Lack of research into the business, what it requires and how each instructor college goes about teaching its pupils is the biggest mistake trainees make before starting a Driving Instructor course.
Firstly - make sure you fulfil the Legal Requirements
Also, think about the skills you'll need...
ADIs or Approved Driving Instructors, require a very high standard of driving and a sound knowledge of subjects related to teaching others to drive. This means being knowledgeable about:
Make sure it's the right career for you. You may enjoy driving and are probably a good driver already, but remember: You're teaching - NOT driving!
It's true that you decide on the hours that you work (nearly all ADIs are self-employed). However, to earn a good living from instructing you'll need to do 35-45 lessons per week.
Don't forget you need to drive to and from each pick up as well. Depending on how well you arrange your diary - this could add up to a further 2 hours of driving a day on top of your lessons, which could mean you're on the road for 8-10 hours a day.
Remember you are about to start a course of training that will give you a new career. Contrary to what you may have been told, it's NOT possible to qualify as an ADI within 2-3 months!
On average, structured college courses should take between 6-8 months from start to finish. Some may take longer; this is normally dependent on the individual, not the training company.
The time it takes to qualify can also depend on which route is chosen e.g. some train only for the tests, some take the Trainee Licence route.
Don't sign-up for a course with the first company that you go and see - one of the main mistakes made by trainees!
You may eventually end up with that same company, but you shouldn't be pushed or pressured into making a decision before you are ready. Stay clear of any companies that use high pressure sales techniques.
We'd strongly suggest that you choose a company from the ORDIT register (The Official Register of Driving Instructor Training). It's monitored and works in conjunction with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
The DVSA is responsible for ALL driving tests in the UK, including those required to become an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI).
Important: You're NOT going for a job interview - YOU'RE interviewing the training company!
Make sure that you find out what you're getting for your money - ask the right questions! Some Instructor training companies use salesmen to 'encourage' you to part with your money. These salesmen work on a commission. They'll probably tell you what you want to hear rather than what you should hear! Be careful!
To become a Driving Instructor you must pass 3 exams.
You must take AND pass all 3 exams in the correct order to apply for a teaching licence; this process must be done within 2 years of passing the Part 1 Theory Test.
Candidates are allowed 3 attempts only at the Driving Ability and Teaching Ability Tests. If unsuccessful - Candidates have to wait 2 years from the date of passing the ADI Theory Test before being allowed to start the whole process again.