.

If you don’t pass

You can take the test again if you fail the first or second attempt. You must book the next attempt within 2 years of passing your ADI part 1 test.

Failing the third attempt

You have to retake and pass the ADI part 1 test and ADI part 2 test again if you fail the ADI part 3 test at your third attempt.

You must wait 2 years from when you originally passed the ADI part 1 test before you can take it again.

Appeal your ADI part 3 test

You can appeal if you think your examiner didn’t follow the regulations when they carried out your test.

Your test result can’t be changed, but you might get a free retest if your appeal is successful.

You have to appeal to a magistrate’s court or sheriff’s court.

You must appeal to a:

  • magistrate’s court within 6 months if you took your test in England or Wales
  • sheriff’s court within 21 days if you took your test in Scotland

Trainee Licence

If you have passed the driving ability test you can apply for a “trainee licence”. If granted, this will allow you to instruct for payment although you are not registered as an Approved Driving Instructor. Many people pass the Part 3 exam without needing a trainee licence; however, the experience gained from the licence is often invaluable in gaining the necessary experience to pass the exam and is the most popular choice.
A licence is only valid for 6 months and apart from very exceptional circumstances, you will only be granted one licence.

One of the conditions of the trainee licence is that you receive at least 40 hours of practical training from an ADI. You must receive some training in every one of the subjects listed.
This is the training that we provide whether or not you decide to apply for a trainee licence.
The training provided may be in class, in car or most likely a mixture of the both.

If the trainee licence is granted, for the first 3 months that your licence is in force, you must be under the direct personal supervision of an ADI for at least 20% of the time for which you give instruction or receive 20 hours of additional training plus a further 5 hours if Part 3 is failed.
Again this training is provided with the courses we offer.

If the trainee licence is the preferred option, we can usually organise this with a local driving school, if not with ourselves (ASHLEY NEAL Driving Instruction). However, doing this course does not tie you into working for any driving school, including our own, which is unlike many other courses available.

ADI Registration

Your name will be entered in the register once you have qualified and paid the fee. You will then be sent an official Certificate of Registration which will have your name, photograph and the official badge. Whilst you are giving instruction you must display your certificate in the bottom left-hand corner of the windscreen of your instruction vehicle. Registration normally lasts for a period of 4 years. Before it expires you can apply for it to be extended for a further 4.

All ADI’s will be graded once qualification has been achieved (either A or B)

Throughout your life as an ADI you will be continually reassessed every 2-4 years (depending on your grade) to ensure your “continued ability and fitness to give instruction”.

Further training towards your Standards Check is available through ourselves, to ensure you achieve your highest grade possible.

Your Next Step

To continue your road to becoming a driving instructor, please contact us to arrange an informal meeting where you will be given a driving assessment, and also given a chance to ask any questions you may have, to help you decide on whether or not to pursue a career as an ADI.

ASHLEY NEAL Instructor Training,
50 Whitewood Park, Fazakerley,
Liverpool,L9 7LG.
0800 999 6177

Government resources on becoming an instructor

Government guide to the ADI register

Start your CRB check

For the CRB you’ll need to use the:

  • organisation PIN 105205
  • secret word axis
  • organisation name DVSAPDI (PO)

COSTS (Prices are subject to change)

PART 1 (The written exam) Part 1 Home Study Pack 75.00
Classroom session/per hour (optional) 50.00

PART 2 (The driving ability test) In-car training/per hour 55.00

PART 3 (The instructional ability test) In-car training/per hour 55.00

FULL COURSE P.O.A. Including Part 1 Home Study Pack, All Part 1 in car/classroom sessions as required, All Part 2 in car sessions as required (inc further training if Part 2 is failed), 40 hours training towards Part 3 exam, 5 hours further training after each attempt at Part 3 if failed, Lesson Plans Car hire for exams (if required).

RETRAINING (Development/ Standards Check Help)
In car sessions/per hour 55.00

ADI REGISTER (payable direct to the DVSA)
Theory examination (multiple choice and hazard perception) 81.00
Part 2 practical examination 111.00
Part 3 practical examination 111.00
Trainee licence(6 months)140.00
Initial ADI registration- 4 years 300.00
Renewal of registration- 4 years 300.00
The driving school reserves the right to charge for any training not cancelled at least 48 hours before the date booked. Payment for training must be paid for in advance. Prepayments are refundable at the discretion of the management, on the production of an official receipt (usually for medical conditions, and not including any course materials).


Any complaints will be treated very seriously and in total confidence. We pride ourselves on the services we provide to be professional and the information we give in any circumstances not to be misleading. If you have any complaint about how any of our staff have acted please contact us by post and we will endeavour to rectify the situation as soon as possible.

Complaints, ASHLEY NEAL Instructor Training,
50 Whitewood Park,
Liverpool, L9 7LG.

We will reply in writing, within 10 working days of receiving your letter. You can take matters further if you are still dissatisfied by writing to:

The Register of Approved Driving Instructors
Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency
Stanley House
Talbot Street

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