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Mutual recognition of professional qualifications directive27-10-2016  
DVSA is seeking views on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive, which will allow European driving instructors to ply their trade in Great Britain.

Although the consultation does not mention it, an “appropriate fee” will be charged foreign instructors. In case readers fear an onslaught of EU driver trainers, the figures so far suggests fewer than five applications for temporary registration have been made, and fewer than 10 for instructors moving permanently to practice in GB

On 23 June, the EU referendum took place and the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.  It will be for the Prime Minister to begin negotiations to exit the EU, and until exit negotiations are concluded, the UK remains a full member of the European Union and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force.  During this period the Government will continue to negotiate, implement and apply EU legislation.

DVSA would like to get your views on changes we are proposing to make to domestic legislation to allow Driving and Motorcycle Instructors from other EEA States and Switzerland (“Relevant European States”) to deliver their services within the UK on a permanent or temporary and occasional basis.  We have set out some of the background and our proposals below.  If you have any comments, we would like to hear from you.


In 2005 the EU adopted a Directive (Directive 2005/36) (“the principal Directive”) about the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications.  This Directive was introduced into UK legislation by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in The European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2007 (“the 2007 Regulations”).   

The overall objective of the principal Directive is to allow free movement between Member States of individuals that hold professional qualifications. The introduction of the Directive made it easier for skilled professionals to move around Europe and be able to market their skills in other Relevant European States on a temporary or established basis. This benefits the UK by giving us greater access to a skilled labour market and by allowing UK residents more freedom to pursue their chosen careers across the EU.   

In 2013, the principal Directive was revised by an amending Directive (Directive 2013/55) (“the 2013 Directive”). The recent revision of the Directive has introduced important changes that should speed up the process of mutual recognition and sets out more clearly the rights of individuals to practice their services in another

Member State on a temporary and occasional basis.  The European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2015 (“the 2015 Regulations”) revoke and replace the 2007 Regulations to implement in part the 2013 Directive. The 2015 Regulations came into force on 18 January 2016 – please follow link:

The 2015 Regulations require all Regulators in the UK, including the DVSA, to establish rules for the recognition of professional qualifications from other Relevant European States.  This is to allow citizens from across the EEA and Switzerland to gain access to the profession in which they are qualified and to practice that profession within the UK on established or temporary basis.  

DVSA is therefore reviewing domestic legislation which regulates driving and motorcycle instructors in GB to ensure it is fully compliant with EU Law. We have concluded that legislative changes are required to make provision for Driving and Motorcycle Instructors from other Relevant European States to deliver their services within GB on a established or temporary basis.  Below we have set out some of the details.  We wish to seek your views on these proposed changes.

BIS have undertaken two consultations focusing on the changes that impact on all professions covered by the Directive. The results of these consultations can be found on Gov.UK.  The latest response to consultation can be found by using the following link:

Becoming an ADI in GB

In Great Britain it is unlawful for a person to conduct driving instruction for payment unless they are an "Approved Driving Instructor" commonly known as an "ADI". A person has to apply to be registered on the register of Approved Driving Instructors (“the register”) to become an ADI.

To become registered as an ADI a person must meet the requirement in section 125 of the Road Traffic act 1988 which included passing 3 examinations that test theory, driving ability and instructional skill, be medically fit to instruct and being a "fit and proper person" to be entered on the register.

Once a person is on the register as an ADI they are required to take a "standards check" every few years to ensure that they are still instructing to an appropriate standard. A person's registration will last for four years after which it will expire unless it has been extended. A person can only extend their registration if the Registrar is satisfied that they are still a "fit and proper person" to remain on the register, are still medically fit to instruct and have taken and passed a standards check when required to do so.  

Becoming a Motorcycle Instructor in GB

Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) is a training course that most learner motorcycle and moped riders must take before riding on road in GB.  To deliver CBT training an instructor must first register with an Authorised Training Body (ATB).  The ATB will either train the instructor themselves, this is known as “down-training” or book them onto the DVSA CBT instructor training course before authorising them to deliver training on behalf of the ATB as a Certified Instructor. Any authorisation given by an ATB must be approved by the Secretary of State (acting through DVSA). Qualified Certified Instructors must be employed by an ATB to deliver CBT training.  If the instructor has passed the DVSA CBT instructor training course they can apply to take a further training course to become a Direct Access (DAS) Instructor.  DAS instructors teach riders to ride larger motorcycles. The Secretary of State (acting through DVSA) must approve any authorisation granted to an instructed allowing them to deliver DAS training.   

Details of all motorcycle instructors delivering either CBT or DAS training are held on a register by the DVSA, as are details of all ATBs.

What we propose to do

We propose to split the Driving Instructor Register and the Motorcycle Instructor Register into two parts.  This means that the Register will have a Part 1 which will include all instructors permanently established in GB and a Part 2 which will include all instructors providing instruction in GB on a temporary and occasional basis.   


An instructor from a relevant European State who is moving permanently to the GB should be able to apply to have their driving or motorcycle instructor qualification recognised in GB.

The applicant would be required to provide a copy of their passport, a copy of their driving licence, a copy of the EU driving instructor certificate to practice, a letter detailing their driving instruction career including dates and copies of their qualifications gained and evidence of good character (equivalent to a criminal records check for UK qualified instructors).   

The DVSA will consider all of the evidence provided. If the qualification or experience which the applicant has obtained in another Relevant European State is broadly equivalent to the qualifications obtained by GB instructors the applicant will be able to practice in GB under the same conditions as a GB qualified instructor without completing any instructor courses or examinations in GB.  

Where significant differences are identified between the qualification held by the applicant and the GB qualification, the Directives empowers DVSA to require the applicant to undergo a “compensation measure”. This means that the applicant is offered the choice of either undergoing an adaptation period or taking an aptitude test.  An aptitude test is a test designed to show the instructor’s ability to adapt their skills to the different circumstances and knowledge base required in the UK. An adaptation period is a defined period of practice under the guidance of a qualified instructor followed by an assessment.  

We do not believe that there are significant differences between the qualifications and training obtained by driving and motorcycle instructors in GB compared with that obtained in other Relevant European States and therefore do not intend to require applicants to undergo a compensation measure.  Our belief is based upon the premise that instructors in Relevant European States must be able to instruct to a minimum standard to enable their candidates to achieve competence to pass the practical tests as prescribed in Directive 2006/126/EC on Driving Licences.  

Driving Instructors

A driving instructor from a Relevant European State wishing to establish themselves permanently in GB would need to apply to have their name entered in Part 1 of the Register. They would need to apply in the same way as any other GB instructor and pay the relevant fee, however they would be exempt from the requirement to pass the 3-part qualifying examinations of theory, practical driving and instructional ability. They would also be exempt from the requirement to hold an emergency control certificate if similar provision exists in the law of their Home State.  

Once registered, instructors who become permanently established in GB will be subject to the same conditions as GB qualified instructors including the requirement to undergo standards checks. They will be issued with an ADI badge and certificate and will be able to use the title “Approved Driving Instructor.”  

Motorcycle Instructors

A motorcycle instructor from a Relevant European State wishing to establish themselves permanently in GB and deliver Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) would need to contact an Authorised Training Body (ATB) to seek employment.  The instructor would need to meet all of the same conditions as a GB instructor save that they would be exempt from the requirement to complete the Secretary of State’s training course or be down trained. The authorisation would need to be approved by the Secretary of State (through DVSA).

An instructor from another Relevant European State who is qualified in that State to provide instruction to persons wishing to ride larger A2 and A3 motorcycles will be able to have their qualifications recognised in GB to enable them to give Direct Access (DAS) training. They would need to be affiliated with an ATB and will be authorised to provide both CBT and DAS training at the same time and without completing the Secretary of State’s assessment course for certified DAS instructors. The authorisation would need to be approved by the Secretary of State (through DVSA).

Once certified, the instructor will be subject to the same rules as any other GB instructor. They will be issued with the same certificates as GB instructors, will be entitled to deliver CBT and if appropriate DAS training, will be entitled to down train other instructors and will be known as a certified instructor.


Instructors from other Relevant European States seeking to provide services on a temporary or occasional basis in GB will be required to inform DVSA in advance by making a declaration. The declaration must include details of any insurance cover and must be accompanied by the following documents: -

  1. Proof of their nationality
  2. Evidence of their professional qualification including details of their driving licence
  3. an attestation certifying that they are legally established as a driving or motorcycle instructor in another Relevant European State
  4. An attestation certifying that they have not been barred or suspended from practising the profession in another Member State and that they do not have any criminal convictions

The declaration must be renewed every 12 months. DVSA will assess whether or not the services are being provided on a temporary basis having regard to the duration, frequency, regularity and continuity of the service provision.

Driving Instructors

Driving instructors from other Relevant European Sates who make an appropriate declaration to the DVSA or DVA in Northern Ireland confirming their intention to provide services in the UK will be included in Part 2 of the register and will be issued with a “temporary instructor” badge.   

The “temporary instructor” badge will have the same features for both Great Britain and Northern Ireland as the Directive requires professionals wishing to provide temporary services to have immediate access to their profession throughout the UK.  The badge will be a different colour to current Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) badges= and will contain a number, date of issue and expiry date twelve months from the date of issue as the applicant must renew the declaration annually and will be issued with a new badge each year.    

Temporary Instructors will not be allowed to use the title “Approved Driving Instructor” as only instructors entered in Part 1 of the register will be permitted to use this title. All temporary instructors will be known by the professional title used in their home state.  

Motorcycle Instructors

Any instructor wishing to provide training to provisional motorcycle licence holders can do so without being registered with DVSA or being employed by an ATB.  But, any instructor wishing to provide either CBT or DAS training which is purely a UK requirement and does not apply EU-wide, will need to be registered with an ATB and be notified to DVSA.  We will register them on part 2 of the motorcycle register and issue them with a temporary certificate stating that they are qualified to deliver motorcycle instruction in the UK. The certificate will indicate whether the instructor is qualified to deliver only CBT training or CBT and DAS training. This will depend on what training the applicant is seeking to deliver and the qualifications and experience obtained from their Home State.   The certificate will include the words “EU Temporary Instructor” and will contain a number, date of issue and expiry 12 months from the date of issue as the applicant must renew the declaration if they wish to return the following year on a temporary or occasional basis and will require a new certificate.    

The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland will consult separately.

What’s your view?

Do you think this is a sensible, common sense approach that will allow EU instructors to work in Great Britain... or an affront to the referendum vote? Let the MSA know, at or contact the DVSA direct through

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