Annual Exams are COMPULSORY… SO IS ANNUAL TRAINING

Barry takes a close look at Annual Training and what the DVSA will be expecting to see as we move forward

Published:  05 November, 2018

As we all get used to the new annual exam and training process the DVSA will need to crank up their focus on our training.  The DVSA can easily enforce the annual exam, as we have seen in the 2017 – 18 year. The requirement to enter your results in order to continue testing is a pretty easy way to keep us all focused.

The DVSA will in turn be held accountable to the government to ensure that we are all conducting training to a very high standard. Let’s see what the DVSA tell us we should be achieving, which is in turn what a Vehicle Examiner (VE) will want to see when they visit your VTS.

For each tester, and their respective training record, the VE will request a minimum of;

  •  Tester name and user ID
  •  Which year training covered
  •  Which groups training covered
  •  Date of training
  •  How long training session lasted
  •  Topics were covered during session
  •  Notes on what you did, how you did and what you learned


We are now in the third year of training, so for each tester you will need to be able to display their training records for each training year.

Plenty of VTS sites have this ‘ferreted’ away in a lever arch file somewhere, often only in a location known to the site manager. This is great but in our experience the day that a DVSA Vehicle Examiner arrives unannounced to conduct a Site Assessment Report (SAR) is always the same day that the site manager is off-site. Now the tester has to find their own records and produce them to the VE. If they don’t do this then your VTS gets an increased risk score and the VE is obliged to visit you more often.

A good exercise to carry out is to copy the bullet points above and ask one of your testers to produce the results for you, or if you are a tester do it for yourself. That way when the DVSA do arrive you will not be hung out to dry. Another easy win for the VE is to ask you to demonstrate your ‘score’ or to take the wording from the Testing Guide “notes on what you did, how you did and what you learned.” This means that you need to demonstrate some kind of ‘question and answer’ process where your understanding of the training can be measured, and you need to have documented this process and its findings.

The DVSA don’t care how much admin they put on us all, their job is to meet government targets.

It is also important to remember that training should be used to identify a lack of skills. The underlying requirement from the DVSA is that we all have good quality management in place.

A good quality management system, when measured against the training requirements, would expect to see appropriate training supplied along with a measure to detect where testers are lacking knowledge and to record that issue, then rectify and record the rectification. To rectify simply means add more training, but don’t forget to record that extra training so that it can be produced in writing or electronically to the DVSA.

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