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Choosing an Approved Driving Instructor


What is an ADI?

ADI stands for Approved Driving Instructor – the person who will teach you to drive and (fingers crossed!) help you pass your test. All ADIs will have undertaken training and be approved by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) in order to conduct learner driver training. You can tell if a person is an ADI as they are required to display a green ADI certificate on their windshield while training. If a pink certificate is displayed this indicates that they are a trainee, and are getting teaching experience before they pass their instructors exam.

Choosing an ADI

ADIs can be self-employed, or work for huge, national franchises. It can be daunting at first when deciding who to choose to teach you to drive. However, there are some things you should consider:

  • If it’s a driving school with a number of ADI, check that you will be taught by the same person every time
  • Sometimes word of mouth is the best form of advertising. Ask other people who they have used and whether they would recommend them and why
  • Don’t always go for the cheapest lessons, as this may turn out to be false economy. Only 47 per centof L drivers passed first time in 2015, so it’s important to find out what their pass rate is and what their test check grade is
  • Ask them what car you will be learning in and make sure that it is suitable for your needs. It’s a good idea to choose one that is similar in size, power and fuel type to the one you will use in private practice
  • It might be cost effective to go for a block booking but have a few lessons first to ensure that the ADI is right for you
  • If you are unhappy with your ADI don’t be afraid to change as they will be teaching to a set syllabus
  • Ask whether they use a training log book and whether they support private practice
  • It is worth considering an ADI who undertakes Continuous Professional Development (CPD) or who has agreed to abide by the ADI Code of Practice scheme (CoP)
  • Unless you only ever intend to drive an automatic car, we would recommend that you learn in a manual vehicle. This is because if you pass your test in an automatic, you are prohibited from driving a manual vehicle.

Did you know?

ADIs have to undergo an assessment (known as a check test) of their teaching ability at least once every four years.

There is now a much greater emphasis on something called ”client centred learning”. This is based on the belief that people learn better when they work things out for themselves rather than simply being told what to do. Since 2014 ADIs are assessed on three main areas: Lesson planning, risk management and teaching and learning skills. They are then graded either A, B or Fail. We recommend that you choose an instructor who has an A grade if possible as the check test indicates how effective they can teach people to drive.

Before April 2014 ADIs were assessed in a different way and were graded 0-6. They will use these grades until they are reassessed. Where this is the case, look to use an ADI who is graded 5 or 6.

Finding an ADI

You can find your nearest driving instructor here.

Contact Us

General Enquiries
+44 (0)121 248 2000
+44 (0)121 248 2001
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