ADI Training Getting Started

Let's start with a word of Warning! "ADI training is unregulated". Becoming an ADI is not as simple as some people want you to believe, normally the people who want your money. I constantly help people who have spent and in many cases wasted thousands of pounds on poor quality training. Throughout the site I will give you honest advice about the whole qualifying process. This way you know what to look for and don't get taken in by the make lots of easy money adverts or sales pitch.

After working as a DVA Driving Examiner I received specialist instructor training from one of the UK’s most knowledgeable Instructor Trainers. Initially I worked exclusively with learner drivers before moving to now being a specialist ADI trainer. In order to teach ADI's I completed a training the trainer course with An ex Supervising Examiner who is not only ORDIT registered, but a member of the ORDIT committee in Scotland. My aim is to pass on my knowledge and experience to those wishing to become Approved Driving Instructors, giving you the best possible chance of passing the qualifying exams and succeeding as an ADI.

All training will be structured and use recognized teaching principals. To help maintain standards as well as spending time with other trainers I am in regular contact with a number of instructor trainers across the UK. We exchange information on instructor training and developments in the driving world in general.

The site has been designed to help you discover what is required to pass the Approved Driving Instructor exams. If you have any suggestions or comments as to how the site helped you or how it could be improved to help others, please let me know. You can contact me by phone, use the e-mail link below or leave a comment in the guest-book on the referral’s & feedback page.

Some general advice on becoming an Instructor


Being a driving instructor can be rewarding financially and if you enjoy helping others, you will get the personal satisfaction of seeing your students succeed. However it can also be tiring mentally and physically, with the added strain of self-employment. You will be your own best advertisement, so it's important you are prepared to do the job in a professional way. The first thing to do is look objectively at yourself and decide if being an ADI is right for you.

How to become an ADI
To charge anyone for driving instruction you must be a trainee or registered ADI. You have to have held a full category B license for 4 of the last 6 years. You must also be a fit and proper person to have your name entered in the register. This relates to convictions not spent under the rehabilitation of offenders’ act. If you require further advice or clarification, you can contact the ADI section of the Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency in Belfast. To become a fully qualified ADI you must pass the three qualifying exams. These exams must be passed within 2 years of first starting. Detailed information on each can be found by going to the pages titled Part 1, 2 & 3.
Know what to expect
The ADI exams are not as easy as people think, of the first 11 people to take the new Part 1 exam only 4 passed. The GB figures show that fewer again pass part 2 and still fewer pass part 3. I recently prepared a part 1 home study pack for someone. He phoned me that night and made the comment "when I saw just how much I had to learn I nearly threw the whole lot in the corner, I had no idea it involved so much". With a little help and a lot of hard work on his part, he passed Part 1 first time. The point is you must know what to expect and don’t underestimate the amount of work involved. How much training will I require? Ask for details of each part of the training course and what is included in the price. You should expect part 1 to be home study; a classroom course would take weeks and therefore be too expensive. It should include all reading material and offer telephone support and some face to face training. Now the hazard perception test is included in the part 1, in car or computer training should also be included. You will not feel too good getting 100% in the theory if you fail Hazard perception.
Part 2 is very much subject to the standard of driving of the individual. As a minimum it should consist of a detailed explanation of what is required, it may also include a demonstration drive by your trainer. An assessment drive including a full explanation of areas requiring work, then from this an individual training program can be worked out. Many training establishments in GB work on 10 hours or more. Check if the price includes the use of a car on the day of the test.
In terms of hours spent with your trainer part 3 will take the most time. Your Part 3 training should be about all aspects of teaching someone to drive (not just PST training). If you think about it you Part 3 lasts an hour with two half-hour phases. There are 10 pre set tests, each PST lasts an hour so just to sit in the car and run through each one twice would takes 20 hours and that’s without any training. A good part 3 course will be no less than 40 hours and include structured lessons on all the areas you are assessed on as a minimum. When I first started I worked on 40 hours for part 3, for the average person with no teaching experience this was just not enough, it is nearer 60 hours. This should give an indication of how much is involved and what you should be looking for from any training establishment. If someone tells you part 3 is easy or you can do it in a few hours, run a mile.
The sort of things a good training course should include can be found on the individual part 1, 2 & 3 pages. Good quality training takes time and is not cheep. However trying to skimp on ADI training will prove more expensive in terms of failure. The cost of taking the 3 exams is £340 without any training costs. So if you have to take them more than once it will prove more costly in the long run and don’t forget you only get 3 goes at parts 2 & 3. If you fail one of these 3 times you must wait 2 years from when you first started and then start again with part 1. You also have the cost of additional training to consider. So be realistic if someone offers to do all 3 parts in less than 50 hours ask how and why. Its a sad fact that I spend a lot of time helping people who have paid good money and in many cases a great deal of good money and then failed through no fault of there own.
How do I choose a trainer?
In GB you have the official register of driving instructor trainers to use as a guide (not a guarantee) to help choose a quality trainer. This scheme does not operate in Northern Ireland, so its even more difficult to know who to choose. Finding someone to take your money will be easy; finding value for money is more difficult. The problem is unlike the ADI world the instructor-training world is at present unregulated. Anyone can call himself or herself an instructor trainer. I was contacted by someone who found out the person helping him prepare for part 1 had failed it themselves. It turned out the person was only a trainee instructor. So make sure the person training you is qualified in some way. A good training course will include all course material in the cost. So ask for written terms and conditions a good trainer will be happy to put it in writing. If you pay in advance and you are unable to complete the training can you get any money back? Find out about refunds before you start, some courses don’t give them. Ask how many trainees will be in the car. One to one is my preferred option however some people can find it very tiring. A second option is 2 students per trainer; this is the same ratio used by the DSA to train driving examiners, so can be an acceptable option but only if done correctly. If 2 to 1 training is used you should have clearly set out tasks while in the back, if not this time could be wasted (and your paying for it). So if your trainer works on 2 to 1 then ask before you part with any money "what will I be required to do while not conducting the lesson"? The answer to this question should give you a clue as to the standard of training you are about to commit to. More than two students per car will almost certainly prove counter productive. Again an example of what to avoid, I was phoned by someone who had just failed Part 2, it turned out he had paid £250 for a ten hour two day course, which at first sounded reasonable. However it turned out that there were 3 trainees in the car, so he got a little over three hours driving for £250. In summary; ask about training ratios before you part with your money. Shop around, ask all the questions you want to based on the advice given above and listen carefully to the answers. If you are not happy with any of the answers you get or you are being promised the world at a bargain price. Try someone else!
Warning avoid disappointment! Look closely at what you are being offered, things may not be what you expect A Trainee license or not?The research has shown that in terms of passing part 3 there is no significant difference in the pass rate between those who have had a trainee license and those who have not. So if you have a half-decent job why not train and qualify before giving it up. If you do want to gain practical experience then a trainee license and doing some work for a school or individual instructor part time may be an option. Do your research thoroughly before you join a franchise scheme work out how much all the costs add up to and how many lessons you need to cover those costs. If you decide becoming an ADI is for you. Whoever you choose to use for your training may I wish you every success.
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