Do you want to be your own boss? Do you want to work to your own schedule? Are you passionate about teaching or helping others succeed? If this sounds like you then a career as a driving instructor awaits – and what’s more, you could earn over £30,000 a year whilst doing it.
To work a as an approved driving instructor (ADI) in the UK you must complete 3 ADI tests, set out by the Driving and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA). These tests asses you on a number of things, from your knowledge of the road to your ability to instruct students. You must pass each in turn before you are able to apply for your ADI badge.
Here are five useful tips for doing just that.
1. Learn About the Tests
The first thing you need to do is learn all about the process of becoming an ADI. To become approve you must pass three challenging tests, completing each before moving onto the next.
The first test is theory based, and includes a multiple choice exam and a hazard perception test. The multiple choice exam is split into 4 sections, each with 25 questions. The sections are:
- Road procedure
- Traffic signs, pedestrian, car control and mechanical knowledge
- Driving tests and the law
- Teaching techniques
The first section costs £81 to take and has a pass rate of roughly 50%.
The second and third tests cost £111 to take, and the pass rates for both are as low as 30%. The second test is made up of an eye tests and a driving test. The third and final test is an examination of your ability to teach and instruct pupils.
2. Invest in the Right Resources
As the low pass rates suggest, each section of the ADI test is challenging and a successful pass is by no means guaranteed. Moreover, after passing the first test, you have a limited number of attempts to pass the final two and so it’s important to ensure you’re fully prepared before you book.
Part of this preparation should include investing in the right resources such as a quality driving instructor training DVD course. These will walk you through what you can expect in the tests and provide you with valuable knowledge on how to pass each stage.
3. Take Lessons if necessary
Whilst DVD courses and the material from the DVSA are great for helping you pass your tests, many budding driving instructors choose to take some lessons to ensure they are polished for the examinations.
Driving instructor schools and some franchises provide these lessons, which include details on how to instruct pupils as well as the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge you’ll need to be a successful instructor.
4. Avoid the Temptation to Rush into the Tests
This is an essential tip, and one that will save you time and money. Firstly, the three tests combined cost over £300 to complete; having to repeat them is an expensive process. Secondly, you are only permitted to attempt the final two sections of the ADI tests twice; failing a third time means you have to begin the entire process again. Moreover, you are not permitted to retake the first test within 2 years of the last time you completed it.
What this is means is that it is extremely important that you are fully prepared, confident and relaxed going into each stage of your test. Use the resources as suggested in tip 2, supplemented with lessons if necessary, to maximise the chances of passing first time. Failing to heed this advice could be seriously detrimental to your chances of becoming an ADI!
5. Franchise or Independent?
Finally, you’ll need to ask yourself whether you want to be an independent driving instructor or work as a franchise for one of the national driving schools. The larger firms will often pay or subsidize you through your journey to becoming an ADI, although in return, they are likely to ask for at least a year’s loyalty to their firm.
In addition, larger firms often charge significant amounts of commission, although in return you’ll have access to their established brand and network of potential students.