NASP REPORT March 2018

NASP Meeting

The committee met on Monday 26th March to discuss the joint meeting the next day with DVSA. Various items were discussed including, graduated licencing, safeguarding, GDPR and how we should advise members to deal with the future changes, the NASP survey on feedback from the practical test and its responses and the joint agenda for the next day amongst some other items.

NASP/DVSA Meeting 27th March.

The meeting was held in the DVSA Axis building in Nottingham.

Dashcams: DVSA pointed out if dashcams are used in driving school cars the owner should check with ICO to see how their use may affect their own business.

ADI Fees: It is unlikely that ADI fees will go up in the near future, however the agency are keen to separate the DBS charge and Standards Check fee from the registration fee, which will result in an overall small reduction for an ADI requiring only one Standards Check in the period of the licence.

Performance monitoring: – There had been no marked increase in the numbers of ADIs joining the Find your Driving Schools, Lessons & Instructors.  DVSA wants to encourage ADIs to come into the listing, which does not incur a fee.  ADIs should do this by emailing DVSA customer services.

Examiner Industrial Action: The Unions are still in discussion with ACAS, with a response awaited from PCS.  The current ballot is due to expire in early April.


Practical Test feedback: Up to 8th March 17,000 people from a total of 209,000 tests had been surveyed, the vast majority of which has been positive.  The satnav element has been well received, as have the new manoeuvres, with nothing alarming showing up. DVSA stated that although there has been some animosity to the pull up on the right exercise in the early stages, there have been few incidents.  The percentage of test failures remains the same.  The faults on the forward park are greater than previously for the turn in the road, and the pull up on the right gets fewer faults than the left reverse.  In addition, these manoeuvres are being carried out in a live environment, rather than the sterile conditions used previously. The full statistics will be circulated when they are made available after the survey finishes at the end of March.


NASP Survey:
We shared our results on the new test and had received 366 responses, of which 64% said they had experienced no differences in results with the pull up on the right.  NASP stated that there is still a concern with some members over extremely busy places being used for this manoeuvre.  DVSA said there is a bedding in time and that examiners will stop using such places if there is a delay caused when trying to move away again. There will be a follow-up DVSA survey around 6 months after test pass, which will include questions to ascertain whether there is any difference on crash statistics.  DVSA were asked if examiners had been surveyed for their opinions on the new test, they are awaiting the response

Test Timings: DVSA informed us, with the introduction of the new test there will be more timing studies taking place in due course, there is no date set for this, however asked that NASP let members know that it will be taking place.  NASP asked if there was a form of words that can be sent to members, and also said that ADIs felt that the people conducting the timings should be asking the candidate as a matter of courtesy, rather than just getting in the car with no introduction, as this had caused a lot of animosity last time.  DVSA agreed that this needed to be managed better than it had been previously.

DVSA Communications: NASP had received a reply from DVSA regarding its recent press release about ADIs which was felt to be unacceptable and the industry feels it has been very badly treated by the Agency.  DVSA said that they felt they had made it clear in their blog about the subject that the problem was only a small minority and that they had not reflected the behaviour of those small minority on all ADIs.  NASP agreed and said it was not the blog that was the problem, but the press release and lack of consultation which had caused upset and possibly irreparable damage to the profession via various media formats. NASP made it very clear that none of its representative bodies in any way condoned the type of behaviour being discussed in the press release and asked for much more time to compile a coherent response as 3 hours was nowhere near enough time.

Theory Test Update: There was an update on changes to the theory test as detailed below: NASP have been asked to disseminate this information and there will be a DVSA blog on the subject in due course.

  • 1 May there will be a refresh on the test for Category B, with amendments to the multiple-choice questions. The focus will be on amending the language in a minor way for greater accessibility.
  • Any out of date questions will be removed and the new motorway regulations with regard to learner drivers incorporated.
  • There is being a refresh of the carrier language used, in consultation with both the British Deaf Association, and the British Dyslexia Association.
  • Continuation questions have been removed as they cause confusion.
  • The questions have been made easier to understand and are less cluttered.
  • The questions are a test of a candidate’s knowledge of the theory, not their comprehension skills.
  • Words like increased/decreased have been replaced with simpler words like bigger, smaller etc. And longer words like ‘consumption’ have been removed.
  • There is no change in the use of source material.
  • There will be more pictures to improve the look and feel.
  • Negatively phrased questions are being removed.

There will also be a full review of Part 1 questions during this year.

 

Temporary Test Centres: The Agency have recently been using facilities at the Queen Elizabeth Foundation in Carshalton, however had been forced out.  This was as a result of a campaign by residents, because of the behaviour of ADIs who had been using driveways in an adjacent cul-de-sac to turn around and carrying out Show Me/Tell Me questions.   When asked to leave some ADIs had been discourteous and behaved inconsiderately.

The local TC manager had made unsuccessful attempts to appease residents, with the result that they had been asked to leave.  The same situation had arisen at another TC in the local area, with the result that there are two fewer test centres.  It was felt that notices in test centres could spell out that test centres are at risk when such behaviour takes place. 

Update on Part 3: There are now an additional 14 centres offering Part 3.  The Agency recognises the need for a PDI to know the area for Part 3, but the Agency cannot go from 82 to 260 centres overnight.  ADI examiners are now dedicated to ADI work, Parts 2 and 3 and Standards Checks.  There are 60 full-time equivalent posts, and they are re-building the SEADI relationship and are there to give advice. There is a need to understand the requirements for Part 3, and that people don’t always want to take tests where they live, and DVSA doesn’t know when they want to take tests.  DVSA asked that trainers use the ‘Book To Hold’ facility to help identify need in an area.  Once a test centre is put in, if there are no available tests, the Book To Hold option will come up at the bottom of the screen. A candidate should then hear within 2 weeks, although they may not have a confirmed date at that time.
DVSA are disappointed that the numbers of trainers accompanying candidates on Part 2 and 3 were not greater, and there had been little response from trainers, although some do accompany all their trainees.  NASP pointed out that some trainees specify that they just don’t want trainers in the back, also, sometimes distance and cost for trainers to travel becomes a factor for trainees. Feedback from examiners, trainers and PDIs on the new Part 3 had all been positive, and that they feel much more comfortable with the new format.  It is felt that the new testing regime is more realistic.

Standards Check Booking:  From 3 April the invitation to book a Standards Check will at last include the offer to book online, in the same way as other test bookings.  No-one will be able to book if they have not been invited to do so.  7,000 ADIs have still not had their first SC and are now a priority.  This backlog is mostly Grade 5/6, although there are still some on Grade 4 who have gone longer than 4 years.

ORDIT: Feedback at the recent ORDIT meetings, which a NASP representative attended at Cardington was positive. Nothing new had been added to the terms and conditions since the NASP meeting in November.  However, a minimum notice cancellation period had been introduced in line with other tests.  A new marking sheet was being considered and would be made available once completed. Trainers that attended had been in favour of retaining the ORDIT name, with 78% voting in agreement. There had been clarification on the limited number of attempts to trainers to gain a Grade A, and a time limit imposed on how quickly people can re-apply.

For those currently within ORDIT with a Grade B, they will have an opportunity to get an A for re-registration.  If an A is not achieved, a second opportunity will be given, but after that they can no longer stay on the ORDIT register.  Trainers already on the ORDIT register will have one inspection included in their registration fee. Those who are new applicants for the ORDIT register must have an A before applying.  The ORDIT inspection is at a higher level than a Standards Check, so in future anyone achieving an A at inspection on ORDIT will not have to have an SC.  It is within Regulations that an ADI cannot be used for a pupil for either Part 2 or Part 3 inspections.

The aim is to improve the scheme first, with no possibility of it being mandated before 2020.  It is hoped to encourage participation without putting up barriers. NASP asked to consider having some meetings for non ORDIT trainers to give them a feel for what was expected. All Gov. web pages have now been updated and include information links for potential trainees.


FDSI: DVSA said that not all ADIs know about the facility.  There are currently 26,037 on the listing, with approximately 10% showing their grading.  DVSA were asked how many use the facility to add their web address, but this information was not available at this time.

Trainee Licences: Now there is a need for trainees to bring a pupil, there is a need to retain the trainee licence.  However, there is now more need to police the system and training records will always be asked for to reinforce the need for records to be kept.  The form 21T is not regarded as a log and the Registrar felt it important to get across the necessity to keep proper logs of training undertaken.  What action is taken if there is no logbook on test.  The logbook/progress card is not mandatory, and the test will go ahead, and that nothing is done to put the trainee off.  ORDIT registration numbers are recorded, but if someone is doing the Part 3 without a trainer’s support, they should not be given the trainer’s PRN.

Other Business: NASP asked about the introduction of iPads for examiners.  These will be going out to examiners shortly, but initially these will be for connectivity, not marking.  Apps are currently being designed, and IT upgrades being carried out so the marking sheet fits on one page, but there is no information on the timing of this.  Eventually it will lead to better management information and quicker licence issue.  There will also have to be screen filters, so the candidate can’t see the screen, and the legal issues surrounding their use confirmed. DVSA pointed out that the situation is not the same for ADIs, who will still not be able to use tablets while a pupil is driving.  The DL25 is being adjusted, so there will be no swiping etc, and there will be very little movement, and will probably be less obvious than currently the use of a pen.  DVSA noted that ADIs may start seeing their use in the back of cars shortly for trial purposes.  The tablets will electronically send information to DVSA, DVLA, candidates and possibly ADIs, with the possible recording of de-briefs.  It will still be necessary to issue a pass certificate, but DVLA will be updated within 24 hours, and there will be an electronic signature.

The DVSA Business Plan for next year has been published and is available on gov.uk.
Meetings had taken place with the Energy Savings Trust about a strategy to reduce emissions and would encourage increased take up of the training sessions that are available, particularly through ORDIT.
Bikeability will be producing National Standards for Cycle Safety in line with the National Standards for Driver and Vehicle Safety and have asked for contributions.

The meeting ended with Lesley Young announcing she would be retiring at the end of May and therefore this would be her last NASP meeting.  She thanked NASP for the relationship she had had with them and wished members the best for the future. On behalf of our members Lesley was thanked for her involvement and support and wished her a very happy retirement.