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Code of Practice

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and the driving instruction industry place great emphasis on professional standards and business ethics.

This code of practice has been agreed between DSA and the bodies representing ADIs listed at the end of this document. It is a framework within which all instructors should operate.

A person 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 the instructor is required to have passed the necessary qualifications to become a driving instructor.

Once fully qualified and on the register, ADIs are regularly tested by DSA to check their continued ability to give instruction to an approved standard.

The instructor agrees that:


  • they will at all times comply with the law and, in particular legislative requirements regarding the protection of personal freedoms, discrimination, data protection, trading standards, the workplace and road safety

  • they will at all times behave in a professional manner towards clients in line with the Standards in the ´National standard for driver and rider training´

  • clients will be treated with respect and consideration and will be supported to achieve the learning outcomes in the ´National standard for driver and rider training´ as efficiently and effectively as possible

  • they will ensure that their knowledge and skills on all matters relating to the provision of driver training comply with current practice and legislative requirements

  • they will try to avoid physical contact with a client except in an emergency or in the normal course of greeting


The instructor agrees that:


  • they will safeguard and account for any monies paid in advance by the client in respect of driving lessons, test fees or for any other purpose and will make the details available to the client on request

  • on or before the first lesson they should make available to clients a copy of this code of practice together with their terms of business to include:

    • legal identity of the school/instructor with full address and telephone number at which the instructor or their representative can be contacted

    • the current price and duration of lessons

    • the current price and conditions for use of a driving school car for the practical driving test

    • the terms under which cancellation of lessons by either party may take place

    • the procedure for making a complaint

  • they must check a client’s entitlement to drive the vehicle and their ability to read a number plate at the statutory distance on the first lesson

  • they will advise a client when to apply for their theory and practical driving tests, taking account of local waiting times and forecast of the client’s potential for achieving the driving test pass standard

  • they will not cancel or rearrange a driving test without the client’s agreement – in the event of the instructor’s decision to withhold the use of the school car for the driving test, sufficient notice should be given to the client to avoid loss of the DSA test fee

  • when presenting a client for the practical driving test the instructor should ensure that the client has all the necessary documentation to enable the client to take the test and ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy


The instructor agrees that:


  • the advertising of driving tuition shall be clear, fair and not misleading

  • claims made shall be capable of verification and comply with CAP Advertising Code

  • advertising that refers to clients’ pass rates should not be open to misinterpretation and the basis on which the calculation is prepared should be made clear


The instructor agrees that:


  • complaints by clients should be made in the first instance to the driving instructor, driving school or contractor following their complaints procedure

  • if, having completed the procedure, the client has been unable to reach an agreement or settle a dispute they may seek further guidance:


This code is endorsed by the following ADI consultative groups who represent driving schools:


Hi Stewart,
Just wanted to say a huge thank you for getting me through my test, first time, and always believing that I could manage it even when I didn’t think I could! You've rocketed my confidence.
Having a driving lesson with you is such a chilled and supportive way to learn - I wish more teachers would adopt your approach! When I needed pushing on, you never made me feel as if you’d dropped me in the deep end or given me more than I could handle.
Friday nights are going to be a lot duller without my lesson with you! I’m considering taking the Pass Plus just so we can have a good old laugh again!!
Thanks again, Poppy

Poppy Smith passed on 7th April 2015

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