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ADI Code of Practice Consultation20-09-2016  
The National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP) is consulting on an update to the ADI voluntary Code of Practice (CoP) for driver trainers.

Why a revision

Last revised in July 2013 the code is being updated in the light of developments in social media and the increased public awareness of matters such consumer expectation and the duty of care that we have to our clients.

The code provides guidance on how trainers can fulfil their duty to do all that is reasonable to protect the health, safety and welfare of pupils. It covers both their personal conduct and their business dealings.

How to respond

NASP wish to involve as many of our members as possible in this consultation. So whatever your thoughts and ideas are from a small improvement to the punctuation to wholesale changes to the text do please let your organisation know your thoughts and ideas. All constructive criticism will be gratefully received and all comments will be considered.

Please Email your thoughts on this code to arrive before the end of October 2016.

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. These bodies expect their members to adhere to this code of practice. 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. The Responsibilities of an ADI include:

  • being a ‘fit and proper’ person
  • the safety, of pupils and other road users
  • showing a high regard for all aspects of road safety and legislation
  • demonstrating a high standard of driving and instructional ability
  • a professional approach to customers
  • a responsible attitude to pupils and colleagues

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

  • at all times comply with the law and, in particular legislative requirements regarding the protection of personal freedoms, discrimination, road safety, trading standards, the workplace and data protection including the handling storing use and dissemination of video or audio recordings made in or around their tuition vehicle
  • at all times behave in a professional manner towards clients in line with the Standards in the ‘National standard for driver and rider training’
  • respect client confidentiality whilst understanding the actions to take if a pupil reveals concerns about their private lives
  • take care to avoid becoming involved in pupils’ personal affairs
  • not initiate inappropriate discussions about their own personal relationships
  • not enter into inappropriate discussions about their pupil’s personal relationships unless they have raised safeguarding concerns
  • avoid circumstances and situations which are or could be perceived to be of an inappropriate nature
  • avoid circumstances which are or could be perceived to be of an inappropriate nature
  • 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
  • ensure that their knowledge and skills on all matters relating to the provision of driver training comply with current practice and legislative requirements
  • avoid physical contact with a client except in an emergency or in the normal course of greeting
  • use social network sites responsibly:
  • ensure that client’s personal information is not compromised
  • when using social media for marketing purposes ensure they are aware and compliant with privacy and data protection legislation pertaining to digital communications, the laws regarding spam, copyright and other online issues.
  • treat other users including clients and colleagues and their views with respect
  • be careful not to defame the reputation of their colleagues, the DVSA, driving examiners or the ADI Register
  • not distribute, circulate or publish footage taken of Driving Tests from in car cameras, without DVSAs permission

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 will 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 terms under which the refund of lesson fees are made
    • the procedure for making a complaint
  • they will always present a clean, roadworthy and legally compliant vehicle at all times
  •  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 and regularly during their training
  • they will make a record of the client’s progress, which includes the number of lessons provided, and ensure that the client is aware of their progress and future training requirement to achieve their goals
  • they will advise a client when to apply for their theory and practical driving tests, taking account of DVSAs cancellation rules, 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 knowledge and 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 will ensure that:
    • the client has all the necessary documentation to enable the client to take the test
    • the vehicle is clean and roadworthy, complies with all aspects of the law including the provision of appropriate insurance, displays the correct badge, is fitted with the equipment required for a driving test including an extra interior rear-view mirror for the examiner and ‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales on the front and rear
  • they will offer to support the pupils’ ongoing development by accompanying the test and listening to the debrief where the candidate has requested and agreed that they do so.


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 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:


Endorsement by ADI consultative groups

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

Existing ADI code of practice
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