Newslink October

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Membership magazine of the Motor Schools Association of Great Britain. Covers driver training and testing, road safety and other motoring issues

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Newslink

The Voice of MSA GB

Issue 333 • October 2020

COVER STORY

ADIs: Time we

all masked up

We work for all Driver Trainers. Want to join? See pg 38 for a special introductory offer


Newslink: an interactive

way to keep in touch

Peter Harvey

National Chairman

MSA GB

Hello, everyone.

I’m delighted to welcome back our

monthly magazine Newslink on the

digital platform. Our intention is to make

this a much more interactive publication

for members, with live links to many

stories, events and special offers and to

keep you updated with all the news

affecting our profession.

The board of management are

delighted to welcome back Rob and

Colin from Chamber Media Services to

continue as our publishers once again.

A warm welcome to the return of

Newslink in what is the first issue in its

new digital format. During the time I

have been contributing to MSA GB

publications there have been six

incarnations of our membership

magazine. Seems a lot, but it does cover

32 years!

We hope you enjoy this format. We

know many of you would have preferred

a return to the printed form. If I had to

express an opinion, I prefer printed paper

journals. Unfortunately, the cost of

producing and posting a monthly

magazine is no longer commercially

viable for a member’s magazine.

The good news is that the return of

Newslink means we can bring you more

in-depth articles and reports from the

regions which are of national interest,

keeping you informed with the changes

The way things are changing

surrounding Coronavirus, as well as our

monthly publication, we still intend to

keep you updated as and when our

respective governments or the DfT/DVSA

announce changes. We will do this via

our website, through direct emails and

our social media channels, just as we

have over the past six months.

I hope you all enjoy the magazine; we

would be happy to hear of any local

news or ideas you may think we could

cover in future issues. Feel free to get in

touch via editor@msagb.com

Peter Harvey, National Chairman

MSA GB

to our industry as well as offer some tips

and advice that may help you in your

career. We will also continue to contact

members via our direct email when

important news breaks, so you remain

on top of events at all times.

The return of Newslink comes at

possibly one of the worse times for our

profession, our businesses and the

clients we serve.

A recent frustration has been the test

booking service. Now the practical test

booking service is open every day from

6am until 11.20 pm. Over 350,000

slots were made available, but not all

were booked. The available tests will not

always be where you want them, or

when you want them, but it does give

hope for the future. The ability to take

the test at an alternative centre may be

available.

The position with theory tests is

different in that there are currently very

few available slots at many of the centres

across England and Wales, and none at

all in Scotland due to the two-metre

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

The saga of the waiting rooms is just

one of the new challenges we face

Colin Lilly

Editor, Newslink

Keep in touch: Follow MSA GB on social media

Just click on the icon

to go through to the

relevant site

Welcome to your

digital Newslink

See a pale blue box in any article

or on an advert? It it contains a

web address or email, it’s

interactive. Just click and it will

take you to the appropriate

web page or email so you can

keep in touch easier.

COVER STORY

Face masks:

Time to

make them

mandatory?

See pg 6

social distancing applying there.

Another aggravation at present is the

availability of test centre waiting rooms

– and we’ve more on this issue in our

News pages. I will simply say this

problem is a reflection of the strange

times in which we live.

As always, MSA GB will pursue these

issues on your behalf with DVSA but we

cannot promise to get the desired results;

be assured, however, your views are

being presented.

Please let us know your thoughts on

this first issue; your feedback will help us

in the issues to follow.

If you would like to contribute, feel free

to drop me an email; we will take care of

the layout, etc.

My contact details are below.

Enjoy reading Newslink.

CONTACT

To comment on this article or any other

issue on driver training and testing,

contact Colin via 01934 514336 or via

editor@msagb.com

WWW.MSAGB.COM

03


Inside this issue

18

26

News

Test centre waiting rooms

No sign of ADIs being allowed inside

driving test centres soon – page 6

Sunak pledges more

support for ADIs

Details of Chancellor’s financial help

for virus-hit business – page 8

Examiners voice concerns of

L-test health and safety

Strongly-worded statement suggests

trouble in the future – page 10

Newslink

The Voice of MSA GB

14

Theory test changes finally

given the green light

Postponed upgrades to test go live after

six-month delay – page 12

End of the road for Cardington

12

Views sought on amendments

to Highway Code

Controversial plans for pavement

parking ban proposed – page 13

Covid-19 forces changes to

testing regime

Major changes to Standards Check and

Part 3 – page 14

Pass rates up!

Sadly, it’s only those few that were

taken in past six months! – page 15

The Motor Schools Association

of Great Britain Ltd

Head Office:

Chester House,

68 Chestergate,

Macclesfield

Cheshire SK11 6DY

T: 01625 664501

E: info@msagb.com

Newslink is published monthly on behalf of the MSA

GB and distributed to members and selected

recently qualified ADIs throughout Great Britain by:

Chamber Media Services,

4 Hilton Road, Bramhall, Stockport,

Cheshire SK7 3AG

Editor/Production: Rob Beswick

e: rob@chambermediaservices.co.uk

t: 0161 426 7957

Advertising sales: Colin Regan

e: colinregan001@yahoo.co.uk

t: 01942 537959 / 07871 444922

Views expressed in Newslink are not necessarily

those of the MSA GB or the publishers.

Although every effort is

made to ensure the

accuracy of material

contained within this

publication, neither MSA

GB nor the publishers can

accept any responsibility

for the veracity of claims

made by contributors in

either advertising or

editorial content.

©2020 The Motor Schools

Association of Great

Britain Ltd. Reprinting in

whole or part is forbidden

without express

permission of the editor.


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

8

Features

Drivinghub success after two years

of safe driving messages

Highways England delight over

road safety award – page 16

DVSA Annual Report under the

microscope

Think the government might be skint after

the virus has gone? DVSA report offers a

glimpse of the problems to come – page 18

M5 – Heaven or Hell?

A construction challenge explained – page 26

Keep in

touch 1

If you have updated your

address, telephone

numbers or changed your email

address recently, please let us

know at head office by emailing

us with your new details and

membership number to

info@msagb.com.

If you can’t find your

membership number, give us a

ring on 01625 664501.

Keep in touch:

Just click on the icon

to go through to the

relevant site

2

10

Regional

Find your Nearest Covid test

farce has a familiar ring

North West – page 29

MP calls for facemasks to be

made mandatory on lessons

West Midlands – page 30

The wait goes on for L-tests when

people want and need them

South East – page 34

Signs of the time as bridges

keep causing problems

Western – page 35

Meet the ADI

Alex Buist, MSA Scotland – page 36

Exam focus is on keeping the

wheels turning

ADI trainer Steve Garrod offers some tips

and guidance on the new rules surrounding

the Standards Checks – page 22

Follow MSA GB on social media

Keep in

contact with

the MSA

MSA GB area contacts are

here to answer your

queries and offer any

assistance you need.

Get in touch if you have

any opinions on how MSA

GB is run, or wish to

comment on any issue

affecting the driver

training and testing

regime.

n National Chairman:

Peter Harvey MBE

natchair@msagb.com

n Deputy National

Chairman: Geoff Little

deptnatchair@msagb.com

n Scotland:

Alex Buist

chair.os@msagb.com

n North East:

Mike Yeomans

chair.ne@msagb.com

n North West:

Graham Clayton

chair.nw@msagb.com

n East Midlands:

Kate Fennelly

chair.em@msagb.com

n West Midlands:

Geoff Little

chair.wm@msagb.com

n Western:

Arthur Mynott

chair.ow@msagb.com

n Eastern:

Paul Harmes

chair.oe@msagb.com

n Greater London:

Tom Kwok

chair.gl@msagb.com

n South East:

Terry Cummins

chair.se@msagb.com

n South Wales:

All enquiries to

info@msagb.com

n Newslink:

All enquiries to

editor@msagb.com or

rob@chambermedia

services.co.uk


News

Face masks: It’s time to make them

mandatory for pupils and instructors

As Covid-19 rules tighten across the UK,

there has still been – at the time

Newslink was published (September 29)

– no order from the Government making

the wearing of face masks mandatory

during driving lessons.

While wearing a mask on public

transport, in aircraft and in taxis is

compulsory, as well as in shops, ADIs

and their pupils are simply advised to do

so in England and Wales, while in

Scotland the emphasis is stronger, say

both instructor and pupil must wear one

– but that rules still stops short of being

mandatory in law.

MSA GB National Chairman Peter

Harvey said the public was rightly

confused by the apparent contradiction

of forcing them to wear a mask on a bus

but not in an ADI’s car.

“You can see why people scratch their

heads and think, this doesn’t make

sense,” said Peter. “If you go on a 50-ft

long bus where you may be the only

passenger, you must wear a mask, but

you don’t need to wear one in a tuition

car where you are two feet from the

other party, and there are different people

entering the car all day.”

The latest advice on facemasks from

the Government is that ‘You should also

wear a face covering in indoor places

where social distancing may be difficult

and where you will come into contact

with people you do not normally meet.’

But the advice stops short of saying it

a legal requirement to wear one in a

tuition vehicle.

MSA GB believes it is time this

confusion was ended, by ADIs taking a

decision independent of government, and

making the wearing of facemasks

mandatory in our vehicles.

There were a number of reasons why

this was a necessary move, said Peter.

“Any measure, no matter how small, that

helps in any way to stop the transmission

of the coronavirus has to be taken,” said

Peter. “But there are other reasons why

ADIs should make this move. The

number one complaint we are receiving

at head office at the moment from the

general pubic is over ADIs not wearing

masks. Every day we are receiving calls

from anxious parents who think their son

or daughter’s ADI is breaking the law.

“Trust me, if you are not wearing a

mask, it doesn’t send out a positive

message. If I were a parent, I’d be asking

whether I’d trust an ADI with my child’s

driving health and safety if they couldn’t

be bothered taking basic precautions

against Covid-19.”

Peter also reminded members that

examiners are cancelling L-tests for

candidates not wearing masks, and may

not take a test car out if they see it arrive

at the test centre with pupil and

instructor not wearing masks.

“The examiners’ trade union the PCS

has been very clear to its members: don’t

take the test out if you feel the car has

not been sanitised properly,” said Peter.

“Wearing a mask might not be a legal

requirement at present but I’ve got to ask

whether you are doing your reputation in

your neighbourhood any good if you and

your pupil are not wearing one.”

Test centre waiting room ban to continue

The DVSA has confirmed that driving

test centre waiting rooms will continue

to be closed off to ADIs, with rumours

suggesting it may be some time before

an instructor can wait in comfort while

their pupil is on test.

MSA GB National Chairman Peter

Harvey said the news would disappoint

many instructors who have been

inconvenienced by waiting rooms being

closed, but the DVSA was having to

handle some complex issues.

“In most DTCs, office space for

examiners is limited, and with social

distancing rules in place many cannot

accommodate all examiners in safety.

“For that reason, some examiners are

using waiting rooms as their office,

making it difficult for them to share

with ADIs and the public. There are

issues around social distancing in

smaller waiting rooms, too.”

The DVSA is aware of the inconvenience

this situation is causing, and has

reiterated that where possible, ADIs and

pupils can use the toilets on request.

This problem has been exacerbated

by ADIs not being allowed to

accompany their pupils on tests, leading

to some being forced to stand out in the

cold and wet for the duration of the

L-test if no other shelter is available.

This situation is likely to become more

concerning as winter approaches.

MSA GB will continue to press the

DVSA for a solution that can

accommodate both the comfort of ADIs

and provide a safe space for driving

examiners.

06

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


News

Chancellor’s support package offers

slim ray of hope for self-employed

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new package of

support for employees and the selfemployed

whose jobs have been affected

by the Covid-19 pandemic offers some

hope for those struggling with the

economic fall-out of the virus.

Clearly, the full details of the support

available are complex and too lengthy to

reproduce in full here, but members are

urged to see the government website at

https://www.gov.uk/government/

publications/self-employment-incomesupport-scheme-grant-extension

to check out if any help is available to

them over the coming months.

MSA GB national chairman Peter

Harvey commented: “While most ADIs I

speak to are very busy at the moment,

working through the backlog of pupils

whose tests were cancelled and who

now need refresher lessons, and those

whose learning journeys were targeted at

taking their tests in autumn and winter,

this busy period may cease soon and

such support may become vital.

“At MSA GB we are particularly

concerned that bottlenecks in the testing

regime may result in pupil numbers

falling off.

“For instance, in Scotland, at the time

of writing, theory tests are very difficult

to obtain, and without a theory test pass

some pupils will be reluctant to take their

tuition up to a point where they are ready

for a practical test. Some may mothball

their learning for long periods.

“While in England and Wales theory

test availability is a little better, they are

still lengthy and there are some areas

where tests are hard to come by.

“When this is combined with some

problems with availability for practical

tests, such as where examiners are ill/

self-isolating, or DTCs have not

reopened, thus reducing capacity, there

is a real concern that pupil numbers

could fall.

“There is also a question mark over

whether the crop of teenagers becoming

eligible for driving lessons will be as keen

to start learing to drive as their

predecessors, for health or financial

reasons.

“That’s why, even if you are very busy

at the moment, please take some time to

read these notes and see if you are

eligible for funding.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak:

His package of support

has been welcomed by

many business groups

Key points

We have set out below some of the key

points in the new support scheme for the

self-employed.

n The Chancellor’s new support

package starts on November 1 and lasts

six months. It will be paid in the form of

two taxable grants: the first will cover

from the start of November to the end of

January, and the second February until

the end of April.

n The first grant will cover 20 per cent

of trading profits for three months,

capped at £1,875 per month. It will

be paid in a single instalment.

The level of the second grant will be

revealed soon.

n Only those eligible for the current

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

(SEISS) can apply. To be eligible you

must have filed a tax return for 2018/19,

must earn more than 50% of your total

income from self-employment and your

average trading profit must be no more

than £50,000/yr.

n You need to have been adversely

affected by coronavirus to claim. This

could be a a reduction in pupils or loss of

other earnings, ie, driver awareness/

speed awareness programmes.

The length of time you will have had to

have been affected for has not been

revealed as yet. The MSA will endeavour

to find out and update our advice when

we hear more.

n The grants are subject to Income Tax

and National Insurance Contributions.

Other parts of the package of support

that are of interest to ADIs:

n Self-assessment payments can be

delayed further. If you had a Payment on

Account due for the Tax Year 2019/20

in July 2020, which you deferred under

the previous extension to January 2021,

you are now entitled to defer this for a

further period up to 31 January 2022.

n In addition, if you have any balance

of tax to pay for 2019/20, after taking

into account the Payments on Account

already made, you are also entitled to

defer this until 31 January 2022.

This means that effectively, you need

not pay tax until January 2022 – but we

strongly advise you to start putting

money aside for your tax bill as it is liable

to be very large.

n If you have taken out a ‘Bounce

Back Loan’ you will have longer to pay it

back – up to 10 years, with the first year

interest-free and the rest at 2.5%.

n If you are VAT-rated, you can delay

any VAT payments due and spread

them throughout the 2021-22 financial

year.

08

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


L-tests and training safe for

time being, despite new rules

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

The tightening of restrictions on activity

and services will not affect driving

lessons, the DVSA has said. However, it

is clear that a further series of restrictions

may prove challenging to driver testing

and training as the UK attempts to

reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The DVSA said in a statement released

after Prime Minister Boris Johnson had

announced the new restrictions, that

‘they do not affect driver and rider theory

and practical test services in England

and Wales. We can continue to provide

these services as normal.”

After some confusion, that is also the

situation in Scotland.

MSA GB will keep the situation under

review and update members if anything

changes.

However, we would remind all

members that this is a fast-moving

situation and changes to the rules can be

made overnight, particularly where local

lockdowns are concerned. Therefore, it is

imperative you keep an eye on

www.msagb.com where we will publish

all news as soon as it is released.

The latest Government advice can be

found at:

www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-

19-driving-tests-and-theory-tests

Other advice

Detailed guidance for MSA GB members

can also be found at the National

Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP).

www.n-a-s-p.co.uk/coronavirus-advice/

For motorcycle trainers, see

https://mcia.co.uk/en/mcia-ride/

information-for-atbs-and-post-testinstructors

For large goods vehicle trainers:

www.lgvregister.org.uk/wp-content/

uploads/2020/07/Return-to-Work-

Guidance.pdf

New DTC restrictions: see pg 11

WWW.MSAGB.COM

09


News

Examiners uneasy over L-test return as

relations with DVSA take turn for worst

The National Association Strategic

Partnership (NASP) has contacted the

DVSA for a response after the driving

examiners’ union, the PCS, distributed a

strong statement in which it addressed

issues around examiners health and

safety while conducting L-tests.

In the statement the PCS said: ‘We

have closed a H&S consultative ballot for

DEs. 86% of those who voted believe

that it is not safe to return to work.

‘The results demonstrate the huge H&S

concerns of members following the return

to work at driving test centres across the

country. Nearly all, 96%, believed that

staff should not be forced to return.

‘This is a heartening statistic, given it

demonstrates the empathy that members

have for their colleagues, often those

who are clinically vulnerable, or are at a

higher risk, and who are quite rightly

more fearful of catching the virus.

‘90% also believe that candidates

should be mandated to take a [Covid-19]

test and 73% are prepared to take action

to support these demands.

‘Your reps have agreed that we again

need to use these results to press our

demands with the employer. We want to

thank those of you who voted and have

sent a clear message that H&S is still a

huge concern for themselves and their

colleagues.

‘These demands will centre on your

safety, particularly in view of the move by

DVSA to increase tests to six a day,

substantially increasing the risk of

catching the virus, at a time when we

are seeing a sharp increase in infection

rates following the premature easing of

lockdown.

‘We believe that now is not the time to

increase the number of tests, for which

bookings are already being taken and are

due to start in mid-October.

‘We know that DVSA believes that it is

safe for staff to test, and the business

must start returning to normal (following

SOPs), but [examiners] safety is our

primary concern, and where members

still believe that they are substantially at

risk in their job, then we will do all we

can, through negotiations, legislation and

campaigning to support you.

Consequently, we are writing to our

parliamentary group to raise and support

the demand for testing of candidates. We

will also support those who wish to

Expired driving licences extended by 11 months

exercise their right under Section 44 of

the ERA.’

The PCS statement added:

Local Lockdowns

‘We also want clearer guidance and

assurances around local lockdowns.

[Recently], members at Bolton DTC were

forced to stop L-testing when they found

out from local media that the rate had

risen to 160 per 100,000 people -

higher than the Leicester rate when the

city went into the first UK local

lockdown.

‘Members exercised their right under

Section 44 of the ERA (1996) but were

forced back to work after a threat of nil

pay.’

MSA GB National Chairman Peter

Harvey said the tone and thrust of this

statement suggested relations between

examiners and the DVSA were again

fragile. He said: “NASP has contacted

DVSA to discuss this statement and find

out whether they have any concerns

regarding this latest ballot and whether

they foresee any disruption to services –

now and moving forward.

“DVSA has a continuing dialogue with

its examiners, and their unions, about

issues relating to managing test delivery

in the context of Covid-19. Both unions

and examiners have been closely

consulted on any measures put in place

to safeguard examiners, trainers and

pupils in the testing process and any

decisions to develop the level of testing

offered.

“At the time of this ballot, there is no

impact to testing services. We will keep

you updated on this issue.”

Photocard licences or entitlement to

drive that expire up until 31 December

2020 have been further extended for 11

months from the date of expiry.

Under the changes, drivers whose

photocard driving licence or entitlement

to drive runs out before 31 December

2020 will have their entitlement

automatically extended from the expiry

date, for a period of 11 months. Drivers

do not need to apply to renew their

licence until they receive a reminder

before their extension expires. An

extension scheme to reflect the impact

of Covid-19 was initially put in place in

march but expired at the end of August.

DVLA Chief Executive Julie Lennard

said: “This further extension will ensure

that in these continued uncertain times,

drivers don’t need to worry about the

admin or the associated costs with

renewing their licences.

“The temporary extension is

automatic, and drivers do not need to

do anything.” Drivers who have already

applied to renew their photocard driving

licence or entitlement to drive can

usually carry on driving while we

process their application, providing they

have not been told by their doctor or

optician that they should not drive.”

10

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

DTC update: what’s closing,

what’s moving...

With Covid-19 transmission forcing local

restrictions to be placed on many parts of

the country, there is a chance that access

to driving test centres may become more

difficult. So far this has not happened but

this situation may change. Check with

local media to be sure.

Currently, the following areas are

subject to local restrictions:

Wales: Cardiff, Llanelli (Carmarthenshire),

Swansea County, Neath Port Talbot,

Torfaen, Vale of Glamorgan, Newport,

Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenau

Gwent; Rhondda Cynon Taf; Caerphilly.

Scotland: Glasgow city, East

Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, East

Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire,

North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire

Midlands: Birmingham, Sandwell and

Solihull, Wolverhampton, Oadby and

Wigston.

North West: Merseyside, Warrington,

Halton and Lancashire and Greater

Manchester.

North East England: Northumberland,

North Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne,

Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland

and County Durham.

West Yorkshire: Bradford, Kirklees and

Calderdale; Leeds

Theory test centre relocations

in Scotland

The DVSA is using alternative locations

for some theory test centres in Scotland.

Candidates with tests booked at the old

theory test centres have been contacted

and advised of the new locations.

The new new centres are:

Kirkwall: Alternative test centre is in

Albert Hotel, 7 Mounthoolie Place,

Kirkwall Orkney KW15 1JZ

Oban: The View, 34 George Street

Oban PA34 5NL

Isle of Barra: Craigard Hotel, Craigard

of Castlebay Isle of Barra HS9 5XD

Huntly: Gordon Arms Hotel,

The Square, Huntly AB54 8AF.

Vocational tests

unavailable at Steeton

driving test centre

Vocational tests at Steeton

driving test centre will be

unavailable from Saturday, 14

November to allow essential

maintenance work to be carried

out. Testing will restart

on Monday, 23 November.

The closure will only affect

vocational tests. Candidates with

tests during this time have been

notified.

Car tests and motorcycle mod

2 tests will continue at the site

while the maintenance work is

taking place.

Using alternative sites

When tests are unavailable at

Steeton, extra testing resource

will be provided at:

• Kirkham LGV driving test

centre

• Walton LGV driving test

centre

• Atherton MPTC driving test

centre.

WWW.MSAGB.COM

11


News

Theory test changes

finally get green light

DVSA introduced the planned changes to

the car theory test on Monday, 28

September.

The DVSA had originally planned to

launch the new-look test on March 20,

but this was postponed because of the

Covid-19 pandemic.

The updated part of the test, the

DVSA says, will make it more realistic

and improve the accessibility for all

candidates.

Video clip scenarios will replace the

written case study within the multiple

choice part of the current theory test.

Candidates will be asked three questions

based on the short video clip.

Candidates will still:

• be asked 50 multiple-choice

questions in total

• need to get the same pass mark

• be tested on the same content.

Next year will see the end of an era for

British driver training and testing after the

DVSA announced it is to close its iconic

Cardington driving test centre.

Cardington, for those that don’t know, is

the Bedfordshire base where the DVSA

trains its supervising examiners and

driving test examiners, among other

officials. It stands in the considerable

shadow of the Cardington airship hangers,

which date back to the First World War

and included the famous R101 airship

among its past residents.

In a brief statement the DVSA said: ‘We

will be closing the Cardington training

12

Make sure your pupils are using the

most up-to-date learning resources.

Updated learning materials

The full set of updated official learning

materials is available from the Safe

Driving for Life website, where your

pupils can also practice with the free

video clips.

You and your pupils can save 20% off

by using code 20LZ at the checkout.

n DVSA is reminding members that

candidates need to take their theory test

certificates to their L-test if they have a

paper version. However, if they can’t

find it, they don’t need to order a

replacement before coming to the test.

Pupils will still need to have a valid

theory test certificate before booking and

taking their test.

Historic centre of examiner training

set to close its doors in 2021

facility and relocating the Cardington

driving test centre by the end of March

2021.

‘We’re working to identify alternative

locations for the test centre and will let

you know where we will be conducting

driving tests from in the future.

‘Candidates will still be able to book

tests at Cardington driving test centre

until March 2021.’

And with that, the DVSA/DSA/DFT/

DOT/MOT links to Cardington were

brought to an abrupt end!

• See November Newslink for a look back

at the history of Cardington.

MoTs are back

on track,

says DVSA

Government measures to limit the

spread of coronavirus do not affect

MOT garages, the DVSA has

confirmed, insisting that all MOT

testing will continue.

However, it admitted that many

garages are under considerable

pressure to catch-up with a backlog

of MoTs and services, and has

produced new guidelines for

operating safely during coronavirus.

Owners of large vehicles have been

reminded that they must continue

with regular maintenance and

inspection schedules for vehicles and

trailers. This is a legal requirement

under their operator’s licence.

Enforcers are back

DVSA has also confirmed that its

enforcement work will run as normal

from now on. In a statement the

agency said it was committed to

‘supporting drivers and operators to

follow guidance and legislation and

improve driver and vehicle safety

standards.’

Dodgy drums

Instructors operating in the LGV sector

have been warned about defective

aftermarket brake drums that may be

fitted to Scania P400 lorries.

The DVSA has been made aware of

two cases where aftermarket drums,

which were not manufactured or

supplied by Scania, have failed on

P400 lorries. In both cases lorries

were left without front braking and

were fully laden.

The drums

failed when the

braking surface

fractured and

separated from the

mounting ring. It

is believed that

this was not

normal wear and

tear.

The DVSA has been unable to

identify the manufacturer involved

but an image of one of the failed

drums is shown here. If you have

similar drums fitted to your lorries

call DVSA on 0117 9543425.

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


ADIs asked for views on

Highway Code changes

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

The Department for Transport has

announced a consultation on changes to

the Highway Code. The proposed

changes are aimed at improving safety

on pavements for:

• wheelchair users

• people with visual impairments

• prams or buggies

The main changes proposed are to:

• extend the London-style ban on

pavement parking

• make it easier for councils to pass

laws to prevent pavement parking

• give councils the power to fine

offenders.

In the foreword to the consultation

document, the minister in charge,

Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Parliamentary

Under-Secretary at the Department for

Transport, said: ‘While many people take

for granted the ability to travel easily

from A to B, this is not the reality for

everyone. For our ageing population, and

the 13.3 million people (21% of the

population) who identify as having some

sort of disability, access to transport can

be far from straightforward.

“This government is determined to

make sure that disabled people have the

same access to transport as everyone

else, and that they can travel easily, with

confidence and without extra cost.

‘Progress continues to be made in

delivering our commitments in the

strategy, including on pavement parking.

‘Through the Department for Transport

contact with a range of stakeholders, I

know that pavement parking can cause

real problems for pedestrians, but

particularly for wheelchair users, people

with visual impairments and those with

prams or buggies. We are also told that

the current legislative framework may not

be as clear or effective as it could be.

‘However, it is also important to

recognise that in many narrow streets

pavement parking is necessary to

maintain free-flowing traffic, including for

emergency services. Local authorities are

best placed to assess how parking should

be managed in their communities.

‘Pavement parking has been prohibited

in London since 1974. While successive

governments have recognised there is no

perfect solution to this complex problem,

I believe it is time to look again at this

issue in detail.

‘This consultation seeks your views on

some options to help local authorities to

tackle this problem.

Among the options being considered

are to rely on improvements to the

existing TRO system; to allow local

authorities with CPE powers to enforce

unnecessary obstruction of the

pavement; or to prohibit all pavement

parking.

HAVE YOUR SAY

Get involved with this consultation at

www.gov.uk/government/consultations/

managing-pavement-parking/pavementparking-options-for-change


News

Covid-19 forces major changes to

Standards Checks and the Part 3

The DVSA has made some

major changes to both the

Standards Check and the

Part 3 examinations. We

outline the main details here.

Why are these changes needed?

The industry already recognises that

working in vehicles, in close proximity to

pupils and candidates, carries a higher

risk than in many professions. Because

of this, standard operating procedures

(SOPs) have been adapted across driver

and rider testing and training to limit the

risk of infection from Covid-19. As ADI

and PDI assessments require three

people to be in vehicle, extra precautions

must be taken to limit exposure.

Why is it important to continue ADI/PDI

assessments at this time?

Ensuring those delivering driver training

are up to standard is an important factor

in managing that risk. It is important we

continue ADI assessments to ensure the

quality standard of learning is maintained

and these assessments are a regulatory

requirement. To mitigate road risk, it is

important we do not neglect instructor

assessment and enforcement at this time

Why not reintroduce role play?

A natural suggestion to de-risk the

process would be to allow role play

again. DVSA considered this but believed

that the need to ensure candidates were

observed in as real-life training setting as

possible was more important in terms of

ensuring the trainer/trainee had the

required skills and competency to carry

out their role to the required standard.

In addition, role play doesn’t fit with

the National Standards for Driver and

Rider Training or the focus on clientcentred

training, to meet the needs of

individual pupils and managing risk.

Introducing role play would also confuse

PDIs as their training has not been

centered on this method. Examiners are

not trained to deliver these assessments

utilising role play, and marking sheets are

not configured to record such lessons.

What has not changed?

There’s no change to what the

examiner expects to see and assess.

Candidates should cover all

competencies, even though the time has

been reduced: you will still be assessed

on all elements

Candidates should have spent time,

when they collect their pupils, setting out

the goals for the lesson and discussing

risk management. This should be done

before the test and a brief recap of the

lesson goal(s) should be done in a couple

of minutes in the car. It is still expected

that these key competencies are recapped

for the purpose of the assessment.

The main changes are:

n Meet and greet will be conducted

outside, not in waiting rooms

n The initial brief and debrief will be

conducted inside the car

n The assessment will be 45 minutes

overall, with a focus on keeping as much

of the assessment ‘wheels moving’ as

possible

n A phone call will confirm the

arrangements for the assessment

n Examiners, candidates and pupils

will be required to wear a face covering

and follow good hand, respiratory and

vehicle hygiene practices to mitigate the

risks to all concerned

Keep the wheels moving

This does not mean that candidates

cannot pull over during the lesson to

change the lesson plan if something goes

wrong or a risk is occurring. DVSA

expects and encourages this, to ensure

key points are picked up and discussed.

The examiner is not expecting a 10

-15 minute static brief during the

minimum 40 minutes ‘wheels moving’

assessment; a few minutes maximum

will suffice. If the candidate persists with

a static brief, and the examiner can’t make

a satisfactory assessment, they will

manage this with a discreet prompt.

All of this is designed to keep the

vehicle in motion and well ventilated so

the risk of infection is reduced

The customer contact call

When they call you, you will confirm

that your pupil is either partly trained,

trained or a full licence holder, and not a

beginner. A location will be discussed,

with the default being the DTC.

In this call the examiner will remind

the instructor to ensure the car is clean

and is aware of Covid secure

arrangements.

As the focus of these changes are

designed to reduce the time spent in an

enclosed vehicle, every effort must be

made to keep the main body of the

assessment ‘wheels moving’ and vehicle

well ventilated. Therefore, a beginner or

static or basic manoeuvres lesson is NOT

acceptable. The examiner will not

conduct the test and your fee will be lost

if you present with a beginner.

Instructors must bring a pupil that can

wear a face covering; exemptions will not

apply.

Recap what hasn’t changed?

n There’s no change to what the

examiner expects to see and assess

n Candidates should cover all

competencies, even though the time has

been reduced: you will still be assessed

on all elements

n Candidates should have spent time,

when they collect their pupils, setting out

the goals for the lesson and discussing

risk management. This should be done

before the test and a brief recap of the

lesson goal(s) should be done in a couple

of minutes in the car.

Recap preparation:

n It is still expected that these key

competencies are recapped for the

purpose of the assessment

n Seek development from an ORDIT

trainer

n Request your Crystal report and

review your performance via your fault

analysis

n Examiner will call to explain Covid

precautions

n Research SOP on GOV.UK

n Read advice on NASP website

n Sanitise inside car front and rear

Recap meeting the examiner:

n Wait by the car

n Licence or ADI certificate ready to

view

n Have training records and trainer

details available

n Explain pupils training so far

n Outline likely plan for the lesson

n Discussion outside the car

14

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

USEFUL INFORMATION

Visit www.n-a-s-p.co.uk/coronavirusadvice/4594952055

for copies of:

DVSA Standard Operating Procedure

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Conducting

ADI Part 3 tests and standards checks

DVSA Standard Operating Procedure

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Conducting

ADI Part 2 tests

Both dated 29 September 2020

Recap the lesson

n No beginner or static lessons

n Face coverings to be worn

n Car to be ventilated throughout

n Brief beginning / end of lesson

discussions in car

n 45 minutes with 40 minutes wheels

moving

Recap after the lesson

n Examiner will complete report in the

office

n Feedback to instructor outside car if

practical

n ORDIT Trainer involvement (in person

or via phone)

n Strengths / weaknesses highlighted in

test report

n Seek ORDIT trainer for development

needs

n Continued professional development.

The value of training and development:

Regardless of how long you have been

training, CPD is important. There is a

direct link between trainers who regularly

refresh and develop their skills and

knowledge, and those who are Grade A

instructors with high pass rates.

You can request your fault analysis

report which charts the pattern of faults

against your personal reference number

and is useful in highlighting where

development may be needed in your

training approach. You can request this,

free of charge via: omi@dvsa.gov.uk

DVSA and NASP strongly recommend

you seek the support and guidance of an

ORDIT Trainer to help develop your

training overall (and in the everyday),

and particularly in advance of your next

assessment. Benefit from an ORDIT

trainer’s knowledge and experience, gain

objective feedback, pinpoint strengths

and weaknesses, and learn how to

develop your training overall.

n Keep the wheels moving: Steve Garrod

looks at this issue, see pg 22

WWW.MSAGB.COM

Pass rates soar... but

don’t get too excited...

The DVSA has released its latest

statistics for L-tests and theory

tests for 2020.

They show an astonishing rise in

pass rates for the 20/21 year to date,

of 55 per cent; that’s a 10 per cent

rise on pass rates on the last quarter

of 2019-20!

Sadly, what should be great news

for ADIs is mired by the Covid-19

pandemic, of course. While that

pass rate percentage is correct, it is

taken from just 6,264 tests, of which

3,448 were passed.

This is interesting because, of

course, during the period under

review L-tests were in the main

suspended, and the majority of

those taking their test received

special permission to do so, as they

were critical/frontline workers.

Can we assume, then, that the

best learner drivers out there are

nurses...?

Looking at the figures for April

2019-March 2020, which in the

main is a complete picture of the

testing regime, the pass rate held

steady at 45/46 per cent: across the

four quarters the figures were 46.4,

46.2, 45.3 and 45.8 per cent.

Test numbers were high, with

393,000 in Q1 rising to 425,000

in Q3.

The impact of the pandemic

blighted Q4, where 373,465 tests

were conducted; this 50,000 drop

from Q3 to Q4 offers an early

indicator of the impact Covid-19

would have on the sector as a whole

(for more on this topic, see our

review on the DVSA Annual Report,

from page 18).

Motorcycle test rates continue to

outshine cars: 73.4 per cent in Q1,

2019-20. Interestingly, the figure for

the reduced testing period in

2020-21 was actually down, to 69

per cent. Applying the same logic as

to L-tests, does that mean nurses

don’t make the best motorbike

learners? A bit facetious: again, the

percentage was based on only a

handful of tests: just 71 were

conducted.

The figures for theory testing show

just how far the pass rate has fallen

since 2007-8. In 2019-20, pass

rates from Q1-Q4 were 47.2, 48.2,

45.8 and 47.2 per cent, averaging

out at 47.1. This is a far cry from

2007-8, when the same quarters

saw pass rates at 62, 64.5, 67.3

and 69.8 per cent – an overall

average pass rate of 65 per cent.

The theory test rate has fallen

steadily since this high watermark.

The following years saw average

pass rates of 64, then 63 and 62.5

per cent.

The theory test was more harshly

affected by Covid-19 restrictions. A

stunning 100,000 fewer tests were

conducted in Q4 of 2019-20

(Jan- March 2020) compared with

Q1 (April-June).

Stats for new entrants to the ADI

ranks show that 221 PDIs passed

their Part 2 tests in March this year;

one has to wonder whether they will

ever join the ADI ranks, given the

appalling bad luck in the timing of

their test.

381 Part 3 passes were recorded

in March, with 562 in February and

513 in January. It has to be said

they have had a rough introduction

to their new career as an ADI.

n If you are a new member of

MSA GB and would like to tell us

about your experiences, contact the

editor at editor@msagb.com

15


News

Drivinghub success rewarded after two

years of safe driving messages

Samantha Jackson, assistant

programme manager, road

safety, Highways England,

highlights the success her

agency’s Driving Hub online

learning platform to

Mike Yeomans, Chair of

MSA GB North East.

In 2016, Highways England supported

the DfT public consultation on learner

drivers taking lessons on motorways.

This identified the need to provide

learners with the broadest range of skills,

knowledge and confidence to prepare for

a lifetime of driving.

To assist customers of the future to

prepare for motorway driving, Highways

England, in partnership with the

Department for Transport, DVSA, the

driver instructor industry and IPSOS

MORI developed a new safety initiative

to support new drivers on the SRN with

transferable skills to local roads, ready

for the change in legislation allowing

learner drivers onto motorways.

This resulted in the DrivingHub

website, which was developed to

increase the knowledge and confidence

of learner and novice drivers, by

providing free road safety resources such

as vehicle check guidance.

Drivinghub is a unique customer-led,

technological solution which provides

1-1 tailored dialogue to provide bespoke

lessons between driving instructors and

pupils and start a conversation between

parents and guardians to support safer

driving.

Research was key to understand the

needs of this group of drivers, especially

with the change in legislation in 2017

allowing learners to take driving lessons

on motorways. By consulting with ADIs

and hosting focus groups with both them

and learners the HE team was able to

explore and test attitudes to road safety.

This helped identify the best themes and

content for Drivinghub to suit customer

needs.

These trusted resources helped

customers to better prepare themselves

for a lifetime of driving while developing

and maintaining safe behaviours from

the outset. The team successfully created

a way to share timely information with

our customers before they entered the

motorway. Drivers using the site now

have transferable knowledge when

driving on all roads, be it for social or

work purposes.

There are five key courses available on

DrivingHub:

n driver, vehicle and journey

n driving on rural roads, single and dual

carriageways & motorways

n awareness and driving conditions

n other road users

n managing breakdowns and incidents

DrivingHub was recently recognised for

its work providing practical advice for

novice drivers. The initiative won the

FirstCar Young Driver Road User Safety

Award for Partnership of the Year. The

awards recognise projects that have

improved young driver behaviour. The

Partnership of the Year category

acknowledges initiatives that incorporate

a wider community involvement.

Award judges commented that

DrivingHub was: “A cleverly constructed

outreach programme with solid research

behind this intervention, which was

developed in partnership with the main

ADI organisations and reaches its target

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


‘‘

A cleverly constructed

outreach programme with

solid research behind this

intervention, which was

developed in partnership

with the main ADI

organisations and reaches its

target audience.

audience. The initiative brings together the

expertise and insight of a range of partners,

and actively supports other initiatives to

improve young driver safety. Evaluation

shows positive responses and uptake from

young drivers.’’

Samantha Jackson, assistant programme

manager from Highways England (strategic

safety team in road user safety), said: “I am

delighted that DrivingHub has been

awarded a winner in the FirstCar Young

Driver Road Safety Awards for the

‘Partnership Scheme of the Year’ category.

We carried out a lot of research to better

understand the needs of this group of

drivers, especially with the change in

legislation allowing learners to take driving

lessons on motorways.

“By consulting with driving instructors

and hosting focus groups with instructors

and learners, we were able to explore and

test attitudes to road safety. This helped

shape the themes and content for

DrivingHub. DrivingHub was a joint

collaboration with all our partners and we

are proud to receive this award for our work

to support new and learner drivers.”

Since its launch in June 2018, 13,516

courses have been undertaken and

DrivingHub has received 48,716 unique

visits. Its success has been underlined by

the knowledge that there has been no

recorded injury collision involving learners

on the motorway to date.

DrivingHub also has much-needed

learner guidance for lessons during

Covid-19. You can see it at

https://drivinghub.co.uk/learner-drivers/ .

The site will be reinvented later this year

to offer a fresh look and open new areas for

users including riders, new parents and

driving for work.

There will be new material created to

engage new users and keep existing users

returning to the site for key information and

messages including smart motorways, your

wellbeing while driving and fatigue.

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Farewell Bulletin –

and thanks

Rod Came

MSA South East

Sadly, we have had the last of the

MSA GB News Bulletins, number

24 being published last week. In

the fast moving, though on

occasions apparently static,

situation we have endured for the

last six months, the weekly MSA GB

Bulletins were an enduring source

of information which kept members

updated on what was happening in

our industry.

Colin Lilly had the unenviable

task of acquiring and collating

information from as many sources

as possible. In my view he did a

magnificent job in that respect.

Colin is a long-standing MSA

member who has supported the

association for many years and I

applaud him for that.

Many members like Colin have

given their support over the years,

and this has enabled MSA GB to

weather various storms and survive.

The benefit is real and the support

provided to ADIs who find

themselves in very difficult and

trying positions is second to none.

Key updates under one roof

There have been so many updates recently it has been hard to keep up.

Every issue of Newslink will try to help by pulling all the key links you need

in one publication.

See the websites below for the latest information you need to know.

NASP Part 2 & 3 Update 28th September 2020

> https://tinyurl.com/y3cyjvnf

Guidance from the Scottish Government 24th August 2020

> https://tinyurl.com/yye5ntww

NASP Q & A with DVSA 2

> https://tinyurl.com/y2wwr4sj

I look forward to Newslink being

available once again, though

monthly and in digital form, which

is the way communication is

undoubtedly going, supported by

up-to-date information from Peter

Harvey, our National Chairman.

Accurate information is key to

how ADIs are able to progress

during these difficult times and that

has been excellent over the last 24

weeks, even if what was circulated

was sometimes not what we

wanted to hear.

However, any news was better

than no news, and that is what

MSA GB has admirably achieved.

Well done and thank you to all

those involved.

DVSA Updated Standard Operating Procedures for Examiners 2020

> https://tinyurl.com/y59rlk2k

NASP Guidelines on Driver Trainers going back to work 2020

> https://tinyurl.com/yaswp9go

WWW.MSAGB.COM

17


News analysis

‘This decrease is mainly due to

a reduction in pre-booked tests

due to Covid-19 cancellations...’

The DVSA’s Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20 makes interesting

reading... if only for the tantalising glimpses it offers of what the

report may say next year, when it has to reflect on the chaos caused

by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, says Rob Beswick

Every ADI reading this review

of the DVSA’s Accounts and

Annual Financial Report will

understand exactly what the

headline sentence means;

after all, it’s a line that will blight the

financial prospects of all instructors

operating in the UK over 2020, and

while Government hand-outs have been

welcome, few instructors will look back

on their income for the financial year

April 2020-March 2021 with any

enthusiasm in the future.

The only crumb of comfort is that, as

one unlamented former Prime Minister

once remarked, “we are all in this

together”, and while the ADI profession

is still reeling from the economic fall-out

of Covid-19, a review of the DVSA’s

Annual Report for 2019-2020 proves

the pain is shared. Despite covering only

a handful of days of the pandemic and

subsequent lockdown, the report offers a

tantalising glimpse of the financial havoc

wreaked by the pandemic on DVSA

finances.

But that’s all it is, a glimpse; these

figures run up to March 31, so the

pandemic’s damage is relatively minor.

Testing was cancelled on March 21, and

while many tests fell foul of Covid-19 in

the run up to that date, in truth, we’re

talking about eight working days lost.

But boy, even that made a difference

– but to that later.

The fact is if, in a twist of accounting,

financial years ended on February 28,

this report would look rosy. The soothing

words of DVSA Chief Executive Gareth

Llewellyn, signing off his last such report

before leaving in December, tells of an

agency that had hit many of its key

performance targets, some by a wide

margin. A whopping 2.1 million theory

tests were held, and 1.9 million practical

tests, while efficiency goals were hit. The

successful capture digitally of just under

a third of L-tests give a clear indicator of

the way forward, and the continuing

development of CGI for the theory test

was something to be excited about.

There was even a healthy cash surplus

to report: just over £12.2m, from income

of £388m. At around three per cent that

is a nice buffer to have: just big enough

to make a difference and fix a hole in the

roof when required, but not so big as to

get ministers asking whether fees should

fall.

But hang on, there wasn’t a surplus…

there was a deficit… of £400,000? Why

the discrepancy?

“This decrease is mainly due to a

reduction in pre-booked tests at the

reporting date due to COVID-19

cancellations…”

Ah, Covid-19, the financial kick in the

teeth that keeps coming back for more.

Yes, that’s right: the DVSA was stood on

the cusp of making a healthy surplus,

and then the axing tests as late as March

21 sent it into deficit.

Or in other words, 10 days lost testing

cost it £13m.

Extrapolate that over a year and that’s

the Chancellor writing a cheque for

around £340m – just to cover the DVSA.

Gulp: if anyone doubts the huge financial

hole the UK is in, post-virus, that simple

sentence gives you an indicator. The

DVSA is a tiny arm of Government;

crucial to ADIs yes, but an insignificant

player in the scale of things, compared to

welfare, the NHS and education. Yet it

still burned through a lot of cash… and

has kept on burning.

But back to the report. A key

performance target was L-test availability,

with a goal of 80 per cent of L-tests

18

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

‘‘

Our business was redesigned over one weekend in March

2020, a truly fantastic achievement by a very talented and

committed group of people.” This was clearly a mammoth

task, and one not to be sneered at in any way...

Gareth Llewellyn (left)

offered to candidates within six weeks of

their preferred date.

This has always struck me as a lazy

goal: while six weeks waiting seems fine,

just enough time for fine tuning a pupil’s

skills, it also allows the DVSA a huge

amount of wriggle room. If Pupil A wants

a test in six weeks, she could

theoretically get it in 12 and be hailed as

a waiting time success story.

However, you can only treat stats like

this at face value and if the KPI says 80

per cent within six weeks of preferred

date, who are we to argue?

Another interesting point that arises is

just how well the DVSA has done in

keeping costs down while delivering its

services on a greatly reduced income. I

say ‘reduced’ because L-test fees haven’t

been raised since 2009, and if they had

gone up in line with inflation, a standard

L-test would be 20 per cent higher than

it is today. Don’t let your pupils tell you it

costs too much!

Other interesting titbits: the DVSA is

hitting – or close to hitting – goals for

lessening its impact on the environment.

It’s always a tall order for an agency

devoted to creating new drivers and

keeping cars and trucks on the road to be

an environmental champion, but it’s

trying. It slashed 1,600 flights from its

manifest during the year – one assumes

a few were lost in March, but it gives you

some idea of how serious the DVSA takes

these matters – though perhaps as a

reflection of this, business mileage was

up. The reduction in flights, one

assumes, forced some official to hit the

road, which strikes me as being an

inefficient use of public servants’ time in

order to look good on an environmental

balance sheet, but there we are.

Oh, and it also admits that the closure

of parts of the DVSA estate, “increased

staff mobility.” In other words, we closed

test centres and offices, and people are

now working out of a briefcase.

Overall, CO 2

emissions were down by

46 per cent compared to the 2009-10

baseline against which savings are

calculated, and reductions in water and

paper use and waste created were

reported, though but not enough to

achieve its goals.

Staff morale was higher, though details

of ongoing rumblings from driving

examiners and the prospect of future

strike action was not discussed.

Interestingly on this subject, one DVSA

staff member who is also a trades union

official spent over half his/her working

week on union matters: wonder who?

And more pertinently, why?

But to the elephant in the room:

Covid-19. Gareth Llewellyn’s foreword

reads like a lament at times, reminding

readers of just how well the agency was

performing. “Prior to reshaping our

business in March 2020,” he says “we

were on track to deliver all our key

performance measures whilst at the

same time ensuring robust measures

were in place for the UK’s exit from the

EU. Up to 16 March 2020 our vehicle

testing staff attended 99.9% of all

bookings for heavy goods vehicle (HGV)

and public service vehicle (PSV) testing

and, due to the fantastic work of our

driving examiners and managers,

nationally 82% of candidates booked

their car practical test within six weeks of

their preferred date.”

But then Covid came. While offering

his clearly sincere thanks “for the

dedication and commitment shown

across the whole of the agency in

responding to the unprecedented

challenges faced due to the COVID-19

pandemic in March 2020,” he highlights

how “teams across the agency responded

and adapted to the immediate wideranging

challenges.

“To comply with social distancing

rules, we suspended the majority of

practical driver and rider tests and heavy

vehicle testing initially for up to three

months. We reshaped our business to

ensure we could deliver tests safely and

we prioritised service delivery for critical

workers such as doctors and nurses, and

introduced new systems so that

ambulances and other vehicles critical to

the country’s response to Covid-19 could

enter into service quickly.”

It was clearly a mammoth task, and

one not to be sneered at: “Our business

was redesigned over one weekend in

March 2020, a truly fantastic

achievement by a very talented and

committed group of people.”

The suspension of testing in response

to Covid-19 “resulted in unprecedented

ROAD SAFETY SUCCESS

“In April 2019, DVSA joined the

National ANPR Service (NAS) – a

system that, alongside our own

cameras, gives us access to over

10,000 automatic number plate

recognition (ANPR) cameras across

Britain. This increased source of data

and intelligence improves our

targeting capability and contributes to

our vision for stopping dangerous and

high-risk operators and drivers from

using Great Britain’s roads.”

numbers of calls to our Customer Service

Centre. On March 24, following

Government guidance to enable safe,

remote working, we suspended our

telephone enquiry service focusing

instead on email or social media only.

“Within two days the team was operating

remotely and handling volumes which

were around six times greater than usual.

A full, home based mobile telephony

service was introduced in May 2020.”

Hats off to all concerned. And to think,

no-one clapped you on Thursdays.

Llewellyn was also genuinely proud

that “our staff engagement score improved

for the fourth year in succession.”

Continued on page 20

WWW.MSAGB.COM

19


News analysis

DVSA Performance highlights

This illustrates the scale and scope of DVSA activity

in the year ending March 31, 2020

Continued from page 19

He added: “Our focus on building

respect in the workplace and direct

engagement with frontline staff

continued, ensuring DVSA is a great

place to work for everyone.”

Finally, “this is my final Annual

Report as, after just over four years, I

step down as Chief Executive at the end

of December 2020. Our society is safer

because of the brilliant work the people

at DVSA do every day. It has been the

privilege of a lifetime to have been their

Chief Executive.”

He leaves with the agency in good

shape – or perhaps, not. No criticism,

just a comment on the current

landscape; if the DVSA isn’t in good

shape, it’s not really his fault. But the

truth is, when you look at some of the

financial numbers squirrelled away

deep in the report, they are truly

frightening. It’s like glimpsing into the

depths of hell and having the image

seared into your soul.

Or, put a less flowery way, they make

grim reading.

Just eight working days lost cost the

agency a million pounds in cancellation

fees; 73,000 tests was axed. To give

you some idea of scale, that’s three

times more than the agency budgeted

for in the way of cancellations for the

year – in little over a week! Income was

down £50 million in April and May –

and one assumes was down by a

similar level in June and July. All those

wages, all those costs, all with no

income… while Rishi Sunak dutifully

kept the money printing machine

turning over and over again...

I’ve focused only on the ADI side for

obvious reasons but on the ‘other side’

of the agency, car/truck safety and

standards, the figures are equally grim.

20

£63 million was lost on the MoT side

as all testing was suspended and

existing MoTs extended for six months.

If you dare extrapolate figures I’d

guess that, with reduced testing activity

continuing, L-test numbers for the

financial year April 20-March 21 could

be as low as one million, slashing

income from the projected £400m to

less than half. Assuming no reductions

in costs – and no jobs have been lost

thus far – that would mean a deficit of

around the £200m mark, before the

Chancellor’s interventions.

As it is a Government agency the

‘‘

CONTACT

To comment on this article or to offer

suggestions what the DVSA should

do in the future, contact MSA

Newslink via editor@msagb.com

missing cash, one assumes, will be paid

out of increased borrowing for the time

being. But it does give you a glimpse of

the economic fall-out from Covid-19;

the finances of this tiny, quiet corner of

Government look set to be ravaged –

and there, in a microcosm, is the

picture for the whole of UK plc.

When you look at some of the financial numbers squirrelled

away deep in the report, they are truly frightening. It’s like

glimpsing into the depths of monetary hell and having the

image seared into your soul. Or, put a less flowery way, they

make grim reading....

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


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Towards your CPD

DVSA rules focus on keeping

the wheels of testing, turning

There are strict rules in place for those instructors taking a Standards Check or

their Part 3 during these exceptional times. Steve Garrod offers some pointers

on the new requirements, the type of lessons you can conduct and what will be

expected from you and your pupil

At the time of writing DVSA has

issued strict new guidelines that

instructors need to know to keep

you, your pupil and the

examiner safe from Covid-19 during your

ADI Standards Check or Part 3 exam.

To reduce the amount of time spent in

an enclosed vehicle, every effort must be

made to keep the wheels moving (to

around 40 minutes). The assessment

itself will last for 45 minutes. You will

need to set goals for the lesson and

discuss risk management on the way to

the test centre or agreed meeting place.

Your examiner will give you a call

before the exam to confirm your

attendance and arrange the meeting

point, if for some reason that cannot be

done at the driving test centre, where

this may make an extra demand on test

centres facilities.

Pre- and post-briefings will still be

conducted inside your vehicle. This

means that your recap with your pupil

should take place on the way to meet

your examiner. When you meet your

examiner, you will still be required to

produce your certificate and give a brief

description of what your lesson content is

and agreed with your pupil.

Once in the car no more than two to

three minutes should be spent with some

questions and answers and agreeing on

the goals that have been pre-set for the

lesson.

You could ask your pupil to ‘remind’

you of the goals that have been set prior

to arriving at the test centre and how the

responsibility for learning will be shared

during the lesson.

It will be expected that these key

elements are recapped at the start of the

lesson for the purposes of assessment.

Should you have to stop during the

lesson to discuss a key learning point, it

should be kept to no more than a minute

or two.

If you feel a longer discussion is

needed, you should explain that this will

be done outside of the vehicle, therefore

you should ensure you are parked in a

safe place beforehand.

The post-briefing (de-brief) must also

be conducted inside the vehicle and last

no more than two to three minutes.

Remember to open the windows further

if weather conditions allow. This could

also be done on the way back to the test

centre if you feel your pupil can reflect on

their lesson without losing concentration.

You could ask what went well and if

they felt they have achieved the goals

that were agreed at the start of the

lesson, and what they feel stills needs

attention.

It is important to give your feedback as

well because it may be different from

that of the pupil, and agree on the goals

for the next lesson.

Wheels moving and windows open

Until further notice, you will only be

allowed to bring a partly trained, trained

or a full licence holder to your exam and

not a beginner. This is to reduce the

amount of time the vehicle is stationary.

If you have a pupil who has recently

failed a driving test, you may present

them and explain that you are working

on the areas identified as driving faults

during their recent test.

The subject you choose for the test

must be one that fits the pupil’s ability,

therefore careful route planning is

essential if your pupil is to achieve their

goals. Static lessons are not acceptable

and you will lose your fee if you present

a beginner for test. Controls lesson,

moving off and stopping and manoeuvres

(including the emergency stop) are not

allowed until further notice, therefore you

must choose your lesson theme carefully

to ensure the wheels are turning as much

as possible so that the vehicle remains

well ventilated.

Make sure you know the area in which

you are going to be tested and plan

suitable routes for all subjects and

alternative routes in case you are delayed

because of road works or heavy traffic

and the lesson risks over running.

During the test the windows must be

kept open for ventilation and the air

22

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

MEMBERS’ COMMENTS

DVSA needs to

think outside

box on DTC

waiting rooms

Newslink’s Editor writes...

A member, called Martin, has

contacted me to make some

comments on last week’s editorial

in the MSA GB Bulletin. I sense

this may reflect the thoughts of

many of you.

conditioning must not be switched on.

Make sure that your ventilation system is

switched to bring in air from outside the

vehicle and not on recycle.

Oh, and remember: PDIs are not

permitted to take learner drivers onto a

motorway at anytime, including an ADI

Part 3 test.

Other key points to remember:

Keep covered: You and your pupil must

have your arms and legs covered to

reduce the risk of contact and wear a

correctly fitted face mask (unless

exempt).

Wearing glasses is not a valid reason

not to wear a face mask.

Keep surface clean: Before and after

each lesson, get into the habit of wiping

down all parts of the car where

contamination is likely.

Just imagine you are about to drive the

car for the first time, what would you

touch? There may be more items than

you think, eg, the key, door handles

(inside and out) seatbelt fixings, head

restraint, leavers or buttons to adjust the

seat, mirrors, windows, ventilation

controls and those to open the bonnet.

Make sure you leave enough time in

between lessons to clean these less

‘‘

WWW.MSAGB.COM

KEY POINTS

n The goal is to keep the wheels

turning – in other words, do all you

can to minimise chat in the car, to

cut the chances of transmitting the

virus

n Windows must be open, air con

off and ventilation switched to draw

air from outside, not to recycle

n Being stuck in traffic is

something you can never legislate

for – but you must have suitable

‘escape routes’ ready if you are:

remember, keep those wheels

turning!

obvious controls as well as the steering

wheel, gear leaver, internal mirror and

handbrake.

Don’t leave it until the day of your

exam! Make sure you are practising each

of these key points before, during and

after each lesson. That way it will not be

new to you or your pupil on the day.

If you would like more information on

the ADI Part 3 Exam, contact Steve at

info@equiptraining.co.uk

Controls lesson, moving off and stopping and manoeuvres

(including the emergency stop) are not allowed until further

notice ... choose a lesson theme to ensure the wheels are turning

as much as possible so that the vehicle remains well ventilated”

Dear Colin

I have just read your article ‘Be

careful what you wish for’ (MSA

GB Bulletin issue 24), in which

you cautioned ADIs over

demanding that test centre waiting

rooms reopen. I thank you for your

views but would like to make a

couple of points.

The first is that I don’t view the

request for access to welfare

facilities at a DVSA test centres as

a wish; rather, it is simply that the

DVSA should recognise that people

such as ADIs, visit the test centres

as part of their work, and it has a

legal obligation to provide suitable

waiting areas and welfare facilities

that should be well lit, ventilated

and clean.

The second is that while it is

understandable that at some test

centres social distancing will be

difficult, at many others it will not

be, so why can’t the DVSA open

what they can and work on how to

provide the necessary facilities at

others?

Examples could be temporary

Portakabins, industrial tents, or

even a bus-type shelter would be

better than nothing. I’m sure with

a little out-of-the-box thinking there

will be solutions to keep tests

going, keep social distancing and

still provide welfare.

Finally, when it comes to law,

I’m not sure that your examples of

patients’ waiting rooms comes

under the same legislation as place

of work waiting rooms.

I hope you don’t mind me

making these points.

Martin, ADI

23


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Examiners’ angst spells trouble for ADIs

Rod Came

MSA South East

You will have read on page 10 about the

current state of relations between the

examiners and their employer, the DVSA.

From the tone, it sounds like industrial

action could be in the offing. Certainly,

relations are not cordial. Whatever action

might be taken in the future would

impinge on our clients being able to book

a driving test. The situation for test

bookings is terrible now; further

disruption would make it intolerable.

I have previously suggested that in

these troubled times ADIs should be able

to certify that their clients have reached

a suitable standard to pass a driving test

and be awarded a test pass. See News

Bulletin no. 21, 1st September for the

logic to support this proposition.

As a temporary measure it would go a

long way to getting test waiting times to

a position where clients and ADIs could

book a test for the date where the skill of

the client would be at its best, with a

consequent increase in the pass rate.

This rate would then be the marker

against which test centres would be

expected to conform with if, or when,

things return to normal.

24

As normality will be months or even

years from now, DVSA needs to take

immediate action to alleviate the current

waiting time crisis. It cannot be allowed

to drift on for years; it is totally unfair to

people who both want and need a driving

licence for all sorts of employment,

business and personal reasons.

Of course, there would be tremendous

resistance from DVSA to the idea of ADIs

issuing driving test passes. Such a move

would raise the status of ADIs in the

eyes of the general public and reduce the

authority of DVSA driving examiners. It

probably would need endless debate in

Parliament for which no time could be

found, there being many other subjects

considered to be of greater importance,

so the status quo will continue for years,

much to the disadvantage of people

coming up to voting age.

The next general election is more than

four years away. No party that has

aspirations of government would want to

have over a million disgruntled voters

affecting their election chances just

‘‘More consideration of the

needs of ADIs and their

clients would be a move in

the right direction...”

because they cannot get a driving test. In

some marginal constituencies that could

mean the difference between winning

and losing; no party would want that.

But it could happen.

NASP, which represents working ADIs,

has regular meetings with DVSA. I do not

know whether these sometimes become

heated affairs or not. From what I see

and read, these are rather polite

discussions during which NASP raises a

point and DVSA offers several reasons

why that cannot be considered or

brought into practice. DVSA is both

judge and jury regarding what it does

– and doesn’t – do, a rather dictatorial

state of affairs which benefits nobody.

More consideration by DVSA of the

needs and requirements of its clients and

ADIs would be a move in the right

direction. At the moment DVSA is trying

to maintain a balance between its staff,

on whom they rely, and its clients, who

have no choice where they can go to get

the driving licence they so badly need.

A rock and a hard place perhaps, but

why should ADIs and its clients suffer

because of this? The answer is that they

should not.

DVSA has to come to a compromise to

satisfy its clients in the first instance,

then its workforce as well. The sooner

they do that, the better for all involved.

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


The motorway to the sun

2

1

M5 Motorway –

Heaven or Hell?

Newslink editor Colin Lilly

takes a look back at one of

the UK’s most ambitious

motorway building projects,

the M5

Earlier this year my uncle, Derek

Lilly, died, aged 96. During his

life he had been a respected

local historian, and combined

his passion for local history

with his hobby of photography. He was

keen to photograph events, life and the

environment in an attempt to capture

history in the making.

In his 80s he set about digitising his

huge photo collection, sharing many on

social media well into his 96th year.

Looking through the photos I came

across some he took of the construction

of the M5 around our hometown of

Clevedon during the late sixties and early

seventies. Throughout my childhood I

lived within half-a-mile of what is now

junction 20 of the M5. Much of the

countryside and the lanes that crisscrossed

that area were destroyed and

now lie under the motorway.

My uncle had the ability to talk his

way onto construction sites to

photograph events.

These were the days before health and

safety were invented.

The photographs on these pages show

the motorway’s construction, and what it

looks like now. The black and white

photo (photo 1) shows the construction

– or destruction – of the section through

the hillside between the Gordano Valley

and Clevedon.

The colour photo (photo 2) was taken

from approximately the same point. The

height of the hill on either side gives

some idea of the amount of material

removed. The soil and rock was used to

form the foundations of the motorway

across the marshy land to the south.

The motorway was built as three

lanes, but a fourth lane was added in

recent years to ensure that traffic flowed

around junction 20.

The other side of the hill leads to what

travellers refer to as the ‘split level

section’ (see photo 3). The correct name

is the Wynhol Viaduct; it’s named after

the farm that lies in the space below the

viaducts.

The viaducts compensate for the

undulations in the hillside. Each span is

approximately 1,600 feet long and 100

ft high. Photo 3 shows the view across

the valley and the way the hillside was

carved to accommodate the viaducts.

Photo 4 shows the view of the viaducts

across the valley.

The damage to the environment could

have been worse. Junction 20 was built

to accommodate an extra junction for a

planned link road from South Bristol to

junction 20. However, the project was

cancelled, but not before the Long

Ashton By-pass and Queens Road in

26

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

3

4

Nailsea had been constructed – though

much of the moorland was saved.

This project is an example of the

innovations in road construction that was

in its infancy at that time.

This road was part of the section of

motorway that ran from Junction 17 at

Cribbs Causeway, north of Bristol to

Junction 22 at Edithmead near

Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset.

The carriageway was completed in

1971 but was not opened until 1974

due to delays in building the bridge over

the River Avon between Avonmouth and

Portbury. The delays were because there

were problems with the box girder

technique being used.

The fact we had had a three-lane

motorway running through North

Somerset at a time when much of the

network still had two lanes led to much

frustration and satire locally.

When it eventually opened it seemed

like transport heaven. However, to those

travelling towards the south west during

summer weekends now it may seem like

transport hell.

The construction of the motorway

coincided with the destruction of the

railway network across the country, a

decision that showed all the foresight of

Mr Magoo. (Note to younger readers: Mr

Magoo – a short-sighted cartoon

character!)

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide a

nostalgic look back at the impact roads

and motorways have had in your area,

contact Colin on editor@msagb.com

‘‘

When it eventually opened

it seemed like transport

heaven. However, to those

travelling towards the south

west during summer

weekends now it may seem

like transport hell.

‘‘

WWW.MSAGB.COM

27


Regional News

It’s time to get a grip – and for you

and your pupil to put on a mask

Alex Brownlee

Editor, Greater London

Something I have noticed lately prompts

this article. Are we ADIs professional and

abide by the law? Do we care for our

health? Apparently not.

Why am I saying this? When I went

back to work, like many ADIs I checked

out how other driving schools were

functioning, and really did not like what I

saw.

What am I talking about? Well, many

of the driver instructors on the road I saw

were not wearing face masks and I doubt

if they are wearing gloves. Some of their

pupils were not wearing the appropriate

kit either. Let’s say one out of 10 are not

sticking to the Covid-19 safety

requirements. What impact will that

have on virus transmission?

What would happen if the police did a

stop and asked the instructor ‘is the

person you are teaching a family

member’? If the instructor said no, then

the police are going to ask why the pupil

isn’t wearing a mask and why aren’t you.

If the instructor or the pupil gets

coronavirus, the pupil and the instructor

must tell all those people they have been

in contact with, that they have tested

positive and may have transmitted the

virus on. Be warned: this could be your

entire clientbase.

To all of my pupils I send out a Covid-

19 form, ask them to wear a face mask

and gloves for driving lessons. My pupils

see what I see when they are on a lesson

and turn round and ask me ‘why isn’t

that instructor not wearing a mask, or

his/her pupil?’ What can I say?

If these instructors and others carry on

in this way we will never get rid of this

virus and it’s going to affect all of us

working instructors and we need to work

to make a living.

So, what I am saying is – get a grip!

Get a mask and get your pupils to wear

one as well. Wipe down the car between

lessons: it only takes a few minutes to do

it.

This article is my opinion only but

reflects my concern for the safety of

others. Be safe. Thank you.

• In my next article I will be helping

instructors to help their pupils with a

few tips.

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates, contact Alex at

msaeditorgreaterlondon@gmail.com

“Ask your pupils to wear a mask,

and wear one yourself... and

disinfect the car after every lesson,

it only takes a few minutes...”

28

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Covid ‘Find your Nearest’

test farce has familiar ring

John Lomas

Editor, North West

A warm welcome back to Newslink for

all our regional and national readers, and

to Rob Beswick/Chamber Media Services.

Newslink is going to be published in a

digital format only, so if you are aware of

any members who don’t do digital, please

mention the magazine’s availability. As

well as online links it will also be

available on the MSA website, where

there will be a pdf of the magazine.

It would perhaps help MSA GB

officials if we knew how many members

are still not ‘digital natives’.

I haven’t been out on the road very

often in the last few weeks, but I have

done a couple of trips returning repaired

cars to instructors and collecting our

courtesy cars. The instructors I spoke to

were certainly glad to be back teaching.

Test accessibility has not been great in

some areas but that situation appears to

be easing.

I have not heard about test availability

in my region’s centres other than reports

of random closures and limited access at

Blackburn, my local area.

Testing availablility

No, not L-tests, the other tests, for

Covid-19.

Our longer term readers will remember

that, when DVSA introduced the ‘Find

Your Nearest’ facility for theory and

L-Tests some years ago, the algorithm

was flawed and it used a straight line

measurement between points to

determine who was your ‘nearest’. This

‘‘

When DVSA introduced the

‘Find Your Nearest’ facility

the algorithm was flawed

and it used a straight line

measurement to determine

who was your ‘nearest’.

led to the comical situation of potential

pupils in some areas being told that their

nearest ADI was based in an area that

was impractical to travel to as the

algorithm took no account of geography.

Pupils in, say, in the Morecambe Bay

region were directed to ADIs in Cumbria

– possibly only 10-15 miles in a straight

line, but that straight line crossed a big

chunk of the Irish Sea!

The Find Your Nearest farce came

back to me when hearing about the

problems in locating Your Nearest Covid

testing base. The radio reported that

people in North Devon were being told

Swansea was their nearest Covid-19 test

facility – suspiciously similar to those

early Find Your Nearest problems, as it

does not take into account the Bristol

Channel and the huge detour you’d have

to take to make the journey!

Caerphilly is closed

I noticed the report in MSA Bulletin 23

that Caerphilly County Borough had been

‘closed’ and was discouraging through

traffic. There are no DVSA sites in the

region but it would affect pupils from

that area not being permitted to exit the

area for tests, etc. The problem for local

ADIs was not helped by subsequent local

lockdowns affecting the neighbouring

area of Rhondda Cynon Taff.

We could see a time when instructors

have to make huge detours to get to

testing facilities.

Are they really discouraging through

traffic?

Spaghetti

A few weeks ago, in MSA Bulletin 21,

Guy Annan, MSA GB Western Editor,

mentioned a question from a pupil about

the length of this culinary delight.

Guy: I suggest you go on to YouTube

and search for the video entitled

‘Spaghetti harvest’.

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates, contact John at

johnstardriving@hotmail.com

DIARY DATES

North East meetings

planned

Mike Yeomans: Chairman MSA GB

North East, writes: We are looking to

get back to some sort of normality in

the coming weeks, so the committee

in the North East has organised some

events you may wish to take part in.

Mark the dates off in your diary NOW.

MSA North East Industry update

– Great value CPD

Date: 29th October

Venue: Online ZOOM meeting

Cost: FREE to access

Time: 7.30pm (please connect

10 minutes before to

ensure a good connection)

Get the latest information, share

your experiences and ask questions

of the regional committee. Our guest

speaker will be Peter Harvey MBE

National Chairman MSAGB. We

anticipate the meeting will last

around 90mins. To book a place and

receive your personal online link for

the event, contact Mike Yeomans

at msaneast@gmail.com for your

personal invitation.

MSA North East CPD and industry

updates meetings

Date: 18th March 2021

Venue: Gomersal Park Hotel,

Moor Lane, Gomersal

Cleckheaton BD19 4LJ

Time: 6.45pm – 9pm

Cost: £6.50 - light refreshments

will be available.

Guest speakers confirmed so far are

Graham Feest from the Institute of

Master tutors of Driving (IMTD), and

Peter Harvey MBE.

To book these events contact MSAGB

via the website shop area, admission

is also available at the door.

Date: Sunday, 16th May 2021

Venue: Redworth Hall Hotel,

Surtees Rd, Newton Aycliffe

DL5 6NL

Time: 10am -1pm

Cost: £10. Numbers limited

to around 30

Guest speakers will include speakers

from the DVSA. More details

available in the next couple of

months. For details email me at:

msanEast@gmail.com

WWW.MSAGB.COM

29


Regional News

MP backs call for mandatory wearing

of face masks during lessons

Terry Pearce

Editor, West Midlands

It is nice to be getting back to some

normality following the lockdown, and I

am looking forward to seeing Newslink in

its new digital format.

I have just had a haircut with my

barber wearing his mandatory facemask,

which he also expected me to wear.

Ridiculously we could have both left the

premises and I could have given him a

driving lesson with him sitting as close to

me as when he stood cutting my hair,

without either one of us wearing a mask;

I have yet to hear a mandatory

instruction to wear one that includes all

driving instructors!

I would have thought that we come

under the auspices of ‘public transport’,

but I have seen many instructors and

their pupils driving without one. While I

know there are medical grounds not to

wear one, I doubt they all have exemptions.

Talking to a pupil she said that out of

the six of them in her form who are

taking lessons, two of them are not

wearing any face covering on lessons,

and neither are their ADIs. I wonder if

their parents know, bearing in mind that

if their child were infected, they could

they pass it onto older family members

with disastrous results. I know that if I

had made sacrifices during the

lockdown, I would be very unhappy to

find an instructor who had no intention

of safeguarding my family.

Our national associations say we

should wear a mask, but the Government

has never specifically included ADIs in

their lists. If my interpretation on this

matter is wrong, I am sure someone will

tell me.

I asked my MP, Taiwo Owatemi, MP

for Coventry North West, for her views.

On 17 August I received this reply: “I am

also sorry to hear about the concerns

that you have raised about this and I

completely understand how worrying

this current situation is.

“As you may know, the Government

set out the guidelines and said that both

candidates and examiners are required

to wear face coverings during exams,

but the rule does not apply to lessons.

“Like you, I too find it odd that lessons

are exempt from face coverings buts

tests are not, as the proximity between

instructors/examiners and students does

not change.

“I hope you will be pleased to hear,

therefore, that I have contacted The Rt

Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of

State for Health, on your behalf. I have

asked that he look in to the issues you

have raised, how this decision was made

and what more can be done to ensure

that driving instructors such as yourself

have the clarity and crucially the support

you need during these difficult times.”

I am writing this editorial on

September 15, and as I have heard

nothing else from my MP I assume there

has not yet been a reply from the Rt Hon

Matt Hancock MP.

I took the lockdown seriously; I am

sorry to say some of my fellow

professionals did not. When the

lockdown finished, I contacted all my

pupils to start lessons again. Now I know

that we all have pupils who change

instructors, but one of my pupils told me

that he had been having lessons during

the lockdown and was going to stay with

his new instructor. Not only was his new

instructor keen to work during the

A driver wears a mask.

MP for Coventry NW

Taiwo Owatemi (inset)

shares Terry’s concerns

lockdown but he was also happy to take

work away from those of us that cared

about our nation’s health.

Test Booking

On September 14 I was ready at 8am

to book four driving tests for my pupils. A

colleague also went online at 8am using

the normal booking service and

eventually got onto the site at 2.30pm. I

am registered with the DVSA so I can

book my pupils’ tests and by 8.05am I

had successfully booked all four.

Talking to another ADI they said that

on a forum they comment on some other

instructors were criticising people like

me, saying it is not our job to book

pupils tests. I normally offer to book

them because I want them booked on a

day and time that suits me. It takes me

about two minutes and I then do not

have the hassle of telling my pupil to

change the time of their test when it

doesn’t suit me. I also had four incredibly

happy pupils who got their test exactly

when we both wanted.

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates from your area, contact

Terry at terry@terrypearce.co.uk

30

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

A year to remember – or best to forget

one of them; it’s a pleasure being in the

passenger seat.

Russell Jones

Editor, East Midlands

Well, what a dreadful year 2020 has

been – not just for ADIs, but the whole

world affected by the deadly Covid-19

virus, a Chinese import nobody would

wish upon their worst enemy.

When the Government imposed the

lockdown I had a peep into some social

media sites frequented by ADIs, and was

truly horrified at what was being posted,

not least the expletive-laden language. It

was disgusting!

I decided not to get involved but very

occasionally spent some 20 minutes or so

checking whether matters had improved,

but alas, they had not.

I thought, ‘Yes, I must keep a low

profile, and not upset anybody’. Let

somebody else do that, namely possibly

the most useless Prime Minister and

Government our country has ever

experienced. (The alternative ‘lot’ could

well have been even worse, of course)

An opportunity and keeping my sanity

When the UK shut down, my

immediate thought was, ‘What an

opportunity’. For some 15 years I have

been hoping to make time to make a

major change to the rear garden, and so it

came about through April and May. I

removed five cubic metres of clay in an

elevated part of the garden, all by use of

fork and spade, assisted by an electrical

rotovator. I then brought in three cubic

metres of topsoil and high-quality turf.

The result? A superb, brand-new lawn. I

knew my fitness level would come in

useful someday, though it was physically

exhausting, with long days doing the task.

Then, not to let the month of June be

wasted, I decided to construct a wooden

workshop. I checked my GCE certificates

to ensure I was qualified to do so, and

seeing my woodwork & carpentry

certificate convinced me I was skilled

enough to complete the job. I’m more

than pleased with the result. I’ve never

been one to miss an opportunity waiting

to be exploited. And most importantly, my

sanity has been preserved.

Victims of their own misfortune

During this period of enforced time

away from the office how many ADIs

have thrown the towel in and gone to

pastures new? With the best will in the

world, I don’t have much sympathy for

most of them. They were not able to,

‘improvise, adapt, and overcome’ their

predicament. They had no contingency

plans.

Much blame can also be placed

squarely at the door of unscrupulous ADI

trainers who sold them a dream but failed

to deliver the goods.

How much training about running a

business is provided to trainees (PDIs)?

Do they now realise that they got what

they paid for, and are in some way

responsible for their misfortune?

So young to drive

My youngest learner driver, a 16-yearold,

is doing very well with her training.

Last year her sister had completed her

training with me after moving from

another driving school, and I discovered

that the younger girl had one or two

‘issues’. I had discussions about the

situation with the parents and suggested

that DVLA might issue a provisional

driving licence to her when she had her

16th birthday. Time passed by but her

licence duly came through the letterbox,

and the fun commenced when driving

lessons began after lockdown was lifted. I

cannot think of a more enthusiastic

learner who has ever driven my car, with

her doing at least two lessons every week,

sometimes three. I look forward to every

It’s only driving

I’m not the only ADI who has been told,

‘’My son has failed his test four times in

the past 18 months’’, followed by a tale

of woe. The caller then asked, “How

much do you charge?’’ I advised that his

son would need a two-hour lesson so that

I could take him into the city to assess his

capability in busy traffic, and it would

cost £79. The reply was not entirely

surprising, given what I had heard earlier

in the call: “That much! But it’s only

driving’’. I reminded him that he had

already spent around £250 on driving

tests without success. The call ended

with him going to discuss the matter with

his son. I don’t expect a call back.

Providing the impossible

During the first week of September a

lady telephoned me and said, “My twin

sons want to learn to drive and pass their

driving test before Christmas’’.

I advised her of the problems we were

experiencing and as there are only 25(!)

hours in my day, it would be a challenge

very hard to meet. As her two eldest

children had learned with me, she fully

understood the situation, and sense of

humour! However, their training is going

ahead as best as I can meet their

demands.

Jam for all

With such high demand for driver

training in the ‘new normal’ way of life, it

is going to be a great time for ADIs for

several years to come. I just hope that the

influx of ‘newbies’ will have been trained

to a level which enables them to charge

sensible fees for providing lessons.

Some research shows that numerous

ADIs are charging £40 per hour, and if

they can do it, there should be no good

reason why thousands of others cannot

also do the same. Happy times ahead

perhaps?

I am, though, rather sceptical, because

it seems that PDI training is available for

less than a £1,000! My thoughts on this

reality is utterly unprintable.

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates from your area, contact

Russell on rjadi@hotmail.com

WWW.MSAGB.COM

31


Regional News

50 or 60 - the motoring public doesn’t

care: just get the roadworks finished!

Guy Annan

Editor, Western

Well, it has been fun trying to produce

articles of interest each week but now,

with Newslink back, we are going

monthly again.

If you have been following my

comments on the News Bulletin you’ll

know I’ve been trialling some wind

deflectors.

I think personally that they are a waste

of money as they do not seem any better

than not having any, and the fact that

the front nearside obscures the view of

the door mirror is a bad design.

Anyway, I had two choices: take them

off and throw them away or leave them

on. I decided to leave them on but

customise them a little. I marked the

offending wind deflector with a piece of

chalk where I wanted to give it a little bit

of a trim, took it off the car and got my

angle grinder and carved it up,

smoothed off the rough edges

and refitted it. It looks a lot

better – no good trying to get

pupils to look into a door

mirror that they cannot see

out of.

How do you choose your

pupils?

Do you find that the pupils these

days get mummy or daddy to ring and

arrange driving lessons for them? I prefer

the ones that ring up themselves.

I always try to accommodate these as

they are more independent, more willing

and eager and have a greater desire to

learn which makes teaching a lot easier.

Pay attention!

I think that there is going to be a rise

in accident statistics arising from social

distancing. Have you noticed how many

pedestrians step off the pavement into

the road to avoid getting too close to the

person they are walking past? What a

dangerous game they play. I’m always

saying to pupils, ‘watch that person,

don’t trust them’.

None of the youngsters these days

remember The X Files, because I say, “in

the words of Fox Moulder, trust no one”,

and they say who?

Motorway trial

In 2016 Highways England committed

to investigating the potential for higher

speed limits through roadworks where

they could be safely implemented.

The first phase of the trials

considered both 55mph and

60mph speed limits. The

findings showed that safety

wasn’t compromised and

customers preferred driving at

60mph.

Rather than go to all this

trouble of doing a survey, why not

just get on and finish the roadworks so

you wouldn’t have to drive at a reduced

speed? Do you not find it frustrating of

driving through miles and miles of coned

off lanes and there is nobody working?

What is that all about? Stop messing

about and get the road works finished;

the British public will thank you far more

for it than having to drive at 50, 55 or

60mph.

Headphone safety fear

Have you noticed how many people

drive with headphones on? What a good

idea (Not!)

It is not illegal in the UK but if police

believe a driver was distracted or not in

full control the driver could be stopped

and penalised.

Highway Code Rule 148 states that

‘safer driving and riding needs

concentration, so drivers should avoid

distractions such as loud music that

could mask other sounds.’

Having to shift from what you hear in

your headphones to external sounds

could delay the speed of your response.

Many motorists use headphones to be

able to use hands-free as many mobile

phones come with a built-in microphone

but wearing them can be incredibly

dangerous as it can reduce your

awareness of what is going on around

you and is also distracting.

You may not hear emergency vehicles,

cyclists or pedestrians around your

vehicle.

Police can charge you with driving

without due care and attention or

careless driving if you are distracted by

earphones or headphones.

Careless driving carries an on-the-spot

fine of £100 and three penalty points. If

it goes to court it could be increased to a

maximum £5000 and up to nine penalty

points.

A good driver uses all their senses to

anticipate hazards.

France, some US states and Canada

have made it illegal to use headphones

while driving.

Something to be thinking about.

Hey, let’s be careful out there.

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates from your area, contact Guy at

g.annan@alphadrivingtaunton.com

32

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

MSA GB kept us all

in the know during

these strange days

Karen MacLeod

Editor, Scotland

I hope this, the first digital edition of

Newslink, finds everyone well. I would

like to thank Peter Harvey MBE, our

National Chairman, for keeping all MSA

GB members up to date throughout the

lockdown period and helping us all to

return to work safely.

Peter was a brilliant source of

information for everyone by organising

Zoom meeting and just keeping

everyone’s spirits up.

I would like to welcome back Rob and

Colin from Chamber Media Services and

wish you both every success with

publishing Newslink on our behalf.

It has been a very surreal time for

everyone, pleasant for some and very

lonely and demoralising for others.

Although the UK is one country it was

difficult as a nation to rejoice the return

to driver training as England, Wales,

Northern Ireland and Scotland all had

different rules and different return dates!

With Scotland being one of the last to

return to driver training we definitely had

the benefit and knowledge from our other

British counterparts. MSA GB helped to

guide us all with PPE and personally,

though I thought it was going to be

tough, it absolutely hasn’t. I love

cleaning and I have got myself into a

great routine before each new pupil

arrives and I have been complimented on

the lovely smell in my car – mind you,

what did it smell like before! I would love

to hear from anyone who has positive

and not so positive stories to share with

readers about this strange time we’re all

going through.

It was also a very tough time for the

DVSA – not knowing when to allow

pupils to rebook or when to get

examiners back. It was also extremely

difficult for the agency as it had to follow

Have a look at this photo:

see anything wrong?

If you are wondering what

it is of, the answer is

lurking on pg 36

different sets of rules set by the different

governments.

I didn’t have any pupils have a test

cancelled but hearing from colleagues it

was very tough for them. I did have

pupils waiting on tests and when the

system was opened up for booking I had

absolutely no problem and got them all

booked.

Sadly, I can’t say the same about the

theory test; I have six pupils waiting to

book one but unfortunately, I cannot get

one in Scotland at all!

I haven’t had a driving test since

lockdown but will let you know how I get

on when I do. Again, if you have any

stories, please email them in.

I’m not liking some of the news stories

of late and I am very anxious about

another lockdown! I know I’m doing my

very best for my family and my pupils, as

I’m sure you are too, but all it takes is

someone to throw a curved ball with a

pupil testing positive and that’s us for 14

days!

I hope everyone keeps safe and

remember, any queries, please don’t

hesitate to contact MSA GB head office

and if they can’t answer your question,

someone will get straight back to you.

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates, contact Karen at

karenreiver63@btinternet.com

WWW.MSAGB.COM

33


Comment

And the wait

goes on...

ADis understand why tests have been hard to come by, and will continue to be tough to

obtain, but the DVSA cannot just sit on its hands and blame Covid; it has to act to alleviate the

pressure, otherwise 2021 will be tough year for everyone in the profession, says Rod Came

For as long as I have been an ADI, nearly

40 years now, the DfT/DSA/DVSA have

not been able to cope with providing

driving tests within a reasonable time. By

a ‘reasonable time’ I mean no longer

than waiting a month.

ADIs are being castigated by DVSA for

taking pupils for test when they are not

ready (in DVSA’s view), hence the pass

rate remains stubbornly below 50%. It’s

all the ADI’s fault, they say.

Good ADIs, that is almost all ADIs,

teach their clients to drive a motor car.

They do that to the best of their ability

and that of the client. People all learn a

skill at a different rate: some pick it up

quickly, others take longer, but they all

have to reach a set standard to pass a

driving test.

If the ADI knows that a test will be

available within four weeks they can

judge when a client should apply for one

and be able to successfully take their

test. Most ADIs are pretty good at

judging their pupil’s progress within a

couple of weeks.

What ADIs cannot do is to judge where

the driving ability of their clients will be

in the cycle of learning, in six, nine, or

12 months’ time. It is an impossible ask.

Which brings me to the point of this

article. On 14th September DVSA

released over 375,000 test slots on to

the public booking system, to be taken

between September 14 and January 21.

That raises two important issues. The

first being that there is such a backlog of

people wanting a test that almost all of

the slots available were snapped up. As

a consequence people who are not up to

standard may book the earliest dates,

those who are up to speed may be

looking at December, or any other

combination of ability and dates.

Ah, but it is down to ADIs to advise

their clients whether they are capable of

passing on the date they have got. Yes it

is. But ADIs are not fortune tellers, they

can no more see into the future than can

Madam Goto on the pier. And which

pupil is going to cancel their test when

they know they may have to wait until

next year, if they think they have a ghost

of a chance of passing?

The second problem is that 375,000

tests sounds a lot but it isn’t. At the

DVSA’s normal rate for providing tests

this figure covers about 12 weeks. From

September 14 to January 21 is about 16

working weeks, so the waiting list will

grow longer by about four weeks PLUS

the extra people who fail because they

were not ready, PLUS the number of

tests lost during 23 weeks of lockdown,

another 736,000, PLUS the fact that

most, if not all, test centres are not

working at full capacity. The scale of the

problem is simply humongous.

DVSA has to cope with this situation

and resolve it swiftly. At the rate it is

going there will be little improvement by

this time next year – and that is not

acceptable to anybody.

It does not give you a lot of faith when

an email from DVSA lands in my in box

headed ‘Some online services won’t be

available: August 25 2020’ when they

actually mean September 9.

Another thing I cannot understand is

why DVSA has to shut down its

services, this time caused by a hitch

with credit/debit cards, when other

commercial enterprises just carry on.

Could it be that the DVSA computer

systems are so ancient that they are

unable to cope with test bookings and

financial transactions at the same time?

This situation, the lack of driving tests

for the foreseeable future, is rapidly

becoming a national scandal. Radical

action must be taken, and soon, to

alleviate the disappointments for our

clients and the intolerable pressures

being placed on ADIs.

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates from your area, contact

Rod at camedt@onetel.com

34

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Colin Lilly

Editor, Newslink

The topic of bridge strikes has,

unfortunately, crept back into the news,

after there was a serious event involving

a school bus near Winchester during

which several schoolchildren were

injured, three seriously.

During the afternoon of the same day

an out of service bus collided with a road

bridge in the centre of Bristol.

Why does this happen? A number of

questions come to mind: Are the bridges

clearly signed and showing their height?

Is the driver off a fixed route – or are they

plotting their own route with a car

SatNav? Has the company provided

correct information about the vehicle

dimensions?

Most of the bridges are clearly signed

but are they recognisable? Many are

signed in imperial measurement only. For

half a century the metric measurement

has been taught in schools and used in

business. We buy our fuels priced in

litres. People have grown up and

developed as a natural response

dimensions in either metric or imperial

measurements. Are both being catered

for? These signs are not just for

continental drivers.

So if a driver is planning their own

route do they fully understand it? Are

they thinking like a car driver?

I make the point about bus owners

providing vehicle dimensions because

there are examples where there has been

no information displayed in the cab, or

where it is inaccurate. Here’s one

example: I provided post-incident

training for a driver who had driven a

supermarket home delivery van into a

tunnel with restricted height. He collided

with the overhead lighting system,

causing a fire that destroyed the van and

severely damaged the tunnel. Since the

incident the tunnel has been pedestrian

and cycle only.

It transpires that based on the

information displayed in the cab the

driver made a correct decision to enter

the tunnel. Unfortunately, the company

had forgotten to adjust the information

on the vehicle’s height to allow for a

refrigeration unit that had been added to

the vehicle.

If you want more information on this

topic the Department for Transport has

some very good resources which can be

WWW.MSAGB.COM

Signs of

the times

downloaded at

www.gov.uk/government/publications/

prevention-of-bridge-strikes-goodpractice-guide

In addition, Network Rail has good

resources from its point of view:

www.networkrail.co.uk/running-therailway/looking-after-the-railway/bridgestunnels-and-viaducts/the-risk-of-bridgestrikes/prevention-of-bridge-strikes/

Now, many of you may be thinking,

does this really apply to car instructors?

I believe it does, as many of our pupils

will go on to drive vans.

One of our local multi-storey car parks

has a sign at the entrance warning of the

height restriction. It is in the form of a

board suspended from chains set at the

maximum headroom; quite common. I

was driving past one day and saw a van

that was hitting the bottom of the board.

Now, instead of reversing the van out, a

passenger got out and lifted the sign so

that the van could continue. What an

inconvenience that sign was!

I don’t know what happened

afterwards but I do know that the car

park has a low roof in places. Clearly the

driver did not recognise the relevance of

the sign

What about width limits: does your

pupil know the width of your car?

Some older overbridges have weight

limits which are backed up by a width

restriction; indeed, many of the ones in

my local area are old and have structural

issues, so traffic is limited.

One such bridge, local to me, was

given a weight and width limit. Because

drivers chose to ignore both they were

reinforced by two cast iron posts set 6 ft

6ins apart.

At the time my tuition car was a

Citroen C4 and I was uncertain it would

pass between the posts. I resorted to the

least painful way of finding out: I took

out a tape measure. The posts were

exactly 6ft 6ins apart, but the tips of the

door mirrors on the C4 were 6ft 7 ins

apart. So, before passing through we had

to pull the mirrors in. The posts bore the

marks of drivers who were less sure.

Knowing the dimensions of the vehicle

and understanding the signs is a valuable

lesson for later in their driving career.

CONTACT

To comment on this article or any other

issue surrounding driver training and

testing, contact Colin via

editor@msagb.com

35


Meet the ADI

We’ve introduced a new feature for our new-look

Newslink – Meet the ADI. Each month we will focus on a

different MSA GB member and ask them some questions

about their life as an instructor, what inspires

them – and what winds them up.

First off, Chairman of MSA Scotland,

Alex Buist

‘‘

What keeps me awake at

night? My wife shouting

while dreaming. Scares the

hell out of me...

‘‘

They need education, education...

and a little bit more education

1. When did you become an ADI, and

what made you enter the profession?

June 1990. I left the police having

been a traffic officer and as driving was

my skill it seemed a logical step to take.

2. What’s the best bit about the job?

Seeing the delight on the faces of

successful candidates.

3… And the worst?

The unsociable hours.

4. What’s the best piece of training

advice you were ever given?

Always listen to your pupils.

5. What one piece of kit, other than

your car, could you not do without?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the mobile

phone.

6. What needs fixing most urgently in

driving generally?

The public need educating on road

safety. The Government should show the

road safety clips used in Northern Ireland

on TV

7. What should the DVSA focus on?

Providing training for ADIs. They have

always distanced themselves from

training but then told ADIs what they

should do to meet their standards, but

don’t offer any training to help them

reach that standard.

8. What’s the next big thing that’s going

to transform driver training/testing?

I feel the next big thing that could

happen is for the DVSA to lose its

monopoly on driving tests.

A move to the private sector could

make tests more readily available

nationwide.

9. How can we improve driver testing/

training in one move?

Better training, possibly provided by

the DVSA, then we could all be singing

off the same hymn sheet.

10. Who/what inspires you, drives you

on?

The pupils – see answers above – plus

my fellow MSA members ... and Peter

Harvey, naturally.

11. What keeps you awake at night?

My wife shouting while dreaming.

Scares the hell out of me. Worrying

about work doesn’t happen!

12. No one is the finished article. What

do you do to keep on top of the game?

I make sure I keep up to date with all

the notifications from the DVSA, MSA

and NASP.

13. What’s the daftest /most dangerous

thing that’s ever happened to you

while teaching?

This happened last month while

returning a pupil home. They live

off a national speed limit road so

I instructed them to signal a little

earlier and gradually brake to

alert the following traffic.

Just before we turn right into

their driveway two following

vehicles overtake us. They had

obviously not seen the pupil’s

road/driveway and just

assumed the learner was being

silly. Thankfully, other than

terrifying the learner, nothing

happened. Perhaps this goes

back to the answer to

Question 6!

The road to nowhere....

Wondered what the photo on page 33 was of? Karen Macleod took it while on

holiday in Vancouver. It is a railway swing bridge and it’s pictured open for

waterborne traffic. Karen says: “At first I thought it was a disused railway line, with

the track appearing to disappear into the water. But then I saw a train! I went back

the next day and watched the bridge swing open I hadn’t seen a swing railway

bridge: it was pretty cool.”

36

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

How has the transition from lockdown to working been for you? One ADI offers their

thoughts on going back to teaching during this bizarre – and worrying – time

Well, that’s instructors in

Scotland back to work. And

as expected, things are

difficult. But the whole

world is difficult at this time so why

should our industry be any different?

Tests dates were opening up and then

closing, the DVSA is struggling to

accommodate everyone. Should we

expect any more of the agency that runs

them? I think not.

Let’s face it, operations in hospitals are

not going ahead as they should. People

have been on those waiting lists for

months before lockdown and now are

having to wait for several more months

before they will be given a date for the

surgery. We won’t have to wait as long as

them for L-tests. That’s the reality check

we need, in my opinion.

Pupils themselves may have been

causing some of the disruption on the

booking site. I was told of Scottish

candidates waiting in the queue when

the tests dates in England opened. They

were chancing it or perhaps didn’t have

the savvy to realise it was for English

candidates only!

From my personal experience pupils

who hadn’t or couldn’t get a test date

were happy to continue to take lessons

at a steady rate. For some ADIs it was a

case of trying to slow down the ripening

process so they were not spending too

much on lessons. Tests were coming.

WWW.MSAGB.COM

Setting the right

example as we

go back to the

new normal

The process was opening up. Give the

powers that be a chance. They need the

money the same as us. They too have

bills to pay, in their case it’s examiners’

wages and centre fees. It is not really a

profit-making organisation.

Unfortunately, this could all change in

the not too distant future. Hopefully not.

I do hope that the DVSA is making

sure those candidates who had already

booked tests have had first dibs at them,

post-lockdown. The key workers had

their turn during the last lockdown and if

they didn’t pass should have booked

again and be in the system.

My personal problem is pupils not

being able to book theory tests. Perhaps

the Pearson Vue should think about

opening up more test days.

I had my first test since lockdown the

other day. Not an unpleasant experience.

The sun was shining and it was lovely

and warm. Oh, I forgot it’s not about me.

It’s about the pupil. Their experience was

just as pleasant. Okay, they passed but

the examiner did take plenty of time,

with both of us I may add, and explained

what was to happen.

There are and will be a lot of moans

and groans out there, some justified,

some not, but let’s just get on with it. We

have nothing if we don’t have our health.

If I don’t get to see my family I will

definitely be moaning, especially when I

hear of the parties going on in university

land and in people’s houses, but that is

on their conscience. One day they will

wake up and smell the coffee – and

that’s the polite way of saying it.

For our part instructors should follow

all the guidelines. That includes masks,

etc. The number I have seen not wearing

them. Sorry, but I think that is not

acceptable behaviour. Think of others.

I do hope everyone who reads this is

well. Family too. Do please take care and

give a bit of consideration to others. We

are fortunate enough to be working at

the moment. Give a thought to others

who are not and do not have jobs to

return to.

And here’s my thought for the day. Try

not to be blinkered and self centred.

37


Membership

Welcome new ADIs

We’ve a special introductory offer for you!

Congratulations on passing your Part 3

and becoming an ADI.

There’s an exciting career open to you

from today. It’s one that is alive with

possibilities as you build your skills, your

client base and your income.

But for all the excitement, it can also be a

challenging profession. Who can you turn

to if you’re struggling to get over key

driver training issues to a pupil? Where

can you go to soak up advice from more

experienced ADIs? Who will help you if

you are caught up in a dispute with the

DVSA? If the worst happens, who can you

turn to for help, advice and to fight your

corner?

The answer is the Motor Schools

Association of Great Britain – MSA GB

for short.

We are the most senior association

representing driving instructors in Great

Britain. Establised in 1935 when the first

driving test was introduced, MSA GB has

been working tirelessly ever since on

behalf of ordinary rank and file ADIs.

We represent your interests and your

views in the corridors of power, holding

regular meetings with senior officials

from the DVSA and the

Department for Transport to

make sure the ADIs’ voice is

heard.

We’d like you to join us

We’re there to support you

every step of the way. Our

office-based staff are there,

five days a week, from

9am-5.30pm, ready to answer your call

and help you in any way.

In addition our network of experienced

office holders and regional officers can

offer advice over the phone or by email.

But membership of the MSA doesn’t just

mean we’re there for you if you’re in

trouble. We also offer a

nationwide network of regular

meetings, seminars and

training events, an Annual

Conference, and a chance

to participate in MSA GB

affairs through our

democratic structure

In addition, you’ll get a free

link to our membership magazine

Newslink every month, with all the latest

news, views, comment and advice you’ll

need to become a successful driving

instructor.

You’ll also automatically receive

professional indemnity insurance worth

up to £5m and £10m public liability

insurance free of charge.

This is essential legal protection covering

you against legal claims ariving from your

tuition.

So join us today and save £25

including the first year’s joining

fee: just £60 for 12 months.

SPECIAL OFFER

38

Join MSA GB today!

and save yourself £25

Call 0800 0265986 quoting discount code

October Newslink, or join online at www.msagb.com

Just

for 12 months

£60 membership

NEWSLINK n OCTOBER 2020


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Members’ discounts and benefits

MSA GB has organised a number of exclusive discounts and offers for members. More details can be found

on our website at www.msagb.com. To access these benefits, simply log in and click on the Member

discount logo, then click the link at the bottom of the page to allow you to obtain your special discounts.

Please note, non-members will be required to join the association first. Terms and conditions apply

ACCOUNTANCY

MSA’s Recommended

Accountancy Service, FBTC

offers a specialist service for

driving instructors. It has been

established over 20 years ago

and covers the whole of the UK. The team

takes pride in providing unlimited advice

and support to ensure the completion of

your tax return is hassle free, giving you

peace of mind.

MSA OFFER:: FBTC will prepare you for

Making Tax Digital and will be providing

HMRC compliant software to all clients

very soon. Join now to receive three

months free.

ADVANCE DRIVING

IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s

largest road safety charity,

is proud to partner with the

Motor Schools Association GB

in order to work together to make our roads

safer through driver skills and knowledge

development.

MSA OFFER:: Enjoy a 20% saving on our

Advanced Driver Course for MSA members.

BOOKKEEPING

Easy-to-use bookkeeping & tax

spreadsheets designed specifically for

driving instructors. It will reduce the time

you need to spend on record-keeping.

Simply enter details of your fee income and

expenses throughout the year and your

trading profit, tax & national insurance

liability are automatically calculated.

MSA OFFER:: We’re proud to offer all MSA

GB members 25% discount.

CAR AIR FRESHENERS / CANDLES

Mandles’ handmade scented collections

use quality ingredients to

ensure superior scent throw

from all its candles and

diffusers. Check our our

website for further details.

MSA OFFER:: Special discount

of 20% on all car air fresheners and refills.

CARD PAYMENTS

MSA and SumUp believe in

supporting motor vehicle

trainers of all shapes and sizes.

Together we are on a mission to

ease the operational workload of our

members by providing them with the ability to

take card payments on-the-go or in their

respective training centREs. SumUp readers

are durable and user-friendly. Their paperless

onboarding is quick and efficient. Moreover,

their offer comes with no monthly

subscription, no contractual agreement, no

support fees, no hidden fees – just the one-off

cost for the reader coupled with lowest on the

market transaction fee.

MSA OFFER:: We are offering MSA GB

members discounted 3G reader.

CPD & TRAINING COURSES

As part of its new relationship with MSA GB,

Tri-Coaching is delighted to offer a massive

20% discount across the board

on all our training products and

courses, exclusively to MSA

Members.

MSA OFFER: 20% off all

Tri-Coaching courses.

DISABILITY AIDS

Driving shouldn’t just be a privilege for people

without disabilities; it should be accessible for

all and there’s never been an easier time to

make this the case! MSA GB members can

take advantage of BAS’s Driving

Instructor Packages which

include a range of adaptations

at a discounted price, suitable

for teaching disabled learner

drivers.

MSA OFFER: Special Driving

Instructor Packages for MSA members.

HEALTH / FINANCE COVER

The Motor Schools Association of

Great Britain has agreed with

HMCA to offer discounted

rates for medical plans, dental

plan, hospital cash plans,

personal accident plan, travel

plan, income protection and vehicle

breakdown products.

MSA OFFER: HMCA only offer medical plans

to membership groups and can offer up to a

40% discount off the underwriter’s standard

rates. This is a comprehensive plan which

provides generous cash benefits for surgery

and other charges.

PUPIL INSURANCE

Help your pupils private

practice by signing them up

to Collingwood’s instructor

affiliate programme.

MSA OFFER:: £50 for your first

referral and a chance to win £100 of High

Street vouchers!

PPE

Effective PPE (Personal

Protective Equipment) is

vital to provide the protection

your workforce requires in

order to work safely and ensure

that all employment laws are complied with.

MSA OFFER:: 15% offer for MSA members.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Driving Instructor Services offers call

handing, web design, reports and pupil

text reminders, to name a few

of our services.

MSA OFFER:: Free trial

of all our services and 10%

discount for the life of your

MSA membership.

PSYCHOLOGY TRAINING

Confident Drivers has the only

website created especially

for drivers offering eight

different psychological

techniques commonly used

to reduce stress and nerves.

MSA OFFER: One month free on a monthly

subscription plan using coupon code.

PUPIL SOURCING

Go Roadie provides students

when they need them, with

all the details you need

before you accept. Control

your own pricing, discounts

and set your availability to suit you. Full

diary? No cost!

MSA OFFER: Introductory offer of 50% off

the first three students they accept.

TYRES

VRedestein’s impressive range

of tyres includes the awardwinning

Quatrac 5 and the

new Quatrac Pro – offering

year-round safety and

performance.

MSA OFFER: 10% discount on purchases

across our tyre ranges.

WWW.MSAGB.COM

39

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