The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) administers the Register of Approved Driving Instructors. All driving instructors in the UK must be registered with the DSA and have passed all of the qualifying examinations before they can teach anyone for money or moneys worth. Before you can apply to have your name entered onto the register you must also satisfy certain legal minimum requirements. The main requirements to teach people to drive for a living are set out below.
The first two requirements must be met in order to apply for the qualifying examination
You must have held a full UK driving licence for a continuous period of at least four years
Note: Your licence period must be continuous. After any disqualification the period of four years starts again. If you currently have more than 6 penalty points it is possible that your application will be refused. If you are unsure if you will meet the requirements you will need to apply for the first qualifying exam. Fees are refunded if you are declined, check with the DSA for details
You must be a fit and proper person
This relates to criminal convictions not spent under the rehabilitation of offenders act. Each application is dealt with on an individual basis. Contact the Driving Standards Agency for advice. You don??™t have to declare spent convictions
You must pass a three-part examination set and administered by the DSA
The examination consists of theory, driving and practical teaching ability.
The exams are taken on separate occasions, and there are usually significant waiting times between tests.
Your name must be on the official register of driving instructors or you must be licensed on a temporary teaching permit (The Trainee Licence, pink badge) by the DSA
To be entered in the Register of Approved Driving Instructors you must pass all three parts of the Qualifying examination within a two-year time period, starting from the day you pass part one, and have paid the requisite registration fee. To be licensed you must pass the first two parts of the qualifying examination, sign a declaration that you have met the statutory training requirements (40 hours) and pay the requisite fee.
THE SUITABILITY OF EX-OFFENDERS TO APPLY TO JOIN OR REMAIN ON THE REGISTER OF APPROVED DRIVING INSTRUCTORS
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) will use the services of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Disclosure Scotland (DS) to obtain criminal record Disclosures which DSA will use to assess the suitability of persons applying for inclusion on the Register of Approved Driving Instructors.
Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from being accepted as a Potential or Approved Driving Instructor.? Before reaching a decision on whether or not a person is ???fit and proper???, we will assess the risk that they are likely to pose to their pupils by considering factors such as:
* Whether the conviction is relevant
* The seriousness of any offence
* The length of time since the offence occurred
* Whether there is a pattern of offending behavior
* Whether their circumstances have changed since the offending behavior
* The circumstances surrounding the offence and any explanation.
However applications from those convicted of serious violent, sexual, financial or drugs offences are unlikely to be successful, regardless of when the offences were committed. We are also unlikely to accept applications from those whose name are, or have been, on the Sex Offenders Register, or from those who are or have been banned from working with children.
We guarantee that Disclosure information will only be seen by those who need to see it as part of the suitability assessment process. We will ensure that all those in DSA who are involved in that process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences.? We will also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, such as the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
Driving instructing as a career
Responsibilities of an Approved Driving Instructor
An Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) has a very important role to fulfil. This goes beyond just teaching someone to drive a car in order to pass their driving test. You will be responsible for teaching a life skill – instilling high standards of driving and behaviour into new drivers.
As an ADI, you will be expected to show:
* High regard for all aspects of road safety
* A high standard of driving and instructional ability
* A professional approach to your customers
* A responsible attitude to your pupils and profession
* You are a fit and proper person
If you have a criminal record, or are convicted of a motoring or non-motoring offence (which includes? fixed penalty offences? or cautions), either while registered as an ADI or when you apply for registration, you? must notify the ADI Registrar. The ADI Registrar will then make a decision about your continued registration.
Driver licensing and other requirements for becoming an Approved Driving Instructor
You will be accepted onto the Register of Approved Driving Instructors (the Register) if you hold a full UK or European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) unrestricted car driving licence, have held it for a total of at least four out of the past six years prior to entering the Register after qualifying, and you have not have been disqualified from driving at any time in the four years prior to being entered in the Register.
The law also states that to accompany a person learning to drive you must have held a full UK or EU/EEA driving licence in the same class of vehicle for three years and be aged 21 or over.
The instructor??™s eyesight test.
You must be able to read in good daylight a motor vehicle registration plate containing letters and figures:
79 millimeters high and 50 millimeters wide (new style two letter prefix) at 26.5 meters, or
79 millimeters in height and 57 millimeters wide (old style) at a distance of 27.5 meters
You can use glasses or contact lenses if you need them.
Ordinary driving test distances are
20.5 meters or 20 meters if the new-style number plate is used.
Take check tests to maintain your Approved Driving Instructor registration
When does an Approved Driving Instructor need to take check tests and whats involved
As a registered Approved Driving Instructor (ADI), you will have to take a check test at any time during your period of registration.
When you take a check test, your instructional ability will be assessed and graded by a suitably trained examiner according to the standards laid down by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA)
You will be given a grading at the end of the test – grade one being the lowest grade and grade six the highest. If you get grade three or lower, you will usually be asked to retake the check test.
Check tests are designed to make sure that proper standards of driving instruction are maintained. The tests normally take place during normal working hours from Mondays to Fridays. The test lasts for about an hour, with a 15 minute debrief afterwards. You should bring your ADI certificate with you.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
At present CPD is done voluntarily, but feel that at some point in the near future it will become mandatory.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) can be both formal and informal professional development, based on an individuals needs.
To maximise individual potential and retain credibility within your profession it is essential that we maintain high levels of professional competence.
As a driver trainer you can make a commitment towards professionalism by keeping up to date and continually seeking to improve your knowledge and expertise.
The Driving Standards Agency is currently working with representative organisations and other stakeholders to develop a structured CPD scheme in preparation for a public consultation on modernising driver training.
Driving Instructors Association (DIA)
Code of Conduct
All members of the DIA listed in find a driving instructor agree to abide by the following code:
* I will not mislead the public over services provided by the school. This applies in particular to instructors??™ qualifications and the likely cost of lessons which will be necessary to reach the standard required by the Driving Standards Agency??™s driving test.
* I will ensure that clients are fully aware of their terms of business.
* I will avoid improper language, suggestions or physical contact with clients.
* I will take all reasonable care, using skill and diligence, in instructing clients in all relevant aspects of traffic and driver education.
* I will not discuss with others matters that a pupil has disclosed during a lesson. This does not apply to business matters which concern a driving school or, where the lessons are being paid for by another person or company, information relevant to that person or company. In this case, while the third party has the right to this information, it will only be given with the client??™s knowledge.
* I will maintain proper standards of personal hygiene and dress.
* I will ensure that any vehicle driven or used for training is maintained in good mechanical order and condition; is properly insured and taxed and, where appropriate, certified as roadworthy; and that all reasonable care is taken to keep it clean and tidy.
* I will ensure that tuition is carried out only within the terms of the law, with particular reference to driver licensing and provision of a professional service.
* I will continue my professional development to the best of my ability.
ADI Code of Practice.
An approved driving instructor who gives lessons in a motor car in return for payment must be on the Register of Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs). To gain entry to the register prospective instructors must pass a series of examinations administered by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). People training to become ADIs who have part completed the examinations can obtain from the Agency a licence to acquire practical experience which is strictly limited to six months. Once fully qualified and on the register, ADIs are regularly tested by the DSA to check there continued ability to give instruction to the required standards. DSA and the driving instruction industry place great emphasis on professional standards and business ethics. The code of practice set out here has been agreed between the DSA and the main bodies representing ADIs ; it is a framework within which all instructors should operate.
The instructor will at all times behave in a professional manner towards clients. Clients will be treated with respect and consideration. The instructor will try to avoid physical contact with the client except in an emergency or in the normal course of greeting. Whilst reserving the right to decide against giving tuition, the instructor will not act in any way which contravenes legislation on discrimination.
The instructor will safeguard and account for any monies paid in advance by the client in respect of driving lessons, test fees or for any other purpose and will make the details available on request. The instructor should provide clients with a written copy of their terms of business to include:
* Legal indemnity of the school/instructor with full address and telephone number at which the instructor or there representative can be contacted.
* The price and duration of lessons.
* The price and conditions for use of the school car for the practical driving test.
* The terms under which cancellation by either party may take.
Procedure for complaints.
The instructor should check a clients entitlement to drive the vehicle and their ability to read a number plate at the statutory distance on the first lesson. When presenting a client for the practical driving test the instructor should check that the client has all the necessary documentation to enable them to take the test and that the vehicle is roadworthy. Instructors will advise clients when to apply for the theory and practical driving tests, taking into account local waiting times and forecast of the clients potential for achieving the driving test pass standard. The instructor will not cancel or rearrange the driving test without the client??™s agreement. In the event of the instructors decision to withhold the use of the school car for the driving test , sufficient notice should be given to the client to avoid the loss of the DSA test fee. The instructor should at all times, to the best of his/her ability; endeavour to teach the client the correct driving skills according to Dash??™s recommended syllabus.
Legal responsibilities and moral obligations – Codes of Conduct
Code Of Practice For Approved Driving Instructors
The DSA and the driving instruction industry place great emphasis on professional standards and business ethics. The code of practice has been agreed between DSA and the main bodies representing ADIs; it is a framework within which all instructors should operate.
The instructor will at all times behave in a professional manner towards clients.
Clients will be treated with respect and consideration.
The instructor will try to avoid physical contact with a client except in an emergency or in the normal course of greeting.
Whilst reserving the right to decide against giving tuition, the instructor will not act in any way which contravenes legislation on discrimination.
The instructor will safeguard and account for any monies paid in advance by the client in respect of driving lessons, test fees or for any other purpose and will make the details available to the client on request.
The instructor on or before the first lesson should provide clients with a written copy of his/her terms of business to include:
? Legal identity of the school/instructor with full address and telephone number at which the instructor or his/her representative can be contacted.
? The price and duration of lessons.
? The price and conditions for use of a driving school car for the practical driving test.
? The terms under which cancellation by either party may take place.
? Procedure for complaints.
The advertising of driving tuition shall be honest; claims made shall be capable of verification and comply with codes of practice set down by the Advertising Standards Authority.
Advertising that refers to clients??™ pass rates should not be open to misinterpretation and the basis on which the calculation is made should be made clear.
Complaints by clients should be made in the first instance to the driving instructor/driving school/ contractor following the complaints procedure issued.
Failing agreement or settlement of a dispute, reference may be made to the DSA??™s Registrar of Approved Driving Instructors who will consider the matter and advise accordingly.
Should the Registrar not be able to settle the dispute he or she may set up a panel , with representatives from the ADI industry, to consider the matter further or advise that the matter should be referred to the courts or other statutory body to be determined.
Mobile phone usage
Since 1 December 2003 it has been illegal to drive in the UK while using a hand held mobile phone. Previous to this legislation the only way a motorist would face prosecution for using a mobile phone would be if they were charged with failing to keep control of their car while they were using it.
The fine is currently ?60.00 and three penalty points.
As the supervising driver is the full licence holder, it is they who are deemed to be in control of the vehicle at all times, so the law s that apply to the use of any hand held communication devices to anyone driving a vehicle also apply to them even though they are sitting in the passenger seat.
Any vehicle being driven by a learner MUST display red L plates, in Wales either a red D or a red L plates or both can be used.
The plates must conform to legal specifications,
The regulations for the dimensions of L plates to be displayed on a car are, as below.
They should be displayed in a conspicuous position and be visible from both the front and the rear of the vehicle, if L plates are displayed inside of the vehicles windows the vehicle will not be allowed on test on the grounds of visibility.
No smoking legislation.
The smoking ban came into force on 1 July 2007
The new law also requires vehicles to be smoke free at all times if they are used:
* To transport members of the public or
* In the course of paid or voluntary work by more than one person – regardless of whether they are in the vehicle at the same time.
Vehicles that are used primarily for private purposes are not required to be smoke free.
Required signage for smoke free vehicles
Smoke free vehicles must display a no-smoking sign in each compartment of the vehicle in which people can be carried. This must show the international no-smoking symbol at least 70mm in diameter.
What are the penalties and fines for breaking the smoke free law
If you dont comply with the smoke free law, you will be committing a criminal offence. The fixed penalty notices and maximum fine for each offence are:
* Smoking in smoke free premises or work vehicles: a fixed penalty notice of ?50 (reduced to ?30 if paid in 15 days) imposed on the person smoking. Or a maximum fine of ?200 if prosecuted and convicted by a court.
* Failure to display no-smoking signs: a fixed penalty notice of ?200 (reduced to ?150 if paid in 15 days) imposed on whoever manages or occupies the smoke free premises or vehicle. Or a maximum fine of ?1000 if prosecuted and convicted by a court.
* Failing to prevent smoking in a smoke free place: a maximum fine of ?2500 imposed on whoever manages or controls the smoke free premises or vehicle if prosecuted and convicted by a court. There is no fixed penalty notice for this offence.
Speed awareness practical trainer
An ability to provide driving instruction to an advanced standard for up to three clients per car.
An ability to manage conflict and improve driver attitudes and behaviour.
Listen to the specific needs of clients and value their input by treating them as individuals.
Ability to relate to a theoretical /practical syllabus.
Demonstrate good verbal and written communication skills with a variety of people with differing ages and skill levels and give constructive feedback.
Adapt to changes in instructional techniques and procedures.
Have an awareness of equal opportunities policy, value the diversity of clients and be able to demonstrate this in the workplace.
Conduct a prescribed eyesight test with each client to ensure compliance with the appropriate DSA eyesight standard for driving using the appropriate form. If the client fails the eyesight test, the form must be completed and returned directly to the Senior Trainer.
Undertake practical training in their car for up to three clients.
Deliver ongoing verbal and written feedback to individual clients detailing their performance and advice on a range of techniques to improve driving skills.
Complete all documentation and paperwork relating to courses including report forms.
Submit these to the Senior Trainer on the last day of the course.
Trainers must ensure that client evaluation forms are given directly to the Senior Trainer.
Trainers are expected to deliver the approved course effectively and achieve the stated objectives.
A high degree of professionalism is expected. Regular assessment of trainers will take place.
Accurate record keeping and punctuality is essential.
Utmost confidentiality must be maintained at all times.
Appointed trainers are required to provide and produce for inspection valid insurance certificates in the following categories and must meet the minimum limits of indemnity as stated:
Employers Liability Cover (where applicable) – ?10m limit of indemnity
Public Liability Cover – ?5m limit of indemnity
Professional Indemnity – ?3m limit of indemnity
Trainers need to take into account that they are training qualified drivers and should modify their instructional style from that normally associated with learner drivers, paying particular attention to advanced driving techniques.
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 imposes a duty of care on people to take responsible care of their own Health and Safety whilst working and other persons who may be affected by their actions or failure to act.
Every person has a personal responsibility for Health and Safety. Trainers must assess the nature and extent of both hazards and the risk that they present to all participants, to trainers and others in the National Driver Improvement Scheme. This process must be regularly reviewed. Following an assessment of risk by trainers, appropriate risk management means must be put into place.
REPORTING OF INJURIES, DISEASES AND DANGEROUS
OCCURRENCES REGULATIONS (RIDDOR)
For the purpose of RIDDOR, in addition to the reporting of fatalities, reportable injuries are those which constitute a major injury (e.g. fracture, amputation, and dislocation, loss of consciousness or sight) or where a person suffers injuries which require them to be taken to Hospital. Also, a limited number of accidents caused by moving vehicles on a public road are reportable to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under RIDDOR regulations.
Driving Standards Agency (DSA)
Driving Instructors Association (DIA)
Road Traffic Act (193 sections)