Trainee Licence Scheme
Once you have passed the first two parts of the Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) qualification process, have found a genuine driving school to sponsor you and have undertaken a minimum of 40 hours of Part 3 training (of which a minimum of 10 hours must be in-car training) you can apply for a trainee licence to help you gain experience instructing pupils to drive.
A trainee licence allows you to be legally paid for giving driving instruction, but should not be regarded as a sole means of making a living or as an alternative to registration as an ADI. The trainee licence lasts only six months and normally only one is granted in the two year qualifying period. Please note the Trainee Licence automatically terminates should you fail a third attempt at Part 3. Under certain exceptional circumstances it is possible to have the licence extended beyond the six months period if you can show through no fault of your own that you have not been able to fully utilise the licence.
To obtain a trainee licence you have to be sponsored by, and work with, an established driving school such as LDC. Please note not every driving school supports the trainee licence scheme, for example, this option is not available with the AA driving school. Also be aware that some schools charge a much higher weekly franchise if you join them on a trainee licence. This is not the case with LDC. For each trainee sponsored, the school has to have a fully qualified driving instructor operating with them. Each trainee licence holder also has to receive an extra 20 hours of Part 3 training (of which a minimum of 5 hours must be in-car training on either a 1-to-1 or 2-to-1 basis) within the first three months of the licence or prior to taking their first attempt at Part 3 whilst on a trainee licence if sooner.
Because LDC's instructor training course is so comprehensive it is not essential to have a licence in order to prepare for the part 3 examination, but it is an option that is available to assist in preparing for the examination.
Unlike some driving schools, at LDC, trainee driving instructors are treated exactly the same as fully qualified driving instructors and are not charged extra or receive less for the services they provide to the public. However, it is not uncommon for LDC trainee driving instructors to give pupils a little extra lesson time to reflect the fact that they are still learning the job or to offer special introductory discounts for lessons. Any such actions are solely at the discretion of the trainee driving instructor.
Conditions of a trainee licence
The conditions under which a licence is granted by the DVSA are:
- You are only authorised to give instruction for the school whose address is shown on the licence (i.e. the sponsoring driving school)
- You must not advertise yourself as a fully qualified instructor
- You must receive 40 hours practical Part 3 training from a qualified ADI (preferably DVSA ORDIT registered) before you apply for your licence, of which at least 25 per cent must be in-car training either 2-1 or 1-1. All this training must have occured within 6 months of starting the licence. It is your responsibility to make sure that you receive training in each of the specified subjects. You must submit a completed Instructor Training Declaration (ADI 21T) with your application and have it signed on behalf of the sponsoring driving school and the trainer or trainers if more than one was used.
You must also abide by one of the following conditions:
- You must receive supervision for 20 per cent of all lessons you give from your sponsoring ADI
- A record of all lessons given, along with the supervision received must be kept on the form ADI 21S which will be issued with the licence. This must be signed by you and your ADI and must be returned to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) as soon as the licence expires; or
- You must receive a minimum additional 20 hours of Part 3 training covering all the specified topics
- This extra training must take place within the first three months of the licence or before you take your first attempt at part 3, whichever is the soonest
- A record of this training must be kept on the form ADI 21AT, and must be sent to DVSA before the end of the three month period, or presented to the examiner conducting the part 3 test, whichever is the earliest
- At least 25 per cent of the training will have to be practical in-car training either 2-1 or 1-1 and again the trainer or trainers must sign the form to confirm the required training has taken place.
Displaying the trainee licence
When instruction is being given the licence must be displayed in the bottom left hand corner of the front windscreen. The use of the licence is your own responsibility. No refunds will be given for any period when the licence is not used.
If you cannot make full use of your licence and you have to stop giving tuition, return it to the issuing office immediately. If your trainee licence is lost or stolen you should report it to the Police and to the DVSA straight away.