Making the conduct expected of driving instructors clearer

On 17 February 2018, the government published a new version of the approved driving instructor (ADI) register guide. It explains what’s involved in being an ADI – it’s vital reading, whether you’re just starting out, or have been qualified for years.

The guide has been improved to include everything you need to know about qualifying and being an ADI. It should make it faster to find what you need.

Jacqui Turland, ADI Registrar has taken this opportunity to review the ‘fit and proper’ criteria for ADIs, which is now part of the guide. In this post, Jacqui explains some more about inappropriate behaviour and how it will be dealt with.

Protecting and improving the reputation of the ADI profession

The ADI Registrar has 3 goals:

to make sure every ADI maintains and improves their instructional ability;to make sure every ADI is a fit and proper person;to protect and improve the reputation of the ADI register – and every ADI who meets the standards

ADIs are in a position of considerable trust. The government know that the vast majority of you have the highest of respect for that trust and conduct yourselves with the utmost professionalism.

However, there are some people who don’t have that same level of respect. They cause the public to question the professionalism of instructors and threaten to damage the reputation of the profession. They perpetuate outdated stereotypes and caricatures.

You’ve worked hard to qualify as an ADI and be on the register. The government won’t let people threaten to undermine that achievement by bringing the ADI register into disrepute.

Dealing with inappropriate conduct

The ADI Registrar can remove an instructor’s name from the register if they stop being a ‘fit and proper’ person. The ADI register guide sets out what’s meant by this, and the process for removing someone from the register.

Here are some examples of how certain types of inappropriate conduct might be investigated and dealt with.

1. Contractual issues

Most reports received are about contractual issues, such as:

lessons that are shorter than agreed;the instructor arriving late;the instructor cancelling lessons;failing to provide lessons the pupil has paid for in advance.

With the learner driver’s permission, the government will pass the report to the instructor and invite their response.

A record will be kept on the instructor’s file, and if a pattern emerges, the process will be started to remove them from the register – not solely relying on a criminal conviction or caution.

2. Mobile phone use



The ADI Registrar does get reports about instructors using mobile phones to text and call other customers during lessons.

Using a hand-held mobile phone while carrying out instruction is illegal. As the accompanying driver, the instructor should be in control of the vehicle at all times.

Anyone convicted will receive 6 penalty points, and at that point, consideration can be given to removing their name from the register.

As it’s illegal, doing this is also setting a terrible example to the drivers of tomorrow.

It is also poor customer service to a learner who is paying for an instructor’s time. The same rules apply to using a tablet to record a pupils’ progress or to show a diagram or video. However, it’s legal to use a tablet when the car is safely parked and the engine is off.

3. Disrespectful behaviour



The national standard sets out the skills you need.

You’ll be disappointed to know The ADI Registrar has to deal with reports of instructors being impatient or shouting and swearing at pupils.

This type of behaviour is unnecessary, disrespectful and extremely unprofessional.

Experiencing something like this can destroy someone’s confidence, put them off wanting to drive, and make it hard for them to trust any future instructor. It’s something that is taken very seriously.

The national standard for driver and rider training describes the skills you need to make sure pupils engage with the process of learning to drive.

4. Serious inappropriate behaviour



The ADI code of practice