You might never have considered a career as a driving instructor before, but if you’re great behind the wheel, are people-orientated and want greater control over your work-life balance, then it could be the job for you. It is a legal requirement that all driving instructors are approved by the DVSA (Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency) and this ensures that all learner drivers receive a safe and enjoyable learning experience behind the wheel. In order to become DVSA approved, you will have to undertake a series of tests and follow set rules and regulations. Your DVSA approval will inform your pupils that you’re qualified to teach them the ins and outs of driving and lets them know that they can trust in you and your ability.
Register with the DVSA
Before you can embark on your journey to becoming a fully qualified driving instructor, you first need to register with the DVSA and there are a few requirements that apply in order to apply. Firstly, you need to be 21 years or over and have held your driving licence for over three years and have no motoring convictions. For the safety of clients, you’ll also have to provide a new Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, even if the one that you currently have is up-to-date.
To become a driving instructor, you’ll undertake some tests similar to those that you took to get your driving licence. Although it’s not compulsory, to ensure that you pass, you’ll want to find someone to train you. There are plenty of online databases where you can find the best trainers in your area, who can teach you the practical skills required to become a driving instructor.
The theory test
Just like your driving test, the testing process to become a DVSA driving instructor is split into two parts, a theory and a practical test. The theory test itself is also split into two sections, the first consists of a multiple-choice exam, where you’ll be presented with 100 questions and are required to score at least 80% in order to pass. These questions will test you on your knowledge about:
- Traffic signs
- The Driving Instructor’s Handbook
- The Highway Code
- Essential theoretical driving skills
- The official theory test for approved driving instructor’s information pack
The second section of the theory exam is the Hazard perception test and we’ll bet that you remember this one from the first time around. This test contains 14 video clips that you will have to watch and assess for hazards. Each time you observe a hazard on the computer, you’ll have to click the mouse and will receive 5 points for each correct danger that you identify. To pass, you’ll have to achieve 76%, so, to give yourself the best chance possible, you can practice online and prepare yourself for the big day.
The practical test
The practical test is effectively a more thorough version of the initial assessment that you took to get your licence. First and foremost, you’ll need a car that meets the DVSA standards and if it doesn’t comply, your test will be cancelled and you won’t receive a refund, so make sure that you do all of the compulsory checks and have all of the instalments required.
The majority of the test will be spent driving and demonstrating manoeuvres, however, you’ll also undergo an eyesight check, to confirm that you’re fit to drive and will receive a range of ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle questions. To pass, you must not exceed 6 minor driving faults and demonstrate no major faults. Of course, if you fail, you’ll have to retake the test and pay the initial fee once more.