Please see below the latest communication sent to Baroness Vere;
28th January 2021
Dear Baroness Vere,
Further to your replies regarding the extension of theory certificates, many of our joint membership have been very upset with the tone you seem to adopt regarding DVSA qualified ADIs. In your quote ‘Although ADI’s are well qualified and proficient in driving and instruction, they are not experienced assessors, this is evidenced by the current practical pass rate of 47%.”, Although we agree there are different skill sets used between an instructor/teacher and an assessor/examiner, you appear to be suggesting the low pass rate around the country is purely down to ADIs, which is deeply offensive to the profession, most of whom spend their life trying to help novice drivers to learn a life skill. It appears by your statement, examiners or indeed candidates play no part in the eventual result at the end of a practical test.
We would like you to evidence your suggestion, it’s easy to look at pass rates and point the finger, however if we look at the amazingly ‘consistent’ pass rates over the last 10 years, a growing number of ADI’s wonder how with around 1.5 million tests in a year that pass rate figure can remain virtually the same.
Surely there must be more than one contributing factor, as you state road safety is paramount, that being the case, why did DVSA allow testing to begin on exactly the same day as the last lockdown ended in England, this exposed some candidates to take their practical exam with no professional instruction merely some private practice and in some instances no training at all. Surely in the interests of road safety this message should be consistent, and those tests should have waited until training had been underway, we would welcome your views.
You also quote “candidates who have taken their theory test in early 2019 are likely that their knowledge base and hazard perception skills will have diminished’’, this will clearly have a negative impact on road safety of new drivers. Surely if this is correct all drivers should have their Theory knowledge retested periodically?
In addition, we should consider the hundreds of drivers who pass a practical test and do not drive for some years later, they are not even required to take any retraining before setting out in their vehicle, we would invite you to quantify how these examples fit with your assumption that extending this two-year period on a temporary basis would clearly have a negative impact on road safety of new drivers.
If you truly consider ‘The 2-year period for Theory Tests should remain for safety reasons to ensure that new drivers have current and relevant knowledge and skills’ and will not take any action to have this regulation amended, we urge you find a way to allow all the people required to retake the theory test, to take it for free and offer them priority slots, as none of this is their fault, this would also help the DVSA by taking the strain of both theory and practical test waiting times..
I look forward to your reply
Current NASP Chair
National Chair MSA GB
CC: Carly Brookfield CEO DIA
Lynne Barrie Chair ADINJC
National Chair MSA GB