ADI code of practice

About the code

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the driving instruction industry place great emphasis on professional standards and business ethics.

This code of practice has been agreed between DVSA 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 DVSA to check their continued ability to give instruction to an approved standard.

Personal conduct

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

Business dealings

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 DVSA 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 Codes

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:

if they believe their instructor is not providing a good service they can contact their local Trading Standards office or Citizens Advice Bureau for guidance

if they are not happy with their instructor’s behaviour, the client can contact the ADI Registrar by emailing

Endorsement by ADI consultative groups

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

Approved Driving Instructors National Joint Council (ADI NJC)

Driving Instructors Association (DIA)

Driving Instructors Scottish Council (DISC)

The Motor Schools Association of Great Britain (MSAGB)