DIA logo head


A grade (85% or over) - an overall high standard of instruction
B grade (60% or over) - a sufficient level of competence
Fail (less than 60%) – an unsatisfactory performance

If an instructor receives a fail grade they will be given another standards check within 12 weeks to allow them to show that their level of tuition has improved and that they meet the standards. Until such a time as you undergo the new Standards Check, your current grading is still valid and will remain in place. Instructors who fail three times in a row can be removed from the register.

The new structure replaces the current structure that is made up of six grades ranging from grade 1 to grade 6, which is not well understood by the general public. The move is part of a series of changes aimed at modernising the driver training industry.

Information about the grading structure, and the Standards Check itself, has also been communicated to the wider public via a media release to the national press (check the News section on the driving.org website shortly for the full release), explaining that the simpler and clearer grading structure has been created to help Learner drivers and parents to make a more informed decision when choosing a driving instructor.

Both the new Standards Check and the grading structure have been designed to give ADIs and the public alike a clearer picture of the standards of tuition and delivery expected from driver trainers.

DVSA have stated they expect all ADIs to strive to become Grade A instructors, believing that this will be fundamental in raising both the standards of driver training, and driving itself.

Chief Executive, Alastair Peoples, said:

"The new standards check will enable qualified driving instructors to better demonstrate their competence to deliver effective training. A high level of tuition can make a real difference in helping new drivers to become safe and responsible and the grading structure will make it easier for learners and parents to identify the best instructors".

"Most driving instructors are grade 4 on the current structure, which means that they have demonstrated sufficient competence to remain on the register. I want all instructors to strive to achieve the new A grade. I also want to work with the industry to identify ways that we can help top grade instructors to promote the higher level of competence that they have worked hard to achieve".

DIA has consulted closely with DVSA in the development of a grading structure which is easy for both the public and instructors to understand, and one which has the ability to reflect higher standards of instructional competence. In a survey of both members and non member ADIs, carried out by DIA last December, over 70% of ADIs stated they wanted to see some form of differentiated grading retained - rather than a pure pass or fail structure.

ADIs should read the new Standards Check guidelines carefully and work to understand the requirements for this new professional assessment, in preparation for their next Standards Check. We continue to advise members of the importance of studying the National Standard for Driver and Rider Training, which the Standards Check is designed to assess your performance and delivery against. Additionally studying the ST1 Form is invaluable in helping you understand the specific assessment criteria of the new Check.

Follow the link here for the DVSA's own quick guide to the Standards Check.

Additional help and advice on both Standards Check preparation, and delivering on the standards in your every day work, is available from DIA in many forms - events (such as our free regional roadshows), magazine articles, one-on-one advice from our expert ADI Helpdesk team, recommendations of quality and qualified training courses etc, please use these valuable CPD resources. Specific DIA Standards Check professional development days are already happening at venues across the UK over the next few months (with Gloucester kicking us off this coming Monday) - visit driving.org/events for further details. DVSA personnel will be attending these events presenting more in depth information on this subject, and to answer key questions from delegates.

Should you have any immediate queries or concerns on this announcement please do not hesitate to contact us.


Carly Brookfield
Head of Membership Services