Improving Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) practical test pass rates

New DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) data for Great Britain shows that in 2019/20, 40,000 LGV drivers passed their Practical Driving Test. A longer look at the data shows that pass rates have been improving. In 2007/08 the overall UK pass rate was 46% but by the end of 2019/20 it had reached 59%. This means that investment in LGV driver training is increasingly likely to result in a successful outcome.

Why are rates improving?

National Standards

DVSA examiners use the national driving standards; set and maintained by experts at DVSA. Test performance, on the open road and during the manoeuvres is assessed entirely against these standards. Whether tests are carried out at DVSA test centres or at test centres based at driver training schools or at haulage companies, the test standard is the same. These standards underpin the familiar Driving Test Report form (DL25) which all candidates are given at the end of their test.   These standards have not changed in the past ten years, so the answer to the improvement in test pass rates must lie elsewhere.

Better Training

LGV driver training takes place through in-company driver training schools or through specialist LGV driver training organisations. In both settings, the past ten years have seen a number of changes which help explain the improving LGV practical test pass rates:

  • Professional Instructors

Road Haulage companies, driver training schools and individual instructors have invested in training and development. They’ve recognised that to prepare candidates properly, the knowledge and skills of professional instructors need be up to date and accurate. Since 2017, over 550 individual LGV Instructors have demonstrated their professionalism by joining the National Register of LGV Instructors. The independent, DVSA-backed exam thoroughly tests their knowledge of driving theory, Highway Code, in-cab and classroom instructional skills to make sure they work to a consistently high quality, enabling them to give their pupils the best opportunity to build their own knowledge and skills. 

  • Professional Facilities

23 LGV driver training organisations have demonstrated their commitment to professional LGV Instructors by becoming NRI examination centres. As well as ensuring their own instructors are members of the NRI, they offer their modern and professional facilities and expertise to all LGV Instructors, Assessors and Driver CPC Instructors who want to build their instructional skills and achieve the NRI qualification. LGV Driver training increasingly takes place in an environment which is more conducive to acquiring professional driving skills.

  • Better Vehicles

The vehicles currently used in road haulage fleets are significantly more sophisticated than they were ten years ago. The most obvious change is the widespread use of automatic gearboxes, but a range of improvements mean that vehicles are less physically demanding to drive, enabling a driver to focus on more precise control of the vehicle. This improved specification is increasingly reflected in the vehicles used for training, both in-house and by driver training schools. 

For more information on NRI qualifications and how to join the register, please contact our team who will be happy to help.