NASP meeting held on Monday 5 September 2016

The seventh meeting of the National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP) was held at the Lighthouse building in Salford kindly hosted by Pearson Vue on 5 September 2016.

Peter Harvey opened the meeting by thanking Julie Hunter of Pearson Vue for the use of their premises for the day. Julie made a short presentation and updated NASP members on the extension to the contract for the theory test, which will now run until 4 September 2020. As part of the deal to continue the contract, Pearsons have looked at where theory test centres are located, and where there have been movements of population. As a result, 28 new theory test centres are being provided, with the aim of almost 100% of the population having access to test centres within 40 minutes’ travel time, or 40 miles for rural areas. The new centres are scheduled to open in September.

Julie said that this year there would be 2.4m car theory tests held, 95% of tests are booked with a 2 week waiting time, and since the start of the contract in 2004 they had conducted over 20 million tests. She said that the main reason for failure was not the Hazard Perception Test, but the multiple choice sections because people did not study the Highway Code adequately.

Code of Practice

Following the decision to update the Approved Driving Instructors Code of Practice (ADI CoP) a number of pre consultation draft documents had been circulated. Discussions took place on the content of the CoP, various amendments were incorporated and agreed and it is hoped that a draft document will be ready to circulate to all ADIs in the near future.

Revised ADI Part 3 Examination

There had been a meeting held on 8 August, attended by NASP representatives with a number of officials from DVSA. It was felt that DVSA had been willing to listen, and an implementation date of October/November 2017 had been suggested. NASP’s main concern had been in the amount of misinformation going out, especially among some ORDIT providers and Mark Magee had agreed to tackle this. Agreement had been reached on how the system would work and the marking, which would follow the same format as the Standards Check.

The main problem was considered to be the provision of a pupil, which could be a full licence holder, but not an ADI. DVSA had said that they felt their examiners were sufficiently experienced to be able to tell if someone had pre-rehearsed a lesson. Part 3s would be available at more test centres, so people could take it in their local area and be in control of the route. Non ORDIT trainers would need to get in touch with DVSA about the future plans.

Mark Magee had said that fewer trainee licences were being issued, and not many people were given a second licence and that he would review trainee licences after the new Part 3 was in place. It was also felt that ORDIT trainers should be judged more on their training standards, and less on premises.

Earned Recognition

A wide ranging discussion took place amount Earned Recognition do ADIs want it, will DVSA do it anyway, will the public actually use it?

The meeting agreed that we need to focus the concept of earned recognition on incentivising and rewarding high performance and that interventions for under-performance should be tackled by other means.

Autonomous Vehicles

It was decided that NASP would produce a collective response to the consultation from DfT

“Pathway to Driverless Cars”.

Those present agreed that whilst NASP was supportive of the overall direction of the proposed changes, we would like to point out our concerns on a number of matters.

Particularly regarding platooning and changes to the Highway Code. Whilst it is clear that the Pathway to Driverless Cars will be made up of numerous small steps and that completely autonomous car are some way off. NASP expressed concerns that drivers were already struggling to fully understand assisted driving functions, and the limits of this technology, in existing vehicles, and perhaps in some cases already abdicated too much responsibility to these existing functions for managing risk.  The Tesla crash clearly proved that even experienced test drivers are over confident of the ability of autonomous cars to manage and mitigate all risk NASP believe that we need to ensure that education about the role and responsibility of assisted or automated vehicle technology is delivered alongside any new vehicle or infrastructure innovation and embed in drivers the vital knowledge that they cannot abdicate management of the vehicle or the drive, regardless of the level of automation provided.

Learners on Motorways

NASP are developing a simple guidance document, perhaps a tick list, to ensure ADIs are confident of the delivery of motorway tuition to learner drivers.

There were also some concerns mentioned about header boards, which lose magnet power in hot weather and could add to possible problems at higher speeds

It was also agreed that the introduction should explain that it was produced in anticipation of learners being allowed on motorways and should map the National Standards.


NASP were pleased to see that waiting times were coming down in some areas, though this was not the case across the country.

The matter of a self-booking system for the ADI Standards Check was discussed and it was agreed that NASP should add further pressure on the DVSA to ensure this matter is not forgotten.

List of achievements

The meeting took a little time to look back over the past couple of years and reflect on the work NASP had done and the future direction of travel.

  • NASP has increased the opportunity for closer and more regular consultation and dialogue with DVSA and DfT
  • NASP has applied pressure to DVSA regarding Driving Test Waiting Times, and even as they are starting to reduce, NASP will continue to keep the pressure on. NASP has also worked to update ADIs and keep them informed of the actual reasons for the issues and what measures have been put in place to tackle them.
  • NASP is working hard to increase professionalism in the industry and promote ADIs as road safety professionals
  • NASP members played a key role in persuading DfT to rethink their proposals on driving test deposits.
  • NASP were now producing joint consultation responses whilst continuing to provide the opportunity for all members to express their organisation’s individual views.
  • NASP is a productive forum for debate and the consideration of diverse views in the industry whilst still being able to find common ground and be a cohesive voice for driver trainers.
  • NASP has been able to influence the introduction of the standards check style ADI Part 3 and will continue to work with the DVSA to ensure a smooth transition to the new standard.
  • NASP members were involved early in the development of the driving test trial (pre. NASP) and NASP has continued to support and assist the DVSA in the development of the proposed test revisions
  • NASP has facilitated a better and more regular dialogue between the industry and government policy makers
  • NASP has been able to influence, contribute and respond to the Motoring Services Strategy and the Road Safety Statement
  • NASP representation on key issues such as the revision of the ADI CoP means on vital issues the industry is leading the agenda, not solely the DVSA
  • NASP members are able to cross fertilise ideas and this influences each organisation’ lobbying and representation at many diverse groups including the Road Safety Delivery Group, European Driving Schools Association (EFA), AIRSO, Institute of Master Tutors of Driving, Road Safety Observatory, Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS)

NASP members are confident that by working together they can continue to drive forward a positive agenda for driver trainers and promote professional ADIs.

Next Meetings

It was agreed that the next NASP meeting with the DVSA would be at the start of December in Nottingham.


Present at the meeting: Peter Harvey MSA GB in the Chair, John Lepine MSA GB, Lynne Barrie ADINJC, Chris Porter ADINJC, Carly Brookfield DIA and in attendance: Sue Duncan Minute Secretary. Apologies were received from Gavin Brownlie DISC and Gordon Crosbie DISC.