NASP Report for October 2018
These are the minutes from the latest NASP meeting chaired by the ADINJC
NASP/DVSA Meeting Reports – October 1st/ October 2nd 2018
At the beginning of October the National Associations Strategic Partnership held meetings to discuss key industry developments and issues. The first meeting was the NASP committee one where we discussed items for the joint meeting the next day with DVSA.
Various items were on the agenda in preparation for the next day including the following: Communications with DVSA, Part 2 and 3 waiting times, standards check updates, practical test updates, timing study update, trainee licences, examiner conduct on test and procedures for complaints against ADIs.
Also discussed were the items from the DVSA on the agenda for the next meeting including: Mock test guidance, observer on test, ORDIT updates, ADI 1, Part 3 statistics, TARS stabilisation, MS90 convictions, disqualifications, timepoint 2 research and examiner services.
NASP/DVSA Meeting October 2nd.
The meeting was held at the DVSA Axis building in Nottingham. Outstanding action points were discussed which included GDPR. The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) are the lead department for GDPR and they have now issued guidelines therefore DVSA will not be issuing further ones for ADIs. However it was agreed that ADIs will need to be better signposted by the DVSA towards these guidelines for relevant information. NASP had previously replied to a request concerning views on a new DVSA accreditation scheme proposal however this has been delayed currently from the initial September date.
Procedures for Complaints:
The Counter-Fraud and Investigation Team are now involved in investigating any serious complaints against ADIs, usually concerning their conduct and are now holding an interview with the ADI. Trained investigators are used and it is an opportunity for ADIs to also give their side of the complaint against them, the procedure is fair and unbiased and the interview is recorded and then sent on to the Registrar to decide any further action. NASP were concerned that currently ADIs have not been told they could attend with a representative. It was agreed that ADIs need to know their rights, including the fact they can have an accompanying person at the interview as an observer. NASP members have attended some of these interviews as observers on behalf of their members so they now understand the system being used. It was also discussed that DVSA examiners who have serious allegations against them would be treated in the same way as an ADI and not have prior knowledge of the complaint against them in advance. Most interviews will result in a warning however they could also result in suspension or removal from the register. ADIs are always referred to the Code of Practice. More minor complaints could be given guidance at a local level. It was discussed that ADIs could decide not to attend the interview or comment at it however the Registrar will then only have one version of events on which to make a decision. DVSA will make it clear that people can have representation and suggest that they get help from their associations. Whilst the procedure will obviously cause some stress for ADIs involved, it is necessary for serious allegations and complaints to be investigated.
The DVSA expressed concern over the number of assaults on their staff. In 2017/18 there were 237 assaults on staff during Cat B tests, of which 17 were committed by ADIs and the remainder were made by the public or candidates. So far in 18/19 there have been 101 assaults of which 20 have been by ADIs. These figures now also include attacks on social media, including a threat to kill an examiner. It was felt that problems often arise from an old complaint that has been allowed to fester, and that ADIs should use the complaints procedure even though it was acknowledged that ADIs often don’t like to complain because of the fear of retribution. It was confirmed that complaints from ADIs have no bearing on the call for Standards Checks which are made by the Registrar’s office, not the examiners.
Driving Examiner Conduct:
A discussion took place concerning a number of complaints from NASP members on comments made by examiners on Standards Checks and Part 3 tests, particularly concerning full licence holders. The DVSA officers present were concerned to hear this as examiners are told not to give an opinion on who is being taken to the test, they should mark on what takes place and give feedback at the end. However it is the examiners role to make ADIs self-reflect on why they achieve the mark they do and not to undermine confidence. There are some workshops planned for the ADI examiner enforcement team, which will include a customer service element and it was also suggested that ADIs should use their local enforcement managers more.
These are convictions where there are no details given of the driver of the car. One example was an ADI who had failed to provide the details of a driver. They had appealed the decision to be removed from the Register, but in the meantime had gone to court and pleaded guilty, and been given a 7 day ban. This therefore precluded them from being on the Register. DVSA emphasised that ADIs must inform the Registrar of points, convictions or cautions, since they will be informed by DVLA. The Registrar is more likely to be sympathetic if an offence is declared. Advice for ADIs is not to take a short term ban as there is a requirement for anyone on the Register to have had no disqualifications in the last 4 years. ADIs have an obligation to inform the Registrar of any conviction or caution in writing within seven days.
Mock Test Guidance:
Guidance is currently being arranged for ADIs to better prepare candidates arriving for test by carrying out mock tests in line with how practical tests are conducted. DVSA stated that very few ADIs are going out on test, that some have never done so, and that it is now down to single figures after a peak when the new test came in. ADIs are also not always attending de-briefs at the end of the test. DVSA wants to encourage ADIs to sit in the back, and also attend de-briefs. NASP have asked if statistics are available for this. Whilst no research is available to show benefits of sitting in on a test, there are fewer complaints about a test when someone accompanies one.
The recent timing study has now been completed and is being analysed. Positive feedback had been received by DVSA, and ADIs had reacted much better to the situation than on the previous exercise due to having been more fully informed than previously, and introductions and explanations being made by those carrying out the study.
The practical test has settled well, with no issues arising from concerns highlighted before the start. DVSA consider that the pull up on the right exercise had resulted in increased awareness of risk, and there are now fewer faults being recorded on moving away safely. There had been an initial increase in faults on Show Me/Tell Me, but these have now decreased. NASP asked why the screen wash question had been removed and were told this was down to the number of questions. The new test was allowing more use of high risk roads where candidates are expected to make appropriate progress. NASP said there was some concern from members over the new later test time on Wednesdays, especially once the clocks have gone back with regards to candidates being able to read a number plate and park within lines. There will be flexibility not to do bay parks if light was insufficient to do it safely, and number plates had not been a problem when this time was used in the past. The change in times was to allow part time examiners to be included in training during the middle of the day as when this took place at the end of the day they frequently missed out.
The ADI Part 2 was now also taking place on higher risk roads, and some candidates were finding difficulty with the correct speeds on bends. The ADI Part 1 theory test is also being refreshed and reviewed to align with the National Standards as is the HPT to include more CGI clips on vulnerable road users and the development of visual media.
Communications with DVSA:
This was discussed after there had been much concern over incidents when NASP had been asked to provide comment on press releases with a short time period which had not allowed them to contribute. In past meetings NASP had felt that some of the press releases were unacceptable and caused damage to the profession via various media formats. DVSA spoke about 5 elements of communication: roles, approach, content, notice and join-up. They understand the need to be clear about their own approach but also have to take into account policy and political boundaries. In future where possible NASP will be given notice and points of criticism will be heard but DVSA is not always in control when items are sent out from the government. DVSA feel the communications department is now better established, with a nearly full complement of staff in the Press Office which will help the Agency to be more joined up and more effective on stakeholder engagement and better co-ordination. Where possible the Agency would try to give more notice to help NASPs constraints. NASP suggested they could help with topics that concern ADIs and that they want to hear about from DVSA. It was noted that DVSA were attending meetings, conferences and webinars to help improve relationships with ADIs.
DVSA consider that the feedback following the two workshops had been good and progress was being made to review and move forward to align with the National Standards. Training was taking place for 40+ ADI Examiners on the new scheme, no actual date has yet been set for the new style ORDIT announcement or when it will start. There are currently approximately 500 ORDIT trainers, and 170 establishments. There will be a fee structure change to make it simpler, with fewer options. Standards of the trainers on ORDIT will be higher and it is hoped that eventually the statistics would show that ORDIT trainers produced better results and consideration could then be given to it becoming mandatory. The new assessment sheet is currently at the printers.
All ORDIT trainers will need to be Grade A on inspection and as an ADI. There will be 17 competencies with scoring the same as for the standards check. The process is currently bi-annual, but in future will be every 4 years in line with the ADI badge. Trainers will still be able to role play, or take a PDI with a pupil. Different skill-based levels will include Role 6 of the National Standards. All ORDIT trainers will be inspected within large organisations, instead of 60% as currently.
Changes are being made to the ADI1 as a result of problems caused by a candidate bringing a small child to a standards check. Currently there is nothing in the ADI1 to cover this, so amendments are being made to exclude anyone under the age of 16. Guidance would be given to examiners to cover whether the pupil’s questions were answered satisfactorily, and actively encouraged, and whether the ADI/PDI was taking notice of the pupil’s body language. This will also apply to a driving test.
Part 2 and 3 Tests:
Time waiting for a Part 2 or 3 tests was discussed and member examples given. It was felt that the “Book to Hold” was working well and that candidates were getting replies from DVSA. However it was agreed that there needs to be more explanation on that facility and that it should be made clearer on the advice page that appears before the booking process. DVSA felt tests were available but may not always be immediately at the test centre the candidate preferred. There are now 65 examiners providing tests at 280 centres. The Registrar considers evidence of attempts to book tests when decisions are made about the issue of a second trainee licence. It was discussed whether the duration of the trainee licence gave sufficient time for someone to complete 3 Part 3 tests. DVSA consider that people should be adequately prepared for the first attempt and emphasised that a trainee licence was a licence to learn, not earn. Letters to PDIs state that 6 months should be long enough to prepare and if waiting times are long, this will be taken into account when considering a second licence.
We were given the top 5 reasons that PDIs have failed their Part 3 test which are:
This is very similar to the top 5 reasons why ADIs fail their standards checks which are:
- Was the pupil encouraged to analyse problems and take responsibility for their learning?
- Was the pupil given appropriate and timely feedback during the session?
- Was sufficient feedback given to help the pupil understand any potentially safety critical incidents?
The pass rate is similar to the old style Part 3 which was on average 33% previously and is now on average 36% and 5,000 Part 3 tests are being conducted a year. DVSA felt there had been positive changes in behaviour, with much more rounded instructors qualifying. The Part 2 pass rates were: 2016/17: 54.7% pass rate and in 2017/18: 54.3%. The latest statistics at the end of June 2018 are available on the gov.uk website.
There are 2,719 ADIs still on the old check test style grades and as there is now a dedicated team of examiners the DVSA had been able to do a lot to get through the backlog. The target date for these to be completed is April 2019 which will be 5 years from when the standards check was introduced. Now that most SCs are being booked by ADIs online the team is available if anyone needs help booking a Part 3 test. A standards check on demand has internal approval, but needs to go to legislation along with other fee changes, so it will not take place before 2021.
Motorcycle trainer standards checks have a pass rate of 76%. Currently 18 motor cycle training bodies were under review and 3 had been closed down. Reasons for closing down a training establishment could include improper training ratios, and carrying out CBT training on public roads.
There has been an increase in the number of trainee licence holders.
New applications have risen by 10% per annum, and more trainers are using the trainee licence scheme: this had previously run at 58% of trainers.
This stands for testing and registration system. It’s the DVSA application for all things online, including booking tests and instructor applications. It is an ongoing project and involves all tests. There will be an impact when it goes live in that there will be downtime, but the new system will look the same as currently. It is expected to change on 6th November. While the system is down DVSA won’t be able to take any telephone bookings, as they use the same system. The changes and downtime will be well publicised.
Timepoint 2 Research:
This is the research that had taken place on the new test. This will be published on gov.uk research page by the end of the year, after more analysis has been carried out. 17,000 responses have been received at the first timepoint, and 2,300 6 months after test. Over 80% of those who responded had felt that the test prepared them well for driving on Britain’s roads. However, there were comments about the lack of motorway and night driving lessons. Only 7.3% said they had taken any post-test training. Nearly 50% felt competent following a satnav and almost 90% had not had a crash, those that had were more likely to be in busy town centres and car parks.
DVSA stated there will be no change in how L tests are assessed, although the DL25 is being adapted to be accommodated on tablets. Tablets will not be used on test this year. NASP were asked to remind members that they cannot use tablets while the vehicle is moving or the engine is running.
Other Items discussed:
NASP members had attended a recent meeting with Bikeability who has a scheme to train ADIs to teach learners about how to better deal with cyclists. The meeting was discussed amongst the group.
Future NASP meetings:
It was agreed that this will be some time in February 2019, when DIA will be in the Chair.
The Ultimate Guide to Driving Safely & Avoiding Distractions’’
Is an introduction to road safety and aims to raise awareness on the risks of accidents and casualties caused by distracted driving.
The guide offers useful information like what are the most common forms of distractions while driving, tips and technologies that help avoid distracted driving, advice on anticipating road hazards, the benefits of defensive driving, and even practical advise like pre-checks and maintenance tips to ensure a safe vehicle.
The Ultimate Guide to Driving Safely & Avoiding Distractions
The DVSA has issued a statement in the form of a letter from Lesley Young, Head of Policy and Chief Driving Examiner, on safety aspects of the new practical test, together with a supporting risk assessment document from RoSPA.
Please click here for the letter from Lesley Young.
Please click here for the RoSPA Driving Test Changes Risk Assessment document.
And they’re off! Year 4 of the Big Learner Relay kicked off with a fantastic convoy in Northern Ireland, some wonderful background shots of their handover points.
In case you’re not aware of the Big Learner Relay, some background. It’s all in aid of Children in Need and the brainchild of Louise Walsh, ADI and ADI trainer from Hampshire. It takes the form of a massive relay, with a special yellow Pudsey topbox being passed from learner lesson to lesson on a tour of the UK. From 8 in the morning till 8 at night, Lou and her topbox get passed around in hourly stints, a gruelling schedule for two weeks.
ADIs put spots on their cars and get students, friends and family to sponsor them to raise money. They have raffles, cake sales… whatever they can think of to raise money for a good cause. Then they turn up at their local handover venue and join in the convoy to the next handover, following the lead car and trying to stay together. There are small convoys, and large ones, driving through towns, cities, villages and countryside to deliver Pudsey to his next location.
Lou and Pudsey flew from Northern Ireland to Aberdeen to start day 1 of the mainland relay. Another fantastic day, with wonderful support and photographs. That bear seems to manage to turn up all over the place!
Over two weeks they will travel around 3,000 miles, down the East coast then across to the Midlands, down to the South, on to the South West, then turn northwards again, taking in Wales, finally ending up in Liverpool two weeks later. Phew! Makes you breathless just thinking of it! Something like 190 stops and goodness only knows how many ADIs and learners! There will be police escorts, bikers, learners towing, learners in lorries – endless permutations of every type of learner.
The grand finale on Children in Need day itself will be gathering at Haydock Park racecourse, and then convoying into Knowsley Safari Park for a circuit amongst the animals. And all wrapped up with a safari themed party in the evening.
The Relay is such a happy event in the ADI calendar. It is a real coming-together of people to make the event happen. Because one thing is for sure – without enthusiastic ADIs it wouldn’t! People make new friends, it has become a real ‘family’, social groups are formed, even local associations. Business contacts too. At our local Plymouth fundraising effort this weekend, one ADI said he would pass on surplus enquiries to another who is coming back to learners after a period away. And all because of BLR!
And I should mention that it has raised over £250,000 in 3 years! The BBC have been so impressed that they have allowed BLR to use the Pudsey logo, a rare privilege.
ADINJC is proud to support Big Learner Relay and wishes it every success.
If you would like further information you can check out their website – www.biglearrelay.co.uk. And if you would like to make a donation you can use this link – http://www.biglearnerrelay.co.uk/donate/
The full release can be read here:
The headline figure is a total of 1.792 Road Deaths in 2016 up 4% on the previous year and the highest for 5 years.
This is still far below 3,172 from 2006.
Overall casualties are 3% down.
The DfT report stated the 4% rise in road deaths was ‘not statistically significant’ and was likely due to ‘natural variation’. Stats have been broadly flat-lining since 2010.
We thought you might be interested in some information from Oponeo. They have compiled the latest data on various car-related issues in 12 popular cities in the UK. One of the categories they researched on was road safety and, with London and Belfast at the bottom of the list, Manchester turned out to be a city with the fewest road accidents!
Their comprehensive report includes data on such topics as fuel and insurance costs, parking facilities and traffic congestion. I am positive the learners, future drivers, instructors and the rest of the audience at ADINJC will find the results informative and of interest.
Please click the link to the full report and a map with the scores as references.
We have this afternoon received the following from Jacqui Turland, Registrar –
“Further to my email of 1 September 2017, I wanted to let you know that we have yet to gain Parliamentary approval to introduce the change, but are still hopeful that we will be able to do so by late October.
Having written to all PDIs with a test booked up to 13 October, we will now been contacting all those with a test booked up to 27 October. We’ll be able to give them more options on what they can do, such as postponing their test to a later date or keeping their test date and taking the test in the current format. They’ll be advised to speak to their instructor trainer to discuss the best option for them.
We will also be contacting all those on the Official Register of Instructor Trainers.
I will, of course, update you as and when I have more clarity on an implementation date.”
With less than 3 months to go to until the driving test changes, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has today (13 September 2017) published new videos about the updated ‘show me, tell me’ driving test questions.
During the test, examiners ask candidates two vehicle safety questions – these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. Currently, both questions are asked at the start of the test, but from 4 December 2017, candidates will have to carry out the ‘show me’ question while they are driving.
DVSA Chief Driving Examiner, Lesley Young, said:
“DVSA’s priority is to help you through a lifetime of safe driving.”
“Asking a ‘show me’ question while driving will be valuable preparation for real life driving.
“With less than 3 months to go until the driving test changes, it’s important that learner drivers work with their driving instructor to make sure they can operate the in car-controls safely whilst they’re driving. Combined with practice with an instructor, these new official videos will help you learn the skills you need to do these tasks.”
The two new videos released by DVSA show how to carry out these basic safety tasks. They will prepare new drivers for regularly carrying them out after they have passed their test, helping them keep their vehicle safe to drive all-year-round.
In the new test, the examiner will ask the ‘tell me’ question (where the candidate explains how they would carry out a safety check) at the start of their test, before they start driving. They include things like explaining how they would check the oil levels for the engine or how to check the tyres are legal and safe.
Then later in the test, the candidate will be asked a ‘show me’ question while they are driving – for example, showing how to wash the windscreen and operate the wipers. The questions test whether candidates can carry out the sort of everyday basic safety tasks drivers need to be able to do while driving.
The agency has also updated its ‘DVSA official guide to learning to drive’ book to include all the new elements of the practical test. This edition will be available to buy from 18 September 2017, from www.safedrivingforlife.info/shop or most online or high street bookshops.
Chair of the steering group for national approved driving instructor associations (NASP), Carly Brookfield, said:
“Whilst in-car, on the road practice with a professional driver trainer is an important part of delivering safer drivers for life to our busy roads, we also recommend the use of supplementary learning resources such as ‘how-to’ videos from authoritative sources in driver education.
“DVSA’s new ‘show me, tell me’ and other recent videos highlighting key developments to the practical driving test are a really helpful resource for learners – not only in preparing them for the new test, but also for a life time of safe driving.”
A video showing how the full test will work from 4 December 2017 is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI08tzIfo4c
If a candidate loses, control of the car whilst answering the ‘show me’ question it will result in a serious or dangerous fault, meaning the candidate fails the test.
A ‘driving fault’ will be incurred by the candidate if they answer both the ‘show me’ and the ‘tell me’ questions incorrectly.
The four changes to the driving test are:
● increasing the independent driving part of the test to 20 minutes
● most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav
● changing the reversing manoeuvres that are tested
● answering a vehicle safety question while driving
More information about the changes is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-test-changes-4-december-2017
The official DVSA guide to learning to drive book can be bought at https://www.safedrivingforlife.info/shop/product/official-dvsa-guide-learning-drive-book-book for £9.99 (see attached)
This afternoon the DVSA confirmed that rumors recently circulating across social media regarding the implementation date of the new Part 3 slipping were correct.
The full DVSA blog is here, but they key point is:
We still need to gain parliamentary approval for the timing of the implementation, so the changes won’t be happening on 2 October 2017 as we previously told you.
The changes will still happen, but we’re aiming for later in October as the legislation needs to go before Parliament. We then have to wait a minimum of 21 days till we introduce the change. We’ve only had confirmation this week that we won’t be able to do this in time to meet 2 October.
Anyone with a Part 3 booked in the first two weeks of October will be contacted regarding the options available.
The new ADI part 3 test marking sheet is now also available for download, and there are no surprises, other than administration boxes, the competencies and marking structure is exactly the same as the SC1 form.
It has also been confirmed that the ADI Part 2 test will be changing on December 4th to align with the new learner test. There is no change is legislation needed to alter the Part 2 so it is expected this will take place on schedule.
The NASP statement in response to the news is listed below:
“NASP is disappointed that the implementation of the new Part 3 assessment has been delayed and that the promised deadline will be missed. The lack of notice (with only one month to go to launch) is unhelpful to trainers and candidates who have already had to get up to speed with these changes in a relatively short timescale.
NASP had previously asked DVSA to consider delaying the implementation of the changes to the Part 3 on the basis of a lack of confidence that the agency was at the point of readiness to resource the changes. It is now clear that the agency is not ready for the promised launch date.
Whilst it has been made clear throughout that the launch of the new assessment was subject to a regulatory approval process, we were not advised until today that this would cause a delay at such a late stage.
We have urged DVSA to issue a revised timetable for implementation immediately and ensure candidates and trainers have access to clear advice and support in terms of rescheduling tests booked for October and what their next steps should be. We will keep you updated.
It should be noted that this delay will not affect the introduction of the new driving test on 4 December as those changes do not require parliamentary approval.”
We will continue to keep you updated via our “Newsflash” emails of any further news.