DVSA COVID-19: Conducting Driving Tests (Vocational) SOP

DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) has updated its Standard Operating Procedure SOP for COVID-19: Conducting Driving Tests (Vocational). This SOP outlines the procedures DVSA examiners will follow in conducting a driving test as well as updates including:

  • Face coverings in Scotland
  • Cleaning of vehicles
  • Ventilation
  • Accompanied tests

Download the COVID-19: Conducting Driving Tests (Vocational) SOP.

This SOP was last updated on 23rd August 2021.

DVSA Update: Launch Of Vocational Driving Examiner Recruitment Campaign

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is launching a campaign to recruit additional vocational examiners in England and Wales to help reduce the current lorry driver shortage.

This is part of DVSA’s overall aim of recruiting 40 new vocational examiners, some of which have already been recruited internally and they are now recruiting externally for the remaining posts.

DVSA needs the support of all driver trainers to help new lorry drivers get up and running as quickly as possible.

DVSA has already increased the number of vocational tests from 2,000 a week pre COVID to 3,000 by overtime and allocating additional staff into testing.

The Government is also currently consulting on a range of proposals to help tackle the driver shortage

The need for more examiners

The Government wrote to the UK haulage industry on 20 July outlining a package of measures to help address the lorry driver shortage.

It acknowledged that increasing the availability of lorry driver tests is key to this issue.

DVSA continues to develop measures to maximise testing capacity and tackle the backlog.

DVSA has already increase the number of vocational tests from 2,000 a week pre COVID to 3,000 by overtime and allocating additional staff into testing. Recruiting more vocational examiners will enable DVSA to offer even more lorry test appointments.

The campaign

DVSA are looking for vocational examiner candidates to work from the following locations:

  • East England
  • North-West England
  • South England
  • South-East England
  • South-West England
  • West Midlands
  • North and South Wales

A full category CE driving licence is essential.

These roles can offer part-time flexible working hours, including evening and weekend working opportunities.

Successful applicants will carry out car driving tests for 4 months after their training and will then move on to vocational tests.

Find out more about the driving examiner roles and how to apply. 

The deadline for applications is 11:55pm on Thursday 2nd September.

“Why NRI”, with Dulson Training

National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI) recently had a good chat with Steve from Dulson Training, in Shropshire to see why he continues to renew his NRI membership.

Dulson Training has been an approved NRI centre for three years and has recently added three new members of staff to their team who have become qualified NRI Driver CPC Instructors, a new qualification launched last year.

Steve said, “We are an expanding operation and gain value to that with NRI examinations for new and existing staff. We feel that being affiliated with NRI leads to a better company profile and improved standards throughout the operation.

“All of the Instructors enjoy the exam process and the prestige that they get at the end of it, especially when being able to sign off an assessment report with their NRI number, it validates their work and comments.

“Also, some of the organisations that we work with insist on a qualified, competent Instructor which the NRI provides through its exam process. We have always had a great experience with NRI, our own communication and standards are extremely high which is something that we share with NRI.

“Being able to deliver NRI qualifications to customers has been enjoyable, however we feel the biggest benefit is when training our own Instructors with the skills to deliver a high standard of training. Everyone we have dealt with at the NRI has been helpful and professional. We deliver training in Shrewsbury, Telford and Wrexham for almost everything within the logistics sector.”

DVSA Update: Give DVSA Your Views On Increasing Fees

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have launched a consultation to understand your views on increasing the cost of DVSA services.

So that DVSA can continue to develop and invest in the services they provide, whilst still covering costs, they are proposing to increase all fees by a small amount (1.5%). Most of DVSA’s fees haven’t increased since 2010, and they’ve worked hard to make savings through efficiency measures in the last few years.

How DVSA is improving the service they provide

Over the last few years, they’ve worked on several improvements to their services, to make sure they better meet the needs of their customers.

They have updated the theory test hazard perception clips to make them more realistic to real-life driving, and brought in iPad’s to mark driving tests and help candidates to get their licence back quicker.

They’ve continued to develop and improve the MOT service including the reminder service which almost 3.4 million people have signed up to so far.

They’ve also developed how they target non-compliant vehicle operators so that they reduce the burden on those who are compliant.

The small increase will allow them to continue to make essential improvements to their services. In the next year, DVSA will be focusing on improving the driving test booking service, the way the theory test service is delivered, how they carry out heavy vehicle enforcement and the MOT testing service.

Examples of fee increase proposals

Type of testCurrent feeProposed fee for 2021 to 2022
Theory test (car and motorcycle)£23£23.40
Car driving test (normal hours)£62£62.90
Slot typeCurrent feeProposed fee for 2021 to 2022
MOT slot fee£2.05£2.08
Test typeCurrent feeProposed fee for 2021 to 2022
HGV – 2 axles£91£92.40
HGV – 3 axles£113£114.70

The consultation opened on 5th August 2021 and will run for 4 weeks until 11:59 PM on 2nd September 2021. Find out more about the measures and give your views.

RESTART OF LGV LESSONS, TESTS AND NRI EXAMINATIONS

In light of the UK Government’s easing of COVID restrictions, we are pleased to announce that from Monday 19th July 2021, NRI will restart practical examinations for LGV Instructors, LGV Assessors and Driver CPC Instructors.

LGV Instructors and LGV Assessors

Practical examinations will recommence on a 2:1 basis. Each of our examiners will be able to conduct a maximum of two examinations at the same site, each day.

Driver CPC Instructors

Practical examinations will recommence and we will be able to conduct up to a maximum of six examinations each day at one location.  

In preparation for the 19th July, we’ve updated the COVID Risk Assessments, Examiner Guidance, and Candidate Guidance.

We do remind NRI exam centres to review their own risk assessments to reflect these changes. 

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

“Why NRI”, with Teeside LGV Training Ltd.

National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI) sits down with Sue, Kirk and their senior NRI qualified instructor, Dave, to find out why they continue to renew their membership as an approved training centre with the NRI.

“We have been an approved centre for over three years now. It shows that we, as an approved training centre, as well as the instructors in our team, strive to be the best by delivering the highest standard of driver training. All of our instructors have to continue learning and developing and must renew their NRI qualification every five years.

“It really helps our customers by knowing that they are getting a registered, professional instructor on the only UK register for LGV instructors to be officially endorsed by Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and supported by Logistics UK and the Road Haulage Association (RHA). That level of professional credibility is priceless when attracting potential candidates for training.

“All of our instructors wear the NRI badge with pride to demonstrate that they are at the top of their game which is then, in turn, picked up by our candidates. It puts them at ease, when going through the nerve-wracking process of licence acquisition, knowing that their instructor is qualified to a level that is even more stringent than DVSA standards to give our candidates the best chance of passing their LGV tests.

“We all have an excellent working relationship with the NRI team. They are always quick to help, assist and provide guidance which really adds value to our membership of NRI and our ongoing partnership.”

To ensure that LGV Instructors and Assessors in the industry have local access to NRI examinations, NRI has approved exam centres across the UK. To learn more about how to become an approved exam centre for the National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI), click here.

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.