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Teaching Other Learner Drivers

By: Norman Thomson - Updated: 9 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Driving Test Driving Instructor Theory

Passing your driving test can give a great sense of achievement. When all that hard work, preparation and study for the theory test finally pays off, the feeling of success can be one of life’s great moments. It is therefore little surprising that many people want to pass on their skills to other learner drivers, in the hope that they too can achieve success with their driving examination. However, teaching other drivers is not as simple as it may sound.

Accompanying Drivers

You cannot class yourself as a Driving Instructor unless you have been registered as an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). Training and more examinations are needed before becoming an ADI. But even without formal training or qualifications, it is still possible to ‘accompany’ drivers who have not yet passed their test. In this case, there are some important points to note:

  • A driver accompanying a learner driver, must be in a fit condition to drive with no serious medical impairments and not under the influence of alcohol.
  • The accompanying driver must be at least 21 years of age and must have held, and still hold, a full driving licence for at least three years.
  • The car being driven should be in good condition and the insurance policy must cover both the learner and the accompanying driver. If the car is more than 3 years old it must have a valid MOT certificate.

Professional Driving Instructors

If you are serious about teaching learner drivers, either on a part-time basis, or as a full-time job, the best thing to do is register with the DSA as, firstly, a Potential Driving Instructor (PDI). There are three stages to go through before becoming a fully qualified ADI.

Theory Test

The first stage involves passing an advanced theory test. Similar to the standard theory test, the driving instructors test consists of two parts; multiple choice questions, and a hazard perception test. However, unlike the standard driving theory test, PDIs have to achieve a higher score, and questions relating to teaching and instructing learners are also included. Likewise, the hazard perception test has a higher pass mark than the standard theory test.

Advanced Driving Test

Once the theory test has been passed, the next stage is to take a practical driving test. The format of the driving test is similar to the standard Practical Driving Test, but of course the examiner will be looking for a much greater level of vehicle control, observation, judgement and hazard perception than required when taking the standard test.

Methods of Instruction

After passing the advanced driving test, potential candidates move on to stage three, the instructional ability test. The examiner will be looking for the trainee instructor to be able to teach and instruct a learner driver. There is a bit of role playing involved here; the instructor will assume the role of a learner so that he can see how the instructor reacts to certain situations. Perhaps the instructor will deliberately keep stalling the car at junctions and he will be looking for the instructor to coach and guide him through this problem.

Finally, after much hard work, and successful completion of all three stages, the instructor will be rewarded with registration as an Approved Driving Instructor. For many people, the ability to work as their own boss, to have flexible working hours, and the satisfaction of teaching others, is well worth the effort put into achieving ADI status.

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