Driving Instructor Exams

We do not want to start by putting you off but unlike most driving schools I am not going to sugar-coat what is involved in training to become a driving instructor. It is not something you should take on lightly, training is demanding and will take lots of hard effort on your part to become a good driving instructor, being able to deal with the general public everyday can be easier said than done. There are several qualities you should have before you even start training.

  1. You must be patient that’s not just with the learners who can’t do anything you are trying to teach them,  also dealing with other drivers in a calm and professional manner not easy as we know.
  2. You must be organised to be a driving instructor and you will need to teach all your pupils in an organised manner that is easy for them to follow when you have 30 or 40 pupils it is a lot to keep up with.
  3. You need to be punctual the number one complaint we hear from pupils from other driving schools is their instructor was always late.
  4. You must be able to communicate well with pupils being clear and honest with them.

If you are still reading and I have not been put you off, you just maybe the person we are looking for before you go any further there are legal requirements set out by the DVSA that you must comply with.

Legal requirements

To be considered to qualified as an instructor:

  1. Be 21 or over.
  2. Be qualified to drive the same category of vehicle you are supervising them in.
  3. Have had a full licence for that category for at least 4 years.
  4. Not been banned from driving in the last 4 years.
  5. Less than 6 points on your licence.
  6. Some criminal offences will not be accepted.
  7. You will need to pass a DBS check.


local driving school

PART 1 Approved driving instructor (ADI) part 1 test

The Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Part 1 test is in 2 parts, theory test and Hazard Perception test:

Part 1 Multiple Choice Questions (Theory Test):You’ll be asked 100 questions in total, 25 in each of the 4 following categories:

  • Road procedure
  • Traffic signs and signals, car control, pedestrians and mechanical knowledge
  • Driving test, disabilities, and the law
  • Publications and instructional techniques

The pass mark is 85/100 but you must also score at least 20/25 in each of the 4 categories above. You have 1 hour 30 minutes to answer the 100 multiple-choice questions.

Part 2 Hazard Perception Test:

You’ll watch 14 video clips. The clips:

  • feature everyday road scenes
  • contain at least one ‘developing hazard’ but one of the clips features 2 developing hazards

You get points for spotting the developing hazards as soon as they start to happen.

How the scoring works

 You can score up to 5 points for each developing hazard. To get a high score, click the mouse as soon as you see the hazard starting to develop. To pass the hazard perception part, you need to score at least 57 points out of 75.

PART 2 the Driving Ability Test (ADI part 2)

There are 5 parts to the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 test.

  • An eyesight check
  • Show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
  • General driving ability
  • Manoeuvres
  • Independent driving

The test last around one hour, you must be able to read a number plate from 27.5 meters, you will be asked 5 vehicle safety questions.

Your general driving ability

  • Expert handling of the controls
  • Use of correct road procedure
  • Anticipate of the actions of other road users and then taking appropriate action
  • Sound judgement of distance, speed and timing
  • Driving in an environmentally-friendly manner

You’ll drive in varying road and traffic conditions including motorways or dual carriageways where possible. You might also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.

Reversing your Vehicle

The examiner will ask you to do two of the following exercises:

  • Parallel park at the side of the road
  • Reverse into a parking bay and drive out
  • Drive into a parking bay in reverse out
  • Pull up on the right-hand side of the road reverse for around 2 car lengths, and rejoin the traffic

Independent driving

You have to drive for about 20 minutes by following either:

  • directions from a sat nav
  • traffic signs

the examiner will tell you which you have to do.

You have a maximum of three attempts to pass this exam.

PART 3 Approved driving instructor (ADI part 3)

This test is about your ability to teach:

A Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) examiner will watch you give a client-centred driving lesson lasting about 45 minutes to one of your pupils.

Your pupil must drive for at least 40 minutes of the lesson.

At the start of the lesson, discuss the goals for the lesson and risk management with your pupil. Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), this should take no more than 3 minutes.

At the end of the lesson, give your pupil no more than 3 minutes to reflect on their performance.

The examiner will look for evidence that you meet the national standard for driver and rider training.

Your pupil

Your pupil can be a:

  • partly trained learner
  • fully trained learner
  • full licence holder

Your pupil cannot be:

  • a learner who has just started learning to drive
  • an approved driving instructor (ADI) or someone else who is preparing to take the ADI part 3 test

What you’ll be marked on

You’ll be marked on 17 areas of competence that are grouped into 3 categories:

  • lesson planning
  • risk management
  • teaching and learning strategies

The 17 areas of competence are listed in the ADI part 3 test report form, which the examiner will fill in at the end of your test.

You’ll get a score from 0 to 3 for each of the 17 competencies, which are added up to work out if you’ve passed the test, and what your grade will be.