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Code of Practice for Approved Driving Instructors

A driving instructor who gives lessons in a motor car in return for payment must be on the 'Register of Approved Driving Instructors' (ADIs). To gain entry to the register prospective instructors need to pass a series of examinations administered by the Driving Standards Agency (DVSA). People training to qualify as Approved Driving Instructors who have part completed the examinations can obtain from the Agency a licence to acquire practical experience which is strictly limited to six months. Once fully qualified and on the register, ADIs are regularly tested by DSA to check their continued ability to give instruction to an acceptable standard.

DSA and the driving instruction industry place great emphasis on professional standards and business ethics. The code of practice set out here has been agreed between DSA and the main bodies representing Approved Driving Instructors; it is a framework within which all instructors should operate.

Personal Conduct

The instructor will at all times behave in a professional manner towards clients.

Clients will be treated with respect and consideration.

The Approved Driving Instructor will try to avoid physical contact with a client except in an emergency or in the normal course of greeting.

Whilst reserving the right to decide against giving tuition, the Approved Driving Instructor will not act in any way which contravenes legislation on discrimination.

Business Dealing

The Approved Driving Instructor will safeguard and account for any moneys paid in advance by the client in respect of driving lessons, driving test fees or for any other purposes and will make the details available to the client on request.

The Approved Driving Instructor on or before the first lesson should provide clients with a written copy of his/her terms of business to include

legal identity of the driving school/Approved Driving Instructor with full address and telephone number at which the Approved Driving Instructor or his/her representative can be contacted.

The price and duration of the driving lessons.

The price and conditions for use of a driving school car for the practical driving test.

The terms under which cancellation by either party may take place.

Procedure for complaints

The Approved Driving Instructor should check a clients entitlement to drive the vehicle and his/her ability to read a number plate at the statutory distance on the first lesson. When presenting a client for the practical driving test the Approved Driving Instructor should ensure that the client has all the necessary documentation to enable the client to take the driving test and that the vehicle is roadworthy.

Approved Driving Instructors will advise clients when to apply for their theory and practical driving tests, taking account of local waiting times and forecast of clients' potential for achieving the driving test pass standard. The Approved Driving Instructor will not cancel or re-arrange a driving test without the client's agreement. In the event of the Approved Driving Instructor's decision to withhold the use of the driving school car for the driving test, sufficient notice should be given to the client to avoid loss of the DVSA driving test fee.

The Approved Driving Instructor should at all times, to the best of his/her ability, endeavour to teach the client correct driving skills according to DVSA's recommended syllabus.


The advertising of driving tuition shall be honest; claims made shall be capable of verification and comply with codes of practice set down by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Advertising that refers to clients' pass rates should not be open to misinterpretation and the basis on which the calculation is made should be made clear.


Complaints by clients should be made in the first instance to the driving instructor/driving school/contractor following the complaints procedure issued.

Failing agreement or settlement of a dispute, reference may be made to DSA's Registrar of Approved Driving Instructors who will consider the matter and advise accordingly.

Should the Registrar not be able to settle the dispute he/she may set up a panel, with representatives from the ADI industry, to consider the matter further or advise that the matter should be referred to the courts or other statutory body to be determined.

For further information or advice write to:

The Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Registrar

Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency

Stanley House

56 Talbot Street



Telephone: 0115 901 2500

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