Instructors, pupils and Examiners alike continue to be frustrated by waiting times at test centres across the UK. With new L test slots still not available for up to 20 weeks in some areas of the country (and vocational test slots similarly), ADIs are quite rightly asking what is being done to tackle the issues? A petition, started by our very own Noel Gaughan in last month's Driving Instructor, has now gained over 2,500 signatures and letters have been written to local MPs, the Transport Select Commitee and the Secretary of State for Transport.
We've asked DVSA what's being done to tackle the problem, given improvements were promised yet we're seeing no real improvement on the ground and instructors are struggling with keeping learners engaged (and ready for test) whilst waiting for slots of in excess of 4 months in some areas. A number of measures have been put in place to get more Examiners out into the field but still the problems persist - why?
DVSA have told us a recruitment campaign is currently running and training of successful candidates is being accelerated to get them through the process quicker. The agency admits that recruiting the right people and getting them through the necessary level of training has challenging, particularly when you need to train such a large volume of new recruits at one time and have limited training capacity. Action is being taken to tackle those issues including ramping up recruitment campaigns, looking at the screening process to ensure it allows suitable candidates to come through quicker, increasing training capacity, speeding up the training process and examining whether more slots can be offered in areas hit hardest. We have asked DVSA to give us a proper update of progress on these measures and some indication of when can expect to see real improvement, and we'll share that with you as soon as we have it.
In Driving Instructor this month our main feature focuses on how we can improve testing services in the future to ensure they meet the needs of the customer better - we've shared some of these ideas with DfT and DVSA already but as always we'd love to hear your thoughts too.