Becoming an ADI

How to become an RSA-approved driving instructor (ADI) and what to do if you already hold a relevant qualification.

Get on the Register

To work as a driving instructor in Ireland you must be on the RSA’s Register of Approved Driving Instructors (ADI). Unless you are on this register and hold a permit from the RSA, it is an offence to work as a driving instructor. It’s all part of the RSA’s mission to make Irish roads safer.

How to become an ADI

If you wish to become an ADI you must first satisfy the Registrar that you are a person of good character. There are also specific requirements – you must:

  • Be tax compliant and in possession of a tax clearance certificate
  • Hold a full driving licence for the category in which you wish to give instruction for two  year

All instructors looking for ADI status must also go through the Garda vetting process. This provides an extra layer of protection for young learner-drivers.

There are two ways to become an ADI:

  • Undergo the three-stage RSA qualification process, or
  • Show that your existing qualifications/experience meet the ADI standard

The qualification process

There are three stages to the ADI exam:

  • Driver theory test
  • Practical driving test 
  • Instructional ability test

The theory test (part 1) is carried out locally, at one of our 41 test centres nationwide – you can choose a centre that is most convenient to you.

Once you receive your eligibility number from the ADI unit, you can make an appointment via the online booking page or by calling the information and booking line 1890 606 106.

Available appointment times can vary between test centres.

The driving test (part 2) and the instruction ability test (part 3) are only available at the following locations: Athlone, Cork, Dundalk, Dublin (Finglas), Galway, Kilkenny, Letterkenny, Limerick, Mullingar, Rathgar, Sligo, Tralee and Waterford.

For more information visit www.theorytest.ie.

Existing qualifications

If you can show that you meet the RSA ADI standard because of qualifications you already hold, there is no need for you to qualify all over again. But this is something that the RSA needs to verify. Contact us to arrange an assessment of your qualifications. Depending on what qualifications you hold, you may be entitled to an exemption from one or all exam stages.

ADI Register

The name of an applicant who passes the three-stage examination or is approved following assessment of their existing qualifications will be entered into the ADI Register.

Fees

There will be a fee for each phase of the application process, including any re-test following a fail.

QQI Awards in Driving Instruction

Passing our three-part test not only entitles you work as an ADI; it is a valuable educational qualification in its own right.

The RSA has worked with QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) – the national body for further educational awards – and representatives of the industry to document the standard and skills needed to become an ADI. QQI has now, as a result, approved five awards in driving instruction. All of them are Special Purpose Awards rated at national framework qualification (NFQ) Level 6:

  • Special Purpose in Passenger Vehicle Driving Instruction
  • Special Purpose in Car Driving Instruction
  • Special Purpose in Goods Vehicle Driving Instruction
  • Special Purpose in Motorcycle Driving Instruction
  • Special Purpose in Articulated Vehicle Driving Instruction
  • There are also 11 new component awards to accompany them.

Questions?

You can contact us at the following address:

ADI Unit
Road Safety Authority
Primrose Hill
Dublin Road
Ballina
Co Mayo

Tel: 096-25007
Fax: 096-25252
E-mail: adi@rsa.ie

Garda vetting form