The Road to Becoming a DVSA Approved Driving Instructor UK

Becoming a driving instructor is amazing. It takes a certain set of skills – some you can learn, some you will already have, but all that you will grow and improve – and is not an easy process. The completion rate isn’t high, and the ‘sticking rate’ isn’t either. However, for those of us that love the job there aren’t many roles that compare.

The following covers some of the key points, criteria and considerations. THE most important thing for ALL those thinking of becoming an instructor:

Do your homework and read the small print!

We can not stress this enough! Every year 1000s of people are disappointed or find themselves in a situation they could have avoided. It is a very historic industry and process, hardly regulated and rarely supported. This causes some challenges that can be managed or even avoided with a little knowledge and understanding.

Key Terms

ADI – Approved Driving Instructor –  Someone who has passed the relevant tests to advertise to charge money (or money worth) for driver training in a Cat-B vehicle (Car). This is not limited to learner drivers but is required for on-road training. ADIs hold a Green badge, which must be displayed in the windscreen during paid for tuition.

PDI – Potential Driving Instructor – An individual that is training to be an ADI. They have registered with the DVSA and are working through the qualification procedure. Often PDI is used to refer to those holding the Pink badge, allowing them to train under a sponsor. However a trainee at any stage in their training and on the register is a PDI in the eyes of the DVSA.

ORDIT – Official Register of Driving Instructor Training – A voluntary register of DVSA Driving Instructor Trainers. They will have had their training assessed by the DVSA ORDIT scheme.

As you may have discovered already, the driver training industry is RAMMED full of letters. PDI, ADI, ORDIT, MSM, MSPSL, PST, DVSA, DVLA, SCALP, DfT, DSSSM, LTD……. The list is longer than the alphabet squared! We’d love to say they were not essential, and many instructors and trainers are moving away from them except for use as an aide-memoire, however, they are deeply established as with many sectors so worth embracing at least for your own knowledge. We have started a glossary and welcome any additions via email.

The DVSA Process

Posted by Chris Bensted

April 10, 2021