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MoT Matters

MoT Matters is the official blog of the MoT Club. Covering the whole of the British Isles, the MoT Club provides its members with unlimited access to advice, training, representation and information regarding MoT testing.

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Posted by on in DVSA News

May I draw your attention to the final part of Special Notice 1-2017 issued to day. Basically by acknowledging the SN, NTs are making a statement that they have completed the training for this year. What is not said is what happens to NTs who do not acknowledge and DVSA have informed me that failure to acknowledge will result in exclusion from their end. Should an NT acknowledge and not have completed the training, he will them be recorded as making a false statement and there probably be an additional disciplinary issue for them to face in addition to testing when not fully trained.
I copy the text from the Special Notice as AEDMs have a responsibility in this matter.


Testers
By clicking the green ‘Acknowledge’ button in the MOT testing service you’re confirming that you’re aware that you must complete your annual training and assessment and enter the certificate number onto MTS by Friday 31 March 2017.

You’re also confirming that you understand that if you haven’t completed your MOT annual assessment, you mustn’t test after Friday 31 March 2017.

AEs and AEDMs
By clicking the green ‘Acknowledge’ button in the MOT testing service you’re confirming that all of your testers know that they must complete their annual assessment and record it on MTS by Friday 31 March 2017.

You’re also agreeing that you won’t allow any testers that haven’t completed their annual assessment to continue testing after Friday 31 March 2017.

Posted by on in DVSA News

As part of the DVSA’s continuing obligation to protect personal data and ensure the secure delivery of online public services, they are introducing the MOT security card.  The card replaces the existing PIN process and all MOT testing service users, that’s over 73,000 people, will receive one over the next two months.

The card is the same size as a credit card.  It generates a 6-digit number that a user will need to enter when they sign in to the service.

DVSA will be posting the cards in packs to the 23,000 vehicle testing stations (VTS) around the UK.  The site managers at each VTS will have instructions in the about handing out the cards to each MOT testing service user at their VTS and how each person activates their card.
   
They will start sending the packs on 17th October and it will take approximately 7 weeks for everyone to receive a card. 

The activation and use of the cards is easy.  When a user gets a card they simply sign in to the service as normal using their existing username and password, select the ‘Activate your security card now’ link and follow the instructions on screen.  Once a user’s card is activated their existing PIN will be switched off and they then have to use the card every time they want to sign in.

Here are some guidelines for certain roles

Site Managers
Make sure every MOT testing service user at your VTS gets a card. AEDMs and AEDs will receive theirs direct
Full instructions about what you need to do will be sent out with the cards. As a site manager, it’s your responsibility to:
•hand out cards to each MOT testing service user at your VTS
•make sure each MOT testing service user at your VTS activates their card
•return any unused cards to DVSA
•order more cards if you haven’t been sent enough

Authorised examiners (AEs)
Authorised examiner designated managers and authorised examiner designates without a specific VTS role (for example, site manager, site admin or NT) will be sent their cards separately.


If a user forgets their card, or it is lost or damaged, there are simple and secure online processes that make sure a user can continue testing, and if necessary, order a replacement card.

Forgotten, lost or broken cards
You can still use the service if you’ve forgotten, lost or broken your card.
1. Sign in to the service using your username and password.
2. On the ‘Your security card PIN’ page click on ‘Lost, forgotten or damaged security card’.
3. Answer your 2 security questions to sign in.
You don’t have to pay for a replacement card if yours is lost or stolen.
Order a replacement
Follow the process to sign in, and then click on the ‘order a new security card’ link.
The replacement will be sent to you by second-class post. You can have it sent to your VTS or home address. You need to activate the card before you can use it.
More details can be found on the GOV.UK webpage:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/use-your-mot-testing-security-card

Posted by on in DVSA News

DVSA has launched a campaign to remind drivers of the safest methods to use when towing trailers.
New DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, today issued a brief statement, highlighting the importance of making sure all drivers who tow trailers, know how to use the equipment safely.
DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said:
“DVSA is raising awareness on how to use trailers safely. This follows the tragic death of 3 year old Freddie Hussey in 2014 and a number of other incidents involving trailers.
“DVSA has recently published guidance on using this equipment correctly including; how to secure coupling, ensuring that brakes are in good order and checking that all lights are working properly.”
DVSA has published a guide on GOV.UK about Using Towed Trailers
A brief overview of the main points are listed below.

Trailer Checks
Before the start of any journey, the driver of the towing vehicle needs to make sure that:
•    the load is distributed evenly
•    their trailer isn’t overloaded
•    the load is secure
•    the lights aren’t damaged and are working correctly
•    the 7 or 13 core cable and plug isn’t damaged
•    a breakaway cable or secondary coupling is used; that this isn’t damaged and is correctly connected (refer to manufacturer’s advice)
•    the tyre pressures are correct, the tyres aren’t damaged and the tread depth is legal (remember to also check the towing vehicle)
•    the wheel nuts/bolts are tightened to the correct torque (remember to also check the towing vehicle)
•    the trailer is correctly coupled to the tow ball or pin (refer to manufacturer’s advice)
•    the coupling height is correct
•    there are secure mudguards on the trailer

Posted by on in DVSA News

There would appear to be a thought in the MOT sector that because the DVSA no longer require QC results to be entered into what used to be the Device, it is no longer considered important. This is totally wrong, DVSA still require a minimum of one QC every other month per class, and should a recording system not be evident of a robust and regular system, a VTS will be heavily marked down on a Site Assessment visit.

QC checks should now be a part of a Quality Assurance Management program that all VTSs are expected to set up under the new web based program. What the DVSA are looking for is for test stations to utilise their own and third party resources to control all aspects of their business to ensure that they surpass DVSA standards. This includes Quality Control checks on personnel and testing standards, calibration, training, equipment or in other words all aspects of an MOT operation. This being achieved a VTS then needs to demonstrate this to DVSA by documentary evidence.

Special Notice 1-2015 laid down the basic principles and this has now been further clarified.

At present, DVSA say that to achieve the scores 1 to 5 the following guidelines will be applied by their VEs:

Quality Management (QM) Systems (EMP)

Is there evidence of a pro-active approach to quality management at this VTS?Look For:

Documented evidence that NT’s and VTS staff are subject to regular review to ensure that correct testing methods and management procedures are applied including any remedial and correction action taken

 

RS

Evidence

1

Third Party carries out regular audits of test and site management.

 

Third Party carries out additional unannounced visits.

2

Third Party carries out regular audits of test and site management.

 

QM system reflects the volume and all types of work undertaken.

3

Evidence of regular checks of NT test standards.

 

Evidence of regular site audits carried out.

4

Minimum quality checks carried out of NT test standards.

 

Evidence that each NT has a check at least every 2 months.

5

No evidence of quality management checks.

 

This is the guidelines to VEs when undertaking Site Assessment visits and in response to Question 14 in the Report (see blow), and whilst not finally decided yet the old QC question carried points from 0 to 89.

However this should not be seen as the reason for setting up systems to satisfy DVSA on this one question, as, if properly administered, a Quality Assurance program will actually help improve the scores on all the questions that you have control of, thereby resulting in a low Risk score well into the Green sector.

The MOT Club, have along with other Trade Associations, set up various methods to support VTSs in his matter, but the Club also have a software program that brings all DVSA requirements onto one place on your computer, which linked into our Site Audits will provide the focus for the VE and thereby shorten the time element of the VEs visit, and considerably improve the outcome.

Should you require further information regarding the above, please go to our website www.themotclub.com, email us on enquiries@themotclub.com or phone 01934-421335.

Posted by on in Uncategorized
As I previously said that I would not harp on about the problems that the DVSA were causing you due to the extremely tight deadline they had to meet, one thing that has come to our notice, and I have already pointed out the dangers to the DVSA, is as follows:
 
The MOT Club has always stressed the need to use the Test Log in the management of the Scheme and that proper correlation with accounts is essential. Under the new system Site Managers cannot access this report under their ID at this stage.
NTs can access their own Test Record, and AEDMs and AEDs can access for the whole AE number which rather swings responsibility and workload away from where it should be. For those of you with multi site organisations perhaps you need to review the process used.
Below is the answer that DVSA provided to my question as to access by the SM
 
The straight answer is no....... but

The enhancement is coming soon that will allow a Site Manger to access the
VTS test log for a defined period or day/week/month/year

The work around is for the AE or AED role to download the test log in .csv
format.
This can then be filtered by VTS number, saved and emailed to the site
manager within each VTS for audit.

OR

Another interim alternative could be to get each NT to download their
personal test log in .csv to be audited by the Site Manager.
 
The enhancement coming “soon” after the experiences of the last month will be welcome when it arrives, but in the mean time you have businesses to run, profit to be made and let’s remember the old VOSA expression of standards to be met.
 
If we can be of any help in this matter just shout.

Posted by on in DVSA News
You may have noticed an unusual silence from these quarters over the last two days. This is because, whilst being totally unacceptable to have the breakdowns that most of you have had to endure, the basic fact is that if things are not sorted by early September we will be into banner headline type news in the daily papers and the failure of the MOT system.
 
There is now a date of the 8th September for all VTSs to be transferred to the new system. How many are left varies from who you speak to at the DVSA but I would hazard an estimate of 50%, 12,000, remain on the old system, and many are now having dates this week delayed.
 
We could all shout and scream at DVSA but that will not resolve the situation. They MUST have the system up and running during September – there is no way back according to those in authority. ATOS close the doors, turn off the lights and walk away on 25th September. The contract expires on 1st September.
 
On the basis that you don’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, let’s give DVSA space, record the problems that you and you companies have had to endure and let’s see what transpires over the next day or so.

Posted by on in DVSA News

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A live radio interview conducted today followed the launch of the DVSA’s new online system for MoT Tests. 
BBC Radio 5 live reported a huge disruption to MoT Testing Stations throughout the UK.

In the interview, with our very own John Ashton, Director of The MoT Club, John advised that 4,500
Garages had been moved over to the new system yesterday in preparation for business today. 

John went on to explain that the DVSA’s new system had crashed, resulting in as many as 10,000 garages calling the DVSA helpline. This only made matters worse, with tests delayed and testers even having to turn customers away.

Although the system was reportedly back online by 10.45 this morning,
many garages are left with concerns as to how these changes will affect them…

Posted by on in Uncategorized

Following on from the previous blog entry regarding the MOT first test going to four years, further information has come to hand. The actual words were:

“We will consult on extending the deadline for new cars and motorbikes to have their first MOT test from 3 years to 4 years, which would save motorists over £100m a year.”
 
It should be noted that vans were not mentioned.

Apparantly light commercial vehicles were excluded due to the high failure rate (50%) of Class 7 vehicles. It should also be noted that to exclude light commercial vehicles from having their first test at the end of year 3, the current vehicle classes will probably need to be changed to those used in Europe so that light commercials currently in Class 4, can be distilled out of the whole and treated differently. This too will take time to achieve. The DFT has also said that they see any change as being unlikely to take effect before 2017.

It should also be noted that the DfT will be very busy at that time putting in place the latest EU regulations taking affect in 2018, and they may decide to do both at the same time. We would also have a strong argument that given the higher failure rate of Class 7 vehicles, and that brakes are the predominant failure item, the same may well apply to light commercials in Class 4 (the statistics for which are currently buried in the Class 4 test results) – so we could make a robust case that both Class 7 and Class 4 light  commercial vehicles should be Tested to a 1-1-1 regime.
 
In terms' of volumes, the above could more than compensate for the loss of year three car tests, but does not change the threat to road safety that that change incurs.
 
I think the bottom line is that there are a lot of negotiations both in the UK and with regards to EU, so whilst the above information is at this stage valid, things may change drastically as time passes.

Posted by on in DVSA News

This press release has been received today. Obviously we will be fighting this again, and any other changes that may be slipped in that put road safety at risk. At this stage this is information at its earliest point. Actions will follow.
 
Sent by the Department for Transport
 
In case you missed the announcement in the budget - I thought it would be worth alerting you that the Chancellor has announced that there will be a consultation to review the first MOT test for cars and motorcycles with a view to take it from the current 3 years for the first MOT test to 4 years for the first MOT test in future.

We expect to start the consultation process this year.

Duncan Buchanan

Head, Operator Licensing and Roadworthiness Branch, Department for Transport

Posted by on in DVSA News

Information sources say that the first tests on the DVSA website will be performed on Monday 22nd June 2015. Watch this space for updates

Posted by on in DVSA News

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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:

 

Calibration certificates

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.  

 

Paperwork

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 enquiries@themotclub.com 

Posted by on in DVSA News

A new video demonstrating some of the main features of the new MOT testing service has been released by DVSA.
Called the New MOT testing service demo, the video takes viewers through the main screens of the new service which will go live in 2015.
The screens on show will form the foundation of the new web-based service and are based on feedback DVSA has received from members of the MOT trade.
However, there could be minor changes made to the designs by the time the new service goes live as DVSA receives more feedback from the trade.
The video doesn't cover everything in one go and DVSA plans to release further information in 2015 to show how each section of the new system and its screens will work.

The video can be viewed on the following link New MOT testing service demo and any questions or suggestions should be emailed to DVSA at mot.modernisation@vosa.gov.uk.
DVSA is also asking Authorised Examiners (AEs) and Nominated Testers (NTs) to check and update the email addresses they have listed within their VTS device.
This is to make sure the agency can contact and send them relevant information about the switchover to the new service which will take place between April and August 2015.
Instructions on how to update these VTS details are available on the MOT Modernisation: update your VTS device details page on the GOV.UK website.

Posted by on in DVSA News

You have probably seen and read Special Notice 7-2014, but we just want to draw to your attention that there was no discussion with DVSA regarding the suspension of Refresher courses. Indeed the last discussion on this subject was a proposal to change from 5 year down to three. I have checked with all the other trade bodies that attend joint meetings with the DVSA and all confirm that they have no recollection of this subject being raised.
 
The only reason that can be thought of is that there is no link in the new system to allow NTs to book on line and without that a whole new process will need to be created. This is yet another example of the new system as it now stands is purely to produce VT20s and VT30s without any management back up available to AEDMs. We have already been officially told that there will be no recording via the new system of internal QCs, nor will there be recording and monitoring of calibrations.
 
The reason for this would appear to be that any co-operation between ATOS and the DVSA is now non existent.
 
If this is the case, then will the reports be available that enable you and your staff to ensure that you are running a VTS to DVSA standards and are being paid for all tests undertaken? That the NT you employ is who he says he is and has no previous record with the DVSA?
 
It is becoming a matter of great concern that the industry are going to be given a shell replacement with additions to be developed when the roll out is completed. The question then must be as to how long these developments will take. It is now over six years since “Comp2” was announced and it would appear that all we will get is the absolute basic system which could well be a criminals charter and the biggest threat to road safety since before the introduction of the MOT.
 
As further information is available you will be informed.

Posted by on in DVSA News

DVSA to contact garages and testers over coming weeks

DVSA will be getting in touch with garage owners and their testers over the coming weeks as part of its plans to bring in the new MOT testing system by September 2015.

It’s MOT Modernisation Project will be sending Authorised Examiners (AEs) and Nominated Testers (NTs) VTS messages asking them to verify their contact and other MOT details.

This will make sure it can quickly and easily get in touch with the members of the MOT trade ahead of the new web-based system being rolled-out next year.

The initial contact will include full advice and guidance on what information will need to provided and will be followed up by further details about the switchover process over the coming months on:

•    DVSA’s MOT Modernisation section on the GOV.UK website
•    DVSA’s Matters of Testing blog
 
Going forward, the easiest way to pick up information about MOT Modernisation is by signing up for email alerts from the blog with full instructions available on the following link - MOT Modernisation email alerts.
During the sign-up process, please make sure you provide as many of your MOT details as possible as this will make sure DVSA sends you the information you need.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the new IT specification or the new system email your feedback to mot.modernisation@vosa.gsi.gov.uk.

Posted by on in DVSA News

Below is a piece of information that appeared on the DVSA “blog” which was news to the Club and had not been previously discussed with the trade bodies. Many of you will remember when this was an annual event and every NT was subjected to it.
 
As it was discontinued due to the austerity measures, ie short staff, a situation that has not improved. Enquiries will be made as to the reinstatement and you will be informed accordingly.
 
 
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will soon be carrying out a new activity when visiting some sites. This will be known as an ‘observed inspection with defects’.

The activity will help us to make sure NTs (Nominated Testers) are inspecting vehicles correctly and applying the correct test standards.

A DVSA Vehicle Examiner (VE) will ask the tester to carry out a full MOT test and will observe the inspection. After the test, the VE will offer advice and guidance where needed. If procedures or standards haven’t been applied correctly, the VE will discuss the next steps with the tester.

This activity will mostly happen at sites where the risk scores falls into Red or Amber. We have also trialled it around the country with a number of MOT Garages. The feedback was positive from both the Trade and DVSA staff.

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