How to become a driving instructor in Stoke on Trent

Train to be a driving instructor in Stoke on Trent

Train to be a driving instructor in Stoke on Trent

Each year, many people decide they want to become a driving instructor in Stoke on Trent and throughout the UK.  If you’re one of those people that are thinking of becoming a driving instructor, then read on for a full guide on how you to do it.  All of the information in this post is correct at time of writing (May 2013), some of which is sourced from  The DSA is planning to changes to all of its testing over the next 12 months, this will be documented in a future post.

Train to become a driving instructor in Stoke on Trent?

There are several criteria you must fulfil before being able to train as a driving instructor:

  • Firstly, you must be over 21 years old, although you can start your application 6 months before your 21st birthday as this is the minimum amount of time it may take you to qualify.
  • You must have held a full car license for a minimum of 3 years.  This must be a manual license.  If you have an automatic driving license, then you must take and pass a manual driving test, and then hold it for 3 years for consideration.
  • You should have less than 6 penalty points on your driving license, although if you have more endorsements you can contact the DSA and they will consider your application.
  • All potential driving instructors (PDI’s) will have to have a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.  If you have been convicted of a sexual, violent, financial or drug related crime, or have been banned from working with children, you are unlikely to be accepted to be a driving instructor.

If you fit all of the above criteria, you must firstly apply for the CRB check.  This is done through a company called TMG, for more details visit

When you have received your CRB certificate you can then apply to become a driving instructor which can now be done online at

Where can I train to be a driving instructor in Stoke on Trent?

There are many training providers in Stoke on Trent, and they all have their own offers.  It is up to you to choose which one meets your requirements and fits in around your existing schedule.  Some questions to ask them are:

  • How much are the training fees and what do they include?  
  • Do they include a certain amount of hours of training?
  • Do they include learning materials?
  • Do they include test fees, and if I fail a test who pays for the retest?
  • If you decide to part way through the training process that you don’t wish to continue, is there any refund policy?

Also, be careful of driving schools who guarantee you a job at the end of your training.  A guaranteed job, does not guarantee work.  Many schools will happily take you on, charge you a franchise fee, and then provide very little work.  Technically they’ve given you a job, but if they can’t make certain guarantees as to how many pupils they will provide, then you could be making very little money.

So, you’ve applied to start the training process, what comes next?

There’s 3 tests that you must complete to become a driving instructor.  The 3 tests are a theory test (part 1), a driving test (part 2), and a test of instructional ability (part 3).  Each test must be taken in order, and after passing your theory test, you must pass the other 2 tests within 2 years or you have to start the process from the beginning and take all of the tests again.  Also, you have a maximum of 3 attempts at parts 2 and 3.  If you fail either at the 3rd attempt you must start the process again.

Part 1 – The Driving Instructor Theory Test

The test takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete, and includes multiple choice questions and hazard perception clips.  The multiple choice questions are split into 4 categories:

  • road procedure
  • traffic signs and signals, car control, pedestrians an mechanical knowledge
  • driving tests, disabilities, and the law
  • publications and instructional techniques

You will receive 100 questions in total.  To pass you must score a minimum of 85 out of 100, but must score 20 out of 25 on each section to pass.

The hazard perception section consists of 14 videos, 13 contain 1 hazard, and 1 contains 2 hazards.  You can score a maximum of 5 points for each clip, and must score a minimum of 57 out of 75.

To prepare for the test you the are several books that the DSA recommends you read – The Highway Code, Know Your Traffic Signs, and Driving-the essential skills.  You can also buy a copy of the entire question bank from the DSA.  At present the theory test costs £90 per attempt.

Part 2 – The Driving Instructors Driving Test

If you want to be a driving instructor then it goes without saying that your driving needs to be up to scratch as well.  The driving test lasts for about 1 hour and includes an eyesight test, vehicle safety questions, and a test of your driving ability.  This part of the test currently costs £111.

The eyesight test – as a legal requirement you will be asked to read a new style number plate from a distance of 26.5 metres or an old style number plate from a distance of 27.5 metres.  If you cannot then you will fail your test immediately

You will then be asked 5 vehicle safety questions, know as ‘show me tell me’ questions.  If you answer any of these questions incorrectly you will receive 1 driving fault on your test report.  If you answer all 5 questions incorrectly then a serious fault will be marked meaning you have failed your test.

The test of your driving ability will last just under an hour and will take in a variety of different road and traffic conditions.  You will be expected to complete a number of manoeuvres as well as 10 minutes of independent driving.  To pass your test you must receive no more than 6 driving faults, with no serious or dangerous faults recorded.

Part 3 – Test of Instructional Ability

To become a driving instructor you need to be able to show your ability to teach someone how to drive.  This test will last around 1 hour and will assess core competencies, instructional techniques, and instructor characteristics.

The test is split into 2 sections, each lasting around 30 minutes. The examiner will play 2 of the following roles – a beginner or partly trained pupil, a pupil who is about test standard, or a qualified driver taking driver development.  The examiner has a number of pre set tests or scenarios that they may give to you.  You must teach the examiner as if they were learning to drive using the techniques you would expect from a driving instructor, the examiner will stay in role for the duration of each exercise.

If you pass this final test you will then able to apply to the DSA to be placed on the register of Approved Driving Instructors (ADI’s).

This post describes the process to become a driving instructor in Stoke on Trent.  To pass each of the tests successfully requires a lot of time and commitment to complete the adequate training.  Please follow our blog for further information in the actual training involved to become a driving instructor. For further information about how to become a driving instructor then please give us call on 01782 906010 or visit the government’s website at