The Department for Transport (DfT) published its review of heavy vehicle testing in Great Britain 18 months ago. The review concluded the current model of testing is fit for purpose, but that vehicle operators and Authorised Testing Facilities (ATFs) needed more flexibility with test bookings.
Outlined in the DVSA Blog ’Moving On’ two clear messages were heard from customers – they want certainty and flexibility. The current process of booking testing capacity and booking tests can be stressful and bureaucratic. This has helped DVSA understand that to provide the service vehicle users need, a move away from the current quarterly scheduling process with ATFs would be helpful.
A new approach to scheduling
Current DVSA thinking is to move to a model where they agree normal levels of testing hours/days with an ATF – and then they stay that way until changed, rather than “bidding” every quarter.
An ATF would be able to request changes to that profile – for example, if they are growing their business – and they could agree to a permanent change to that level. Or an ATF could request temporary changes – for example, if there is a peak in local demand. ATFs would still be able to cancel days if they are not required, with charges applying if this is done at short notice.
By taking this approach, DVSA hope to give certainty of what is available (so operators can book ahead with ATFs) but also ensure there is short term flexibility too.
Recruiting more Vehicle Standards Assessors
Recruitment is difficult for the entire industry now. DVSA have recruited around 150 vehicle standard assessors (VSAs) in the last 12 months and plan to get to 516 VSAs by the end of the financial year.
Better measures for performance
How DVSA track service performance is also improving by using information about vehicle testing service and sharing it with the industry to show a wide range of indicators of how well the service is working.
Measures are wide ranging, including user satisfaction data on cancellations and data on levels of appointments committed to, helping work with ATFs and vehicle operators to make the service better.
Developing MOT history service for heavy vehicles
Changes will be made in the new year to provide access to real-time MOT history and digital MOT certificates for heavy vehicles, which currently is not available and does not display a vehicle’s full MOT history or have the ability to access a digital copy of the vehicle’s MOT certificate. Before then, VSAs will offer to provide an email copy (PDF) of the vehicle’s MOT certificate at the point of test. All presenters and operators are encouraged to ask for email copies of certificates – before the full digital access is made available next year.