From April 2016, DVSA will replace the currently suspended MOT tester refresher course with MOT annual training and an assessment. DVSA won’t deliver the new MOT annual training or assessments and testers will no longer need to attend a 5-year refresher course. Instead, testers will have to complete the new MOT annual training and online assessment in order to maintain their testing status.
What is Annual Training?
The new process will follow a continuing professional development (CPD) model with testers required to complete training and pass an assessment every year for the vehicle classes they test.
The CPD model is common across many safety-related professions, allowing you to update your skills each year in manageable ‘bite-sized’ chunks.
As an approach, CPD also has a proven track record in improving individual and workplace:
For training and assessment purposes, vehicle classes are split into the usual vehicle test groups:
class 1 and 2 vehicles (group A)
class 3, 4, 5 and 7 vehicles (group B)
This means, in order to maintain their testing status for each vehicle test group (ie class 1 and 2 vehicles or class 3, 4, 5 and 7 vehicles) they test, all testers will have to:
complete a minimum of 16 hours training over a rolling 5-year period
complete a minimum of 3 hours training every year
pass an annual assessment
How MOT annual training works
All testers must complete their MOT annual training and pass an annual assessment between the start of April and the following March each year.
To maintain their testing status for the vehicle classes they test, each tester will be responsible for:
planning and completing their annual training
recording their annual training
passing their annual assessment
All testers must complete the new MOT annual training and annual assessment before March 31st 2017 - no matter what their refresher training status is.
Plan annual training
DVSA will publish an annual training syllabus for the following vehicle test groups:
Each syllabus will outline which topics you’ll need to cover in order to maintain your testing status for their particular vehicle classes for the following year.
The chosen topics will be based around the latest MOT test error rates and subject areas which we know testers need to pay the most attention to.
For example, with the MOT headlamp aim test set to change this year, DVSA has included this as a training topic to make sure testers understand how the testing standard has changed.
Choosing the topics in this way means that every year your training will help you read up on and practice skills which directly tackle known testing issues.
In return, DVSA can be sure your training is making a real contribution to overall road and vehicle safety.
Most testers already spend more than 3 hours each year updating their MOT knowledge and skills.
If you spend a minimum of 3 hours covering each year’s topics for the vehicle test groups you test, then the new MOT annual training should be easy to manage.
Class 1 and 2 vehicles
The planned 2016 to 2017 MOT annual training syllabus for class 1 and 2 vehicles will cover:
You’ll need to do a minimum of 3 hours training with an hour on each topic.
Class 3, 4, 5 and 7 vehicles
The planned 2016 to 2017 MOT annual training syllabus for class 3, 4, 5 and 7 vehicles will cover:
You’ll need to do a minimum of 3 hours training with an hour on each topic.
All vehicle classes
All testers must complete and record a minimum of 3 hours MOT annual training each year (adding up to a minimum of 16 hours over a rolling 5-year period) and pass an assessment for each vehicle test group they test.
This means, in order to maintain your testing status for all vehicle classes, you may have to double-up on your training hours (i.e. complete and record a minimum of 3 hours MOT annual training) and sit two separate assessments.
However, if you cover a topic covered by both vehicle test groups (eg CPD planning and recording) then you can use this to contribute to your required minimum training hours.
For example, if you complete 1 hour of training for CPD planning and recording then you can count this towards your 3 hours of required training for all the vehicle classes you test.
This will then leave you with at least 2 hours of annual training left to complete for each vehicle test group you test for the year.
You test class 1,2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 vehicles (i.e. motorcycles and cars and other vehicles) so you’ll need to do a minimum of 5 hours training.
You only have to do CPD planning and recording once. You don’t need to repeat it.
Lighting and signalling equipment: 1 hour
Brakes: 1 hour
CPD planning and recording: 1 hour
Driver’s view of the road: 1 hour
Headlamp aim: 1 hour
Completing annual training
How you complete your MOT annual training is up to you (or your MOT management) and what best suits your individual or organisational needs and requirements.
You can choose to complete your training ‘in-house’ or with the help of a training provider using one, or a combination, of the following methods:
You could choose to learn about each year’s topics on your own by reading through the relevant section of the MOT inspection manual and other reliable or recommended sources of information.
You could then check what you’ve learnt in your annual training by:
discussing it with a colleague
demonstrating it to a colleague
checking it in the relevant MOT inspection manual
We recommend you try and apply what you’ve learnt by practically demonstrating what you’ve learnt to a colleague.
You could choose to learn about each year’s topics in a group by carrying out question and answer sessions with some fellow testers. These could be your work colleagues or testers from another vehicle testing station (VTS).
Alternatively, a trusted and more experienced colleague or tester could demonstrate the main points in a topic by holding short training sessions for your chosen group.
You can then check what you’ve learnt in your annual training within your group by:
We recommend you try and apply what you’ve learnt by practically demonstrating what you’ve learnt within your group.
Using a training provider is not mandatory and if you choose to use one you should expect to pay them at market rates. It will be up to you (or your MOT management) to choose the most appropriate training provider. You should decide based on your individual or organisational needs and requirements.
The RMI has been working closely with the DVSA for many years on the changes to MOT training and has developed five different options to help you to complete your annual training. Click here for more information.
Recording annual training
Over the course of a year, you’ll have to record your training as evidence that you’ve carried out the required MOT annual training.
This means you must keep a record of your training which you must show on request to any DVSA staff who may visit your vehicle testing station (VTS).
If you fail to keep an appropriate record of your MOT annual training then this could affect your testing status and you could face disciplinary action. More details will be published about how you can record your MOT annual training in due course.
Sitting the annual assessment
In order to maintain your testing status you’ll have to sit and pass an online MOT annual assessment for the vehicle test groups you test.
The assessments have been introduced to help set and drive up testing standards across the MOT trade and support road and vehicle safety.
You should expect to pay for each of your annual assessments at market rates. DVSA expects this to be between £25 and £75 per assessment.
The assessments will be ‘open book’. This means you can use official documents (such as the MOT inspection manual and MOT special notices) or your own notes during the assessments to help you answer the questions.
Each assessment should take no more than 45 minutes to complete and will contain 30 multiple choice questions based on:
topics covered under the current year’s annual training syllabus
current MOT special notices
general MOT testing knowledge
If you suffer from any disability covered within the Equality Act 2010 then training providers are expected to take reasonable steps to support you when sitting an assessment.
Here are some examples of the kinds of multiple choice questions you’ll come across during an annual assessment:
Lighting and signalling equipment
Question 1 - A motorcycle you’re testing has a headlamp but no front position lamp. What is your decision?
A. Select a Reason for Rejection
B. Issue a pass with advisory
C. Issue a pass
D. Abandon the test
Driver’s view of the road
Question 2 - When inspecting the obligatory mirrors or indirect vision devices, you must check which of the following:
A. Their size is correct
B. Their methods of adjustment
C. There are no more than 3
D. For an adequate view to the rear
CPD planning and recording
Question 3 - What do you need to do each year in order to maintain your testing status?
A. A minimum 3 hours of MOT annual training
B. A minimum 3 hours of MOT annual training and pass an annual assessment
C. A minimum 16 hours of MOT annual training and pass an annual assessment
D. Pass an annual assessment only
General MOT testing knowledge
Question 4 - Under what circumstances would you as a tester abort a test?
A. If a vehicle is in unsafe condition
B. If a vehicle has so many minor faults it would not pass
C. If there’s a problem with your VTS equipment
D. If incorrect paperwork is presented
Here are the correct answers to the sample questions:
Question 1 - C. Issue a pass
Question 2 - D. For an adequate view to the rear
Question 3 - B. A minimum 3 hours of MOT annual training and pass an annual assessment
Question 4 - C. If there’s a problem with your VTS equipment
The pass mark for each assessment is 50% but if you don’t achieve this mark you’ll be given time to go back over your training and sit further assessments before any action is taken.
This mark has been set to help us initially understand how testers across the MOT trade are performing and if we’ve set the pass mark at the right level.
However, you can sit the assessment as many times as you want for that year’s annual training syllabus but you’ll have to pay each time you sit an assessment.
You’ll be able to book assessments from June 2016 onwards, but you can register your interest with the RMI now by calling us on 0845 305 4230. DVSA has delayed their introduction for this first year of MOT annual training to allow you to:
try out and choose the most appropriate training method for you
get used to the new training model
give you time to carry out your minimum of 3 hours training.
properly prepare for your first assessment
ask DVSA any questions you might have before you start
DVSA will be publishing more details about how to book your MOT annual assessment in due course.
After sitting your assessment you’ll be provided with a certificate and your mark will be recorded on your MOT testing service profile:
You’ll need to keep this certificate and keep it alongside your other MOT annual training records so you can show it on request to any DVSA staff who may visit your VTS.
If you fail to sit an assessment during the course of your training year this could affect your testing status and you could face disciplinary action.
DVSA will be publishing more details about how assessment marks will be recorded on the MOT testing service in due course.
An official notice of the change to MOT refresher training will be issued in an upcoming MOT special notice.
You can make sure you get the latest updates about the MOT training by reading the DVSA Matters of Testing blog.
If you haven’t done so already, you can also get the latest updates by signing up for DVSA email alerts.
Call the IGA member helpline on 0845 305 4230 for any further questions on annual training, or for more information about our annual training offers.