How I became a driving instructor - PDI parts 1 and 2

In an earlier post, I explained why I became a driving instructor, so I'd like to take you through my journey of achieving that goal.

My journey to becoming a UK ADI began in 1999 when I suddenly was un-employed, had a young daughter and a family to look after, and little money in the bank. An acquaintance of mine at the time was a Bus driver, and seeing that I liked driving, knew that Bus drivers were never un-employed in London, I decided to give that a go. I passed the first phase which was a simple test to check one's maths and reading skills. Next was a medical which was to decide if I was healthy enough to be in charge of a Bus carrying up to about a 100 people. Unfortunately I failed because my eyesight was not good enough, and the defect in my left eye could not be corrected with glasses (I have a lazy left eye).

With the option of driving a Bus out of the window, I started looking at other means of gaining employment, and while checking the employment section of a paper, I noticed an advert about becoming a driving instructor, in fact there were more than one company advertising the joys of becoming an instructor, so I made some enquiries, and ended up going to The Instructor College Harrow for an interview.

The interview turned out to be more of an introduction to the course, how to finance the fees if you don't have the money up front and a driving assessment to see if you've got the right practical skills to become a driving instructor. I liked what I saw, particularly TIC's policy to provide additional tuition at no additional fee even if one fails the ADI qualification process, and has to start all over again. So in July of 1999 I signed up with The Instructor College Harrow, opting to pay the fees by instalment. As fate would have it shortly after I signed up, I found a job in my normal line of employment, but decided that I would continue on the course, and get the ADI qualification, as I knew once qualified I can work as an instructor if I became un-employed again.

To become a qualified UK driving instructor, you have to pass 3 tests. The ADI Part 1 test involves theory of driving as well as the art of teaching the driving skill to others. ADI Part 2 is a practical test of your driving skills, it is a one hour driving test, more advanced than the 'L' test learner drivers take to get a full UK driving license, and you are only allowed 5 minor driver errors and will be required to do all the manoeuvres normally encountered on the L test, and one additional one 'reversing round a corner to the right'. ADI Part 3 is a practical test where the potential driving instructor (PDI) is required to give tuition to a learner (in this case an examiner pretending to be a learner).

Now having a full time job meant I had to use my holidays to schedule my training, so I booked 4 days for the classroom work required to prepare for the ADI part 1 theory exam. With the 4 days completed, some further home study was then required to thoroughly revise and then put in for the exam. In December of 1999 I put in for the last paper based ADI part 1 theory examination, took it, and in January 2000 got the result, I had failed. I put in for another test, this time it was computer based, and in Feb 2000, I sat and passed the part 1 exam. One down two to go.

How I became a driving instructor part two

More reading
ADI check test.
Red Instructor training, people's experiences.
PAYG ADI training.
Driving instructor earnings

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