The Driving Instructor Course Structure
There are three tests you have to successfully complete to become a fully qualified driving instructor.
Part One – Driving Theory & Hazard Perception
The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions on subjects ranging from The Highway Code, instructional techniques, the law, disabilities and questions on the driving test. There is also a hazard perception test at the end of the theory test, this is a virtual drive on the computer where you have to recognise potential hazards and react quickly. The test is conducted in Theory Test Centres throughout the UK. Tests can be booked for either weekdays or weekends.
Part Two – Your Driving Ability
A practical test of your driving skills. For an hour, you will be asked to demonstrate you can drive in the style that you will teach your pupils. There is no commentary required, just a return to the basics of good safe driving. You will be expected to carry out various manoeuvres, as would a learner driver. The main difference between a Part 2 test and a pupil’s driving test is that you will be limited to six minor errors. Part 2 tests are conducted at designated Driving Test Centres throughout the UK.
Part Three – Your Ability to Teach
This is a practical test which lasts for 1 hour. The examiner will set you a task to teach a pupil at a particular standard, and he/she will use role-play, acting the part of the pupil. Once you have briefed the ‘pupil’ on the subject, you will then be expected to spot any mistakes, explain the reasons behind them, and to suggest remedial action in order to prevent recurrence. Above all, the examiner is looking for you to come across as friendly, patient, knowledgeable and understanding.
Duration of the Course
Each test is preceded by a waiting list of 4-6 weeks. Getting from the initial course, through to successfully passing the part three test, is achievable within 12-20 weeks, but this time span would be dependant on your ability, availability and CRB (criminal record check) clearance.
Because it is the D.S.A. who conduct these tests, this waiting is fairly standard. Therefore training is flexible and we can fit it in around your commitments. The D.S.A. do allow one shortcut, by taking the option of a Trainee Licence once you have passed the part two test. This means that you can be working as an instructor within weeks of starting the course
For most people entering this profession their primary aim is to be working as a driving instructor and earning money as fast as they can. For these people, the trainee licence is an ideal solution.
The trainee licence is a government scheme that allows you to take out a six month licence once you have passed parts one and two tests and received the core, basic part three training. The D.S.A. stipulate that you must be sponsored by a driving school as a trainee instructor and also that you must receive a minimum of 40 hours part three preparation training before you will be allowed to teach pupils. Once you have received this training, you will be eligible for a pink badge. You will then be allowed to teach pupils as an instructor, just as any other instructor would.
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