DVSA August 2020 update: Restarting driver and rider testing

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) recent update on some of the main areas.

Theory test availability 

We’ve reopened most of our theory test centres in England, Scotland and Wales.

In England and Wales, we’ve worked with Pearson VUE to change the 2 metre social distancing rule to 1 metre with risk mitigations in place. This means we’re now able to offer more appointments and reduce waiting times.

We will also work with the devolved administration in Scotland to continue to offer more appointments as soon as we can.

Driving test availability 

We’ve opened 291 out of 307 driving centres in England – up from 290 since we updated you on 7 August 2020.

31 out of 35 test centres in Wales have reopened today (17 August).

When candidates arrange a test, they can see available appointments within the next 6 weeks. We’re not taking bookings any further in advance at the moment. This is so we can react quickly to any changes in government guidance about coronavirus.

Test centres in Scotland remain closed, except for motorcycle tests and critical workers. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 advice from the Scottish Government.

Emailing candidates to arrange their test 

Over 210,000 driving tests were put on hold due to coronavirus. We have now emailed all candidates in England and Wales to ask them to rearrange their test – over 170,000 candidates in total.

Some of the email addresses given on bookings did not work, so we’re sending text messages or letters to those affected so they can rearrange their test.

DVSA customer service centre

Our customer service centre is still receiving an extremely high number of calls and emails.

We’re sorry for the delays in getting through, but please help us by only calling if absolutely necessary.

Emergency tests for critical workers 

We announced that the services to apply for emergency theory tests and driving tests for critical workers closed on Friday 14 August.

We have now invited all critical workers in England, Scotland and Wales to either:

• book a new test, if they did not have one cancelled due to coronavirus
• rearrange their cancelled test

Returning to the UK

If you or your pupil have entered the UK in the last 14 days, you must not go to a driving test unless you:

• arrived from a country on the ‘travel corridor’ list
• belong to one of the groups who do not have to self-isolate

The government keeps the conditions in countries on the travel corridor list under review, and it is regularly updated.

France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba have now been removed from the list.

Check the list regularly for the latest information.

Valid theory test certificates checks 

As part of our normal ID and eligibility checks our driving examiners are checking for valid theory test certificates.

If your pupil does not have a valid certificate the test will not go ahead.

If your pupil has lost or damaged their certificate they can apply for a replacement letter by contacting customercare@pearson.com. They’ll need to provide their:

• name
• address
• date of birth
• driving licence number

More information

Check GOV.UK for the latest about:

theory tests
driving tests
instructor guidance

New Driver CPC guidance published

On Wednesday 22nd July, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) announced changes to the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) Directive following the consultation earlier this year.

What has changed? 

Following publication of the response, DVSA amended the law to allow these changes to come into force. The changes include:

  • Exemptions from Driver CPC
  • Periodic training
  • Recognition of Swiss CPC

You can read the full list of changes and see how they may affect you by visiting the updated guidance pages on GOV.UK.

You must have Driver CPC if you drive a lorry, bus or coach as the main part of your job. You must do 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to keep it. You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving professionally without Driver CPC. 

If you have any questions about these changes, please get in touch with us on +44 (0)1952 520210 or contact us here.

DVSA releases ‘screens in vehicles used for driving tests’ policy

Driver/front passenger screens in vehicles used for driving tests.

Screens between the driver and front passenger in vehicles used for driving tests and driver training provide limited benefits in protecting people from coronavirus.  Key guidance from Public Health England (PHE), is that frequent handwashing with soap and water, (or the use of suitable alcohol gels where facilities are unavailable), coupled with an appropriate vehicle cleaning regime, are the best ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Face coverings must also be worn during driving tests, unless an individual is exempt and has notified DVSA of a medical reason for not wearing one.

These screens can restrict vision of the candidate or the road and may prevent quick exit from the vehicle in an emergency.  The screens can also prevent an instructor or examiner taking action in the event of an emergency, for example by using the steering wheel. Incorrectly installed or non-approved screens may also cause injury in the event of a crash where the air bags or other restraint systems are deployed.

For these reasons examiners must not conduct driving tests in vehicles fitted with screens between the driver and front passenger unless the vehicle has been tested with the screen in place. This does not apply to buses and other similar vehicles where screens are routinely fitted as part of normal operations. These vehicles are subject to routine testing to ensure they are safe.  For other vehicles including cars, where after-market screens are fitted, an IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) test certificate will be required to show that the vehicle is safe.

If a vehicle (other than a bus) is presented for a driving test with a screen fitted between the driver and front passenger examiners should allow a reasonable period time for the candidate or accompanying driver to remove the screen, especially if it is a temporary screen. If the screen cannot be readily removed the test must not go ahead and should be shown as test terminated, vehicle not suitable for test.

Driving lessons, theory tests and driving tests to restart in England

Driving lessons and theory tests will restart on Saturday 4 July 2020 in England, and car driving tests will restart from Wednesday 22 July 2020.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced that learners can resume driving lessons and motorcycle training in England from Saturday 4 July 2020.

The rule applies to all types of driver and motorcycle training in England, including private practice with someone you live with or in your support bubble.

Theory tests will restart in England on Saturday 4 July. The tests will take place with social distancing measures in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Car driving tests will restart in England on Wednesday 22 July, which will give learner drivers time to have refresher lessons and practice before taking their test.

Driving lessons, theory tests and driving tests are still suspended in Scotland and Wales, in line with guidance from the devolved administrations. There are different dates for Northern Ireland.

DVSA will make further announcements on the resumption of testing, training and lessons, including publishing information on how services will be restarted safely, shortly.

When lessons and tests will restart

When services restart depends on what vehicle you’re learning to drive or ride.

Car

ServiceDate
Driving lessonsSaturday 4 July 2020
Theory testsSaturday 4 July 2020
Driving testsWednesday 22 July 2020

Motorcycle and moped

ServiceDate
Motorcycle and moped compulsory basic training (CBT)Saturday 4 July 2020
Motorcycle direct access scheme (DAS) trainingSaturday 4 July 2020
Theory testsSaturday 4 July 2020
Motorcycle and moped module 1 and module 2 testsMonday 13 July 2020

Lorry, bus and coach

ServiceDate
Driver trainingSaturday 4 July 2020
Theory testsSaturday 4 July 2020
Driving testsMonday 13 July 2020

Car and trailer

ServiceDate
Driver trainingSaturday 4 July 2020
Driving testsMonday 13 July 2020

Tractor and specialist vehicle

ServiceDate
Driver trainingSaturday 4 July 2020
Driving testsMonday 6 July 2020

Approved driving instructor (ADI)

ServiceDate
Driving instructor trainingSaturday 4 July 2020
ADI part 1 test (theory)Saturday 4 July 2020
ADI part 2 test (driving ability)Wednesday 22 July 2020
ADI part 3 test (instructional ability)To be confirmed
ADI standards checkTo be confirmed

Motorcycle trainer

ServiceDate
DVSA enhanced rider scheme trainer theory testSaturday 4 July 2020

Helping the country to get moving again

Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, said:

“Driving lessons and tests are vital in helping people get to work and visit loved ones, and provide the skills for a lifetime of safe driving.

“As the country recovers from COVID-19 we can now open-up our services to help get the country moving again and I am very pleased to announce the restart of driving tests and lessons in a COVID-secure way.”

Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive, said:

“It has been vital that lessons and tests only resume when safe to do so and in line with the government’s advice.

“We know this has been a tough time for the whole country including learners and driving instructors but I am pleased to announce the restart of lessons and tests in England.

“Tests for critical workers have continued during the lockdown and I would like to thank all those instructors and examiners who have continued to work to help deliver tests for those who have done so much to help us during this terrible pandemic.”

NRI is ready to help any NRI Instructor or Exam Centre as they restart their training. If you have any questions in relation to restarting training in a Covid-safe manner or to arrange NRI examinations for your Instructors and Assessors, please contact NRI any time.

DVSA vocational driving tests restart priorities

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) suspended driving tests in England, Scotland and Wales ‘for up to 3 months’ from 21 March 2020.  Since then, DVSA has maintained dialogue with NRI and other industry organisations through weekly online meetings.

To inform this dialogue, NRI emailed a short anonymous survey to all 550 LGV instructors and assessors on the NRI register.  This survey sought their professional views on the priorities that should be set as DVSA restart vocational driving tests during June and ideas for measures that could increase examining capacity and maximise safety for examiners and candidates.

Within a few days, we had received over 100 completed surveys, indicating the urgency of restarting the LGV driver training industry. This can only happen once DVSA driving tests are available; driver training and driver testing are part of an integrated process.

The advice to DVSA from NRI register members is:

  • The industry needs at least a few days’ notice of tests restarting so that training centres can be re-opened, staff brought back from furlough and COVID-safe measures be put in place.
  • 73% want vocational tests (Cat C/C+E) to have priority over car and van tests
  • 60% want with Cat C (rigids) tests to be prioritised over Cat C+E (artics) tests
  • Key workers should remain the priority for available tests
  • 65% of the instructors responding to the survey had customers whose booked test was cancelled on 21st
  • Demand is high throughout the UK, NRI members in all areas report the need to restart testing as soon as possible
  • The COVID-safe measures for LGV driving tests that are being implemented by DVSA have the overwhelming support of the training industry – 94% of respondents say that they are appropriate – with many planning to adopt the same measures for driver training

Other measures to ensure a prompt and safe restart to testing

We asked for ideas as to other measures that could be taken by DVSA to make testing as safe as possible – for examiners and candidates – while making as many tests as possible available.  More than half of respondents suggested at least one idea – another indication of the shared determination to get LGV training and testing back on the road.  Those ideas are:

Safety Measures

  • Training centres will commit to ensuring a safe environment to DVSA standards
  • Trainers to provide proof vehicle has been sanitized
  • All training vehicles should carry a supply of gloves, face masks and sanitiser for the learner, instructor and examiner to use. If not the examiner should have the right to terminating the test if they don’t feel safe
  • Use a clear plastic screen to split the cab on HGV but still maintain access to the parking brake for emergencies

Checking candidates

  • Beneficial for all parties before entering test to have proof that (COVID 19) testing has taken place and the subsequent results from that test as part of the checks pre-driving test
  • Temperature checks prior to ALL training and testing as questioners and self-declaration are not reliable

Delegating Examining

  • If the DVSA cannot provide the examiners, then they will need to let us have our own Delegated Driving Examiners to meet the requirement
  • Allow approved trainers to conduct Mod 3 test in a similar way to the Mod 4
  • Allow NRI instructors to act as examiners to meet demand for tests

Modified Testing process

  • Cancelling the DVSA test if the reverse or coupling or uncoupling is failed
  • Utilising outside space for receiving candidates, usual care taken regards hygiene as all other aspects of delivery

Use of Customer Sites

  • Conduct more tests at customers own sites. These sites allow us to 100% control activities, examiner, staff and customer interaction, Cleaning and keeping the test environment safe. Compared to a shared office or public test sites where it’ almost impossible to avoid interaction in waiting rooms and WC etc.
  • Look at training companies with the facility to deliver test from their own site, this would stop mixing in one place with cars and other tests

Greater Availability of Tests

  • Allocate tests to trainer bookers that would ordinarily have been in place. Provide Saturday tests to help clear backlog and late day tests whilst summer daylight is available
  • Increase the numbers of tests per day to help reduce any backlog
  • More tests in general, including Saturdays
  • 5 tests a day instead of 4 per examiner
  • Test slots to open in stages so that we can start to train in an ordered manner

Priorities for restarting driving tests

  • Prioritise cancelled tests over new bookings
  • Prioritise LGV tests to help get the economy going.
  • Motorcycle tests shouldn’t be affected as no social distancing issues

Giving notice of the restart

  • Testing needs to restart ASAP with 7days notice needed for training before taking tests
  • Give us advanced notice (earlier than the ‘official’ notification on the website) of when examiners will be working. Once there is an official announcement and we will be swamped with customer calls and our office staff are on furlough at the moment, so we notice so that we can un-furlough them

Over the coming months, many LGV training providers and in-house training teams will start to resume their operations and NRI and DVSA will be on hand to provide support for this. However, due to the current Covid circumstances, you are advised to continue to check the GOV.UK website before advising your trainee drivers as to whether and when they may be able to be tested.

NRI are also delighted to announce that we are now also back up and running with examinations resuming ready to help your journey towards LGV Instructor, LGV Assessor or Driver CPC qualifications. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

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.