The fifth meeting of the partnership was held on 6th July 2015, with all 4 partners represented. It was held in Nottingham with the ADINJC now in the chair. Thanks must go to the DVSA for the use of a room at the Axis building where NASP met for a private meeting prior to and after the meeting held with DVSA. The meeting of NASP with the DVSA took up the majority of the time that day.
Present at the meeting for NASP/DVSA:
Lynne Barrie, Chris Porter ADINJC
Carly Brookfield, Ian Green DIA
Gavin Brownlie, Gordon Crosbie DISC
John Lepine, Peter Harvey MSA
Notetaker: Matt Stone
Pre-Meeting of NASP:
With Lynne Barrie in the chair, the pre-meeting was an opportunity for NASP to discuss their new website www.n-a-s-p.co.uk and the survey that will be in place on it until August 15th. All NASP partners will be making their members aware of the site and survey. The survey seeks the views of ADIs regarding the proposal from the DVSA to help top level ADIs promote themselves as such. Discussion took place around the 176 responses and feedback from ADIs who had already completed the survey in its first two days of going live. This pre-meeting was also an opportunity to review previous action points in preparation for the joint meeting with the DVSA. The group also discussed the Part 3 ADI qualifying exam and future changes to it: this included the trainee licence, taking a pupil to test rather than the use of role play, ORDIT and contributing towards designing a new system for PDI trainers.
Meeting of NASP/ DVSA:
After introductions around the table Mark Magee, Head of Policy and Registrar went over the action points from our previous meeting to update us. He also mentioned that DVSA is launching a new blog offering regular updates and periodically articles will be available for publication. He then went on to list some DVSA achievements since January 2015.
In summary these are:
- Established the Single Trading Fund on 1 April 2015
- Launched shorter, topic-focused questionnaires for ADIs including:
- The Drivers Record, Awareness of the National Standards and the standards check
- DVSA online services, the practical driving test and DVSA examiners – to follow
- Celebrated 80 years of the driving test
- Implemented the Deregulation Act 2015 removing the separate qualification/registration arrangements for people whose driving licence is restricted to automatic on medical grounds
- CIECA – Lesley Young is now a member of the Expert Advisory Group, and Mark Magee is now a member of the Permanent Bureau
The CEO, Alistair Peoples, said it was possibly his last stakeholders’ meeting as he is due to retire in October 2015. He is looking for continuity throughout a seamless transition to his successor taking over.
Practical Test Review: Chief Driving Examiner, Lesley Young updated us on the practical test trials. She said that initial teething problems had been resolved.
- There are now 1,205 learners registered for the trial and 764 tests have been booked
- Total number of test results notified so far is 350.
- Trial tests = 180, of which 105 are passes and 75 are fails
- Control tests = 170, of which 81 are passes and 89 are fails
- 3 more test centres have been added to the trial : Bristol (Southmead), Herne Bay in Kent and Southampton (Maybush) which brings the total number to 26
So far the pass rates for the trial test are running at 10% higher than the current normal practical test. There isn’t enough data as yet to know why but the group discussed possible reasons. Lesley thanked everyone for their help and feedback with the trial and a Q and A session followed.
ADI Qualification Process: Mark Magee then informed us that work has recommenced on the impact assessment to support replacing the Part 3 with the standards check. He said that lawyers had been instructed on the regulatory amendment and that they realise they need to allow the industry sufficient notice of any change. The target implementation date is October 2016 with confirmation to the industry in late 2015/early 2016. DVSA are also looking at the impact on ORDIT. Mark confirmed that it won’t be compulsory to be an ORDIT trainer in order to train PDIs. A lengthy discussion took place where concerns and comments were aired.
On-line Standards Check Booking System: Mark reaffirmed that the on- line booking system is a priority for the DVSA and the industry. The DfT are reviewing its overall fees strategy for the department and agencies. The restructure of the ADI registration fee needs consultation and regulatory change which may follow at a later date.
Other Regulatory Measures: Mark explained that the DVSA are looking for legislative opportunity to progress other matters covered by the MDT consultation including allowing an ADI to voluntarily resign from the register. Also to allow an ADI to re-join the register via the standards check (avoiding the need to requalify). This route would not be open to any ADI previously removed by the Registrar.
Supporting the best ADIs:
The DVSA are submitting a request for change to allow ADIs to voluntarily publish their grading through the DVSA on-line “Find Your Nearest” facility. They are also considering the potential for an additional certificate for elite ADIs as part of the concept of what they are calling earned recognition. The group discussed the findings from their NASP survey so far which focuses on this issue. Some concerns were expressed about how this system would work.
Risk Assessment Framework: Mark discussed the principles of this system.
- It would be deployed to help the DVSA identify high risk instructors and reduce the impact of enforcement on compliant ones.
- The framework would determine the instructors risk of non-compliance or poor standards based on management information and/or ‘encounters’ with DVSA over a specific period.
- All instructors would be treated in the same way and it would provide an incentive to maintain or improve standards of compliance and performance.
Graphs of the “earned recognition system” were circulated and explained as they are currently used at VOSA.
NASP were asked to consider 2 questions. What should determine an elite instructor and what incentives might the DVSA offer elite instructors? Suggestions were discussed amongst the group.
During the afternoon session of this meeting NASP and DVSA addressed the following topics which NASP asked to be on the agenda:
- Feedback on the proposed ADI risk assessment framework
- Communications with the DVSA
- Test waiting times
- Pass plus/post-test training
- Plans for the voluntary ORDIT and Fleet Registers
NASP were given some new DVSA contacts to use and DVSA promised to look into some examples of cancelled tests that had caused members difficulties. DVSA explained that there was a system of ‘floater’ examiners that can be called in. The test centre manager should cover any tests they are able to until help arrives. If there is not a test centre manager on site then the first test of the day is compromised while they bring the floater examiner in. DVSA are looking into having one examiner free for the first test slot every day at each test centre to give the system flexibility.
With waiting times for tests at some test centres being as much as 18 weeks the group discussed this issue. Apparently the demand for test slots has risen from the expected 1.5 million tests to 1.7 million and vocational test demand has risen dramatically as well. DVSA has recruited 59 new examiners and they will be deployed to the areas with the worst waiting times. They are also working on productivity and adding two tests a week to each examiner’s work load. DVSA stated that everything possible was being done to ease this situation as soon as possible.
The waiting times for CRB checks was also mentioned. The Registrar suggested that ADIs give themselves 3 months for these to be completed as the DVSA had no control over it as its run by the police.
The issues that NASP members had experienced with dash cams on practical tests seem to be easing and Lesley had sent out more advice to the examiners which should also make the situation improve.
The take up of Pass Plus is now only 4% and thoughts about graduated licences and the future of post-test training was discussed. It was confirmed that the fleet register remained at around 2,600 and the LGV register is around 900. ORDIT is around 650 and will currently remain voluntary.
A date and possible agenda items for the next meeting was discussed and Alistair Peoples thanked everyone as this was likely to be his last meeting with NASP before his retirement.
Final NASP meeting of the day:
The group held a short post-meeting where it was decided who could work with the Registrar and DVSA on a model for the Part 3. The meeting then closed.