Essential Driver Training EDT Syllabus

The 12 lessons in the Essential Driver Training (EDT) programme are designed to:

  • help you prepare for the practical driving test;
  • cover some of the most important skills and behaviours (driving habits) that a learner driver must have;
  • guide your progress; and
  • highlight the contribution the Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) and Sponsor (person who accompanies you while you’re practising) make to this process.


The RSA have also developed a separate Learner Driver Training (LDT) syllabus. It sets out the ‘best practice’ that you and your ADI should follow so that you can develop the full range of knowledge, skills and behaviours that a safe and responsible driver needs. While you are learning to drive you should cover all of these skills over time. In addition, the EDT programme focuses on the particularly crucial driving skills.



Essential Driver Training syllabus

The EDT programme does not cover all of the LDT syllabus. Instead, it focuses on the driving behaviours that research shows contribute most to collision and injuries. The EDT works with the driver to improve their knowledge, understanding and behaviour. It is designed to avoid high risk of harm to learner drivers and other road users by checking and, if necessary, correcting the driver’s:

  • habits;
  • attitudes; and
  • skills.

Each lesson should be covered in one hour. Your ADI should choose a route for your lesson that gives you the most opportunity to have relevant practice and demonstration.
At the end of each lesson you should have achieved certain ‘outcomes’. These are statements that will either be:

  • accurate descriptions of your competence at the end of a lesson; or
  • can be used by your ADI as reference points for advice to you or your Sponsor about the areas of your driving where you need more practice and what you should focus on.

Essential Driver Training syllabus

Do Lessons 1 – 8 in order

You must take EDT Lessons 1 – 8 in that order. By then, you will have built up skills and experience so Lessons 9 – 12 can be taken in any order.

Leave two weeks between lessons

You should leave at least two weeks between lessons to allow for practice and learning. This may involve further lessons with an ADI, but must also include practice sessions with a Sponsor or a mixture of both.

Reference materials

The Road Safety Authority publishes reference materials such as the Rules of the Road and the Car Learner Manual, which you may find useful.


Spread lessons over six months

If you combine practice, study and instruction you will have the best chance of meeting the expected outcomes of the EDT programme. This is why we recommend that you should take at least six months to complete the 12 EDT lessons.




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