While every driving school needs pupils, they also need great instructors who can instil learners not just with the skills to pass their test, but to become lifelong good and careful drivers. So if you’re aged 21 and over and have held your driving licence for at least 3 years, do you have what it takes to become a driving instructor?
Step 1: the qualifications
Before you can become a fully qualified driving instructor, you’ll need to pass the approved driving instructor (ADI) exams, which are in 3 parts. Then you’ll be standards checked every 4 years to make sure you still meet the requirements for holding a licence to give instruction.
Step 2: the skills
Being a driving instructor is so much more than just driving around and giving instructions, though obviously those are skills you’ll need. But you also need great people skills, the ability to make your pupils feel relaxed and confident and to give constructive criticism from which they can learn and improve. You’ll need to be able to adapt your teaching style for every learner from the most timid to the over confident, modelling excellent driving skills and road safety knowledge and acting as not just a teacher but a role model for great driving. Finally, you’ll need quick wits and reflexes to deal with any potential emergency.
Step 3: the day to day
Again, there’s much more to being an instructor than driving. You’ll need to be able to plan the right lessons for your learners, keep up to speed on changes in the law, and be punctual and courteous even when you don’t feel like it. As a self employed person you’ll also need to keep on top of your paperwork and be prepared to work evenings and weekends, but it’s worth it to see your pass rates and your reputation soar.