In December 2017, I let you know about some of the changes we were considering to improve the trainer booking service. We want to increase the efficiency of the service by reducing the number of tests handed back at short notice.
Gathering your views
Last year, we sent you a survey asking for your ideas on how we could improve the trainer booking service. We wanted your feedback to make sure the improvements would provide you with a better service.
Thank you for taking time to fill out the survey. We’ve analysed the comments you gave us and made some decisions on how we can improve the service.
Cancelling a test
Currently, you need to give us 5 days’ notice for vocational tests and 7 days’ notice for bike tests to cancel a test on the trainer booking system. As part of the survey, we asked you if this should be extended, or whether you thought we should shorten the amount of notice you have to give us.
The comments we got to this question were evenly split, with half of you wanting to extend the deadline, and half of you wanted to shorten the deadline.
To allow us to free up tests slots sooner, we’ll be changing the amount of notice you have to give us to 10 working days from 3 April 2018. This’ll apply to both motorcycle and vocational tests.
This won’t affect the 3 working day period of notice for cancelling tests without losing the test fee. It’ll only affect the percentage of tests you can cancel and refund at short notice under trainer booking monitoring.
Working with you
If you cancel more than 20% of tests with less than 10 days’ notice, over a 10 week period, DVSA will be in touch with you to find out why.
We’ll give you the opportunity to talk to us about why you’ve cancelled so many tests, and then work with you to give you some advice and support to reduce the number of tests you cancel.
By working with you, we can help you improve your booking practices and reduce the percentage of tests handed back at short notice.
If you don’t take the opportunity to talk to us, and you don’t improve the number of tests you’re handing back at short notice, we can take action against your school and remove you from the trainer booking service.
Booking window opening times
We also asked you in the survey if the opening times of booking windows worked for you and your business.
As the survey results showed no clear preference to change the times, we’ll still re-release unsold slots at 6am.
As well as monitoring the number of tests you cancel at short notice, we’ll also be monitoring the overall amount of tests you book and cancel.
It’s important you book responsibly, and only book the number of tests you need. I understand sometimes you might won’t always know, but consistently booking more tests than you need, and handing them back at short notice, won’t help us improve the number of tests available.
In the survey, we asked you how we could monitor this better, and most of you agreed that we should get in touch if you’re cancelling over 25% tests you book.
So, from 3 April 2018 we’ll begin monitoring this and if you cancel over 25% of your booked test slots then we’ll get in touch with you to find out why. We’ll give you the opportunity to talk to us about why you’ve cancelled or handed back so many tests, and then work with you to give you some advice and support.
By working with you, we can help you book the right amount of tests for your business and reduce the percentage of tests handed back at short notice. This will help increase availability for everyone using the service.
After we’ve made the changes on 3 April 2018, we’ll monitor the trainer booking service to see whether there’s a reduction in the amount of tests handed back at short notice. We’ll let you know how this goes.