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The A1 Road Skills route to becoming a DVSA Approved Driving Instructor (ADI)

Being a driving instructor can be the most worthwhile job you have ever done. To see a young person go from being a complete novice through the being a full licence holder and knowing that you are responsible for that is about the best feeling in the world. Apart from being a really worthwhile and rewarding job allowing you great flexibility in your working hours, you get tremendous job satisfaction.

If you feel you would like a career as a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) then A1 Road Skills are especially trained to give you the skills you will need.

There are no age limits or initial qualification barriers - if you get on with people and enjoy driving then becoming an driving instructor could be the best move you ever make.

To become a driving instructor you will need:

The qualifying process to become a driving instructor involves passing a three part examination:

Each Show Me Tell Me questions you get incorrect, you will receive a minor fault.

The duration of the ADI Part 2 test lasts longer than a standard learner driver test at around one hour due to more manoeuvres and varying road types.

More manoeuvres than the standard L-test will be requested. These will include the turn in the road, left reverse around a corner, right corner reverse, reverse parallel parking and possibly bay parking if bay facilities are available at the test centre or a test centre close by.

You will also be required to demonstrate independent driving. Independent driving will take approximately 10 minutes and you will be required to follow either road signs or directions in the form of a basic map from the examiner. It may also be a combination of both.

Unlike the L-test with 15 minor faults, the ADI Part 2 will only be allowed a maximum of 6 minor faults. The test will be spread over varying road conditions and environments to include busy town roundabouts, one-way systems, country roads, dual carriageways and motorways.

Each PST has two phases. If for example the examiner chooses PST 3, phase 1 will be the examiner playing the role of a pupil and you will need to teach him the turn in the road exercise (known as the 3 part turn). In this phase the examiner will have little driving experience, but enough driving ability to drive to the location where the exercise will be taught.

For PST 3 phase 2, the examiner will have a much higher driving ability and will play the role of a pupil where he will need to be taught Approaching Junctions.

Whichever PST the examiner chooses, during both phase 1 and 2, he or she will be making plenty of mistakes and asking questions to test your ability to teach.

Based on the PST the driving examiner has chosen, he or she will expect you to provide a lesson briefing if required and explain what you hope to achieve this lesson. During the practical part of the PST, verbal support will be expected to provide help. The examiner will make a series of faults in which you will be expected to identify the faults, analyse and explain why it may be incorrect and to rectify the faults.

The examiner will be assessing your ability to

Each 30 minute phase will be graded from 1 to 6, with grade 4 and above being a pass. The minimum you need to pass Part 3 is a 4/4 on each 30 minute part. Grade 4 is adequate, grade 5 is good and grade 6 is excellent.

How to pass ADI Part 3 test

The Part 3 ADI test is to assess your ability to teach. Throughout the test, the examiner will play the role of a pupil in which you will need to teach certain aspects of driving. The Part 3 test lasts for one hour and is divided into two phases. Phase one assesses your ability to teach a novice or intermediate learner and phase two assesses your ability to teach learners with a much higher ability to drive.

The examiner plays the part of a novice or intermediate learner driver in phase one and in the second phase he or she will play the part of a learner who is approaching test standard. The examiner will choose one out of ten Pre Set Tests (PST).

You can score from grade 1 to 6. A grade 4 or above must be scored in each phase in order to pass Part 3. Three attempts are permitted at Part 3. Failure of all 3 attempts will result in having to wait 2 years from the date you passed your Part 1 test before you can start again. In this situation, ADI Part 1, ADI Part 2 and ADI Part 3 will then have to be taken again.

Below you will find some of the more important areas of advice to keep in mind when taking your ADI Part 3 test.

The DVSA ADI 1 document explains the rules that the examiner must abide by for the Part 3 test. A read of this may provide you with some insight and useful tips for passing your Part 3 test.

Once Part 2 has been passed and you have completed 40 hours of ADI Part 3 training, you may want to consider applying for a trainee driving instructor licence. If the trainee licence is granted it will enable you to instruct for a maximum of 6 months for pay. The experience gained in these 6 months will help enormously towards aiding you in the Part 3 test. It is not essential to become a trainee driving instructor (PDI), but If you believe you are struggling with your Part 3 training or your trainer recommends that becoming a PDI will benefit you, it then may be in your interest to apply for one. Generally only one trainee licence is permitted, although in certain circumstances a second can be granted.

Take time to learn the roads and routes around the test centre. In particular the more complicated parts such as one way systems or difficult roundabouts. This will help immensely in your test for If you happen to use these routes in your Part 3 test then it will provide you with a much better understanding of what is approaching. This will allow you to relay instruction to the examiner in good time.

At the start of your ADI Part 3 test, the examiner will give you a 'word picture'. This word picture determines the role that the examiner will be playing. For example, the examiner will play a learner with very little experience and the PST he has chosen will be teaching the 3 point turn. Obviously you will be nervous on your test and it may go in one ear and out the other. Not understanding the word picture due to nerves is a common reason for failure. Listen to the word picture very carefully and if you do not quite understand, then ask to repeat.

After your word picture, well thought questions to the examiner is important. By covering these thoroughly, you may well discover some mistakes the examiner will make even before you set off.

During your ADI Part 3 test, one of the most important aspects of your training is your Part 2. If at any point the examiner does something that you yourself would not have done in your Part 2, then it is not acceptable. Use your Part 2 training to its fullest. The skills you gained on your Part 2 training is by far the most important knowledge needed to pass Part 3. Your ultimate goal is for your pupil (the examiner) to drive safely, with good control and abiding by the rules of the road just as you did when you passed your Part 2.

Keep control of the situation. The examiner at any given time will make error after error and they will come thick and fast if you let him. These errors escalate quickly and before you know it, all control is lost. The moment you see an error, pull the examiner up on it. If the errors are coming in fast then ask the examiner to pull up on the left, making sure it is a safe convenient and legal position (SCALP). By doing so, you can address the errors he or she has made, analyse them and more importantly, you have regained control. This is quite a common technique examiners use. So be prepared for that one. Another technique the examiner may use at the same time as making errors is to ask you questions that really aren't relevant to the task at hand. This is simply another technique used to see if you can keep control. Don't be afraid to step in and tell the examiner that you will address those questions at a later time but for now all concentration must be given to the task at hand.

It is important to know your Pre Set Tests (PST) within reason but not to over do it. A experienced and high quality driving instructor trainer will teach you how to instruct and not follow a routine. Studying your PST to a fine routine can potentially lead to failure. Any given situation can lead to a different approach to your teaching method. During the Part 3 test, the examiner has a vast array of mistakes and errors that he or she can produce. The weather can play a part, if it's raining for example, this could provoke the examiner into produce errors that are related to wet roads. Even the time of day can play a part. If there is significant traffic, it can play a part in the mistakes the examiner plays. Try not to be too linear in your teaching methods. Be prepared to change these at any given moment. You should be taught how to remain calm under pressure and keep in control. How to diagnose problems and faults with good questions and answers, spot faults on the move, analyse the fault so you can understand why the pupil has done this and explain the fault to the pupil, why it is incorrect or potentially dangerous and how it should be corrected. The faults should be remedied with clear instructions on every aspect and with the use of reference points if possible.

The examiner isn't interested in a set routine. He or she will be demonstrating to you that all your pupils will be different and will make entirely different and at times unexpected mistakes. Some will be very nervous and some will be far too confident. With this in mind, studying your PST to a routine simply will not work. Being prepared to change your course of action at any given time, identify, analyse and correct faults based on your Part 2 skills is essential.

All three parts of the exam have to be passed within a maximum two-year period; if you are already in a full-time job this gives plenty of time to train and practice. Because of the skill level involved you will need training, but with A1 Road Skills behind you and a little hard work this need not be a difficult process.

You must also have a criminal record (CRB) check before applying to start the qualifying process, as well as when you apply to renew your registration every 4 years or if you want to rejoin the Register.

Once registered, a ADI must also pass regular tests called 'check tests' at certain intervals. These are to satisfy the registrar that the ADI still meets the DVSA's standards for ability and fitness to give instruction.

To survive, ADI's also have to work:-

Deciding whether driving instruction is the right career for you.

As an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI), your job will involve mixing with all sorts of people. You will need good people skills, patience and understanding, as well as:

The nature of the job means that you may sometimes have to work unsociable hours to fit in with your customers' needs.

You will be responsible for your own safety, that of your pupils and other road users. This requires a high level of concentration throughout your working day.

We offer a high level of flexibility in our training program. You can complete the course at your own pace and fit training around your existing job and lifestyles. Our dedicated trainers will always give you the best possible advice and support.

Our commitment to you is -

As a driving instructor you should enjoy meeting people, take pride in your driving, and have patience and a sense of humour.

The benefits of becoming an Approved Driving Instructor are the total satisfaction having taught someone to the high standard that enables them to pass their driving test.

Still interested? Then use the CONTACT US link to send us your details and we will call you back to arrange for an informal chat where we can discuss your training in more detail. You won't be disappointed!