T.Q.I. or T.Q. WHY?

Barry explores some of the guidance from the new MOT Directive and focuses on the responsibility to manage your TQI

Published:  25 February, 2019

Here is an extract from the sixth edition of the Testing Guide:

 “E3 Ongoing Requirements: Testers should access their Test Quality Information (TQI) Reports via the MOT Testing Service (MTS), to compare their personal performance with the national averages. This is relevant to the tester as it is an ongoing requirement of authorisation.”
Let’s explore what the DVSA want to achieve. The DVSA need to be accountable to Government for ensuring the MOT Scheme is well run and managed. They themselves cannot be in all places at all times, so by running a TQI comparison they are able to gain a structured insight on the performance of each and every MOT tester. They can then compare each individual MOT tester’s results against the national average and can use this system to identify any anomalies.  In essence, the DVSA need this information to prove they are managing the scheme and to identify where any weaknesses might be found.

Insider information
How can the DVSA use the information? As MOT testing stations we previously had this data available via an earlier version of the VTS software along with a scoring system. Now just because we don’t see the scoring system please do not think for one moment that the DVSA cannot see your scores.
When a DVSA Vehicle Examiner (VE) is sat down the road from your garage, he is able to look at the TQI of each tester and arrive at your reception area armed with what could be termed ‘insider information’, although the information that the DVSA can see is the same information you can access via your TQI.
Worse still if your TQI percentages are consistently too far from the national  average, a computer at the DVSA could alert your local DVSA office and create the need for a Vehicle Examiner to visit your garage unannounced.

Review and manage  
The DVSA have given us all the ability to be armed against any weaknesses in our TQI and via the new directive are actually forcing us to review and manage our own TQI. Let’s not forget the DVSA need to have a well-run scheme, so by forcing us to review and manage the TQI they are keeping themselves in good shape too.
How often should you check your TQI? Let’s make this simple you should check it every month. What should you do with your TQI? Each tester (not your employer or AE) should check their own TQI each month. Once you have your TQI report, you should check your own averages against the national averages. If all of your TQI is close to the national average then you have very little to be concerned about, and the DVSA will also have no concerns here.
Importantly, in order to remain compliant you should have a record of checking your TQI and be able to produce that record to the DVSA on demand. If you have checked, all is good, and you have documented this check, then well done.
What if your TQI is bad? Two things can happen here:

1. You are a BAD tester and you probably get found out, or...
2. You are a GOOD tester with bad TQI who needs to put things right.

The DVSA want us all to work to a quality management scheme (QMS). The DVSA want to see that we all manage our VTS correctly. They expect us to do this by continually checking and measuring ourselves against a set of standards. Now the DVSA are not silly and they know that there will be shortcomings and things that go wrong. In fact, they expect just that, and even encourage it. What the DVSA want is for all of our checking to be recorded, then they want us to find things that are wrong and record them. More importantly they want us to put those things right and record when they have been corrected.
Returning to our bad TQI, it is safe to say that the DVSA will want to know that we have identified the issue and recorded that problem, then we need to supply a solution and document that solutions outcome.
Finding a valid reason for your TQI differences is often down to unique circumstances, some real-world examples that come to mind are:

  •  MOT bays that only test very old vehicles creating an average vehicle tested age outside national averages
  •  A tester that is focused on retests at their site so does not see many failures
  •  A garage that only tests let’s say 3-year-old cars that have all been PDI inspected prior to test having virtually zero failures
  •  A tester that has only conducted a very low number of tests does not balance well against the national averages
  •  One tester being given all the worst and oldest vehicles

If you can identify a simple reason and record the findings then that should be  sufficient so long as next month things level out. For testers who do not test very often, it is best to widen the time period to say six months and look again at the averages over a greater number of tests. The alternative to genuine reasons above is an ongoing issue. If we assume  that as a tester you are finding the same issue each month, then you need to identify which areas you are having issues with and ask your AE or another tester to observe how you are testing the items that are causing concern. Then see if your testing methods are correct. Can you improve the way you test? Are you failing or passing items correctly?
Whatever you find, you need to document your efforts to correct the issue, then so long as you can prove that you are working to correct the issue the DVSA will have little recourse. If you cannot correct and identify valid reasons for your averages being very different to the national averages, then you need to get extra training and document that extra training.
Checking, recording and reporting
I hear some of you saying: “It’s my boss’s job not mine!” That is wrong.
The new directive makes a simple statement as follows: “This is relevant to the tester as it is an ongoing requirement of authorisation.“
This statement quite simply means that every tester is responsible for conducting their own TQI checks as part of their own authorisation to test.
If you are an MOT tester and you do not have a process for checking and recording your TQI, you are handing the DVSA a reason to remove your ability to test and potentially jeopardise your employment and livelihood.
How can you report your TQI? You can create an easy-to-lose A4 sheet, print your TQI and comment on it, maybe have an old-style ring binder and hope that everyone remembers to use it and keep it up-to-date. Or, you could use the leading MOT Compliance software that automates the majority of the task for you and helps you to record and rectify, and then allows your manager to track the ongoing compliance in real time ensuring full protection against the DVSA.

Please use this link to find out more:  https://www.motjuice.co.uk/tqi

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