As with any industry, this one is full of jargon, acronyms and phrases. Here are some of the most common ones.


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 with 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 part 2’s and parts 3’s watching to see that DTAM’s are doing their job properly. This is who you’ll do a standards check 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. 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 DVSA 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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