Driving Instructor Training


Before committing yourself to any particular provider of driving instructor training, find out first of all if this is something that really appeals to you. This BIG TOM Driving School (0800 689 4174) blog will help you to discover if you should start putting this thought that has been in the back of your head for some time… into reality.

At a recent Driving Instructor CPD event that I attended, Mark Magee the DVSA Registrar provided the latest statistics for ADI’s (Approved Driving Instructor) on the register. It is currently at an industry low at 40,150 – only 5 years ago it was in the region of 46,000 and this is despite the upward trend of PDI’s (Potential Driving Instructor) who are applying to become Driving Instructors. There is no shortage of PDI’s who are coming into the industry with their hopes and aspirations, but these are being dashed in the qualifying process as Mark Magee explained. There are 3 tests that need to be passed in order to qualify as an ADI, and typically the pass rates are as follows:

  • Part 1 – 56.7%
  • Part 2 – 54.4%
  • Part 3 – 32.1%       [Source: MSA Newslink Issue 278]

With that kind of pass rate of the Part 3, anyone considering even registering as a PDI with the DVSA would do well to make sure they enter the process with their eyes fully open. It is also worth mentioning that whilst the qualifying process of the 3 tests is assessing your ability to add value when you provide driving training, the tests do not cover how to run the business of a driving school, as such, many national driving instructor training providers are likewise restricted in the scope of their training. There is nothing more disheartening than to pause for thought for the thousands of PDI’s who eventually qualify to become ADI’s after much financial outlay and effort, only to then cease trading as a Driving Instructor through lack of business acumen.

Consequently, it is very common for recently qualified ADI’s to succumb to the obstacles that arise in attempting to make a successful and profitable driving school on their own, and they concede to joining an established and successful driving school for a monthly fee. But do beware, in the 6 years I have been in this industry, 2 such national driving schools have gone bust and been taken over.

Mark Magee from the DVSA did mention that proposals are being considered to change the qualifying test that has the lowest pass rate (the Part 3 test) by synchronising with the method of assessment that is already established which all ADI’s have to periodically undertake – this checks that learning is taking place with a pupil, and value is indeed being added.   Here at BIG TOM Driving School, this proposal is being eagerly anticipated. It has long been the view here that the role play undertaken by Examiners in the Part 3 test bears little resemblance to testing the necessary skillsets required when working with Learners. [UPDATE: This change is being introduced at the end of 2017]

One option that you have when considering if this job is for you, is to try out this short 20 minute questionnaire

Another option is to read this Case Study and as it is based on real life, you can perhaps balance the theory of the qualifying process with the reality of the day to day work.

This blog has attempted to provide some clarity and light regarding the real prospects of succeeding in training to become a Driving Instructor and the proposals being considered to alter the qualifying process.


BIG TOM Driving School – Bookings: 0800 689 4174