The Department of the Environment issued a consultation document on 31 May 2013, seeking views on a number of proposals for change to the Approved Driving Instructor/Approved Motorcycle Instructor schemes operating in Northern Ireland.

The responses received indicated broad support from the industry to the consultation proposals. I can advise that the legislative amendments required to implement the agreed changes will come into effect on 28 February 2015.

Therefore, from 28 February 2015, the following changes will apply:

Trainee Licence Scheme:

It will be a mandatory requirement for all Trainee Licence holders to display their licence either on their person, or clearly displayed at all times in the vehicle in which they are providing paid instruction. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in immediate revocation of the licence;

Expired trainee licences must be returned to the Registrar within 14 days of the date of expiry. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in immediate revocation of the second trainee licence.

Mandatory registration of B+E (car + trailer) instructors:

Under the new legislation, instructors who wish to give paid instruction in Category B+E (car + trailer) will be required to be a registered ADI;

Existing B+E trainers who are not currently ADIs and who wish to continue instructing in category B+E, will be given a 1 year transitional period from 28 February 2015 in which to successfully complete the ADI three-part qualifying examination;

If you are already an ADI, have full B+E entitlement on your driving licence and would like to be registered to teach B+E, please e-mail advising that you want your registration to include B+E and confirming that you have full B+E entitlement. You will need to have held a full B+E licence for at least four of the last six years.

Use of automatic cars for ADI tests for drivers with a medically restricted licence:

Legislation has been amended to allow a driver with a medically restricted licence to take the ADI Part 2 driving test and ADI Part 3 test of instructional ability in vehicles with automatic transmission; Where the qualifying tests are taken in a car with automatic transmission, those who successfully pass may apply for registration to instruct in an automatic car only;

Instructors who have passed the qualifying tests in an automatic car must also take their check test in an automatic car; Where the ADI Part 2 driving test has been passed in an automatic car, the PDI may apply for a trainee licence which will permit them to provide paid instruction in an automatic car for up to six months;

This option will only be available to drivers who hold a medically restricted licence, preventing them from driving manual vehicles. Requirement for instructors to adhere to guidance issued by the Registrar:

The Road Traffic Order (Northern Ireland) 2007 sets out conditions of registration and includes a requirement that driving and motorcycle instructors must follow guidance issued by the Registrar; The following documents have now been formally prescribed in legislation as guidance issued by the Registrar;

Instructions included in the quarterly Update magazine and other written instructions issued by the Registrar.