The new MOT Computer’s shortfalls means ‘DIY’ for garages…
Be aware of reduced functionality
The switchover to web based MOT MOT Testing has commenced but with reduced functionality. So initially, VTSs will be responsible for recording just about everything that used to be recorded on the Atos computer apart from the pass/fail VT20 or VT30. Waiting 24 hours for performance reports was a pain – but that’s now solved – there aren’t any, so no more waiting! There will only be a form of Test Log available until a minimum of 12 months after the switchover. DVSA now say that those reports are no longer important, and VTSs rarely used them. My experience suggests otherwise. Modern, efficient and COMPLIANT stations find them invaluable and perhaps DVSA should be looking more closely at those that did not use them. Without those reports recorded on the computer, AEs and Testers should make their own records and take steps themselves to ensure that they are not caught out when a VE calls. Here’s some DIY tips:
Although recording of calibration certificates within the system is no longer a requirement, ensuring that all mandated equipment is calibrated to required timescales still is. Undertaking tests with equipment where the calibration is out of date will still be a serious disciplinary issue. A file containing all certificates will be required. In preparation, make things simpler and efficient by cleansing the current file – only two years records are required and previous certificates can be disposed of. It is amazing how much more efficient a slim, up to date file appears to a VE – he does not have to waste time trawling through data to find what he is looking for… and don’t forget to arrange calibration for when it is due.
Quality Control Records
It will still be a requirement to undertake observed Quality Control checks, or to re-examine a recently tested vehicle, as a part of the Quality Assurance program that DVSA expect of VTSs. Again the onus will be on the VTS to set up and maintain the system and prove to a VE that it is effective and valid. The simple spreadsheet that used to back up and act as a reminder to input QCs into the Device will no longer suffice.
Remember back to the old VT12 days when, usually on the last day of the month, tests were designated and allocated as the NTs monthly QC. At least then the fact that this record was sent to Area Office added some gravitas to the procedure. Now it is all down to the VTS to create and maintain these records – until a VE arrives at which stage if you don’t have any records, it will be too late.
Simply recording on a basic spreadsheet that a QC was done on an NT on a date is not Quality Assurance. What is also required is evidence of what was discussed as a result of the check and that the NT agrees that this actually happened.
Under the new system there will be no automatic issue of a VT40, VT29 or VT32 paperwork after registering a vehicle onto the system. These documents are dated and vehicle registration specific. They provide a check sheet to ensure that all areas are inspected and on which Testers can make notes. Without such paperwork on which conscientious testers could record comments or suspicions, an important contemporaneous record is lost. Such notes are invaluable at Inverted Appeals or re-examinations of vehicle as they can prove, (date and registration specific), that the NT noticed something and either didn’t consider it serious enough to fail or advise, or forgot to enter it into the computer. I have been reliably informed by DVSA that, “it will be optional for a Tester to use a VT29/29(M) which will be accessed via the application”. I assume that generic document could then be printed off. Testers will however, still need to date and time the document on which they make notes to ensure it is a true contemporaneous record – and do that with every Test to prove continuity and show that its not a ‘one off’ created fraudulently after the event to counter any disciplinary issues which might arise.
The MOT Club have created software and systems to assist and support VTSs in this transitional period and beyond. See our website – themotclub.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org