Train for a new career in 10 weeks

Do you feel stuck in a rut with your career – Do you want a new direction?

Wouldn’t like like to start the day with a spring in your step, and knowing that you are doing something for yourself and not someone else.

There are thousands of people who are stuck in dreary dead end jobs with no hope of advancement.

And due to the present climate, many more people are facing job losses & redundancy.

But it’s not all doom and gloom

My industry is seeing a huge surge in business, and it’s not due to Covid either.

We’re a growing population of people who want to learn to drive, and yet we have a shortage of professional driving instructors to cope with the demand.

Forget driverless cars, that’s not going to stop people wanting to learn to drive.

Aeroplanes have been able to fly themselves for years. They say If you get a smooth landing it’s probably the autopilot doing the hard work.

So, why do they need pilots? Well technology isn’t always reliable and it needs a reboot from time to time.

It’s also reassuring to know there’s a professional pilot at the controls, it gives us peace of mind.

But training to be a pilot takes years, whereas training to be a driving instructor can take as little as 10-weeks.

Over the weekend I spoke to a few people who wanted to know how long it took to train to become a driving instructor.

They had already spoken with a few training providers and driving instructors previously, but the information they received was somewhat confusing.

The advice given suggested it would take from twelve months to as long as two years to complete the training.

After listening to these people, I realised that they needed a better explanation about how long it takes to train to become a driving instructor.

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are the government executives responsible for approving people to become driving instructors.

They give you two years to qualify as an instructor from the date you register with them to start training, which is why some instructors might quote two years.

In general training companies quote an average 50 hours of training to become a driving instructor.

There isn’t a compulsory amount of training hours you have to have, in fact you could become a driving instructor without any help from a driving school or driving instructor.

The 50 hours is basically the norm and generally split between the part two and three modules.

10 hours are given to the part two practical driving module, and 40 hours for the part three instructional module.

Although you are not required to take 40 hours on the part three module, you must take 40 hours with a professional trainer if you want to apply for a trainee driving instructor licence.

A trainee driving instructor licence, known as a potential driving instructor (PDI) licence, helps you get experience instructing pupils to drive so that you can prepare for the part three exam.

With a PDI licence you can charge for lessons to cover the cost of things like insurance and vehicle costs.

So assuming you book 50 hours, if you took five hours training each week, you would complete the course in 10 weeks.

If you wanted to take it easier, you could take 20 weeks by just doing two and a half hours each week or five hours every other week.

There is of course a lot of work you will need to do at home between sessions. You might have books to read, videos to watch and even webinars to attend.

But if you’ve got time on your hands, ten weeks training might easily be doable.

So, I hope that gives you an idea of how you could plan your training around your other commitments.

If you have any questions please email


#becomeadrivinginstructor, #drivinginstructorcareer

The ADI part one theory

The ADI part one theory


The big time drainer.

Starting a new career involves building new knowledge, experience and learning new skills.


ADI part one theory


The first step to becoming a driving instructor is learning the theory which is the first of the three parts required to become an Approved Driving Instructor with the DVSA.

This is a big time drainer, and in my experience can put many people off continuing through to qualification.

Those that do stick by and complete the theory can take a good 6 months or more before actually sitting the test.

It’s always been a goal of mine to discover why it takes so long, so I started the part one training for myself and sat the actual ADI part one exam.

What I found during my training has helped me understand why people fail to go beyond the first exam, and why others take too long to prepare.

First it’s worth mentioning that some training schools don’t include theory preparation in their training course. Instead at best they give you a list of the DVSA recommended reading material, and ask you to contact them after you’ve passed the part one test.

Others, ours included give you a complete step by step training manual, which guides you through reading relevant chapters from the supplied books and then testing you on your knowledge with multiple choice questions.

I started by following our own system, but I found the problem for me was the system was time draining, and could be slightly confusing because the course involves reading a few pages from multiple books at the same time.

Now if you’re not a good reader, that can hold you back.

I find it’s easier to read one book, before starting another because it takes me ages to get into a book. So jumping in and out of different books doesn’t particularly help me digest the information.

Anyway, I’d already set myself a brave time goal for re-educating myself for the part one test, and allocated 15 hours to research & study before sitting the exam for real.

For those of you that don’t know me, I trained to be a driving instructor 27 years ago. I qualified in 1989, worked for a few franchised driving schools before setting up my own driving school in 1991.


In 1995 I started a new business which was not in the driver training industry, and swapped my skills as a driving instructor for those of a business owner.

Driving sales, managing people and organising business is a mile away from sitting in a car teaching a student the skill of safe driving for life.

So I feel I’m in a good position to comment on the ADI part one theory, and in doing so find an alternative to the existing recommended study preparation methods.

Now, my first hurdle was finding time to study. I had already decided to put a few hours a side two nights a week, but I found that life has a habit of getting in the way. But in reality that’s merely an excuse for bad planning and lack of commitment which effects most people.

I started by following a recommended part one study guide, but it became too time consuming. And so I tried various other options from reading an entire book, to simply practicing on one of the many theory practice sites on the internet. But I found I wasn’t taking in the information with either option.

So, I looked for an alternative method to study, and with just 10 hours available I followed this system.

The part one test is in four banding, so I studied one band at a time. In each band I practiced multiple choice questions, marking questions I was sure i knew, followed by those I wasn’t certain about, and finally the questions I clearly didn’t know the answer to.

I could then go and read the book that gave the most information about the subject (band) i was working in, and if i needed more information I would find it in another book.

I would then re-visit the questions and see how much my knowledge had improved. This method helped me find the knowledge I lacked and helped me retain the information learnt.

My confidence grew and I started to get into the research, which was something that I didn’t get from simply reading, or practicing on the internet.

The Hazard Perception part of the test

I left a few hours to study the hazard perception part of the part one test, and I’ll explain how I dealt with that in the  next post. I’ll also share my results from the actual test with you…





Register to train to become a driving instructor with the DVSA

Register to train to become a driving instructor with the DVSA


Once you have received your criminal record reference number, the next step is to register to train to become a driving instructor with the DVSA (Driving Vehicles Standard Agency).

Follow this link

You will require your Criminal record reference which can be found at the top right of your letter.

First you will be asked to accept the user declaration, and then you should select the drop down option for ADI (Approved Driving Instructor). Next you’ll be asked for a user name and password (these are your own choice of details) which you can use every time you come back to the register to update or change your details, so keep them somewhere safe.

You will be asked for your personal details required by the DVSA. The form takes about 10 minutes to complete, but before logging out, please make sure to check that you have entered your information correctly.

After submitting your details, again expect a short wait of a week or so for a letter of registration approval to arrive from the DVSA.

You’re now ready to start the qualifying process, and I would recommend getting the ball rolling and pre-book your part one theory test.

You can choose a date from the many available. I would suggest giving yourself a six week goal to read the study material and prepare for the test.

If you’ve done as I suggested in the first post, and started to study while waiting for your criminal reference number, you might only need a few weeks to be ready to take the theory test.

A word of warning, don’t think of this as study to pass a test. You are learning and gaining the knowledge you’ll require to become a driving instructor. The more you know the better the instructor you’ll be, so it’s  important to do your research, and ask questions if you don’t understand something.

We recently asked two people to take a 20 question theory test. One person had done some online theory practice tests, and the other we asked to read the highway code.


Highway code


The person who used the online method got a score of 12 out of 20. The person who read the highway code scored 19 out of 20, and interestingly would have got 20 if he had read the question properly.

I came across a study a few years ago about how we approach learning, and they suggest you should embark upon study with the willingness to learn. You can’t become an expert without knowledge.

PDI’s (potential driving instructors) who skip reading the recommended books, and opt for the easier option of practicing online mock theory questions are less likely to pass the part one, and consequently end up struggling when they reach the final stage of the training.

Please note:  When studying the recommended books, you might find yourself reading words you don’t understand, so before moving forward find out the meaning of the words. Try using Google for help.

In the next blog I’ll show you methods to help your study progress smoothly, and i’ll also share tips to hep you get more done in less time.


Become a driving instructor criminal record check

Step One: Driving instructor criminal record check


Hi I’m Kev Goldthorpe founder of Elite driving school. I’m going to walk you through the entire process of training for a career as a driving instructor, starting with the driving instructor criminal record check.

So keep your eyes peeled because each week I’ll be posting new content.



Call it a step by step manual for training for a career as an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI).

The accreditation you are training for is the Driving Vehicle Standards Agency Approved Driving Instructor (DVSAADI) Green Badge, which authorises you to teach people to dive for a living.

Now you already know that you can help people learn to drive a car if you’re over 21, and have held a full UK licence for over 3 years, but you can’t legally charge them.

So it’s not a career until you hold the DVSAADI green badge, Which must be displayed in the tuition vehicle windscreen.

So let’s get the journey started. Now assuming you haven’t gone any further than the enquiry stage, and deciding it’s the career you want to pursue, to register as a potential driving instructor, you must be over 21 and have held a full driving licence in category B (manual cars) for at least 3 years. You must not have been disqualified during this time.

Step 1: Apply for a criminal record check for the DVSA.

Now you might already have a criminal record reference, but if it’s not for the DVSA, then it’s no good.

To apply for your criminal reference number click here

Take a note of the following information which you will need during the application process:

You’ll need to use the:

  • organisation PIN 105205
  • secret word axis
  • organisation name DVSA – PDI (PO)

Be certain to fill the document in correctly, I’ve know the post office turn people away for supplying the wrong ID, and GBG the online disclosure company send applications back because applicants put both their first and surname in the same space, instead of just surname.

Once you are happy that all your details and proofs are correct print the form off and hit submit.

Now you need to take the form and the ID’s you supplied on the form to the nearest post office.

PLEASE NOTE: Sub post offices do not offer the criminal record check verification service. You can only use main post offices, so to find your nearest click here, enter your post code and then select the  drop down box and check the option CRB & ID Verification Service, and hit search.


Driving instructor criminal record check post office


Don’t forget…

You’ll need to take a printed page from your online application with barcodes on it and 3 original forms of ID (not copies) that you entered during application which should be:

  • your passport
  • your driving licence
  • a utility bill that’s less than 3 months old
  • a bank statement that’s less than 3 months old

The service costs £6.

If takes anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks to get a reply. But if you’re convinced everything is okay, I would suggest starting to read the study books so your not wasting time.

The ADI part one theory can take some people months to study for it, but with proper planning, organisation and dedication this should only take a maximum of 8 weeks, so by starting now you’ll be able to book an early part one test date in your local town, cutting down the time and being one step closer to your dream of becoming a driving instructor.

What the video at the top of this blog, it will guide you through the process.

Watch out for the next step, registering with the DVSA to start training to become a driving instructor.

If you want to know more about a career as a driving instructor click here