The goal of a good driving instructor is to help develop safe, knowledgeable and confident drivers. There is a comprehensive formula of programs and certifications you’ll need to achieve in order to ascend to this position.
In this post, we’ll outline the steps you need to take to become an ICBC approved driving Instructor in British Columbia.
Driving Instructor Eligibility
Driving instructors must fully comprehend and master all the applicable skills of driving they are responsible for passing on to their students. It’s this responsibility that prescribes the training, screening process, and various programs needed to become a suitable candidate.
British Columbia’s insurance commission, ICBC, requires that all driving instructor applicants meet a set of standardized eligibility requirements.
To be a class 5/7 (car) Instructor, applicants must first possess a valid class 5 licence for a minimum of 3 years. To be a class 1 (truck) Instructor, applicants must possess a valid class 1 licence for at least 3 years. To be a class 6/8 (motorcycle) Instructor you must have a valid class 6 licence for 3 years. For all classes of licences, applicants must have a clean and safe driving record, be willing to submit to a medical exam and criminal record check, and not have any outstanding debts (tickets, bridge tolls, etc.) to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, or the province.
The first stage of becoming an ICBC certified driving instructor begins with your Instructor application. To apply, applicants must:
- Be at least 19 years of age
- Possess a valid driver’s licence
- Show three years driving experience for the specific class of vehicle
- Have received fewer than 10 points on your driving record within the past two years
- Be free from any affiliation with ICBC that could be considered a conflict of interest
- Pay any debts owing to ICBC or the province of BC
To begin the application process to determine if you are a suitable candidate, contact ICBC at 1-800-950-1498, or online. After successfully completing the short pre-screening interview, ICBC will send you an application package.
Once you receive the ICBC application, take the medical evaluation form to a physician who must be a resident of, and is licensed to practice in, the Province of British Columbia. This form will be reviewed by ICBC's own Medical Advisor.
Second is a criminal reference check. Your criminal record form will be completed by the RCMP or your municipal police department and will then be returned to ICBC for review and approval. Costs associated with this stage of the driving instructor application include a $50-$100 for the criminal reference check, and an approximate $60-$200 for a proper medical evaluation.
If for any reason ICBC does not approve you for instructor training applicants may be eligible to re-apply. Be sure to contact ICBC to discuss your application, and how to correct issues. They will recommend a plan of action specific to your needs.
Upon successful receipt of your criminal background check and approval of your medical evaluation, ICBC will then contact you with written permission to enroll in a certified driving instructor training course at an ICBC authorized facility.
ICBC requires successful completion of an entrance quiz and on-road driving evaluation to begin your instructor training course. This ensures all potential instructors are safe, confident, and knowledgeable drivers.
Valley Driving School is the only ICBC approved driving school in BC to offer instructor training programs for all classes of licence; car, truck, and motorcycle. Valley Driving School also provides instructor trainees with the opportunity to undergo practice tests prior to the ICBC entrance quiz and on-road evaluation.
Driving Schools must offer the following training in order to be an ICBC approved facility for Instructor Training.
Class 5/7 (car):
- One-on-one training: 85-hour Instructor Training Course
- Group training: 100 to 105-hour Instructor Training Course
Valley Driving School provides a Class 5/7 Instructor Training Course encompassing 105+ hours of theory and practical training.
Class 1 (truck):
- 40-hour Instructor Training Course— after applicants successfully complete or are enrolled in a Class 5/7 Instructor Training Course
Valley Driving School provides a Class 1 Instructor Training Course with 40 hours of practical training.
Class 6 (motorcycle):
- 80-hour Instructor Training Course
Valley Driving School provides a Class 6/8 Instructor Training Course with 80+ hours of theory and practical training.
Those who have held an Instructor licence in another province or are re-instating an ICBC Instructor licence after a 2+ year lapse, may apply to challenge the Instructor Training Course through the ICBC Instructor Challenge Program. ICBC will provide specific details and processes for the Challenge Program based on each individuals past experience.
Driving instructors are the backbone of the knowledge that transcends our roadways, and a critical part of the transportation framework in BC. Successfully completing an ICBC approved Instructor Training Program gives Instructors the skills and knowledge necessary to assist students in reaching their driving and riding goals safely and confidently.