The coronavirus crisis has caused many disruptions in the workplace, and for some it has forced a change in career. But with uncertainty in which type of roles will offer security, and with more need for flexibility, it may seem overwhelming to choose which career path to go down.
One industry that has faced recent demand is driving schools, as there is currently a shortage of driving instructors in the UK. Insurance experts at Marmalade have reported that there has been a significant drop of 12% in trained instructors, over the past seven years, whilst the demand for driving lessons has vastly increased, and it set to continue to rise through to 2025. So now seems to be the perfect time to train.
Training to become a driving instructor comes with many benefits, that you may well be looking for in a new role, such as choosing your own working hours, earning a higher income and a career with job satisfaction.
So, if you’re thinking that becoming a driving instructor is the right next step for you, then keep reading for our top ten tips on transitioning into this exciting new career change.
1. Check if you’re eligible.
To become a driving instructor, there is some criteria that you have to meet to begin with. You need to be 21 years old or over, and have held your driving licence for three years. There is also a guide on the government website that explains more about the skills and knowledge that you need.
2. Get a DBS.
You will also need to complete a criminal records check, otherwise known as the Data Barring Service (DBS). For this you will need to complete an online application and provide the following forms of identification:
- Your driving licence
- Your passport
- A utility bill that is less than 3 months old
- A bank statement that is less than 3 months old
Once complete, you can start your application to become a driving instructor.
3. Choose the right trainer.
The next step is the training. You must find a reputable and registered trainer to help you prepare for the three qualifying tests. Make sure to research driving instructor schools and courses to find the one that suits you the most.
4. Franchise opportunities.
When looking for a trainer, it’s worth seeing if they offer to join a driving school franchise. Not only will this help you generate driving lessons in the long run, but you may also be able to lease an instructor’s car and have the option to convert the fees for your training into franchise credits.
5. Intensive driving instructor courses.
Some driving schools offer an intensive course, so if you are short on time to complete the training, this could be a great option for you.
6. Revise for your theory test.
The first part of the Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) is a theory test. You must revise before taking the test, which involves a hazard perception test and multiple-choice section on the following topics:
- The Highway Code
- Traffic signs
- Essential driving skills
- Driving test, disabilities, and the law
- Publications and instructional techniques
You must pass both parts of the test and then complete the rest of the training within two years.
7. Practice for the driving ability test.
The second part of the training is similar to that of a traditional learner’s driving test, where you’ll be assessed on your driving ability. Make sure to practice driving in various road conditions, completing a range of manoeuvres, and be able to follow road signs or a satnav.
8. Get experience teaching.
Once you’ve passed part one and two of ADI training, it is advisable to apply for a Trainee (PDI) Licence. Usually lasting for six months, this gives the best opportunity to gain real-life experience of teaching students, and increases your chances of passing the next stage of training. With some driving schools you are able to earn whilst carrying out lessons.
9. Know what happens during the instructional ability test.
Understanding the final stage of your training will help you to be more prepared. The third part involves a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) examiner observing a live lesson to a pupil. The assessment will be based on:
- Lesson planning
- Risk management
- Teaching and learning strategies
You will be marked out of three for each of the 17 areas in the test, which added together, will determine your grade.
10. Don’t forget to register.
Now that you have passed all three parts of the training, you can now register and apply for an ADI badge from the DVSA within 12 months, so don’t forget! Once it has been accepted, you can start and enjoy your career as a fully qualified driving instructor.