https://despatch.blog.gov.uk/2018/03/15/how-were-improving-the-trainer-booking-process/

How we’re improving the trainer booking process

 motorcycle and coach

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.

Monitoring cancellations

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.

Next steps

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.

10 comments

  1. Comment by Nigel Smith - 07919884432 posted on

    Good afternoon Mark,
    I've, just read through the changes as of 3rd Apr 18, to which i am not at all happy. We have gone back to a system that was in place years ago with the exception of the 3 days to cancel.
    By making the monitoring system 10 days is ludicrous, we will have purchased tests on the opening day, keep them for 8 weeks and due to us not having a name at this point having to sell them back, then no sooner that you have sold them back you have a failure on test, but then not have a test over the next 2 weeks as you have sold them back to the DVSA.
    Companies who hold onto test passed the 10 day point will get more warnings & will be off the system in months. I have already purchased tests up until Fri 25th May, and i purchased these under the current rules?

    If you had made the monitoring 5 days & cancelling 5 days it would of possible worked for all.

    The only model this fits is the DVSA model, you are there to provide a service that works for all, the changes which are due to be put in place only help one Company "DVSA".

    Once again, the DVSA new what they wanted at the start of the consultation & they have disregarded what the Companies want who use trainer booking system.

    I await your response.

    Nigel Smith @ TAL Training

  2. Comment by Phil McFarlane posted on

    Is it not 5 working days for a refund for motorcycle tests and not 3 working days as mentioned under Cancelling a Test? Also are we still going for Sunday as a non working day and not counting in the cancellation window?

    Thanks
    Phil

  3. Comment by Stuart McGifford posted on

    When you state 'We’ll give you the opportunity to talk to us' try offering a phone number where we can speak to a person. All this online send an email type contact does not make people feel supported or even listened to. I had an issue in the winter and tried to get in contact to talk to get this support that is apparently offered and was told we cannot 'talk' to anyone we have to email. I sent my number but no-one bothered to call me back. I just got a warning email.
    As trainer bookers we need access to this system and it will destroy our businesses to have it removed. We do not wish to contravene the rules but sometimes it is unavoidable.

  4. Comment by Nikki Smithson-Birch posted on

    Re OBS booking system, please could you clarify the below?
    Quote: 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.

    Sorry but is it going to be 10 or 3 days? Reading the above you ask for 10 but if we carry on giving 3 days it won't make any difference?

    Quote: still re-release unsold slots at 6am
    What does this mean please, I pressume it dpesn't refer to the opening week which is tests available from 7am?

  5. Comment by David Pryce posted on

    As a very small trainer booker I have no idea what my allowance is per year? or where to find out? I did see that I am allowed 1 test!! but I have no idea what that means? perhaps you could contact me before 3 April please.

  6. Comment by K Lewis posted on

    What is been done to increase the number of tests available without having to book upto the opening week which restricts greatly the income of training bodies , with a severe lack of tests / examiners , in particular motorcycle training for ourselves in Scunthorpe ? The most recent questionaire failed to ask many questions of importance but concentrated on the automatic booking system which is sub standard and flawed !
    Regards
    Ken Lewis
    Rideright mct 01724 849641

  7. Comment by Gordon Scott posted on

    Definitely a step in the right direction. I deal with numerous complaints from the smaller operators regarding the big fish dumping tests at short notice that no one can use. Be good to see the abusers of our system held to account and the smaller operators given a bit more of the pie.

  8. Comment by Harry Pankhurst posted on

    This is all very well but how will this stop the so called candidate that contact the training company books a test then cancels it at short notice??
    I have in the pasted refused to return the test fee because of late cancellation. Then being contacted by the DVSA and ordered to refund the test fee because it was cancelled within the short notice cancellation period.
    I am convinced these so called candidate are other ruthless training companies working against you

  9. Comment by Derek Massey posted on

    On the other hand what are the DVSA doing where our pre-booked tests are often cancelled or moved at short notice due to examiners no longer being available to conduct the tests?

  10. Comment by Chris Goldsbury posted on

    I think changing to 10 days will result in an abundance of tests not being taken at all, consequently the DVSA will lose out in monetary terms