DVSA commits to improving MOT tester numbers and its service

 In News

For the first time the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has met with trade bodies including: The Road Haulage Association (RHA), Freight Transport Association (FTA) and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to discuss issues and challenges faced by the industry.

The DVSA’s announcement of their aim to supply more testers at Authorised Testing Facilities (ATFs) comes as a direct result of these roundtable discussions.

However the IRTE welcomes the announcement but is wary of its impact being enough of what the industry requires. Time will tell…

DVSA confident in their proposals

The Director of Operations South for the DVSA , Richard Hennessey, said:

“We acknowledge that ATFs, operators and their representative bodies are very concerned about the availability of testing slots and the ease of securing a test booking.

“We are in the process of recruiting an additional 85 vehicle testers into the high demand areas. This will have the benefit of also relieving testing pressure in other parts of the UK.

“We have established measures to help ensure that there is adequate testing capacity in areas of high demand. These have already been put into operation for the busy summer period.”

Promises made

During the meeting the DVSA committed to:

  • improving the service
  • working with industry to help those unable to secure a test to find slots more easily
  • increasing the number of network business managers
  • issue more meaningful and regular management information
  • improving the booking process from end to end
  • exploring how test availability can be more transparent to operators looking to secure a test slot

And most importantly they agreed to consult with the industry on a review of the current testing model by the end of October 2018, sharing and inviting input into the terms of reference for that review with the trade associations.

Testing slots on time please

UK policy director at the FTA, Elizabeth de Jong, said:

“FTA’s involvement with the DVSA roundtable helped deliver proposals to improve testing arrangements, for which our members have been eager for a long period. Achieving a meaningful measurement of the performance of the whole testing system has been a key priority for the freight sector, along with a full review of operations. FTA will continuing to work for a resolution to the testing issues.”

Tom Cotton from the RHA added:

“The industry has had serious problems getting testing slots from DVSA that has stifled the ability to get vehicles tested quickly.

“The severe and active rationing of available slots has been getting worse for some time, so it is welcome that DVSA are now committing to improving the availability of testing slots and actively helping hauliers and ATF operators secure slots when needed.”

To outsource or not

The chair of the Irtec Steering Group, Mr John Parry stated:

“We welcome DVSA’s announcement that it will supply more testers, but only time will tell whether it will be enough. This situation is endemic of a much wider problem; a lack of engineers in the transport sector.”

“At IRTE, our concern with out-sourcing would be from a safety perspective.

“We are dealing with complex vehicles that, even with a minor fault, can be dangerous. By out-sourcing, you are potentially taking away a level of quality assurance that could be decisive to how that vehicle performs on the road.

“If the MOTs were being conducted with Irtec-licenced technicians in premises that are Workshop Accredited, safety would not be at risk.”

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