MOT tester Annual Training & Annual Assessment: Time is running out

Ian Gillgrass turns his attention to the MOT Annual Training requirements, as the clock ticks down to the deadline at the end of March

Published:  19 March, 2019

Well it’s that time of year again when the MOT tester must complete their Annual Training and Annual Assessment and the time is running out quickly. The cut off for this year is 31 March; As in the end of the month. Any MOT testers not completing the Annual Training and Annual Assessment will be automatically suspended from carrying out vehicle MOT tests.
Once suspended, becoming re-approved will mean that the MOT tester will have to carry out a demonstration MOT test observed by a DVSA representative as well as completing the previous year’s Annual Training and Annual Assessment anyway. Not to mention the loss of garage revenue that may accompany the loss of an MOT tester.
The DVSA have highlighted that the following require a demonstration test:

  •  New MOT testers require demonstration test within six months of achieving the MOT tester qualification
  •  Lapsed MOT testers over five years must also meet the entry requirements of a new MOT tester (i.e. meet the entry qualification requirement, pass the MOT tester qualification, experience etc.)
  •  Lapsed MOT testers up to five years need to carry out a demo test and complete current year Annual Training and Annual Assessment

If it is necessary to request a demonstration MOT test the following phone DVSA number should be called to book one: 0300 123 9000.
Late in 2018 the number of DVSA approved MOT testers was just over 68,000, with 54,000 still to complete their Annual Training and Annual Assessment. These numbers include all MOT testers across all the vehicle classes (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 7). Quite a number still to take the annual assessment, 14,000 in fact.
An MOT tester is subject to a minimum of 16 hours training in a five-year period. Each year an MOT tester must complete at least three hours of training associated with the DVSA prescribed syllabus as indicated below.
The training can be delivered in various forms. These include (but not limited to) in-house, book form, electronic (e-learning) or face-to-face. There are a number of training providers in the industry that provide such services to the MOT sector. The training must be recorded as follows:

  •  The MOT annual training year (for example April 2018 to March 2019)
  •  The date of the training
  •  How long the training session lasted
  •  What topics you covered during the session
  •  Notes on what you did, how you did it and what you learned
  •  What vehicle groups your training covered
  •  MOT tester name and MOT Testing Service user ID

The MOT tester training records will be asked for by the DVSA representative during a Vehicle Testing Station site review.
Just to recap on the subjects that are included in this year’s (2018/2019) Group B (Vehicle Classes 4 and 7) Annual Training syllabus are:

 Updates to testing procedures brought about by the implementation of Directive 2014/45

 Guidelines for the safe testing of alternatively fuelled vehicles, including; hybrid, electric and Hydrogen Fuel Cell powered vehicles

 Test Quality Information and Data Protection

The MOT Annual Assessment will include questions on the syllabus as above but also some elements taken from previous years’ MOT Annual Training syllabi, and some MOT General Standards/Procedures.
The information that follows provides an overview of the syllabus for the year April 2018 through to March 2019, but always consult with professional training organisations who can provide further in-depth information to meet the training criteria set by DVSA.

The implementation of Directive 2014/45:
All MOT testers have been using the vehicle inspection criteria since its implementation of May 2018. Much of the content of the MOT Inspection Manual is similar to that previously used for many years, but some content has been added since the introduction of the European Directive 2014/45. An item that comes to mind is the introduction of the inspection on brake systems, especially around the inspection of brake fluid. This inspection item has had several revisions to the inspection criteria since its introduction.
Also, with the introduction of the European Directive 2014/45 came the new defect categories of: minor, major and dangerous. A minor defect will still result in the MOT Certificate being issued, a major and dangerous will result in a refusal of an MOT Certificate being issued. A minor defect will be indicated on the MOT certificate.
Note that a dangerous defect usually results in the vehicle not being fit for driving on public highways. The Vehicle Testing Station does not have the authority to instruct the presenter of the vehicle not to drive the vehicle on a public highway but should advise the presenter of the dangerous defect, and that this should be repaired immediately. Only the DVSA or the police have the authority to remove a vehicle from use on a public highway.
The changes to the MOT Inspection Manual were previously shown by a line opposite the changes. Now all the changes are detailed at the bottom of the MOT Inspection Manual. The MOT tester can use this information to see how the MOT Inspection Manual has changed over a period of time.
The MOT tester should also be aware of the inspection procedures necessary when testing alternative fuelled vehicles. This includes hybrid, Electric Vehicle and Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) vehicles.
These vehicle types are inherently safe to carry out a routine Periodic Test Inspection (PTI) but the MOT tester should be aware of the vehicles function, ensure that they aware of its characteristics (power/ready mode) and inspect the vehicle’s high voltage wiring to ensure it is not damaged.
If the MOT tester does see any damage to the high voltage wiring (normally bright orange in colour) they should abandon the MOT test and report the defect to the vehicle presenter. Only High Voltage Electric Vehicle qualified technicians should attempt any repair to the high voltage wiring/cables or its high voltage components.
There is also often a misconception that these types of passenger vehicles are exempt from MOT Testing, they do require an MOT test, albeit they are not currently subject to an emissions test.
An MOT tester inspecting this type of vehicle may find that the vehicle’s battery may have discharged during the inspection process. Most of these vehicle types will have both a high voltage battery (mainly used to propel the vehicle) and also a low voltage (12 volt) battery.
If the MOT tester suspects that the battery has discharged during the MOT test, a ‘jump battery’ (alternative power source) can only be applied to the low voltage battery. Connect the ‘jump battery’ to the low voltage battery using the vehicle manufacturers procedures which is typically a connection made in the conventional manner.
Some of the information that the MOT tester is required to have has been included in articles published by this magazine. Check your back issues!
With the increase in the use of data during the MOT test, the MOT tester is required to have access to a large amount of data that could be sensitive. Therefore, the MOT tester should be aware of the principles and content of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which replaced the Data Protection Act in May 2018.
The MOT tester also has access to large amounts of data in regard to the MOT tests that they, the Vehicle Testing Station (VTS) and the national average of MOT tests carried out. The MOT tester should be aware of the data availability and how they can benefit from it.

The future of MOT testers
The MOT tester is coming under more scrutiny and is now subject to risk rating. This is the Red, Amber, Green (RAG) rating this is shown on their MOT Testing Service (MTS) profile in the top righthand side.
The risk rating is typically calculated from the MOT testers performance against the national average performance of MOT testers along with additional information that may be contained within their records. The MOT tester should continually review their risk rating but also review their performance using the ‘Test Logs’ and Test Quality Information’ data within each MOT testers MTS profile. At present only the MOT tester has access to the risk rating although this may change in time.
There is some evidence that the MOT testers may not be applying the correct standard to some MOT tests. The top 5 inspection areas that, typically, can have the incorrect standard applied are:

  •  Headlamps
  •  Driver View of the Road
  •  Tyres
  •  Antiroll bar
  •  Coil springs

Mistakes are also often made during the registration of a vehicle on the MOT Testing Service system. Vehicle details are sometimes incorrectly input by the MOT tester when they are simply taken off the job card rather than directly off the vehicle. This can result in the incorrect vehicle being identified and issued with an MOT certificate or a certificate of refusal. Much thought is currently being taken to prevent this from happening, however, the MOT tester is seen as the weak link in the chain of actions carried out as they have the vehicle in front of them. Sanction can be taken against the MOT tester if found guilty of this type of avoidable error. The applicable penalties will then be applied to the MOT tester or the Vehicle Testing Station.
Complete your MOT tester Annual Training and Annual Assessment before the deadline on 31 March, you only have a few weeks left. You won’t be alone in not completing your training yet, but why not get it out of the way early?  Remember next year’s MOT tester Annual Training will begin in April, this year.

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