NASP report of joint quarterly meeting with DVSA held March 2024

The meeting was held on the Teams platform and was attended by senior members from DVSA and all NASP representatives.

Review of actions from last meeting

• Various action points were discussed and updated, further details below.

Driver Recovery

DVSA reported:

• Nearing end of 6 months recovery period. Some warrant holders will be returning to normal duties after end of March

• National average waiting times L tests – 16.1 weeks through February

• North recovering more quickly than the south

• Scotland, NE England down to Lincolnshire – 12.5 weeks

• London & SE England – 21-22 weeks

• NW England Manchester, Wales, Gloucestershire and Staffordshire – 15 weeks

• Nottingham, M1, Oxford, Cambridge, Norfolk to Penzance – 19 weeks

• High demand in M1 corridor area into SE England

• Actively seeking volunteers to move from low wait centres to high wait areas

• Forward bookings have fallen to 507,293, with a sustained dropping off for bookings since October. These have been continually falling each month

• Panic buying not fully over but customer behaviour is starting to change

• 127,000 available tests in system to book

• Union discussions will be shared with NASP at a later date

• 33,000 tests per week in July 2023. Currently 44,000 tests per week

• 2 million tests forecasted for the year – record high

• There will be no need to provide additional services through the spring (when bookings are generally higher)

• Recruitment – 170 available posts – proportionally in line with recovery and will be posted where they are most needed. Response has been positive.

• Industrial action was suspended. Hoping to officially end the dispute so as not to jeopardise the future after March

• Comms for ADIs – DVSA to share information about waiting times and next steps

ADI Registrar

• Volumes of new applications are not reducing. Over 100% more applications than previously – now 41,000 on the register with 4,000 trainee licence holders. Still receiving around 700 applications per month for trainee licences – previously 250 per month. This has been challenging, with no let-up for 18 months.

• February 2024 – 1675 new ADI qualifications and 722 trainee licences.

• Part 3 tests – candidates have the right to complain or to go to the magistrates’ court if unhappy with the conduct of the test. Most are dealt with and rectified internally.

Recent case went to court – DVSA won and PDI had judgment of costs against them. There was a recommendation to review the wording of part 3 test information – adding “approximately” before “40 minutes on the road” to manage expectations

• NASP asked about the re-wording for Part 2 and 3 candidates’ results emails. This will need to be reviewed by the examiner team – most of whom are out testing full time

• NASP asked whether there are any increases or trends regarding complaints or removals. DVSA said slight increase in complaints (including about PDIs), and more appeals, but partly to be expected with more people on the register

• Lot of 2nd trainee licences being issued and an upsurge of appeals against refusal of 3rd trainee licences

• DVSA always looks at test records so will know if trainees have cancelled more than once. Reasons for cancellation will be assessed on case-by-case basis. If DVSA cancels tests, the agency will consider 3rd licence.

• NASP asked whether a 2nd licence will be issued if trainees have complied. DVSA agreed this was the case, but if they don’t comply, they are unlikely to get a 2nd – eg not providing the 21AT.

• ORDIT – currently no plan. The team will identify those waiting for renewal and those waiting to join. The team can then decide the amount of resources needed.

• NASP asked whether those waiting to get in would get priority. The wording from ADI examiners seems to suggest trainees failing part 3, should find an ORDIT trainer was unfair to those who have been unable to get in. DVSA agreed that was a fair challenge and would take it away to consider.

ADI Examiner Update

• 5,727 part 2s from September 2023 – February 2024 – record number. Previously were 500 a month. Currently delivering to capacity at 3 times the normal.

• 4,637 part 3s

• 863 SCs – all fallen into TIPs, newly qualified and those who had failed a SC. SC numbers reduced to give input for 2s and 3s.

• 6-week course starting on 8 April for 6 new examiners. There will be 9 examiners within 3 months giving an extra 150 tests per week

• Resources will be focussed on 2s and 3s and then SCs, focusing on areas with highest needs

• NASP asked if people are booking early because of lack of tests. This is happening and means they will cancel tests, which will have detrimental effect on whether they get more than one trainee licence and take slots away from those who are ready.

• NASP suggested it’s happening because people are scared their 2 years will run out and asked if there are messages for trainees. DVSA replied, making sure they are prepared is the best message.

• NASP said if a trainee is on “Book to Hold” they can take part 3 if theory is running out, but they can’t have more than one test booked at a time.

• DVSA stated, the window is still 12 weeks and priority will be given to those with part 1 expiring, as well as those who came on the list first. Some test centres have different needs. If the demand for 2s and 3s is lower there will be more SCs.

• NASP asked for an update in relation to Ready2Pass regarding trainees. DVSA stated work had been started on this, however is currently paused.

Ready2Pass? and communications

• Supporting messages and PDI guidance is now being issued on a weekly basis       

• NASP queried ADI qualification test results emails update, it was explained that these will be reviewed once warrant card holders return from testing.

• Information on waiting times and next steps will be sent out this week

• R2P for learners – paid for time now live on social media.

• NASP suggested including DVSA in Milestones project

Policy update

• Driver policy team is currently focusing on driver policy priorities and has started designing a long-term recovery roadmap


• Gave an update on the Milestones project and that they have started an ADI recruitment process. This is not a DIA project to benefit DIA, but to benefit young drivers by pupil engagement and sustaining them through the trial. There had been a good response so far.         


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