I am writing as Chair of the ADINJC and its 8,000 plus members, although from the vast number of emails I’m receiving I suspect I’m writing on behalf of most ADIs and PDIs. This letter is not the first I’ve written to you on the subject of the inadequate communication from the DVSA during this pandemic. The communications in my opinion have been last minute, confusing in some cases and inaccurate in others leaving the profession bewildered at times and then frustrated, stressed and very angry.
The news coming out yesterday from DVSA after 4.00pm, that in fact in England we could return to work from today, 2nd December when we had been officially told it would be the 3rd December, has to be the worst case scenario of communication with ADIs and customers so far since this pandemic began. That’s barely one day for ADIs to plan ahead with their customers. Can I ask why it has taken so long for the return date to be announced? As a profession we deserve a full explanation, because I fail to see why we could not have been told earlier and despite continually asking for clarification and advice for members we have received virtually nothing.
ADIs feel totally abandoned and let down by the Regulator. Indeed this has all ended in tears for many candidates who initially had their tests cancelled unnecessarily on December 2nd only to find other tests now scheduled on that day. I find it wholly unacceptable that the ADINJC have been told continually there can be no extension to theory test certificates due mainly to “road safety concerns”, how is allowing someone a test on the first day back after a lockdown in England safe or sensible? I find the very idea appalling.
I feel desperately sorry for the PDIs who had Part 2 and Part 3 tests booked and cancelled for 2nd December. No doubt some of these will now be close to their 2 year date, and we have been constantly and consistently told that there are no extensions for either theory tests or licences. For them to see that now L tests will be taking place on the 2nd when they won’t get a test is heart-breaking.
There seems to be no concern for ADIs and PDIs who have not been able to work and are in many cases desperate to pay bills and mortgages or even put food on the table. We deserve and have been asking for better communication since this pandemic began and in my opinion this is nothing short of a huge failure from the Government, PHE and DVSA. What compensation will there be for ADIs with loss of earnings who could have worked on December 2nd due to the late communications?
As ADIs we are left to pick up the pieces with our clients and their parents, many of whom are angry and upset and indeed need to pass tests to get new jobs and for opportunities to become available. Sadly, some ADIs have been getting abuse from irate parents who cannot understand why instructors haven’t been able to say when work will be restarting, through no fault of their own. With better communication so much of this suffering could have been avoided. The ADINJC have been helping to support our members and other ADIs as much as possible but under very stressful circumstances and we have even found ourselves apologising for late communications that are not of our making.
I realise that in the main ADIs are self-employed, however we do have to answer to DVSA and join the register of ADIs. We are also the link between your customers and yourselves so it is vital we get clear, simple and well timed communications. In my opinion ADIs need the DVSA to show them support, consideration and empathy in the work that they undertake.
At ADINJC we are ADIs ourselves and can totally understand the frustrations of our members, and will continue to work on their behalf for better communication and consideration of our profession. Hence this letter.
Lynne Barrie M.A (Driver Training)
We will of course let members share any response we get to this letter. It has also been sent to Head of Communication at DVSA, Adrian Long.