Driving Instructor Course

Prices & Services > Approved Driving Instructor Course

Approved Driving Instructor lessons are €55 an hour. For an average student who is prepared to study and do the necessary practice in their own time, the total course should take approximately or less than 30 hours on a one-to-one basis for Part 2 and Part 3. There will never be more than one to one tuition at all times.

All books and literature support are sourced by the student. Dragon Driver can arrange a discounted wholesale rate on course books for students if required. The costs directly from the supplier should be approximately €250

RSA Fees
Stage 1 (Theory test) €150
Stage 2 (Driving test) €200
Stage 3 (Instruction ability test) €200
Trainee License €100
Registration/Renewal €250

RSA fees are not covered by the Dragon Driver fees which are based on 30 hours are €1,650 or less if the student comes up to standard quickly. Your budget for total costs which includes RSA Fees and Dragon Driver Fees  as above of at least €2,550 which includes Trainee Licence (€100), if required.


In order to become a driving instructor you must have held an EU driving licence in the Category you want to teach for a minimum of 2 years.

The course is split into 3 distinct stages, the Theory Test, the Driving Test and the Instruction Ability Test.

The student sets the pace and decides when they wish to take the exams at the different stages. The course must be completed in 2 years from the date of passing the theory test. Each stage must be passed before the student can go on to the next. Once the driving test stage is passed the student must decide if they want apply for a Trainee Licence or go straight on to take the Instruction Ability Test.


The ADI course follows the syllabus set out below by the RSA.

Stage 1 – Theory Test.

  • Road Safety precepts and practice
  • Rules of the Road
  • RSA ADI Scheme
  • Driving Techniques and handling of vehicle controls.
  • Use of correct road procedure
  • Vulnerable road users
  • Pedagogical techniques and assessment of pupils
  • Dealing with Pupils who have learning or language difficulties
  • Dealing with Pupils who have physical disabilities and familiarisation with common vehicle adaptations.
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Correction of pupils driving faults
  • Knowledge of basic mechanics of vehicle and maintenance
  • Driving for life, beyond the practical driving test
  • Scene of accidents
  • Driver Testing Procedures and Documentation including the Driving Test Report form

Stage 2 – Driving Test.

  • Declare you are properly insured for the test
  • Produce a valid full licence for the category you are taking
  • Drive a road worthy vehicle fitted with seat belts
  • If hiring an ADI vehicle “L” signs must be removed
  • Display on your vehicle a valid insurance disc, tax disc and NCT disc if required
  • Test is approximately 1.5 hours
  • The route covers 25-30 kilometres
  • Less than 3 driving faults under a particular heading
  • Less than 5 driving faults overall

The Trainee Licence
When introduced the Trainee Licence scheme was intended to provide mentoring opportunities to new driving instructors coming into the industry – a Trainee Licence can be held for a maximum of six months. Having successfully passed the driving test (Stage 2) an applicant for ADI registration may apply for a Trainee Licence, subject to the conditions of that scheme:

  • That the applicant had not previously held a Trainee Licence
  • That the applicant has a RSA Registered ADI to sponsor and supervise his/her training under the scheme
  • That the supervised lessons follow the pre-determined RSA syllabus of learning/practice for the trainee ADI
  • That the sponsoring ADI will maintain a record of all training given under his/her supervision.

The Trainee Licence is granted to allow an applicant ADI to develop his/her teaching skills in preparation for the teaching ability (Stage 3) test. The sponsoring ADI may only have one trainee under his/her supervision for the duration of the Licence.

A minimum of 20% of the training given by a Trainee Licence holder must be under the direct supervision of the sponsoring ADI. The Trainee Licence must be clearly on display in the vehicle during all tuition sessions, whether or not the trainee is being supervised at the time. At the end of the six-month period of the Trainee Licence, it must be returned together with the training record to the RSA.

Stage 3 – Instruction Ability Test

This examines the ability of the ADI candidate to deliver tuition/coaching to the novice driver relevant to the level of skill and experience of the driver. The RSA examiner will take you through the administrative procedures before accompanying you to your vehicle. S/he will then explain the format of the test and explain that s/he will be adopting the role of a learner driver under instruction. Once in role the examiner will stay in role until that phase of the test is over (the examiner will tell you when the phase is complete and s/he is coming out of role). If an emergency arises during the test the examiner will immediately come out of role.

There are two phases to the instruction ability test;

Phase 1 examines ability to instruct at an appropriate level for a beginner in one of the following subjects-

  • Explanation of the cockpit drill and starting the vehicle
  • Explanation of the controls of the vehicle
  • Anticipating the actions of others and taking appropriate preventative/corrective action where necessary
  • Moving off and stopping/road position
  • Turnabout in the road by using the forward and reverse gears
  • Reverse to the right and to the left
  • Dealing with pedestrian crossings
  • Approaching junctions to turn left or right
  • Dealing with and emerging at road junctions and roundabouts
  • Dealing with crossroads
  • Reverse parking
  • Use of the mirrors and giving signals, mechanical or otherwise
  • Meeting / overtaking and clearance to all other road users
  • Judgement of speed, stopping distances and anticipating the actions of other road users
  • The emergency stop
  • Driving on country roads
  • Use of “running commentary” as appropriate

Phase 2 also examines the aspects above, however the expected level of delivery will be at the level of learner (driving test standard) driver.

The examiner will give you a few moments between phases to gather your thoughts and prepare your lesson plan for the second phase. The examiner may be taking notes during these brief moments and this is part of his/her administrative procedures. During the instruction ability test the examiner will look for the ability of an ADI applicant to:

  • Recap on previous lesson and link it to the current lesson
  • Explain clearly the lessons objectives
  • Have a clear lesson plan in place and deliver this
  • Impart information in a clear concise manner
  • Have a friendly and relaxed manner
  • Offer encouragement
  • Match instruction to the learners ability
  • Encourage questions
  • Give feedback on performance
  • Develop a learner driver’s self-confidence during the lesson
  • Change approach when current approach obviously isn’t working
  • Identify, analyse and assess faults as appropriate

During all of stage three a candidate will be expected to give clear directions in good time and these instructions must be related to the prevailing road and traffic conditions.

Language used must not be over technical and jargon should be avoided; the learner must clearly understand any necessary technical terms used. A driving instructor should use simply worded questions to clarify with the learner that the message is being received.

The questions must be related to the objectives of the lesson or prevailing conditions.

An Instructor must summarise the main points at the end of a lesson, and look forward to the next session setting any appropriate homework/study or revision work that will feed into the next lesson.

At the end of the second phase the examiner will tell you that s/he is coming out of role and that you have now come to the end of the test.

You should receive your result of stage 3 within five working days.


You should budget to earn in the region of €20,000 to €25,000 Gross in the first year, if you are committed, have a web page and advertise with someone like www.Roadready.ie. You could better your turnover by joining a franchise group, some groups give figures in excess of €45,000 per year as potential earnings, but be careful to what you are signing yourself into.


Recommended Reading

The Rules of the Road (RSA), (ISBN 0755775198)
Driving Manual relevant to your license category (UK Driving Standards Agency), (ISBN 9780115528170)
The Driving Instructor’s Handbook, 14th Edition – John Miller and Margaret Stacey, (ISBN 074944746X)
Standard Procedures for the Driving Test (RSA),*
Marking Guidelines for the Driving Test (RSA),*
Ricability Book on Vehicle Controls for Adapted Vehicles*,
Preparing for your Driving Test (RSA),*
Official Driving Theory Test Book, 2nd Edition (RSA),
Approved Driving Instructor booklet*.

*in ADI application pack
Excluding the ADI application pack, all of the above are supplied by Grade Six Supplies and are included in the book price of approximately €250.You should familiarise yourself with the contents of the Learner-Driving Test Report Form.


Standard Lessons
Intensive Courses
Advanced Driving