Learn to Become
Approved Driving Instructor
How To become an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI)
We've all seen the glossy TV adverts with smiling driving instructors, nice shiny cars and the promises of earning lots of money and having the freedom to work the hours you choose.
All you need is a driving licence and to complete their training course and the world will be your oyster...
...but is it really as easy as that?
A lot of people may have given a driving lesson, perhaps to their children or a friend. Yet these is a big difference between that and being a qualified instructor. Often, it takes more than theoretical (or even practical) knowledge of how to drive; it also takes patience, understanding and complete confidence of road driving.
~ You must have held a full driving licence for at least 4 years
~ Be able to read a car number plate from a minimum distance of 90 feet.
~ Your licence should be free of endorsements, although certain allowances may be made. Anybody with serious criminal convictions cannot be accepted.
~ You must pass a searching three part examination. This comprises of theory, driving and instructional ability.
~ You must have your name entered on the Register of Approved Driving Instructors.
There are approx 45,000 instructors on the ADI register and over 3000 leave the list every year
Once you have satisfied all of the above criteria, you will then be a Driving Standards Agency Approved Driving Instructor (ADI). You must then send in your registration fee, and you will receive your 'green badge'. This must be displayed whilst giving lessons for reward. Display it in the lower left corner of the front windscreen.
Your registration will last for 4 years. You can renew the registration on payment of a fee, however your continued fitness and ability to instruct is monitored.
If certain standards are not met, you could ultimately be removed from the register.
What to expect on your ADI Theory Test
There will always be people who want and need to learn to drive, so equally there will always be a call for professional driving instructors to teach them.
Becoming a qualified Driving Instructor is not simply starting a new job, but learning the skills of a new profession which can last the rest of your working life. A good sense of humour and product knowledge are a good starting point. Can you teach a mature learner like Maureen Reece of television documentary `Driving School' fame?
You need to be patient - it's not always easy to be the perfect driver and spend your time sitting next to people who can't drive !
Not only is it a very rewarding and interesting career, but as nearly all driving instructors are self employed, there is a higher degree of freedom and flexibility than in many other professions. This should appeal to women, who are always in demand as instructors, yet only a small proportion of DVSA registered instructors are female.
Changing AttitudesIn the early 80’s Britain was booming. ADIs had plenty of work. In the late 80’s and around early 90’s, the boom was followed by bust.
In fact, there was a Worldwide Recession. Sadly, because ADIs are mostly self-employed, one-person businesses, many went bust due to lack of work. The boom and bust period played a key role in the way in which the driving instruction industry has developed over the past few years.
Consumer attitude and expectations have also changed.
A culture of wanting a ‘quick-fix’ at the lowest possible price has also developed amongst consumers. This has undermined the values of “Safe driving for life” and is reflected in drivers attitudes and behaviour, for example, we have all seen an increase in ‘road rage’ etc.
When you take all factors into consideration, today’s ADI is faced with more commercial pressures due to the demands placed on them by consumers.
For example, in the past, so-called intensive driving courses, i.e. learn to drive in a week and pass your driving test was very rare.
However, due to the recession, lack of work and consumer attitude and expectations, to win new business, many ADIs were forced into providing these so-called intensive driving courses. That was the only way they could generate business. It also gave ADIs the opportunity to collect lump sum payments in advance from customers for example, by getting pupils to book a course of say 20 lessons etc.
That was the only way many ADIs could survive, i.e. pay their day-to-day bills.
To survive ADI's also have to work:-Long hours
Work unsocial hours (after 7 .00 pm and weekends)
Have problems because they are Self-employed ( Tax, National Insurance and vehicle running costs)
No paid Holiday
No Sickness benefit.
We all know that ADIs are mostly self-employed, one-person businesses. Therefore, in reality each ADI is each other’s competitor.
Because of the way the industry operates, many ADIs are reluctant to share ideas and teaching skills. Also, ADIs who might need help are less likely to ask another ADI, i.e. one of his/her competitor.
Still interested?How do I apply to become an Approved Driving Instructor?
Apply to start the Approved Driving Instructor qualifying process and register as a Potential Driving Instructor.
Follow the link below to get started.
Start the Approved Driving Instructor process
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