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ADI Suspensions and Compensation

There are several reasons why you can be suspended as a driving instructor (e.g. giving dangerous instruction to pupils, committing a violent offence).

This guide explains how approved driving instructor suspension works and your rights for claiming compensation if your name was not taken off the register.

What are Your Rights after ADI Suspension?

Posing a significant threat to public safety can result in the ADI registrar suspending your approved driving instructor (ADI) registration.

ADI suspensions usually occur when the ADI registrar is considering:

  • Taking an instructor’s name off the ADI register.
  • Removing their trainee driving instructor licence.
  • Refusing to extend a registration or a trainee licence.

Note: You must not charge students for giving driving lessons if you get suspended. Some of the rules on your rights for driving instructor suspensions differ in Northern Ireland.

When Can ADIs be Suspended?

In most cases, the ADI registrar will impose a suspension if they believe you pose a significant threat to public safety. Typical examples include:

  • Being convicted of a sexual or violent offence.
  • Giving dangerous driving instruction considered as being a major risk to the safety of pupils and other road users.
ADI Registration Suspension Notification

The ADI registrar would send you a letter if they suspend your registration. It usually coincides with a notification that they intend to take your name off the register.

Note: Another section explains how to manage your approved driving instructor (ADI) registration (e.g. for a lost or stolen ADI badge).

How to Challenge a Suspension

You can use form N461 to apply for a judicial review of a decision (and give details to a court). In simple terms, it is a method used to challenge the procedures applied by the ADI registrar when they suspended you.

The primary purpose of the review is to look at whether the registrar followed the correct procedures – not the actual decision itself!

Note: Even after a driving instructor suspension your rights allow you to appeal a driving instructor registration decision to remove you from the register.

Claiming Compensation

Compensation might be available if your approved driving instructor (ADI) registration got suspended – but you stayed on the ADI register – such as when:

  • You win your appeal against the registrar’s decision to remove you from the register.
  • The registrar considered striking you off, but then ends the suspension and allows you to stay on it.
  • The registrar failed to make a decision about taking you off the register within a period of 75 days.

Note: As a rule, you can claim compensation for income and non-income losses, as well as any related costs for preparing a compensation application.

Claiming Income losses

Earnings that you would have received from giving driving lessons to pupils during the time of your suspension are ‘income losses’.

Signing a Declaration

As a rule, only the suspended ADI can sign the declaration that accompanies the application form. Even so, some exceptions do exist, such as in cases where the ADI is no longer living and someone else is representing them.

Claiming Non-income losses

Other losses that you can give a monetary value to, which incurred (within reason) while you got suspended, are ‘non-income losses’.

Typical examples of non-income losses include:

  • Any reasonable costs incurred by having to prepare a compensation application.
  • Interest on a loan required as a result of the ADI registration suspension.
  • The value of any damage caused to the driving school business (if applicable) as a result of the suspension.
How to Claim Compensation

There is a special application form to apply for compensation if your ADI registration was suspended. Fill in the form and send it with any relevant evidence to support your claim to the DVSA address.

Approved Driving Instructor Registrar
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
The Axis Building
112 Upper Parliament Street

Other than for special circumstances, you will need to send the claim for within two (2) years of the date that (whichever is later):

  • The suspension ended.
  • You received notification that you won the appeal against the approved driving instructor (ADI) registrar.
Supplying Evidence to Support a Claim

Send any documentation that helps to prove the basis of the claim (e.g. how you based a claim for income losses on a specified hourly rate).

Certain documents will help the DVSA determine that you are sending a valid claim, such as bank statements, a loan agreement, and payslips.

How to Work Out Losses

This section will help you work out income and non-income losses before sending in a claim for compensation.

Working Out Income Losses

The first step is working out how much you would have expected to earn during the time that you received your suspension. It must be a ‘reasonable’ amount.

Thus, base your income for a period that you can compare with ‘directly’ (e.g. the same period for the previous year).

Important: Base it on a period that best compares to the time of suspension if you are unable to make a direct comparison with the previous year. You may also need to explain why it differs to a previous period.

Working Out Non-income Losses

The documents you send to support your claim should clarify how you incurred the non-income losses, and:

  • Why you consider them as being ‘reasonable’ costs.
  • Your calculations for working them out.
Costs of Preparing a Compensation Application

After ADI registration suspension your rights allow you to get expert help to work out your non-income losses. So, you will be able to claim for the cost of preparing a compensation application.

Note: You need to show evidence that the cost was a reasonable amount (e.g. the fee you paid was not higher than the usual amount).

DVSA Compensation Claim Decision

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will send you a letter within 28 days. It will either:

  • Confirm you are getting paid the amount you claimed for usually within 45 days (it may also be for a different amount).
  • Request more information from you to help prove your claim.
  • Ask for your permission to take the case to a third party to help prove your claim.
  • Notify you that the claim has been rejected.

Important: You must provide any new information relevant to the claim within one (1) of getting it and for a period of up to six (6) years after getting compensation.

You might get an interim payment if:
  • You can show you qualify for special situations (e.g. significant financial hardship).
  • You make a request for part of the claim (providing it can be checked easily and quickly).

If DVSA ask for more Information

Apart from special circumstances, you would have 28 days to send any extra information that the DVSA needs from you. They will also ask you to sign a statement stating that the information you provide is true and to the best of your knowledge.

If you are unable to provide the extra information, you will need to confirm it in writing with the DVSA and state the reason why.

Note: Not being able to provide any relevant information can delay a claim or result in a rejection for that part of the claim.

After asking for further information, you would get a letter from the DVSA within 28 days of receiving the details or the deadline running out.

The response from the DVSA will be to inform you that (either):

  • You are getting paid the amount you claimed for (it may also be for a different amount).
  • They need more information from you to help prove your claim.
  • The claim has been rejected.

Appealing Against a DVSA Decision

You can make an appeal to the transport tribunal within 28 days if you were suspended as an ADI and the DVSA refuses to grant you compensation.

Some of the common decisions the tribunal can make include:

  • Allowing the appeal
  • Refusing to allow the appeal
  • Referring the case back to the DVSA for further reconsideration
  • Giving a decision themselves on how much to award

When a Compensation Award Can Change

The DVSA can change the amount of compensation you received for a period up to six (6) years after you made the original application. Typical grounds for changing it include:

  • Finding new information
  • Suspecting the original information was wrong
  • Deciding the original amount was awarded by mistake

You would have 28 days to inform the DVSA if you think the compensation you received was correct (it can be extended for special situations).

What if the Amount Changes?

If the changed amount is less than the original award, you would need to repay the difference. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) would explain how to repay it.

Similarly, the DVSA would pay you the difference if the new award is greater than the original amount that you received. You would get the extra payment within 45 days.

Disagreeing with the New Award

You should make an appeal to the transport tribunal within 28 days if you disagree with the DVSA decision for the new amount. In most cases, the tribunal would (either):

  • Allow an appeal
  • Refuse an appeal
  • Give a decision themselves on how much to award
  • Refer the case back to the DVSA for further reconsideration

Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Suspension: Your Rights in United Kingdom