Driving Instructor Grades

This is how a driving instructor is assessed by the government and this description is based on the quality of a lesson that an instructor carries out. All Driving Instructors are examined periodically where an Examiner will sit in and observe an hours driving lesson conducted by the instructor. At the end of the driving lesson a grade will be given and feedback to the driving instructor as to how they can improve a driving lesson that would benefit the learner.  The aim is to reach the highest grade possible. 

Please Note: In April 2014 The Marking Structure changed to the following Grade A shows that the driving instructor is teaching to the highest standard and are the ones to watch out for this would be the equivalent of a grade 5 / 6 instructor. As a learner you have the right when looking for a d riving instructor to ask what grade they are before committing yourself to driving lessons. Note lower graded instructors charge the same rate as the higher grades yet a higher grade will give a much higher standard of tuition. 

Total score Grade Description
0-30 Fail Your performance is unsatisfactory
31-42 Grade B You’ll stay on the approved driving instructors (ADI) register
43-51 Grade A You have shown a high standard of instruction and you’ll stay on the ADI register

Those Driving Instructors who have yet to be assessed under the new marking structure will still use the following 1 – 6 grading system.  As you can see many instructors teaching today are a grade 4. Our Driving Instructors are of grade 5 and 6 standard and have over 7 years each of experience..

BEWARE below grade 4 instructors are still teaching out there teaching !!!





Description of Grading




An extremely poor overall standard of teaching, with incorrect or dangerous driving instructions given. No recap, improvement in pupil’s skills or summary at the end.




A poor overall ability to teach, with several issues with the Instructor’s driving knowledge. Very little lesson structure.




An inadequate performance given by the instructor with some lack of ability to teach. Gaps in their driving knowledge and poor choice of driving lesson route.




An acceptable driving lesson. Some minor deficiencies, but overall good fault identification and remedial action. (the instructor saw and corrected most faults)




A good Driving lesson. Minor weaknesses occur, but all driving faults were recognised and dealt with very well. Good attitude and feedback with the pupil.




A very high standard with no significant weaknesses. Driving Instructor quick to spot all faults and dealt with them very well. Very professional at all times.

Not yet graded



(newly qualified instructors are officially ungraded until their first DSA “check test” is done)

In training



Yes, there are 91,000 people who have started the training process over the last 2 to 3 years and not yet on the register!