DVSA update 23 October: Welsh Firebreak Vehicle Testing in Wales

Further to the announcement from the Welsh Government about the firebreak, a series of restrictive measures will be in place from 6pm Friday 23rd October until the start of Monday 9th November 2020.

What this means for vocational testing

  • Vocational theory and practical test services will be affected during the lockdown period.
  • All vocational tests will be suspended from 6pm on Friday 23rd October and restart again on Monday 9th November 2020.

What this means for vehicle operators

  • The firebreak does not affect the DVSA’s heavy vehicle testing service and AFTs can remain open.
  • DVSA will continue to provide staff to AFTs in Wales and across Great Britain.
  • You should carry on presenting vehicles and trailers which are coming up to expiry.
  • You should continue to manage the regular maintenance and inspection schedule for your vehicles and trailers. This is a legal requirements under your operator’s license.

The latest guidance from the Welsh Government on the firebreak is available here.

September 2020 Update: DVSA Vocational Training Virtual Meeting

Last week (28th September 2020), National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI) held a virtual meeting with Driver Vehicle and Standards Agency (DVSA) to discuss current issues in vocational driver testing. The session started with an update from Mark Winn, DVSA’s Chief Driving Examiner on their Covid-19 response and the restart of LGV testing.

This led to a lively sharing of experiences and ideas based on questions from NRI registered instructors and examination centres, focussing on the measures in place as a result of Covid-19. Those attending asked that NRI and DVSA arrange another session as the restart programme continues. Key messages from the meeting were:

Capacity

  • DVSA are working to get back to a national, 3-week appointment availability – the pre-pandemic level of service – as soon as possible.
  • Capacity was boosted from 28th September when extra/overtime test slots became available and will increase again from 19th October 2020 when LGV examiners will resume carrying out 4 tests per day.

Local lockdowns

  • So far, DVSA have been able to continue operating during the new local lockdown rules, across England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Unlike March 2020, DVSA now have Covid-related standard operating procedures, Covid-secure sites, office social distancing, stockpiles of face coverings and sanitiser.

What should instructors and candidates do on test day?

  • Make sure that candidates follow the government’s guidelines on staying safe.
  • Face coverings are mandatory on a driving test unless an exemption is declared at the time of booking. Candidates should practice in one that fits suitably in advance of their test. If misting up of glasses becomes a road safety concern the candidate will be directed back to the test centre where the test will be terminated.
  • Instructors with valid medical exemptions are allowed to remove masks at Test Centres.
  • There is restricted access and movement around driving test centres. This means that waiting rooms are closed, but given the winter months are coming, DVSA are looking at possible options to resolve this.

Test Bookings

  • DVSA recognise the problems the current, significant wait time for theory tests are creating and are looking at measures to increase theory test availability.
  • The booking system is a national service, which means that training companies are entitled to book tests in all areas, provided ‘local lockdown’ restrictions prohibiting movement are not in place.
  • The number of tests on the booking system opening day is designed to share the overall number out fairly based on the booking history.

Alternatively-Fuelled Vehicles (AFV) – training only you can deliver

The National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI) is responsible for issuing Alternatively-Fuelled Vehicle (AFV) training certificates on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT) and since the end of August 2019, we’ve issued 965 certificates. This training is delivered by NRI registered LGV Instructors.

To support this, NRI has created training materials for Alternatively-Fuelled Vehicle (AFV) Training. NRI registered LGV instructors are amongst an exclusive few permitted to offer AFV training, providing certain rules are followed. NRI’s AFV Training Pack is compliant with the published syllabus and include an Instructor PowerPoint. From just £35 + VAT, the Training Pack is split into three course sessions:

  1. Operation and driving behavior of the AFV’s you will be driving (Electric or LNG or Hydrogen)
  2. Important legal, safety and vehicle operating issues which apply all van drivers
  3. Practical session

To purchase your copy, please get in touch.

An AFV is classed as a motor which is powered by either electricity, natural gas, biogas, hydrogen or hydrogen and electricity.

UK law now permits Category B driving licence holders to drive an alternatively-fuelled vehicle weighing up to 4.25 tonnes. The recent change in legislation will enable organisations to introduce AFV into their fleets, as well as supporting the government and the light commercial vehicles sector in increasing its access to cleaner alternatives. Under the new legislation, the AFVs should not be driven outside of Great Britain or tow a trailer, and must be used for the transportation of goods.

Drivers must have completed a minimum of 5 hours training which follows the syllabus published by the Department of Transport in order to be permitted to operate the vehicle.

Anyone found driving an AFV vehicle up to 4.25 tonnes on a Category B licence without having completed 5 hours of training will be guilty of an offence under the Road Traffic Act (1998).

Upon completion of successful AFV training, NRI must be contacted to issue a certificate of training (provided to us by Dft) to the driver. This certificate can then be used as evidence to prove to third parties that the required training has been completed. The legislation stipulates that training can only be delivered by members of the DVSA endorsed NRI, or by members of the NVDIR.

Learn more about Training for Drivers of Alternatively-Fuelled Vehicles.

Get started with LGV Instructor and Assessor qualifications today

With ongoing restrictions around social contact and essential travel, many LGV training providers are either temporarily closed or offering a reduced service.  Similarly, many in-house training teams are conducting reduced levels of training and assessment, often focusing only on what is completely mission critical.

Because of this, you might think that it is not a good time to undertake training or develop your career as an LGV Instructor or LGV Assessor. At the National Register of LGV Instructors, we disagree!

Whether you are working at home or on site, now is an ideal time to start your journey towards your NRI LGV Instructor or NRI LGV Assessor qualifications.

What are the NRI qualifications?

The National Register of LGV Instructors aims to improve LGV driving standards by  ensuring that Instructors and Assessors across the industry possess the same high level of skill and knowledge.

To do this, LGV Instructors and LGV Assessors can take an NRI examination to confirm their proficiency. On passing the exam, individuals receive an independent, professional qualification recognised throughout the industry, and can join the Register, proving to employers and peers that they meet the required standards and giving them the recognition they deserve.

Take NRI qualifications online now

You might be busier than ever, or you may have more time than usual to dedicate to your own training and professional development.  Either way, if you are keen to prove that you’re among the best LGV Instructors or Assessors in the country, you can get started now – even during lockdown.

The LGV knowledge test for both qualifications can be taken online now, 24 hours a day. You can then book a priority slot for the next parts of the assessment – in-cab assessments of your own driving ability and a test of your own in-cab and classroom instructional and assessment skills. This means that when the restrictions around Covid-19 are reduced or lifted, it will take you less time to complete the examination and get fully qualified as an NRI LGV Instructor or NRI LGV Assessor.

COMING SOON – NRI Driver CPC Instructor Qualification

To help ensure that high standards of training extend right across our industry, in May 2020 we launch a new qualification to recognise Driver CPC Instructors.

We don’t believe that lockdown should get in the way of your professional development and training, so the exam for the new qualification has been designed so that it can be taken completely remotely.

The examination for the NRI Driver CPC Instructor qualification, which is open to both LGV and PCV specialists, will include a test of driving and training knowledge alongside an assessment of your skills in Driver CPC course delivery. It will take place in a ‘virtual classroom’, entirely remotely, but upholding our usual high standards and ensuring relevant criteria are met.

Contact us now to confirm your interest in this new Driver CPC qualification and we will make sure you are among the first to receive all the examination and booking details when it launches.

Join the National Register of LGV Instructors

For more information on our qualifications and how to join the NRI, check our information for LGV Instructors and LGV Assessors. Or, please contact our team who will be happy to help.

Remote delivery of the AFV training course

As part of a series of measures to help NRI Instructors during the COVID 19 restrictions, NRI has gained approval from DVSA for the remote delivery of the NRI AFV training course.  NRI Instructors can continue to offer AFV training without the risks associated with face to face delivery.

With the importance of having all available capacity in the delivery sector and many new delivery drivers being recruited, this enables newly recruited team members to drive AFVs under the 3.5-tonne derogation.

The course is fully compliant with the DVSA/OLEV syllabus and is a PowerPoint presentation. It can be delivered using any interactive platform to groups of drivers in a meeting room or training room with appropriate ICT facilities.  This brings no additional costs for an NRI instructor who has already purchased the PowerPoint set from NRI.

During the current restrictions, the NRI team are working from home, therefore, should you wish to purchase the PowerPoint presentation, please contact a member of the team on 07933 825933.

Important Information: NRI Coronavirus Update

In light of the evolving coronavirus situation and following the most recent Government guidelines, the National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI) has decided to suspend all Instructor and Assessor examinations until Government advice dictates otherwise. We fully understand and appreciate that this will affect both individuals and examination centres, however, the priority is to protect the candidates, examination centre staff and examiners. There will be a regular review of the situation, and should guidance from the Government change, removing the need for social distancing, then we will of course, resume examinations.

In the meantime, we could find ourselves in a situation where many instructors on the register reach their renewal date. As we are unable to ascertain how long social distancing will be in place, the NRI has taken the following steps with immediate effect:

Registered Instructors:

  • During this period of social distancing you will be allowed to remain on the NRI even in the event of registration expiry
  • Once it has been deemed safe to socially interact, the NRI will contact you. We will then allow three months from the date of notification for you to apply and successfully complete your NRI examination

Examination Centres:

  • If your Examination Centre is due for renewal during the social distancing period, you will be contacted by the NRI and your annual audit will be completed remotely. Details on how we conduct the audit in this way will be communicated to you beforehand.

New LGV Assessor Qualification from NRI

The National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI) has launched the first nationally recognised LGV Assessor qualification, acknowledging skill and providing new professional development opportunities.

The new qualification, which has been rolled out since May 2019, enables successful candidates to join the NRI’s LGV Assessor Register for 5 years. On qualifying, they are issued with an LGV Assessor ID card and added to the online register at the NRI website.

So far, more than 20 people have joined the NRI LGV Assessor register, and the NRI is seeing a continually high level of enquiries regarding the new Assessor examination. Carlisle-based SP Training trained one of the first assessors to be examined and qualify for their NRI Assessor card – Dave Stones of Yodel.

“It’s important that there is consistency across assessment and marking and providing standardisation that is transferrable across the industry will improve efficiency,” says Tony Higgins, Managing Director for SP Training. “One of SP Training’s key objectives is to help companies meet consistent safety standards so we welcome the Assessor qualification and the benefits it will bring to both individual operators and the industry as a whole.”

An LGV Assessor is typically responsible for conducting LGV driver assessments and monitoring driver performance. Assessments can be conducted for numerous reasons, such as following an incident, an extended period of leave or evaluating driver skills prior to offering employment. Assessors cannot conduct driver training or examinations and are often former, or current, LGV drivers on route to becoming an LGV Instructor.

“Before now, there was no formal recognition for the important role of LGV Assessor,” says Dave Cox, NRI Manager. “Although this is something brand new to the industry, it has already received a warm welcome as businesses want to ensure that those responsible for assessing LGV drivers are independently and professionally qualified.”

On joining the register, Assessors have access to free technical advice, exclusive professional development opportunities and discounts on selected products and services from NRI partner organisations. The qualification also enables Assessors to prove to employers that they have been independently examined, achieved the required levels of skill and knowledge and are committed to upholding high quality LGV driver assessment standards.

The addition of the new register means that two types of NRI membership are currently available – Assessor and Instructor, with a third category expected to be launched later in 2019. The DVSA (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency), which endorses the NRI and has helped guide its development since launching in 2017, has welcomed the expansion of the examination process and register.

“DVSA shares the NRI’s mission to promote higher standards of LGV instruction, assessment and mentoring,” says Mark Winn, DVSA’s Chief Driving Examiner.

“DVSA’s priority is to help everyone through a lifetime of safe driving. By providing the haulage industry with a workforce of independently examined and registered driver instructors, NRI will help increase the competence of professional lorry drivers,” he continues. “The higher the standard of LGV instruction, assessment and mentoring, the better drivers will be and the safer our roads will be.”

The NRI Instructor register currently has 560 members and remains the only DVSA endorsed registered led by the industry, for the industry.

The NRI is operated by RTITB, the leading standards setting body for workplace transport training, on a not-for-profit basis and is supported by the FTA (Freight Transport Association) and RHA (Road Haulage Association). It is regularly audited by a governance committee to reassure members of quality, standards and neutrality. The committee includes representatives of both large and small logistics, transport and training organisations alongside trade associations.

To apply to take the new Assessor qualification, or to find out more about joining the NRI Instructor register, call Dave Cox on 01952 520210 or email LGVinstructorregister@rtitb.co.uk .

Employers can find details of NRI registered Instructors and Assessors, and more information, by visiting www.lgvinstructorregister.com .

NRI Announces UK’s First LGV Assessor Qualification

The National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI) has launched a new qualification that will help employers conduct and report on LGV driver assessments more easily. This is the only DVSA endorsed LGV Assessor qualification available across the UK.

Designed for professionals in the transport and logistics industry, the LGV Assessor qualification proves that an individual has the necessary skills and knowledge to conduct and report on driver assessments.

NRI Qualified LGV Assessors can systematically and professionally assess the quality of potential new staff to see if they are suitable for an LGV driving job. They can also assess existing staff members who are prone to accidents or incidents and help define the training needs for future development.

“Many businesses don’t need an onsite instructor, but they do need someone to professionally monitor and assess current and new LGV drivers,” says David Cox, Manager of the National Register of LGV Instructors. “Until now there was no formal recognition for an LGV Assessor role and all it involves.”

While periodic assessments help satisfy company policies, LGV Assessors can also provide mentoring and support to current and prospective drivers, helping to retain staff and improve the quality and efficiency of the workforce.

“The LGV Assessor qualification provides independent evidence of a business’ commitment to high quality, structured LGV driver training,” says David. “It also demonstrates that they are committed to investing in their employees by providing them with a professional, industry recognised qualification that is endorsed by DVSA.”

The Assessor qualification is obtained following a theory test which includes assessment techniques, driving legislation, highway code, eco-safe driving and other topics. Practical driving skills are evaluated for one hour while a role play scenario tests their assessment ability.

Upon successful completion of the examination, candidates will be on the NRI LGV Assessor register for 5 years with access to free technical advice and exclusive professional development opportunities. They will be issued with the NRI LGV Assessor card, and their name will appear on the NRI website.

“The new qualification provides a pathway for drivers wishing to develop their career. Once on the register as an assessor, they can potentially progress to instructor level,” says David. “This is also a great way for employers who have their own on-site driver development team to retain good staff that show potential.”

Launched in 2017, the National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI) is the only DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) endorsed Register led by the industry, for the industry. It is operated by RTITB, supported by the FTA (Freight Transport Association) and RHA (Road Haulage Association) and is run on a not-for-profit basis.

“Our aim is to promote higher standards of LGV instruction and also now assessment and mentoring, and increase the number of registered driver development professionals,” says David.

There are currently over 500+ instructors registered with NRI, and the qualification can only be obtained by taking the examination through an approved NRI examination centre.

For information on the Assessor qualification or to register with the National Register of LGV Instructors, contact LGVinstructorregister@rtitb.co.uk or call NRI on 01952 520210.

Meet the NRI Team and Earn CPD at Talent in Logistics 2019

There are just over 80 days to go until Talent in Logistics Conference 2019!

As an event that is dedicated to nurturing the talent and development of those who work in warehousing and logistics, Talent in Logistics has always been an event we’re proud to support.

On 27th June 2019, come see the NRI team at the conference’s Information Zone, an exhibition area that enables attendees to meet with some key suppliers from throughout the industry.
If you’re attending and are new to the NRI, why not speak to us about our new LGV Assessor qualification, the first recognised Assessor qualification to be endorsed by DVSA and supported by the RHA and FTA. The team will be on hand to talk about the benefits of this new qualification, how individuals and employers can get their trainers registered as an NRI Assessor, and how this can be a great career development step for any individuals looking to progress to an Instructor level in the future. We will also be discussing the benefits of becoming an NRI Exam Centre and our growing network of NRI LGV Instructors.

We will have some freebies available throughout the day, so make sure you stop by the NRI stand if you’re attending!

In addition to the Information Zone, which is free to attend, the Talent in Logistics Conference will also be hosting a series of key seminars throughout the day. Access to the seminar sessions costs £95 +VAT per person.

If you’re looking to gain some new knowledge and skills to help you within your role, or you’re been looking for way to earn relevant CPD, why not take a look at the agenda for the day’s seminars? Some key seminars include:

  • Workforce Development – A Success Story: Liz Veasey, Yusen Logistics
  • Employment Engagement – A Success Story: Colin Donnelly, Sainsbury’s Argos
  • 5 Key Principles of Performance: Steve Backley, OBE

For more information on Talent in Logistics, visit the event website here. Book your FREE Information Zone ticket here.

Change to Hazard Perception Test

The driving theory hazard perception test has been updated this year to include extreme weather conditions, such as snow, wind, heavy rain, and evening or night settings. The test includes 14 video clips, each showing a number of hazards the driver must note on a computerised system. In a real life scenario, the driver may have to change their speed, change their direction, or make an emergency stop.

The exam aims to test prospective drivers’ reactions to ongoing or developing hazards, so they can competently respond when they’d passed their test in varying conditions. It’s been proven that the hazard testing process prevents and reduces accidents on the roads, and the Department for Transport states that it could be responsible for an 11% reduction in road accidents. Not only does that figure account for a large proportion of drivers, hundreds of lives could have been saved by this initiative.

Mark Winn, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Chief Driving Examiner, stated that ‘DVSA’s priority is to help everyone through a lifetime of safe driving. Every year too many people are injured on our roads by hazards frequently encountered by drivers and we are determined to do more. We know the theory test helps saves lives, so we are using computer-generated imagery (CGI) clips to further improve road safety.’

Figures produced by The Department for Transport state that there were 16,406 accidents in rain, sleet, snow or fog on Britain’s roads in 2017 – highlighting the need for a variety of training. A whopping 205 fatal accidents took place during those weather conditions in the same year, heightening the risk posed to drivers. For example, stopping distances are doubled in rainy conditions; and in icy or snowy weather, it can be as much as ten times more than the normal stopping distance.

Jesse Norman, Road Safety Minister, said that ‘these new hazard perception clips offer more realistic driving conditions to test a learner driver’s ability, preparing them for overcoming the real-life challenges they will face on the road – something that should benefit all road users.’

These will be introduced from the 1st of December for the motorcycle theory test – while lorry, bus, and coach theory examinations will be introduced from early 2019. While these new features are being implemented, the pass mark and scoring hasn’t changed. More information including examples of the new test scenes can be found here.