Welcome to the training section of the British Driving Society, you will find here all the details available about our Approved Coaches that are available around the UK to offer coaching sessions from the complete beginner or the more established drivers wanting to progress their skills.


BDS Training

Here you will find up to date guidance and information on the BDS Competence Scheme which is available to any keen driving enthusiast.


Competence Scheme

The competence scheme is designed to be taken in order starting with elementary deigned to ensure that skills are knowledge are built on as people progress through the stages.

Click on the links below for the relevant information:-

BDS Training
I already have my Road Driving and would like to do my intermediate competence do I have to start back with Elementary?

The only prerequisite for intermediate is the toad driving however some candidates find the jump to intermediate more challenging therefore we would recommend candidates do undertake the elementary first.

I have already started with a portfolio for the older Ofqual Diploma can this be used with this new system?

Portfolio should be demonstrating your experience so would be transferable to this system.

Can my coach also assess me as I go?

No- assessment is undertaken by an approved assessor.

Can I use my Ofqual Diploma on the new competence scheme?

As with all qualifications that candidates feel demonstrate knowledge of a current competence, you should submit all your evidence for consideration for Accredited Prior Learning.


I have horse care qualifications with another equestrian body will these be accepted?

Yes. Candidates will be advised to submit their evidence along with certificate to the training committee for accredited prior learning.

I have no previous assessments, but can I start with any competence standard?

We would always work your way through the competence as they are written to be taken in order based on development of skills and knowledge.

Can I achieve the Road Driving Assessment without doing the three main competence standards?


Do I have to have lessons before undertaking an assessment?

No however a coach will be able to ensure your up to standard for the assessment.

If I book an assessment and then cannot attend what happens?

All details relating to booking of assessment is laid down in our terms of booking which outlines cancellation periods.

Do I need my own turnout or can I use somebody else's?

You can use which ever turnout that you feel comfortable with at the assessment.

What happens if I am not happy with the assessment result?

The training committee has clear complaints and appeals policy, which are both available from the main BDS Office.


I have a disability what support is available to me?

We aim to ensure that our assessments are available irrespective of age, sex, race or disability.  The society has a reasonable adjustment policy which outlines the possible adjustments that could be made. All adjustments should be applied in writing to the Training Committee before the assessment.

The BDS is extremely proud to have this directory of qualified instructors and coaches to meet your training and equestrian needs.

Whatever your goals are, from your first lesson through to competition training, you can rest assured that you’ll be in safe hands. All our Approved Coaches have professional qualifications, attend regular Safeguarding & Protecting Children courses and are First Aid trained, as well as being fully insured.

BDS Training
BDS Training
BDS Training

Header Image by Paul Orchard Photography

British Driving Society

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10:00am – 4:00pm


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Hoste House, Whiting St, Bury Saint Edmunds IP33 1NR

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