ADI dictionary. Learn what all the driving instructor jargon means.

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Driving instructor jargon dictionary

ADI dictionary


As with any industry, this one is full of jargon, acronyms and phrases.


ADI – Approved Driving Instructor. Someone who has passed all 3 qualifying exams

Canx – Cancellation, when someones cancels a lesson

Check test – A check test is when an examiner sits in the back of your car to grade you. This ended in 2014 and was replaced by the standards check

DSA – Driving Standards Agency (the old name for the DVSA). Jokingly known among instructors as the Double Standards Agency

DVSA – Driver and vehicle standards agency. The agency responsible for conducting driving tests. Jokingly known among instructors as the Devious Agency.

Grade – Every instructor is graded A or B or A being the best. it used to be 1 to 6 with 6 being best but for some reason nobody understands they cut it down to only two grades.

DTAM – Driver Trainer Assessment Manager. This is an examiner who conducts exams for part 2, part 3 and standards tests

DTQAM – Driver Trainer Quality Assessment Manager. This is an examiner who ranks one above the DTAM. They sit in on check tests and parts 2 and 3 watching to see that DTAM’s are doing their job properly. This is who you’ll do a check test with if it goes to the third and final attempt.

Essential Skills – The DVSA book about driving that all instructors, learners and drivers should know inside out.

Franchise – What you pay a school for using their name.

LADA – Look Assess Decide Act

Meatloaf – A PDI who failed part 3. This comes from the Meatloaf song 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

Part 1 – The advanced theory test

Part 2 – An advanced driving test

Part 3 – A test of ability to instruct

ORDIT – Official Register Of Driving Instructor Trainers

PDI – Potential Driving Instructor. Someone who has not yet passed all their exams

NTU – Not turned up. When a pupil doesn’t appear for a lesson

MSM – Mirror, Signal, manoeuvre

MSM/PSL – The same as MSPSL. The driving book Essential skills says “MSM/PSL” and it confuses everyone. It just means swap the last M for PSL.

MSPSL – Mirror, Signal, Position, Speed, Look

PDI – Potential Driving Instructor. Someone who is still training to a driving instructor

SEADI – Supervising Examiner for Approved Driving Instructors. This term is no longer used, it was replaced by DTAM in 2010.

Standards check – Every 2 to 4 years an examiner from the DVSA sits in the back of your car to check the standard of your tuition. Find out more on my standards check page

WTF – Something you’ll be saying a lot when you first become a driving instructor and see the crazy things that learners do


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