So You Want to be a Driving Instructor?

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The training to become a driving instructor is in 3 parts  and each part must be passed before you can move onto the next part.

Part 1

Theory Test

This part of the DSA theory test consists of 100 multiple choice questions. The test is completely computer based and you do not actually write anything down. With each question is a list of potential answers. You need to select the correct answer, or answers, by touching the appropriate area of the computer screen.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on part 1 training and it is entirely possible to pass this part of the qualifying process without any assistance from your trainer. We will supply the training CD when you sign up for part 2 and part 3 training.

The questions are banded into four sections and you must score 80% in each band and achieve an overall mark of 85% to pass. This means that it is possible to get a score of 94% and still fail if you are weak in a particular band of knowledge. In order to pass Part-One you also need to attain a pass mark of 57 in the HPT. If you do not achieve this you will have to do the whole test again, including the theory test, even if you gained 85% or higher in the questions.

Part 2

Driving Ability

This test usually lasts for around an hour. You are limited to three attempts at part two, so If you fail three times you will have to wait two years from the date that you passed your Part One Theory Test exam before you can start over again. You will then have to re-take Part One.

This test includes.

An eyesight test – you must read a standard number plate, in good daylight at a distance of 27.5 metres or 90 feet

The emergency stop, Left reverse and right reverse into a limited opening, Hill start

Reverse parking or Bay parking, turn in the road

Moving off (straight or at an angle)

The examiner will assess your driving in a number of areas, including:

Your expert handling of the controls – this skill should be at a higher level than that of the average driver, as the Examiner will point out at the start of the test. Your use of correct road procedure and your ability to anticipate and act upon the actions of other road users is a major factor that the Examiner takes into account, as well as your ability to Judge of speed and distance, you must also demonstrate consideration of other road users and expert use of the MSPSL routine.

The Examiner would usually advise you of the test result on concluding back at the test centre.

You are allowed a maximum of six driving faults to pass, though as with the standard driving test, a serious or dangerous fault would mean immediate fail.

Part 3

Your Ability to Instruct

The Part 3 test is in two phases, each of thirty minutes duration. The first phase tests your ability to instruct a novice or intermediate learner and the second assesses how you deal with a pupil of driving test standard. A Supervising Examiner plays both roles, i.e. that of a novice in the first phase and of a pupil near test standard in the second phase.

You must score a minimum of Grade 4 in each of the two phases to pass. You are limited to 3 attempts, just as you were at with the Part 2 Exam.

Likewise, if you fail 3 times, you will have to wait 2 years from the date you passed your Part 1 exam before you can begin again. You will then have to retake and pass Part 1 and Part 2 again.

To pass, you will need to show the Examiner that you deal with any fault that he/she will simulate. You do this by skillful use of “Core Competences” by identifying each fault, then by analyzing the fault, and finally you would rectify the fault by suggesting and implementing remedial action.

Any fault the Examiner makes will on the whole relate to the Preset Test (PST) that you have been given.

At the end of the test, the Examiner will ask you to wait patiently, either in your car or perhaps in the test centre waiting room, for around 15 to 20 minutes.

On his/her return, you would be advised of the result and always where improvements can be made to your overall technique.

In the event of your being unsuccessful, the Examiner’s advice should be taken on board and referred to your ADI Trainer.

For further information please see

You may also wish to consider joining us – either as a Licensed Trainee or a qualified ADI. Check out this link:


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