NRI Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles (AFV) Training Accelerates

In November 2020, the UK government announced that sales of new petrol and diesel vans will be banned from 2030.  This accelerated the work of van operators to identify where Alternatively-Fuelled Vehicles (AFVs) can be most sensibly and easily introduced into their business and led van manufacturers to bring forward the availability of AFVs.

Reflecting this rapid shift from ICE to alternative fuels, over 1,300 van drivers have already received expert AFV driver training from NRI-registered instructors.  They’ve undertaken the one-day NRI course designed to give them key knowledge about Alternatively-Fuelled Vehicles (AFVs) and introduce the different driving techniques needed to be a safe, efficient and responsible AFV driver.

The course is a legal requirement for van operators who wish to take advantage of the legislation introduced in 2018 which allows holders of Category B driving licences, normally restricted to vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes, to drive vans of up to 4.25 tonnes if they are powered by an alternative fuel, recognising that AFVs can have an increased kerb weight compared with their conventionally fuelled counterparts. The rules cover vans powered by electricity, natural gas, biogas or hydrogen or hydrogen and electricity.

Training

NRI-registered instructors must deliver a course which is aligned to the syllabus developed by DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) and DfT (Department for Transport) which covers the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to be a safe and responsible driver of an AFV.   Many instructors use the NRI training materials for Alternatively Fuelled Vehicle Training, which includes an Instructor PowerPoint. This is currently available at £35 +VAT. To order your training materials, contact the NRI team here

Certification

The certificate issued to each driver on completion of training shows that the driver has completed the training and is therefore driving legally. Third parties who might need that evidence are; insurance companies, employers, and the police.  Anyone found driving an alternatively fuelled vehicle between 3.5 tonnes and 4.25 tonnes on a Category B licence without having done the 5 hours training would be guilty of an offence under the Road Traffic Act (1988).  The certification fee is £15 + VAT.

For further guidance, learn more about training for drivers of alternatively fuelled vehicles, learn about how AFV training can affect you as an employer or driver, or if you are an existing NRI Instructor, learn more about the guidance you need to follow in order to use this new legislation. 

Article written by Tom Ray, NRI Manager of the National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI).

Job opportunity: NRI is looking to recruit new examiners!

Due to the expansion of the National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI), we are currently recruiting new NRI Examiners to join our team (on a sub-contractor basis), based across the UK. 

We are looking for sub-contractor NRI Registered Instructors to examine NRI LGV Instructors, LGV Assessors and Driver CPC Instructors at approved examination centres. Full support and training will be provided by our current NRI Examiners in order to reach the necessary levels of competence for the role. 

Unfortunately, we are not able to accept applications from individuals who work with, at or for an NRI accredited training centre, due to conflict of interest. 

Would you like to join our team? 

If you are interested in the position or perhaps know someone who is suitable, please email your CV to thomas_ray@rtitb.com or call us on +44 (0)1952 520210 for further information. 

The closing date for applications is Friday 25th June 2021.

National Register of LGV Instructors Appoints Tom Ray as NRI Manager

As part of its commitment to improve the standards of LGV driver training across the UK, the National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI) has announced the appointment of Tom Ray as its new NRI Manager.  

Based in the NRI’s Telford office, Tom brings experience gained in roles in transport operations, health and safety, and driver training. With a passion for developing the future of training, Tom joins NRI at an important time as LGV Instructors, LGV Assessors and Driver CPC Instructors, as well as their employers, face the challenges of getting back to delivering high quality driver training to support economic recovery from the COVID pandemic.

On his appointment, Tom said “NRI is a rapidly evolving product in a growing market, and I am delighted to join such a forward-thinking organisation. NRI has an industry-backed reputation and my goal is to build on that by delivering on NRI’s overall mission to embed an ethos of professional development in the LGV training industry, as well as giving practical support and development opportunities to each of our 700 current members.” 

From his background with companies such as One Stop Stores, Wincanton, and Hopwells, Tom will focus his efforts on spreading awareness of the importance of professional development for Instructors, Assessors, and Driver CPC Instructors. Longer term, with the challenges for the road haulage industry as the transition from diesel to alternative fuels comes into play, Instructors and Assessors will need to acquire new knowledge and skills and be able to confidently pass these on to both new and experienced drivers. 

“There is a lot of incredible instructional talent within the industry, and it’s important that we, together with employers, training providers, and associated bodies, spread this message, giving opportunities to those wanting to gain the prestige, focus, and recognition that they deserve,” Tom adds. 

NRI also welcomes Leanne Hill as its new Examinations Administrator. Leanne has been appointed to review, verify, and process exam centre applications, exam results, and certification requests, process registration applications and renewals, and continue to build evolving relationships with the industry. 

NRI is endorsed by DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency), and supported by Logistics UK, RHA (Road Haulage Association) and JAUPT (Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training). Its objectives include maintaining up to date standards for the examination of the  skills and knowledge required of LGV Instructors, LGV Assessors, and Driver CPC Instructors, improving the standard of instruction available and increasing the overall number of registered instructors. It also aims to help improve the national pass rate of LGV vocational tests.

NRI is independently audited each year to reassure members of quality, standards, and neutrality.

To find out more about joining the NRI register, call Tom Ray on 01952 520210 or email LGVinstructorregister@rtitb.co.uk.

Restart of NRI examinations

In light of the UK Government’s easing of COVID restrictions, we are pleased to announce that from Monday 17th May 2021, NRI will restart practical examinations for LGV Instructors and LGV Assessors. We’ll revert to pre-COVID arrangements, so each of our examiners will be able to conduct a maximum of two examinations at the same site, each day. The Driver CPC Instructor examination is shorter, so we’ll once again be able to conduct up to a maximum of six examinations each day at one location.

In preparation for the 17th May, we’ve updated the COVID risk assessments for our Examiners, but we do remind NRI exam centres to review their own risk assessments to reflect these changes.  Download our free COVID checklist to get started.  

If you have any concerns or questions please do get in touch with us or call us on +44 (0)1952  520210.

DVSA Update: Emergency theory test and driving test service for critical workers

With Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) now having restarted theory tests and practical tests in England and Wales, they have now also updated plans for emergency theory test and driving test services for critical workers.

Emergency theory tests for critical workers

DVSA will no longer be offering a separate emergency theory test service for critical workers as customers can now book them as normal, and they have added extra capacity by:

  • increasing opening hours to include evenings and weekends
  • opening 10 temporary larger theory test centres in England

Emergency practical tests for critical workers

Due to the backlog and high demand for practical driving tests, DVSA will continue to offer a priority service for critical workers in England or Wales that work for one of the following:

  • the NHS, in health or social care
  • the emergency services
  • a local council

To qualify the individual must also:

  • need to drive as part of their job
  • respond to ‘threats to life’ as part of their job

DVSA are continuing to work with the Scottish Government about critical worker testing in Scotland and will update you in due course.

If any of your pupils qualify for the service they’ll need to talk to their employer who will need to apply for them. They can find out more by visiting the emergency driving test for critical worker pages on GOV.UK

If you have any concerns or questions please do get in touch with us or call us on +44 (0)1952  520210.

DVSA launches new version of Safe Driving for Life website

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has launched a brand-new Safe Driving for Life website – which goes live today (Wednesday 28 April). The new site includes exciting new features to help your pupils pass their theory test first time. And it will provide valuable information for road users throughout their driving lifetime.

Here, they will share plans to officially launch the website to learner drivers and their family and friends later this Spring.

How the site works

The site has replaced the existing Safe Driving for Life site, keeping popular content such as the free practice theory tests, the shop and blogs, with the addition of new content and features to the site.

The new site includes loads of free information for your pupils, including practice theory tests, a traffic signs quiz, practice hazard perception tests, plus loads of helpful advice.

The site will also replace the DVSA Learning Zone which will be merged into the Safe Driving for Life website.

If any of your pupils have an existing Learning Zone subscription with 3 months or less to go, they will continue their theory test revision on the current DVSA Learning Zone. This will ensure they do not lose their progress.  DVSA are unable to transfer their progress across to the new site.

Anyone with a 12-month subscription will be emailed clear instructions on how to move to the new site so that they can start using the new features.

DVSA will directly contact everyone with an existing Learning Zone subscription to explain what this means to them.

Exciting new features

The new site has a refreshed look and feel and is easier to navigate to help you and your pupils find the content you’re looking for.

Initially DVSA have worked on designing new features for car learner drivers as they learn for a longer period of time and work closely with their instructor. Most motorists will take a car test before taking a test in any other category and what they learn from learning to drive a car will form their base road user knowledge and understanding.

Car test candidates will now be able to share their theory test revision progress with their driving instructor through the website. DVSA are hoping to make this feature available to you and your pupils in the future.

There’s a new test readiness tool that shows your pupil when they’re ready to take their theory test.  It does this by monitoring their knowledge and understanding over time. This feature is now available for your pupils to use.

These features were developed using learning science and feedback from ADIs, who said these features would help them to plan lessons.

The learning experience simulates the real test environment so your pupil will become familiar with, and prepared for, the actual event.

The site will use time and repetition to check your pupils’ knowledge and understanding. It will also ask your pupil questions about their worst performing areas.

DVSA have grouped topics together and split each topic into a study section and practice section. That way, you and your pupil can monitor progress and you’ll know when they’re ready for their test using the ‘test readiness’ tool.

Testing new features

DVSA want to make sure the new features work for driving instructors and their pupils. So, DVSA are working with NASP and a small group of driving instructor volunteers and their pupils to test the new functionality in a live training environment.

DVSA will share this feedback with you as soon as they can. They will also use this feedback to design and develop future features for trainee vocational drivers and trainers.

Advertise on the new site

If you’re interested in advertising on the site you can contact dvsaadvertising@media-shed.co.uk for more information or to request a media pack.

What’s next

DVSA will be contacting everyone with a theory test booking to let them know about the new site and explain how they can use the learning modules to track their progress and know when they are ready to take their theory test.

Restart of LGV lessons, tests and NRI examinations in Scotland

We have received an update from DVSA announcing the restart of LGV lessons and tests in Scotland, and can confirm that from 26 April 2021, all of Scotland will be placed in a local protection Level 3, meaning that:

  • Vocational lessons and tests for lorries, buses, car and trailers, tractors and other specialist vehicle can restart.
  • LGV lessons and testing, and in-vehicle and third-party classroom-based Driver CPC training can restart.
  • DVSA will email all candidates with a theory test booking from 26 April to let  them know that their test will go ahead as planned.

We are pleased to also let you know that NRI will also restart all practical examinations for LGV Instructors, LGV Assessors and Driver CPC Instructors on 26 April in Scotland on a 1:1 basis. See England and Wales update here.

Make sure you have all the resources and procedures in place to ensure that your customers and instructors are kept as safe as possible. Download our free checklist to get started. 

If you have any concerns or questions please do get in touch with us or call us on +44 (0)1952  520210.

Restart of LGV lessons, tests and NRI examinations

We have received an update from DVSA announcing the restart of LGV lessons and tests in England and Wales, and can confirm that from today (12 April 2021):

  • LGV lessons and testing, and in-vehicle and third-party classroom-based Driver CPC training can restart.
  • DVSA will email all candidates with a theory test booking from 12 April to let  them know that their test will go ahead as planned.

We are pleased to also let you know that NRI will also restart all practical examinations for LGV Instructors, LGV Assessors and Driver CPC Instructors on 12 April in England and Wales on a 1:1 basis.

We are currently awaiting guidance from the Scottish Government, who have announced that vocational lessons and tests can potentially restart on 26 April 2021.

Read the full update here.  

Make sure you have all the resources and procedures in place to ensure that your customers and instructors are kept as safe as possible. Download our free checklist to get started. 

If you have any concerns or questions please do get in touch with us or call us on +44 (0)1952  520210.

DVSA Update: Restarting Lorry and Minibus Lessons and Tests in England and Wales

The UK Government has confirmed in recent announcements that lockdown restrictions can be eased as planned in England and Wales.

This means lessons and tests for lorry drivers, minibus candidates and car and trailer tests can restart on 12 April.

Cat D bus lessons and tests, home test and Mod 4 CPC restarted on 29 March.

Restarting lorry lessons and tests

Lorry driving lessons, including fleet training, and tests will restart in England and Wales on 12 April.

DVSA have shared guidance for vocational examiners with the driver training associations and they have updated their good practice guidance for instructors. Links to good practice guidance are included in the instructor guidance on GOV.UK.

Minibus lessons and tests

Minibus driving lessons and tests will restart in England and Wales on 12 April.

Driver CPC training

In-vehicle and classroom-based Driver CPC training can restart from 12 April 2021. DVSA still encourage periodic training to be delivered remotely where possible to help restrict the spread of the virus.

Test bookings

DVSA will email candidates with tests booked from the 12 April to let them know their tests will go ahead. If you have booked a test for any of your pupils during this period please can you reassure them that their tests will go ahead as planned.

Theory tests

Theory tests will restart in England and Wales on 12 April 2021. DVSA will email all candidates with a theory test booking from 12 April to let them know that their test will go ahead as planned.

Mobile emergency worker tests

Booked practical and theory mobile emergency worker tests will take place as scheduled.

Scotland

The Scottish Government has announced that vocational and minibus lessons and tests can potentially restart on 26 April, if coronavirus restrictions are lifted in Scotland as proposed.

For further guidance, or if you have any questions, please get in touch with us.

DVSA Update: Scottish Lockdown Restrictions

Important news for LGV Instructors in Scotland – vocational lessons can restart on 26th April 2021.

The Scottish First Minister introduced an updated Strategic Framework for COVID-19 on 16 March. This included a timetable of when restrictions can start to be lifted in Scotland.

In the framework, Scottish Government has indicated that driving lessons and tests can restart from 26 April if areas currently in protection level 4 move to level 3 as planned. Following this, DVSA has been working with the Scottish Government to agree indicative restart dates for vocational training and tests.

You can read more about the measures on the Scottish Government’s website.

Confirmation of restart dates

DVSA have been working with Scottish Government and stakeholders to agree the indicative restart dates of vocational testing services.

The Scottish Government has indicated that lessons and tests can resume from 26th April, as the aim is for Scotland to move from protection level 4 to level 3 on that date. This is subject to confirmation, based on the prevalence of the virus.

Vocational lessons

The Scottish Government has announced that vocational lessons can restart on 26th April, subject to confirmation, based on the prevalence of the virus.

Vocational lessons must not take place in lockdown (level 4) areas until restrictions are lifted.

If you live or operate on an island not in lockdown (level 4) you can continue to provide lessons to any of your pupils as long as they do not live in an area in lockdown (level 4). You must not travel out of mainland Scotland to give training or to take a pupil for a test.

Driver CPC training should be delivered remotely wherever possible until restrictions in Scotland are lifted. However, where necessary, essential Driver CPC periodic training can be delivered by employers to their own employees using their own trainers on their own site.

DVSA have shared guidance for vocational; examiners with training associations and they have updated their good practice guidance for instructors.

Vocational and Driver CPC Mod 4 tests

Vocational and CPC Mod 4 tests will restart on 26th April, if areas return to protection level 3 as planned. It is planned that car and trailer lessons and tests will also restart on this date.

Until then, all vocational tests remain suspended in lockdown (level 4) areas.

As a result of travel restrictions DVSA examiners are unable to travel to areas in lower levels to take vocational tests. DVSA are suspending all tests booked in a Level 3 areas, where the examiner is coming from mainland Scotland to deliver the test, until the travel restrictions are lifted.

If you have booked a test for any of your pupils during this period of restrictions, it will be cancelled and you will be automatically refunded.

Theory tests

Theory tests will restart on 26 April, if areas return to protection level 3 as planned.

Until then. all theory tests remain suspended in lockdown areas (level 4).

Theory tests can currently go ahead on the isles of:

  • Shetland
  • Orkney

Candidates must not travel from areas in lockdown (level 4) to take a theory test.

DVSA will email anyone who has booked a theory test and is affected by this to let them know their theory test is on hold and they need to reschedule it by visiting https://www.gov.uk/change-theory-test.