Valentines Day Meeting for NASP & DVSA

The regular stakeholder meeting between NASP and DVSA took place in Nottingham last month (14th February) and discussions focused on a number of important issues and developments in the industry.

ORDIT

NASP asked DVSA for an update on when the new framework for ORDIT would be implemented, given an original target date of early 2019. DVSA responded that they hoped to be able to launch the new scheme by the start of April. NASP asked DVSA to consider introducing a standard logbook format for trainees to allow for a consistent approach and better benchmarking. DVSA confirmed they are working on a draft of a standard logbook template. There was discussion as to whether, even with the introduction of the new scheme, ORDIT was sufficiently attractive to encourage wider engagement amongst trainers. Consideration of making ORDIT mandatory in the future if engagement does not voluntarily increase, developing its benefits further and making the criteria more robust was also discussed.

DVSA highlighted how Examiners would be asking to see trainee logbooks at the start of a Part 3 test and would be asking whether the trainee had engaged an ORDIT trainer as an important part of messaging about the merit of ORDIT and they would continue to promote ORDIT trainers to new entrants to the profession, however these checks would have no bearing on the outcome of the test.

Part Three

NASP asked for an update on the availability of Part 3 tests.  DVSA confirmed that they are up to speed in terms of supply but asked NASP to publicise the Book to Hold option for tests so more trainees get a slot which works for them. There are now 62 dedicated examiners based across 280 test centres.  The average Part 3 pass rate in 2017/18 was 36.1%, and this year to date 38.7%, a slight increase in attainment on previous years. Similarly pass rates for Part 2 – 2017/18 54.3%, and this year to date 58.7%.

ADI and Rider Trainer Performance & Conduct

Standards Check Attainment

NASP fedback anecdotal evidence that there appeared to be more failures at third attempt.   DVSA said that their enforcement team had been concentrating on zeroing in on trainers who had been difficult to reach, and also feedback from many of the failing candidates they saw suffered from a lack of relevant, remedial training after previous failed attempts.

The latest published statistics showed there were still 2,163 ADIs on the old grades as at September 2018. The majority of these either now have appointments booked or are due to have them shortly. There are also 2,566 ADIs classed as ‘unknown’ where the results are still to be processed or where there are a variety of other anomalies regarding their registration.

The third quarter statistics for 2018/19 are due to be published shortly and will give an update on the progress the ADI Enforcement Team have made in ensuring all ADIs have received a Standards Check.

Removals from the Register

NASP asked for an update on the number of, and reasons for, removals from the register.  The Registrar reported 26 trainers had been removed for Standards Check failure, 30 for Standards Check refusal (although it was noted that this had improved following the introduction of the self-booking facility), 67 removed for Fit & Proper and 240 for serious misconduct in the year to date. The rise in serious misconduct removals, and equally the rise in complaints of this nature being investigated is serious concern for both DVSA and NASP and underlines again the need for better safeguarding measures and training in the profession. Allegations received are usually about inappropriate touching, inappropriate conversations and inappropriate text messages.

Given the seriousness of complaints and increase in volume, The Registrar communicated that she was no longer only relying on criminal convictions to remove people from the Register.

Amongst some of the top reasons for removal (under Fit and Proper) there are a large number of motoring related instances where ADIs fail to notify their points or disqualifications within the required 7 day period. DVSA is unsympathetic of the defence presented buy some that they were unaware of the requirement to inform as it is a clear requirement in regulation and in the licence renewal. ADIs are reminded that they sign a declaration when they renew their licence, which includes the requirement to notify the Registrar of any offences or cautions. Regular checks are made with DVLA so motoring convictions will be noted. Any false declarations of this nature will be treated seriously and may result in removal.

NASP raised the challenge as to why Rider Trainers are still not required to undergo a DBS check. DVSA said that attempts had been previously made to introduce these, but an exemption was needed from the Home Office, which was not forthcoming.  NASP stated they would support DVSA if they made further applications to the Home Office to change this, given the importance of safeguarding and the protection of all pupils and trainers.

Theory Test

DVSA updated NASP on further research to update both the content and delivery of the Theory Test in the future with the agency hoping to harness technology and modern learning methods to deliver a better and more accessible theory testing service. DVSA asked NASP to help recruit volunteers to be part of a working group to help shape the future of the test.

Enforcement

The meeting was joined by Laura Great Rex, Head of Enforcement and Nigel Robinson, Senior Enforcement Officer who explained to NASP more about the role of DVSA Enforcement.  This division is now responsible for enforcement across vehicles and traffic, MoT testing stations, operator visits, ADIs and CBT.

There was a clear communication that this team was there to support ADIs and help them achieve, not just to deliver test and there was a real desire to create good working relationships between trainers and the Enforcement Team.  This would be achieved by encouraging more regular attendance by Examiners at local ADI group meetings and more interaction between the team and trainers on the ground. NASP asked the Enforcement team to write a piece for their respective publications to highlight the work of the department and increased understanding.

Practical Tests

DVSA reported that the new Category B test this has now bedded in with no major issues.  The pass rate is currently 45.8%, and there had been no complaints about the pull up on the right.

Mock Tests and Observers on Test

DVSA reported that recent research had shown that only 55% of candidates said they had experienced a mock test. NASP and DVSA agreed that mock tests should be encouraged, as should ADIs observing on test.  NASP suggested that DVSA could produce better guidance materials and perhaps a video outlining both the benefits and a how-to of conducting mock tests to encourage more trainers to engage in this good practice.

Driverless Car Trials

NASP raised the recent media coverage of the anticipated arrival of driverless cars – even in trial format – on our roads by the end of the year and asked that NASP be involve in any conversations about future training, testing and licensing.

Young Driver Research

Driver 2020 was  highlighted and it was agreed more pupil candidates were needed.  There is information on the NASP website but publicity needed to be maintained to keep up the momentum, and that the research success would depend on the number of sign ups.  More ADIs needed to get their pupils involved.  All stakeholders were asked to help publicise.

ADI Cycling Awareness Scheme

DVSA’s only involvement had been to provide ADI details.  West Midlands Police had in a recent survey again found that young drivers were not the main offenders of passing too close to cyclists. The scheme will be asked for an update.

DVSA Accreditation Scheme

This was discussed and there will be further details published in the near future.

PACTS Seat-belt Group

There is a new PACTS seat-belt initiative, and that they were keen to have an ADI input, there is also a particular problem with rear seat-belt use.

Dash Cams

There had been a complaint from a LDTM about clips posted by an ADI on YouTube who had filmed and posted a test with audio, including the debrief when the pupil had said no to the ADI being present, as recording sound is not allowed, if they refused, they would be reported to the ICO. Guidance on the use of cameras is available from ICO.

Present: Carly Brookfield (CB) Chair DIA
  Lynne Barrie (LB) ADINJC
  Matt Stone (MS) ADINJC
  Peter Harvey (PH) MSA GB
  John Lepine (JL) MSA GB
     
In attendance: Sue Duncan Minute Secretary
     
DVSA Jacqui Turland (JT) Registrar
  John Caradine (JC) Policy Advisor Driver Training
  Guy Chamberlain (GC) (10.55-11.30) Lead for IT Policy
  Laura Great Rex (LG) (11.30-1.45) Head of Enforcement Delivery
  Nigel Robinson (NR} (11.30-1.45) Senior Enforcement Officer