Becoming an instructor

 If you’re thinking of becoming a driving instructor, you’ve certainly picked the right place to start your journey: the DIA is not only the UK’s largest association of driving instructors, it’s also the biggest association of its type in the world.

We have a wealth of knowledge at our disposal to help and advise you at every stage of the process of becoming an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) – and after you’ve qualified.

You’ve probably thought long and hard about starting a new career as a driving instructor. Any change in career is a big decision and becoming an ADI is no different.

Teaching people to drive can be a highly rewarding career. You get to help learners start to acquire a brand new skill that will serve them for the rest of their life, so think of the sense of achievement you’ll get when your pupils pass their driving test.
And it doesn’t have to end there. You can also help qualified drivers with any post-test training they might need, from learning to drive on a motorway to brushing up driving skills after a long absence from behind the wheel (it’s not uncommon for drivers to not drive for a few years after going to college, moving to a new city, or a host of other reasons).

Becoming a driving instructor also means you’re contributing to the sum total of the country’s road safety. Teaching good habits from the very start of a driver’s life behind the wheel will create safe drivers who will, collectively, help our roads to become safer. The UK currently is one of the safest places in the world to drive, but you could help continue the progress we’ve all made in recent years to get into that position.

But being a driving instructor isn’t only professionally and emotionally rewarding: it can also give you a good living. There are around 1.6 million driving tests every year, which means there’s always a steady stream of pupils wanting to learn. You can profit from this by either taking a franchise from an established driving school, some of which are nationally recognised, or by setting up your own school of motoring. Either way, you’ll be your own boss, independent and self-employed.

Of course, none of this is easy, especially in today’s business environment. But when, in life, is anything worth achieving ever easy?

First, you need to conduct plenty of research into the industry and the driving instructor profession. Make absolutely sure of all that’s involved before signing up to this new career: ask yourself searching questions about whether you’re suited to this kind of job and being a self-starter. It would be a shame to embark on costly training only to realise that it’s not for you.
You have to train and qualify as an ADI. As with gaining any kind of qualification, this involves commitment and dedication. You’ll have to study hard, learn on the job and pass exams – but if you sign up with a good, reputable trainer, you’ll be halfway there.

So you need to look for the right trainer, the first stop for which could be the DSA’s Ordit (Official Register of Driving Instructor Trainers) register. Then make sure you ask the right questions of any potential trainer (check their qualifications, their success rate, ask about their approach to training, etc). Next, make sure you read any agreement you’re asked to sign very carefully, including the small print and even get some legal advice before putting pen to paper. If you’re paying for your training up front, you especially need to check what happens if you decide not to progress with it after the part one exam.

In short, before you hand any money over to anyone, make sure you know what you’re getting for it.

Once you’re sure that becoming a driving instructor is for you, and you’ve committed yourself to the training, the next step is to download the official DSA starter pack, ADI 14, from the DSA's website.

If you are seriously thinking about becoming a driving instructor, it will also be very much in your interests to join the DIA. We are an independent organisation that exists to help people become driving instructors, and promote and protect the interests of driving instructors throughout their driver-training careers.

In the meantime, we wish you well in your search for a new career, and look forward to being of assistance to you in the future.