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Loveday Ryder: DVSA's plans for 2023

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Driving instructors, Driving test, Ready to Pass?
Loveday Ryder, DVSA Chief Executive

In this blog post, I want to update you on what’s coming up 2023 including continuing our work in bringing driving test waiting times down, the launch of our brand-new campaign website, investing in our people and new technologies, and more.

2022 was difficult for many of us and we know that driving test waiting times are affecting ability to take on new on new customers. We have been working with NASP closely to listen to your views, and we’ll continue to do this.

Continuing our work to reduce waiting times

Much of our work will still be focussed on bringing test waiting times down to 9 weeks. Although we made significant progress last year, there is still much work to be done. There are many projects and activities that are all contributing to this.

We will continue to keep you up-to-date on news and developments through our usual channels.

Look out for our Ready to Pass?’ new and improved campaign site

Ready to Pass?Keep a look out for our new multi-page ‘Ready to Pass?’ campaign website which we’ll be launching in February. The new site’s better functionality will make it easier for you to find and access resources that will help you and provide bespoke content spaces for each of our audiences.

We will also be running a trial to boost our campaign communications by working with an external media agency. This is so that our messages can be seen more often and in more places by learner drivers and help encourage them to check that they are completely ready before taking their test.

Transforming the driver services delivery model

We’re creating a modern, flexible driver testing service that will look at different ways to deliver driving tests. This will allow us to see whether we can be less dependent on a fixed estate and react where the road and traffic conditions near a centre have evolved and no longer provide the best environment in which to assess a candidate's ability to drive.

We recently began trials at two driving test centres Doncaster and Birmingham (Kings Heath) to see whether there is potential for the practical test to be less dependent on fixed estate and building on current and future technologies.

A new approach to training

We’re supporting training organisations to carry out effective manoeuvres tests and reintroduce training for new delegated vocational examiners for resilience and flexibility. We'll also explore conducting driving tests from locations other than our driving test centres. We want to explore the benefits to you and your pupils of having more flexible options of where candidates can sit their tests.

Changes to the assessment process for ORDIT

We will be increasing the number of examiners who can do official register of driving instructor trainer (ORDIT) assessments for both new applicants and current members whose registrations have lapsed.

We will also be updating the assessment process to continue work to raise professional standards and ensure learner drivers (and instructors) have access to the highest quality tuition possible.

How electric and autonomous vehicles can affect our industry

Another area we’ll continue to look at is how electric and autonomous vehicles impact on the instruction delivered by ADIs and if our tests need to be updated to reflect any changes in autonomous vehicle technology.

Improving access to your performance reports

We will be working with the Government Digital Service to explore an accessible online form to improve the way you can request your performance reports.

We have lots to accomplish this year and I’m looking forward to another busy year working with you to improve our service and promote a lifetime of safe driving.

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  1. Comment by T posted on

    To be honest it would be a much more satisfactory outcome for all involved, if DVSA steps away from ORDIT altogether. DVSA could then concentrate on L test. Whilst ORDIT being totally independent could focus on Instructors training and testing. I.e ORDIT training a requirement for PDI from the outset, testing over the period of the pink licence by ORDIT trainer not associated with the sponsoring school. For existing ADI proof of attending ORDIT training and CPD in order to remain on the register. This would also ensure we are not waiting months for part 2 or part 3 tests. Also before those changes are taken.
    What could be done to alleviate the current issues is to stop the nonsense of having to go through part 1 and part 2 testing, apart from the expense there is absolutely no logic in forcing someone who has failed part 3 to do ALL the part 1 and 2 plus 40 hours before allowing another pink licence. I won't hold my breath however!

    • Replies to T>

      Comment by Mohammed Haaris posted on

      Sorry I don’t agree that part 1 and 2 are of no value.
      Part 1 part 2 for potential ADI is imperative for arming yourself with the correct knowledge.

  2. Comment by Stephen Vieweg posted on

  3. Comment by paul T allan posted on

    Here’s an idea to reduce waiting lists for driving tests. Put a temporary ban on all private non dual controlled cars taking the category B test. This way you’ll avoid those people who turn up not test ready and also as you have no dual controls puts examiner into an unnecessary risk.

    If an ADI turns up say 3 times in a set period and it’s clear that all the pupils were not test ready then that ADI is banned from taking pupils to test for 21 days

    It’s a win win for everybody

    • Replies to paul T allan>

      Comment by Robin Lamport posted on

      I'm sorry your idea is wrong. We are not a communist state and as for banning cars without duals is very naive. You forget there are people who have driven elsewhere in the world. As for stopping Instructors allowed to take students for test if they fail. What on earth is going on?
      The best solution would be to pay examiners a decent wage in the first place, then we wouldn't be losing examiners and you guys would be queuing up to take the role. Responsibility of an examiner is a far more responsible role than you think. Being kept in a car for 30 mins before being able to escape on a test where the driver knew he had failed. Abuse, assaults. I wouldn't worry about 21 days it's currently 90 days in the south east

    • Replies to paul T allan>

      Comment by Pam Walker posted on

    • Replies to paul T allan>

      Comment by David Crawford posted on

      Hi Paul;
      Regarding your comments on stopping non dual controlled cars testing is a really poor idea: why should competent drivers be stopped from taking a test in their own vehicles?
      Compulsory training via driving instructors would also have serious impact on lower income families and reduce employment opportunities.

      Education on what is required to achieve test standard would be more beneficial. This is also DVSA route that is ongoing: Are you test ready?

      “It’s a win for everybody”? Driving instructors would be in favour…
      DVSA examiners are competent to stop a test if they feel unsafe;

      What percentage of dangerous tests conducted have Driving Instructor input…

      • Replies to David Crawford>

        Comment by paul T allan posted on

        Hi David

        It’s only a temporary solution in order to get the waiting lists down but would also stop those that are nowhere near ready just turning up and wasting a test slot.

    • Replies to paul T allan>

      Comment by Tim Clayton posted on

      As a practical part-solution, excellent. As a politically acceptable proposal, much less likely. How would car-owning learners (and their families) respond to having to hire an unfamiliar car to attempt qualification? By voting the other way! Personally, though, “it has wheels”.

    • Replies to paul T allan>

      Comment by Inderjit posted on

      Excellent Paul .I would go further and say to do more to stop illegal driving instructors rather than rely on adi to report them .We there to give driving lessons not be policeman as the dvsa want us to be .I would ask the dvsa has numbers gone up of non adi badges cars coming for test ?
      They definitely have in Uxbridge and Slough areas .Alot of new faces giving lessons without a badge displayed .

    • Replies to paul T allan>

      Comment by Cliff T posted on

      What a ridiculous statement.

    • Replies to paul T allan>

      Comment by Andrew Pitt posted on

      Certainly the risk that L examiners are put under seems to have increased, possibly due long waiting times across the UK that lead to frustration from learners in their effort to take a test. Whilst DVSA are working hard to help candidates understand how to be ready before taking the test, (Which is helping ADI's to have those difficult conversations), there is still a lot to do around educating people on just what is required and the driver training industry's commitment to road safety.

  4. Comment by Jim Davidson posted on

    Waiting times for driving tests in most major cities and large towns are still excess 6 months. I don't see any improvements here. Some tests centres in rural areas with very low populations have a short waiting time like 8-12 weeks which is helping to bring the average down but this is very misleading.

    There is a massive black market for short notice tests in the big cities and towns across the UK which the DVSA can't control. The DVSA made some effort a while back after being exposed by the BBC news - but why did it have to take exposure from the BBC for them to act? They knew about the black market tests after the lockdowns.

    The DVSA talk a good game because the have to publicly but i'm sorry not enough is being done to stop the black market driving tests. Sort the root cause out - waiting times for driving tests and the black market will go away as well!

  5. Comment by Paul Dawson posted on

    A CPD approach instead of standards checks would be a far better and more productive way of raising standards. Could easily been done like HGV drivers currently do.
    If our badge is on display and therefore recorded on the test wouldn’t it be easy enough to then email me a copy of the marks too?
    You say it’s the pupils test but if I’m being assessed too then surly I should have a right to know the result.

  6. Comment by MANDY J, Derby posted on

    Why is the Testi app the only way to get a chsnge or cancellation. I tried to change a test date to later but nothing was available...

  7. Comment by Wouldn't you like to know posted on

    Here's an idea . Stop failing good drivers for silly things to keep the examiners pass rates within 10% of the centre average. Maybe go easier on them examiners that flag up anomalies on your system of KPI's and they won't feel the need to fail people unnecessarily.

  8. Comment by Hale posted on

    Can you not make it that to book test candidate must quote adi number. No number no test.

  9. Comment by H S Thompson posted on

    More nonsense,want to improve pass rate it’s easy everyone has at least 45 hours tuition regardless that has to be sighed off by instructor,probably a bit to sensible for the DVSA,

  10. Comment by Ian posted on

    It's very difficult currently due to test unavailability. Pupils book ANY test they can get and in some instances no where near their home or regular driving route. This is exacerbated by the fact the search goes by as the crow flies NOT using actual roads to get there (mine often book Gillingham in Kent when they live near Southend on Sea resulting in me explaining - yes it is only 10 miles BUT we have to drive 1.5 hours just to get there!
    Also as they book anything if we get close and they are not test ready they do not swap out as there is nothing to swap to. They do not want to cancel as it could be another 6 months before they grab another test...

  11. Comment by Simon posted on

    Your core responsibility is to provide a sufficient number of driving test appointments to satisfy demand. On that you have been failing on every possible metric for years despite your attempts to claim progress and improvement. What is the rationale for fiddling with ordit while all those wonderfully trained candidates you hope to get still won't be able to get a driving test??? Put that resource into L tests.

  12. Comment by Mansour Marouf posted on

    Since the amalgamation of VOSA & DSA, creating DVSA, we have seen nothing positive from this Agency. The two agencies had different responsibilities and should have never been united. The customer service is useless and well below the minimum standard

  13. Comment by AMANDA HALL posted on

    How about opening test centres that were closed in 2008 due to the stupid EU rules for motorbike emergency stop.
    Our local town Wellingborough test centre closed after decades of having one. Now we have one located at an elderly day care centre for 2 measly days a week with 2 examiners. With a 5 month waiting list 😡.
    Return it to a proper 5 days a week/4 examiners test centre like it used to be PLEASE!!

  14. Comment by Christopher Mitchell posted on

    To be entirely Frank, the D.V.S.A. seem to be less than honest about waiting times. The D.V.S.A. claims of a reduction of 'average' waiting times reducing is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Where is the proof of an actual reduction. We don't see one.

    The way in which the D.V.S.A. management have handled this situation is nothing but deplorable.

    It makes no sense to keep taking on more and more PDI's. To increase the number of PDI's & ADI's is increasing the demand on tests which are rarer than unicorns. Until such time as the D.V.S.A. are on top of the waiting list properly and not reliant on what is in effect a down right blatant lie.

    If any ADI or PDI told such porkers we would be in serious trouble, yet this Department can do so without any retribution.

  15. Comment by A S posted on

    Regarding waiting times it must be a copy and paste job. 2 years exactly the same message, and no action on the ground. Groundhog Day.

  16. Comment by Keith posted on

    I agree. The Black Market for tests was a problem well before Covid.

    I'd like to see some honesty. I'd like to see realistic figures that are clearly indicating how many more tests above 'normal' have been provided in order to get the waiting list down. I feel the DVSA forget we closed our businesses for 9months. Its still a struggle to balance the work and income. We need to know how to adjust our businesses long term and account for how long this wait will continue. Who knows, perhaps even considering leaving the profession for a while as this is almost unworkable currently.

    Threats of the ICO are not going to stop people selling tests at £100 a time.

    You use to give out weekdays at short notice. This would create some movement in the system, but i've seen these are being given away months in advance. This gives the Driving Test Dealers plenty of time to soak up all the dates well in advance and sell these at a premium. If you gave them out at shorter notice they would have less time to react to the market.

    Maybe you need to consider drip feeding tests. Why load up multiply dates all at once.

    There needs to be a way of stopping people selling tests and also swapping tests. Its all to easy.

    I'd even suggest you try to give something to the independents who are competing with the larger schools who can book more tests with more licences and also pay staff to sit at a computer all day.

    Give us a trainer booking service. Allocate 1/2 tests a month that we provide the details 2 weeks before the test.

    We need something to kick start our businesses and take away some of the stress.

  17. Comment by Tim Clayton posted on

    Moving away from fixed-estate testing is one of the best ideas. Examiner cohort can then rise and fall with demand, dependent only on training and funds (no longer also on permanent office space). Remote-r working is more accepted these days and customers expect services to “come to them”. Negative psychological effects (such as alien and somewhat sterile ‘official’ waiting rooms) are also obviated. Cost saving should be appreciable, perhaps allowing even more flexibility in staff numbers or other perks to reduce churn.

  18. Comment by Shahid iqbal posted on

    I think anyone who is doing their test there should be be minimum hours of training with Approve driving instructors if anyone wants to use their own cars for test they must have a declaration from An ADI/PDI that they have completed the minimum hours of training as nowadays anyone who can drive in straight line they think they are test standards

  19. Comment by Anthony posted on

    I will give you two really easy solutions to the backlog problem:

    1. Cease all check testing and divert examiners to doing learner tests. Check tests are stressful and pointless.

    2. Allow instructors in particularly high waiting time areas (cities) to be able to issue test pass certificates if candidates pass a mock test.

    There you go, simple!

    • Replies to Anthony>

      Comment by Peter Atkins posted on

      I agree with the first one, it would cut it down, but for ADIs out there issuing test pass certificates, that's not a good idea at all.
      What about the so called instructors that could be a dishonest.
      They do a mock test then pass them, it wouldn't be safe.
      The roads are bad enough as it is

  20. Comment by David Featherstone posted on

    Extremely well written Jim Davidson.

  21. Comment by Graham Francis posted on

    Maybe it's time to give ADI more respect and authority for the training that DVSA themselves insist on. If a candidate fails with 1 serious fault instead of issuing a fail, issue a pass subject to 4 hrs training with a DVSA ADI, focussing on the area of fail. Once complete the ADI sends confirmation and a licence is issued. 2 serious and a retest with DVSA is needed. Think how quickly this would reduce waiting times.

  22. Comment by David. posted on

    Quite honestly i can see no progress being made on bringing test waiting times down. The DVSA seem to think by sending out meaningless surveys so they can pat themselves on the back on how well they are doing there is no obvious proactive work being done to reduce waiting times. First stop all app bots booking all the tests available. Simple solution place an "i am not a robot" check box on test bookings. Stop all multiple tests booking. Only allow people to book their test within a geographical area of their home postcode. It will soon become apparent where the most problems are and resources can be moved. I live in an area with 87,000 households and growing rapidly. There is only usually one examiner in on any day and the test centre is an old converted public toilet. No availability at all . A town 16 miles away has 4 full time examiners with availability and only 42,000 households. Can you guess what i am suggesting !!! Its not bleeding rocket science is it !!! For goodness sake get a grip and do something proactive.

  23. Comment by Terence Spencer posted on

    Waiting times in Shirley Solihull still around 5 months, hardly any tests on a Saturday and in the week finish around 3.30pm.
    Some days only 2 examiners working, only 3 in total and one part time, now wonder the waiting time remains the same 😂

  24. Comment by Chris Wales posted on

    I have a comment re the Home Office exam that a potential examiner has to pass. The exam questions are based on life in an office environment and do not reflect the role of a driving examiner. I have tried the exam twice and failed it twice. Now, and please excuse me for 'blowing my own trumpet' here, but as a retired traffic cop, advanced police driver, police motorcyclist, police trainer, former fire engine driver and now an ADI I feel I would be a good choice to be trained as an examiner. Instead, because I can't answer correctly what I should do with 'Paul' who is falling behind in his workload I am not allowed to even sit an interview. (The example I gave I made up but you get the gist.) I appealed the decision and was told that although my qualifications were impressive I had to pass the exam. And in the meantime you still advertise for examiners.......