If you wish to legally accept payments for vehicle driving instruction, then you must either:
- be registered on the ADI register
- be in possession of a trainee’s ‘licence to give instruction’ as issued by the ADI registrar
If you are applying to become an ADI, then you will need to declare that you’ve read the government-issued guide at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guide-to-the-approved-driving-instructor-register.
The role of the ADI Registrar:
The ADI Registrar has responsibility for the ADI register as maintained by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency). The ADI Registrar has the power to:
- refuse to allow you to join or remain on the ADI register if you do not meet registration rules
- cancel your registration if circumstances dictate such
- refuse readmission to the register if you were previously removed
The ADI Registrar is acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport when they ask you to give information to register or remain on the register, and when they make decisions concerning your registration.
Your responsibilities as an ADI
As an ADI, you will be responsible for the safety of those you are tutoring, as well as the safety of other road users and yourself.
You will also be expected to display:
- a high regard for every aspect of road safety
- high standards of both driving and the ability to instruct other drivers
- a professional approach at all times to those you are teaching
- a responsible attitude to those you are teaching and to your profession
- that you can be considered a ‘fit and proper’ person
When considering whether you meet the criteria of a ‘fit and proper’ person, the DVSA will look at any cautions or convictions (motoring or otherwise) you may possess, any penalty points that you have on your licence, and any court proceeding currently pending against you. It will also review whether you have been disqualified from driving at any time.
Being in possession of a criminal record will not necessary bar you from becoming an ADI, but if you have been convicted of a serious violent, sexual, financial or drugs offence, then it is unlikely that your application will be successful, no matter when such offences were committed.
Your training to become an ADI
There are countless organisations where you can train to become a driving instructor. The DVSA does not enforce a statutory scheme that governs driving instructor training, but it does operate a voluntary scheme, known as the Official Register of Driving Instructor Training (ORDIT).
If you are not happy with the standard of training you have received, then you may write to the DVSA via ORDIT if you cannot resolve the matter with the instruction company.
You must pass three qualifying tests in order to become an ADI. If you pass the first test, you must complete the remaining parts within two years. You’re allowed three attempts each at parts two and three. If you fail, you must wait until two years after you passed part one before you can re-apply.
You can register as a trainee driving instructor once you have passed part two, and an ADI once you’ve past all three qualifying tests.