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RSA Approved Driving Instructor

Driving instruction regulations

New laws have been drawn up under the Road Traffic Act 1961 which, for the first time, regulate driving instructors in Ireland.

On 1 May 2009, it became an offence for a professional instructor to teach someone to drive unless the instructor is on the RSA’s Register of Approved Driving Instructors.

Instructors who are not registered with the RSA as ADIs face a fine of up to €2,000 or six months’ imprisonment, or both if convicted in a court of providing lessons for reward.

Until you receive your ADI full permit, you may not advertise yourself as a Driving Instructor.

These regulations guarantee and standardise the quality and skills of instructors across the country. It is a crucial part of our efforts to make the roads safer. The quality of driving instruction in Ireland directly affects road safety so it’s vital that every instructor meets a minimum standard.

The regulatory system has three elements:

  • A three-part ADI exam consisting of driver theory, driving practice and an ‘ability-to-instruct’ test
  • Tax clearance (tax clearance certificate must be produced as proof of tax compliance)
  • Garda vetting (to safeguard younger learner-drivers)

The regulation process applies to individual instructors and not to driving schools.


What is EDT?

Essential Driver Training (EDT) is a mandatory training course that teaches fundamental driving skills to learner car drivers. It is part of the RSA’s Learner Driver Training (LDT) programme, which is in turn, part of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) scheme and is intended to improve road safety by strengthening the knowledge, competence and confidence of learner drivers and novice drivers.

ADI participation in EDT

Check with your insurer to clarify whether you are fully covered to deliver EDT lessons including, if necessary, any employers liability and public liability insurance as required.

You should familiarise yourself with the key documents supporting EDT:

  • LDT syllabus(PDF 426kB)—complete LDT syllabus covering all the competencies a safe driver needs.
  • EDT syllabus(PDF 748kB) —lesson content and expected outcomes for the 12 EDT lessons.
  • Learner driver EDT Information Booklet(PDF 288kB)—information on the practical aspects of EDT for learner drivers; the EDT syllabus is included in the booklet.
  • ADI EDT Guidelines(PDF 272kB)—information on the implementation of EDT for ADIs; the EDT syllabus is included in the Guidelines.
  • Sample Learner Logbook(PDF 2MB)—sample of the EDT logbook, in which the learner’s progress is recorded; allows for input by the ADI, the sponsor and the learner.

The ADI role

The EDT programme does not cover the full set of skills needed by a competent driver. To become a competent driver, a learner will need to prepare carefully for each EDT lesson, take extra driving instruction and undertake lots of practice. The function of the ADI is to provide timely advice and guidance to the learner to ensure positive outcomes. Further advice and guidance are available to ADIs through their local ADI examiner.

Transfer of Data to the RSA

Details of the EDT lessons completed by each learner must be sent electronically to the RSA. Once you access the EDT portal you will be able to:

  • upload lesson records
  • view completed lessons or
  • manage logbooks

To upload lesson records you may either upload your spreadsheets or upload lessons. The upload lessons feature is a new and simpler way to upload and edit lesson records. Once uploaded you will be able to view and edit entries before submitting them.

From Spring 2012, learners undergoing EDT will be able to log in and view their own lesson records and if required print off a record of EDT lessons recorded to date.

Here at ACE Driving School we only have ADIs who are RSA approved. The main driving instructor is Colm Kennealy, but we have others in the group, including female instructors.

Please feel free to ask your ACE Driving School instructor for their RSA ID card – and try not to laugh at the picture (please)!


ACE by name ACE by nature!


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