To become a driving instructor there are 3 tests you need to pass.

These form your DVSA ADI (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency Approved Driving Instructor) qualification. At LIDIA, we offer a variety of courses to help you through these tests, but first, let’s walk you through the steps to becoming an ADI in our guide to driving instructor training.

Part 1 – Theory and hazard perception test

These are similar to the ones you took when you first learnt to drive. But, as an experienced driver, the standard will be higher – ensuring you have a thorough knowledge of the essentials. To start, you’ll answer 100 multiple-choice questions, in four bands, covering the following topics:

  • Road procedures
  • Traffic signs and signals
  • Driving test, disabilities and the law
  • Instructional techniques

Next, you’ll watch a series of 14 video clips illustrating everyday driving scenarios. You’ll be required to click wherever you notice potential hazards and the quicker you spot them, the higher you’ll score.

Things to note

  • You can take the ADI test part 1 as many times as you like
  • You need to score at least 20 in each band and 85 across all 4 bands
  • As well as a score of 57 out of 75 in the hazard perception test, to pass and move on

Part 2 – Driving ability test

This involves driving with an examiner for around one hour, they will assess your performance over 5 areas. Let’s break these down:

What is assessed?

Mastering manoeuvres

You’ll be asked to demonstrate 2 of the manoeuvres below:

  • Drive in and out of a parking bay
  • Reverse in and out of a parking bay
  • Parallel park at the side of the road
  • Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around 2 car lengths and re-join traffic

Your eyesight

  • Being able to read a new-style number plate from 26.5m
  • Being able to read an old-style number plate from 27.5m
  • If you choose to use glasses or contact lenses to achieve this, you’ll need to wear
    them throughout the test

Independent driving

For about 20 minutes of the test, you’ll need to follow directions from either:

  • Traffic signs — if a sign is hidden (for example by a tree), the examiner will help direct you.
  • Directions from a sat nav — the examiner will provide and set this up for you.

Your general driving ability

  • Demonstrating expert handling of controls
  • An awareness of other road users and taking appropriate action
  • Considering the safety of other road users
  • Being environmentally aware whilst driving
  • Following correct road procedure
  • A good judgement of distance, speed and timing
  • Performing an emergency stop
  • All to be tested over a variety of road and traffic conditions

‘Show me, tell me’ vehicle questions

  • Testing your basic safety knowledge
  • Answering 3 ‘tell me’ questions at the start of your test
  • Answering 2 ‘show me’ questions whilst driving
  • You’ll earn a driving fault for each wrong answer
  • If all 5 questions are answered incorrectly, or you lose control of the car whilst answering a ‘show me’ question, you’ll receive a serious fault and fail the test.

Things to note

  • You can take the ADI test part 1 as many times as you like
  • You need to score at least 20 in each band and 85 across all 4 bands
  • As well as a score of 57 out of 75 in the hazard perception test, to pass and move on

Part 3 – Instructional ability test

This is your chance to put everything into practice and instruct a client-centred driving lesson to a pupil, with an examiner observing in the back. It’ll take about an hour, and you’ll be marked against the national standard for driver and rider training. This consists of 17 competencies, grouped into 3 categories:

  • Lesson planning
  • Risk management
  • Teaching and learning strategies

You can score between 0-3 within each area, which are added up to make your grade. You’ll also receive a report that the examiner will have completed throughout the test. If you score 7 or less in the ‘risk management’ category, or the examiner stops the lesson because you’ve put yourself or someone else in danger, you’ll automatically fail. Once you’ve passed, you can apply for your ADI Licence.

Things to note

  • If you make a mistake during your test, don’t worry. As long as it’s not serious, it might not affect your result
  • If the examiner thinks you’re driving dangerously, they’ll end the test
  • You need no more than 6 driving faults and no serious faults to pass
  • You’ll have 3 attempts to pass
  • After the 3rd attempt, you’ll have to wait 2 years from the date you passed ADI part 1. You’ll also have to retake part 1

Standards Check course

This is something driving instructors have to take every 2-4 years. An examiner will sit in on one of your driving lessons to assess your performance. At the end, you’ll be given feedback and a grade of A, B or F.

View Course

Ready to start your training?

It may seem a lot, but here at LIDIA, we have the right driving instructor courses to become a driving instructor, to pass your ADI Standards Check and to support driving schools with instructor training. With accessible, flexible and affordable options, you can start your driving instructor training today.