How to become an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI)
To become an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) you will first need to apply to the Driver Vehicle Agency (DVA). You will then have to pass the three part qualifying examination to become an ADI.
Could you be an ADI?
Most people are convinced that they are good drivers and feel it would not be difficult to instruct others to drive. However, a high level of knowledge, skills and professionalism are required to be a proficient Driving Instructor. Skills required are
- high standard of driving and instructional ability
- sound knowledge of the subjects related to instructing others to drive
- excellent communication and interpersonal skills and their application
Driving Instructors are in a good position to influence (as far as it is possible) the attitudes and behaviours of new drivers. An ADI can therefore make a substantial contribution to road safety.
Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has published a job preview tool to help you understand what it means to be a ADI, whether you're suitable for this kind of work and your level of understanding of driving theory and practice.
What you need to be an ADI
If you want to become an ADI you must
- currently hold a full NI, UK, or Community (EU) car driving licence
- have held one of the above licences or a foreign licence for a total of four years out of the past six years preceding the date of your application
- not have been disqualified from driving for any part of the four years preceding the date of your application
- be a ‘fit and proper’ person to have your name entered in the Register. All spent and unspent convictions, motoring and non-motoring will be taken into account when DVA assesses your suitability to be entered on the Register
- pass the three part qualifying examination
Even if your licence is marked ‘restricted’ because of a disability you can still apply to become an ADI, the details of the restrictions on your licence must be sent with your application. However, you should note that you must pass Part 2 and Part 3 of the qualifying examination in a vehicle with a manual gearbox.
The Register Qualifying Examination
The qualifying examination is in three parts
- a theory test (Part 1)
- a practical test of your driving ability (Part 2) which includes vehicle safety questions (PDF 31 KB)
- a practical test of instructional ability (Part 3)
- Help with PDF files
You must take and pass all three parts of the examination in this order and the whole examination must be completed within two years of passing the theory test. If you have not completed the examination 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 tests. If you have not passed after three attempts you must wait until the end of your two year period before you can re-apply. You can apply for any part of your ADI test by clicking the link below
The Criminal History Check
Each applicant is subject to a Criminal History Check. These checks are carried out by Access Northern Ireland (ANI). ANI will provide criminal history information about anyone seeking paid or unpaid work in certain defined areas, such as working with children or vulnerable adults.
Under ANI, ADIs and PDIs are subject to an enhanced check. More comprehensive information will be obtained under this system from police forces across the UK if, for example someone has lived in England, Scotland or Wales. Importantly, the ANI enhanced check will also pick up ‘soft intelligence’ about individuals. This could be a charge or case pending, which has not yet or did not result in a conviction but which the police may feel is relevant to the position of an ADI.
DVA will make decisions on the basis of its ‘fit and proper’ person policy which can be provided to applicants on request. A criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to registration as an ADI or to be allowed to proceed with the ADI examinations. DVA as a registered body must abide by the ANI Code of Practice. This code can be made available on request.
Application forms may be downloaded:
- Theory Test Application Form - £72.00 fee (PDF 73 KB)
- Test of Driving Ability Application Form - £130.00 fee (PDF 44 KB)
- Test of Instructional Ability Application Form - £138.00 fee (PDF 43 KB)
- Help with PDF files
or are obtainable from:
Business Support Unit
Driver & Vehicle Agency
Telephone: 028 9054 7933
Completed forms should be sent to the Business Support Unit (BSU) at the above address.