This article contains information on how to become a driving instructor in South Africa.
Being able to drive is not enough for just anybody to assume the title of a driving instructor. Driving instructors specialize in teaching individuals both the theory and practical application of driving skills.
Requirements for becoming a driving instructor
To become a driving instructor, there are various requirements to be met, ranging from personal to education. On a personal level, a driving instructor must;
- enjoy working with people
- have good interpersonal skills
- Patient and tactful
- Good eyesight (may be corrected)
- Able to act quickly and correctly in various traffic situations
Education & Training for a Driving Instructor
To become a driving instructor you usually have to complete a VET qualification.
Depending on your location, you will need to meet requirements such as minimum age, driver’s license specifications and pre-employment checks. However, to become a legally recognized driving instructor in South Africa, you must be registered with the provincial department of transport first.
This is because driving instructors are required to have a certificate indicating the grade or the class of vehicle in which they are qualified to teach learners. Thus, to register, you will be required to do the following:
Some DLTC’s will require you to apply for a PrDP license at the same time.
- Go to the nearest DLTC (Driver’s License Testing Centre) for your medical test, along with a medical certificate form (MC), completed by your doctor. The test may be carried out immediately or you may be required to book a test date.
Whatever the case may be, the test is compulsory.
- Complete an Application for registration as a driving instructor form (RI).
- You will be referred to a police station to obtain a fingerprint clearance certificate. This may take a long time to secure.
- On the date given for the test, you will write the test. If you pass, you must pay the prescribed fee.
- The testing center will refer your application to the Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) of the province for approval or rejection. If approved, the testing center will issue the permit. The permit may take as long as six to eight weeks to be ready.
To be on a safer side, ensure you keep copies of all documentation with stamps. However, after submitting the above-mentioned documents, it is advisable to check your vehicle and ensure that it is safe, roadworthy, legally licensed, and have it fitted with dual pedals. The condition of your vehicle can also determine whether or not you will qualify.
If you are able to scale through this particular process, you are as good as a a driving instructor.
Therefore, in addition to this, peradventure you wish to register for a driving class, below are things to consider;
- Does the instructor you are considering have an instructor’s certificate?
- Does the driving school vehicle have a dual control brake? While this is not compulsory, some good instructors do go to the expense of fitting dual controls for your safety.
- Is the instructor willing to put the terms and conditions of the driving school in writing for you?
- Is he/ she prepared to offer you a receipt for any money you pay? If not, don’t even consider paying them to avoid being defrauded.
- Is the vehicle clean and roadworthy and in a generally good condition?
- Is he or she polite and clean and respectful?
It is very easy to see an instructor with all of the above, especially when a member of an association called SAIDI, which stands for the Southern African Institute of Driving Instructors. This is so because the association has a Code of Conduct which protects not only you as an instructor but also the trainee.
Many instructors fear being under the supervision and control of a regulating body and as such have refused to associate with SAIDI.
Regardless, to be a member of SAIDI, here are the criteria for membership:
- Fully-completed SAIDI application for Membership form.
- A certified copy of your valid instructor’s certificate, as required per legislation.
- A recent photograph
- A certified copy of your identity book.
- The receipt for the payment indicated on the “SAIDI Application for Membership” form.
- An updated photograph of your vehicle / with the SAIDI sticker displayed.
- A certified copy of your motor insurance plan.
- A certified copy of your driving license.
As an aspiring instructor, it is important to follow the legal process to become a driving instructor. There are numerous reasons why it is advisable to do this. That being said, it doesn’t require much to become a driving instructor. Therefore, if you’re interested in becoming one, simply follow the process as listed in this article.