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ADI candidate

To work as a driving instructor in Ireland you must be on the RSA’s Register of Approved Driving Instructors (ADI). 

This is an overview of the steps you must take to become a qualified Approved Driving Instructor in your chosen licence category. For more detail on these steps and a personalised guide to becoming a safe, fully qualified ADI visit our  MyRoadSafety.ie portal.

You can also download the ADI Information Pack which includes the ADI application form:

ADI Application Pack zip | 10214 KB


Steps to become an approved driving instructor (ADI).

To work as a professional driving instructor in Ireland, you must be on the RSA official register of Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) and hold a valid permit. You must also hold a full valid driving licence for two years in the category in which you wish to give instruction, be fully garda vetted and be tax compliant with Revenue. Once these requirements are verified by the RSA Registrar you must then undertake and pass all three stages of the ADI qualifying process. If you can prove relevant experience or a comparable qualification you may be exempt from all or part of the three-stage qualification process.

The RSA maintains a list of specialist trainers who can help you train to become a qualified Approved Driving Instructor. 

On your application form for an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) permit you will be asked to prove that you are normally resident in Ireland and have a valid address and personal public services number (PPSN). You will also be asked for your full valid driving licence number and to indicate the vehicle category (or categories) in which you wish to give instruction, e.g. category B (car and light van), category D (bus). You will also be asked to include a garda vetting invitation form and a current tax clearance access number from Revenue with your application.

As well as meeting the requirements of the RSA qualification process, an applicant must satisfy the ADI Registrar of their good repute. This means being vetted by the Garda National Vetting Bureau (GNVB) who will obtain criminal record disclosures in order to assess your suitability for inclusion on the register of ADIs. The Registrar and RSA undertake to treat all applicants fairly and not to discriminate unfairly on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.

The stage 1 theory test examines your knowledge of the Rules of the Road as well as general road safety and driving instruction matters. You will receive a report on your performance at the end of the theory test. You must pass stage 1 before you can continue to stages 2 and 3. Each stage must be completed within six months of completing the previous stage. All three parts of the test process must be completed within two years of successfully completing the theory test.

The stage 2 driving test assesses your driving ability. This is assessed against a longer, more comprehensive driving test than the test a learner driver takes. The test takes between 60 and 100 minutes depending on the category being applied for, and covers 25-30 kilometres in distance. When the test is fully completed the test examiner will give you the result and offer feedback on your performance. You must pass stage 2 before you can continue to stage 3.

To cancel your scheduled Stage 2 test, please complete the ADI Test Cancellation Request form.

The stage 3 instruction ability test examines your ability to deliver tuition or coaching to a learner driver relevant to their level of skill and experience. There are two phases to this test. Phase 1 will examine your ability to instruct at an appropriate level for a beginner in one of a variety of topics. Phase 2 will examine your ability to instruct at an appropriate level for a learner driver at driving test standard. Each phase lasts 30 minutes. You should receive your result of stage 3 within ten working days.

To cancel your scheduled Stage 3 test, please complete the ADI Test Cancellation Request form.

When you have successfully passed all three stages (or get an exemption for some or all stages) you may be registered as an RSA Approved Driving Instructor (ADI). You will receive a driving instructor’s licence and a permit from the RSA. This will allow you to commence giving instruction as an ADI. If you are approved to provide training in category B (car or light van) you must supply an email address. This enables you to make returns of training records under the Essential Driver Training (EDT) scheme.

You must renew your Approved Driving Instructor registration with the RSA every two years. This involves taking and passing a check test to ensure that driving and instructional ability standards are being maintained. It also helps ensure that you are continuing to instruct learners using the latest best-practice techniques and according to the latest standards and regulations. 

To cancel your scheduled Check Test, please complete the ADI Test Cancellation Request form.

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