This is the text of the Q&A session that NASP held with DVSA on 17 July.
PPE, Health and Safety, Test and Trace
If a pupil doesn’t wear a face mask on the lesson before the start of test and the examiner notices this when they pull into the test centre, then the pupil puts a mask for test purposes will the test still go ahead as any virus could potentially now be in the car beforehand?
The test should not the first time that the candidate has driven whilst wearing a face covering and we would encourage all ADIs to read the DVSA SOPs and to follow Public Health 1m+ guidance. The wearing of a face covering is altruistic, in that it protects others, including yourself, so not wearing one in a confined space risks unnecessary spreading of the virus.
In answer to the question, yes the test should still go ahead.
The examiner must be satisfied the vehicle has been recently cleaned.
Before entering the car, the examiner may choose to fit a disposable seat cover to their seat.
The examiner should use an anti-viral wipe to clean the passenger touch points.
Is it compulsory for instructors and pupils to wear masks during training unless they have a valid reason such as asthma.
Whilst it is a matter for individual businesses to design their own health and safety policies, we would impress on trainers the need to ensure a safe and clean training environment and to give pupils and parents, and your own family, the reassurance that every precaution in being taken to mitigate the risk of infection. Face coverings are mandatory on test, but no, they are not compulsory on lessons as this is a matter for the individual business.
Some candidates with specific needs seem to get freaked out by people wearing masks as they can’t see facial expressions
A face covering is a mandatory requirement, unless the candidate states a good reason not to when booking the test. This includes physical or mental illness, impairment or disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering. This must be declared at the time of booking.
How does the test & trace work if the instructor is booking the test for the pupil?
Whilst the examiner will ask the pupil to provide an email address at the start of the test for the purposes of receiving the test summary, it would also be helpful for you to provide a contact number for the pupil at the time of booking. This will ensure that the candidate can be contacted quickly and directly should the need arise.
If one of my customers develops symptoms, post-lesson and contacts me, do I now need to isolate (and my other pupils) need to isolate for 14 days?Full guidance is available at www.nhs.uk as follows:“You may want to tell people you’ve been in close contact with in the past 48 hours that you might have coronavirus. They do not need to self-isolate unless they’re contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service. But they should take extra care to follow social distancing advice, including washing their hands often.
If they get any coronavirus symptoms, they must self-isolate and get a coronavirus test as soon as possible.”
Regards the pupil who has symptoms, they should self-isolate and request a Covid test kit from NHS Test and Trace.
As it’s now been announced that taxi drivers are going to be routinely tested for covid 19 is it likely to be extended to ADI’s?
As some of the highest risk groups of workers shouldn’t driving instructors be offered regular COVID 19 tests?
COVID19 Test & Trace policy is a matter for Department for Health & Social Care.
Please provide us with the scientific evidence on which Driving Instructors were allowed to re-start driving lessons and be Covid secure?
Our DVSA Standard Operating Procedures were reviewed by Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive. They have been discussed at length with the Scottish and Welsh Governments.
Test ding being asked not to arrive at the test centre for your driving test more than 5 minutes before your appointment time. I’m concerned this will not give us enough time for a nervous candidate to reverse bay park and for me to wipe down the examiners side of the car. Is it possible to extended this time? Thank you.
The 5 minute rule is designed to minimise the number of people at the test centre at any one time. It shouldn’t take a road ready candidate any longer than 5 minutes to bay park, thus no, we respectfully ask you not to arrive more than 5 minutes before your slot.
Regards wipe down, it is very kind of you to wipe down, and this is appreciated. However, Driving Examiners have extra time allocated to do this as part of the new test slots, thus will be done again anyway.
I would like to ask as a glasses wearer I am have trouble wearing a mask without steaming my glasses up, I have tried different masks all the anti mist tricks to no avail, so my question is what will happen on test if the candidate is unable to wear a mask because they can’t see where they are going , or have to remove it, will the test continue or be abandoned.
The test should not the first time that the candidate has driven whilst wearing a face covering and we would encourage all ADIs to read the DVSA SOPs and to follow Public Health 1m+ guidance.
Face coverings are a mandatory requirement on a driving test unless a stated exemption is declared at the time of booking.
Making sure the face covering fits securely can help, as can having a well-ventilated car.
Face coverings are now a key part of everyday life for many tasks. The candidate should practice in one that fits suitably in advance of their test. If misting becomes a road safety concern the candidate will be directed back to the test centre where the test will be terminated.
Now that ADIs can no longer accompany driving test candidates for testing (due to CV19 and the new DVSA sop), will the DVSA record on video and audio the driving test, the outcome and the feedback, so that the candidates can have a meaningful discussion with their trainers after the driving test in the event of the necessity for any remedial retraining and actions?
No. ADIs are welcome to join the candidate for the debrief, provided social distancing is maintained, outside the vehicle.
Pupils are paying for a full driving test. How is it right to terminate a test early We are told it is safe to give driving lessons so it should be safe to complete a full test so pupils get a full assessment of their driving, Please explain
This procedure is already in place for critical worker tests. DVSA is providing a full, rigorous and objective driving test; this is a test not a lesson. If the candidate commits a serious or dangerous fault (or makes 16 driving faults) that would result in a fail, the candidate will be directed back to the test centre where the test will be ended and a debrief offered. As the result is already established, this will prevent the examiner and candidate remaining in the vehicle for any longer than is necessary.
It should be noted that this is a temporary measure and normal service will resume when it is safe to do so.
How will deaf pupils be catered for in lessons & on tests in the future please?
Regards in lessons, this is a matter for the individual ADI in consultation with the pupil. I would advise you to look at Disability Driving Instructors association for further advice. Regards on test, we issued communications on 7th July to NASP, DDI and deaf associations regards reasonable adjustments for deaf candidates including BSL interpreters in car and removing face covering to enable lip reading. NASP will attach the full details to the readout from this webinar.
Some special needs clients need a rest break during the test, is this still going to be possible.
Yes. All slots now offer increased time, and are consider extended slots.
In the same way that emergency tests are being prioritised for critical workers, can there be any priority also given to individuals that are classed as clinically vulnerable, and unable to use public transport? If so, how do they go about obtaining a test ahead of the main booking system opening?
No. We do not have that information at present and given the complexity of such a task this is not something we are able to pursue. Candidates will receive their reschedule email in the order they were originally booked.
When the trainer booking site opened on 6th July I found my pupils “on hold” tests listed. There was no guidance on the site but it allowed me to access these bookings and choose dates in August and September to move them to, which I did.
I then received an email at 16:47 the same day to say that I was not to change tests already booked or book new tests or they will be cancelled and effectively lose their priority status. So I now have a number of tests in this position because I was not given any warning or guidance and the booking site allowed me to change the tests. I am amazed that the site was opened before I was given this information and has potentially put my students who have been waiting for up to three months, to the back of the queue. Is the DVSA going to either honour these bookings or at least put them back in the priority booking queue. I consider this to be incompetence on the DVSA’s behalf for this situation to have arisen.
We have two systems which are interlinked and cannot be separated – OBS and TBS. They are interconnected, we cannot open TBS without also opening OBS.
We have opened TBS to enable trainer bookers to book tests for riders and vocational sector, however this unfortunately opens up OBS. There are 1700 ADIs who normally use OBS to book individual tests and some B+E tests.
All business users (inc rider & vocational) have been told not to use OBS to book tests and that any bookings will be cancelled.
We have written to all ADIs on 6th July via DVSA Direct specifically informing them they can “view and cancel tests, you must not make any new bookings or amend any current bookings for car driving tests.” We have also stated that repeated misuse will result in individual restrictions.
We acknowledge we identified this issue and issued communications later in the day on the 6th . All actions by ADIs in ONS on the 6th July have been reversed with no negative impact on candidates or their place in the on hold list.
When test centres reopen, and based on reduced numbers of tests being carried out, can the test times start at memorable times such as 10am, 11am or 10.15am, 11.15am or such like. Instead of 10.22am, 11.43 etc etc
No. We have very carefully designed our programmes to strike the right balance of ensuring public health as far as reasonably practical, whilst maximising the number of slots available to clear the back log.
Staffing, Capacity and DTCs
Of the key workers that us ADIs have been teaching during lock down, what percentage that have applied for a practical driving, were allocated a test date prior to 4th July?
It was necessary to prioritise specific categories of key workers. The initial focus was on tests for the ambulance service. We have now started to invite other categories of key workers to book a test.
Can we have a list of active/inactive test centres? Without this it is very difficult to manage pupils and their needs
The list of test centres changes on a daily basis and so it is not practical to send out a list as it will soon be out of date.
With several examiners not returning to work at present, are the DVSA employing more to cover the shortfall and to reduce the enormous wait for a test?
The priority and focus has been on resuming the service safely and we are currently not recruiting driving examiners to cover high demand following the resumption of the testing service. There is a high volume of driving examiners returning to work and the staggered test times and reduced number of tests per day that are in place to ensure social distancing have been arranged based on the current workforce. As always, the recruitment of driving examiners will continually be reviewed going forward.
ADI Registration and Licensing
I would like to ask why the DVSA are not extending the time to match the lockdown time to give PDIs adequate time to pass all tests especially since there is no news of part 3 tests . This extension should match the time that lockdown has been on for each individual part of the UK. Are DVSA going to guarantee a part 3 test in time before the 2 years are up if there is no extension? I have completed so much work to try and become an ADI, and used all of my savings on training and I only have until December to complete this. I have been working full time as well as looking after family alongside this and it would be so unfair if I wasn’t granted the extension time.
The legislative requirement is that a PDI has a part 3 test booked before the expiry of their part 1 pass, not they have passed the test. If no tests are available before this they should book a test to hold, which will satisfy the requirements of the regulations
As a pink license holder, I didn’t cut up my badge and send it back or send a photo. I have followed all the government guidelines and have not taught during lockdown. I was accepted onto the register as a fit and proper person and I believe that requesting I destroy my badge as evidence I’m not using it is appalling. Please confirm that ALL those holding licenses will be accepted for an extension preferably but alternatively for a second licence if they require one.
If a trainee has demonstrated that they were not using their licence, the Registrar will take that into account in the decision whether or not to grant another. This advice is on gov.ukand has not changed.
Will the DVSA be looking to extend the 2 year period to allow those trainees whose training has been interrupted by the pandemic to complete their training?
The two-year validity period of the theory test certificate is set in legislation. This is so the candidate’s theoretical knowledge remains current. To extend the validity period would require legislative change.
We have no further news on an extension to the theory test at this stage.
When am I getting my answer from my dbs Adi application so I can start My Adi training again? I sent my application off but have received no reply for 4 months now
DBS applications are processed on DVSA’s behalf by GB Group. You can check for progress at www.gov.uk/dbs or you can call GB Group on 0115 969 4600* (Option 2)
I have a PDI who is on a Trainee Licence. Their trainee licence is the type that requires me to supervise 20% of the driving lessons that they conduct. My question is, the DVSA has recently informed us that ADIs are not allowed to sit in the back of the car on driving tests, does this rule also prevent me sitting in the back of my PDIs car during driving lessons? We have only just been allowed to return to teaching learners, with guidance for how we should conduct normal lessons so could you please advise how we should supervise PDIs. Are there any plans to change legislation to allow us to change a Trainee Licence to the extra training version.
It is instructor’s responsibility to ensure that training and supervision is carried out as safely as possible.
It is not possible for trainees to change the type of licence they have applied for as it would be impossible for them to meet the regulatory conditions of the licence. We have no plans to change legislation to allow this.
The trainee can apply for a new licence and opt for additional training, but they will need to pay for the fee again.
What is happening with renew-adi application. I have been trying to renew since July 1st?
We would advise ADIs not to send postal applications as the ADI team have very limited access to office to send out ADI certificates and trainee licences and do not have time to deal with mail. ADIs have been able to renew their registration online throughout the restrictions. It may be there is an issue with the individual’s profile, in which case they should email the ADI team at PADI@dvsa.gov.uk so we can look into it.
ADI P3 and SC
What is happening with Part 3 and Standards checks please?
We made announcements regards ADI Tests on Wednesday 15th July.
ADI tests and standards checks will restart in England from 22 July and in Wales on 17 August. The restart date in Scotland has yet to be announced.
We’ll be prioritising those whose ADI part 2 test was put on hold due to the pandemic and we’ll contact them with a new test date soon.
This will allow more time for those taking a part 3 test or standards check to get sufficient practice and training from an ORDIT trainer before taking their test.
Once we’ve contacted everyone whose test was rescheduled due to the pandemic, we’ll reopen the booking service for everyone.
Scotland and Wales
When can Driving lessons and driving tests resume in Scotland I am constantly being asked by students and the DVSA have not responded. Could someone make a decision please
We sent a DVSA Direct to all ADIs on Friday 10th July.
You will have heard of the recent update from the First Minister of Scotland regards motorcycle and theory tests. “unfortunately driving lessons and tests in cars will have to wait a bit longer”. All other driving lessons, are still suspended in Scotland, apart from for critical workers.
We are having regular discussions with Welsh Government and Transport Scotland and will provide further updates as they become available.
The restrictions in different areas (including local lockdown areas) must be respected and adhered to.
Any timetable for driving lessons and tests being able to restart in Wales?
The First Minister of Wales made the announcement on Wednesday 15th, we followed up with a full communications package of stakeholder info pack, messages to ADIs etc later that day. Full details are on gov.uk.
When we rebook a test in Wales do we have to rebook for where it was rescheduled to or can we go to another test centre, ie pupils test was booked for Llandrindod Wells , which is now closed and the test was rescheduled for Brecon but Ludlow is closer than Brecon, so can he book for Ludlow
No. Wales, of course, remains subject to restrictions, but once on hold candidates are able to reschedule they may select any operational Driving Test Centre and select any available slot.
If a provisional licence holder has a photocard that expired between February 1 & August 31 2020, DVLA have granted a 7 month extension so long as the licence holder still has valid driving entitlement. Will the licence holder be able to book a practical test and will DVSA permit them to take the practical test on this expired photocard?
The extension does NOT apply to provisional licences, ONLY full licence holders. If their provisional licence has expired then it has expired and they will need to contact DVLA to apply for a new one.
DVSA will not allow a pupil to book any test with an expired provisional licence.
If you would like to join the ADINJC there is more information on our website.
Whilst our newsflashes are normally a benefit of membership of the ADINJC, during this national emergency we want to share information as widely as possible, so please feel free to pass this on. We are stronger together.
The NJC continues to be dedicated to help you in these challenging times and we hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. Please feel free to contact us for help and support.
ADINJC’s helpline is 0800 8202 444
The Secretary’s number is 07855 453414
HMRC Helpline: 0800 0159 559
Citizens Advice Bureau – https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/health/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you/
You can sign up to receive Government updates on Coronavirus relating to driving tests here.
The ADINJC is a national association run by ADIs on a not-for-profit basis. We work tirelessly to inform, represent and support our members, and to promote the interests of our profession.