Eyebrows raised over DVSA ‘achievements in 2022’ email

An email, which dropped into many ADIs inboxes last week, has raised eyebrows on social media, with the wisdom of both its title –  and some of the content – being questioned by trainers, and even DIA’s CEO.

DVSA Chief Executive Loveday Ryder wrote to trainers last week to provide an update on the agency’s recovery post pandemic, report on progress in tackling key issues (such as test waiting times) and communicate future plans. All good stuff.

However, on social media ADIs questioned the overall spin with the focus on the agency ‘successes’ and ‘achievements’ set against a context of continuing test waiting times challenges, Part 2 and 3 testing issues, and other frustrations with the agency’s current levels of delivery. 

Others took issue with suggestions that whilst the standard of candidates being presented for test seems to have improved, and the pass rate has risen slightly (some commenters positioning that this isn’t necessarily an achievement facilitated by design – more so a result of pupils having to wait for tests longer and gaining from more practice, training and experience whilst the wait), there is still an inference that trainers need to work harder to bring better prepared pupils to test:

One social media user commented:

Most of the time you don’t bring pupils who are ready for their test’.

This narrative that there is a raft of us who just don’t teach people to drive properly is becoming really tiresome. It is not like they are experts in the logistics of delivering tests at a service level that is expected of them (levels they set themselves). “10 weeks by February 2023”, anyone? 

DIA CEO Carly Brookfield commented:

When asked to give feedback before this communication went out I questioned the title of the overall communication, and the focus, as I didn’t really feel it was reading the room. Giving an update, great,  but I personally think I would still be wary of using terminology such as ‘celebrating success’ etc, when an audience may be feeling some of the core services, and the standard of service they expect, still isn’t being delivered.  Otherwise a communication tips into what an organisation wants to PR, rather than responding to customer concerns, or sentiments, towards the organisation in question.

If you haven’t seen the email sent out by DVSA and would like to read it online you can do so here.

13 thoughts on “Eyebrows raised over DVSA ‘achievements in 2022’ email”

  1. Given a FOI request that’s been circulated states that there is only 65 extra examiners I don’t see how they can ‘celebrate’ 300?

    1. I find the comments from the DVSA reprehensible, hypocritical and a little ironic.
      The examiners are generally unprofessional and often there attire is inappropriate. In my area, one examiner is known by reputation to young people before they get anywhere near the test as one ‘not to get’. Why is that examiner not embarrassed?
      How dare they criticise me, when they are so unprofessional and out of date. I am running a business and they are in safe secure well paid jobs, do they even understand the pressure, stress and general experiences of ADI’s? The ‘senior’ staff running the standards checks are even worse and even more out of date. As an organisation they should be embarrassed.

  2. Catherine Fallon

    I think when as an ADI I’m experiencing a 4 month and growing wait time for pupils to get a test slot, they have absolutely nothing to Celebrate. The pressure that this puts on young learners to pass is incredible for fear of the timescale for a re-test. Like the social media comment, I’m finding the blame game tiring and unacceptable. How you can attempt to hold a PDI/ADI responsible for a pupils test fail, I do not know. I’d also question have they even noted the number of pupils at test centres being accompanied by relatives and not instructors, if they have, has the penny not dropped that this is where a large proportion of unprepared candidates are coming from. It’s really time that the DVSA supported it’s ADI’s and stopped using them as a punchbag.

  3. Christy Lamport

    To be honest the DSA are a laughing stock. Their continued ignorance to our situation is not helping the situation one little bit. I am refusing to take any new customers on unless they have a test booked. I’m not prepared to waste customer money with uncertanty of when it will be booked and my time. The booking system right now is consuming 2-3 hours a day looking for test dates. The system I get is no available dates and the likes of testi are still getting priority. The DSA has not stopped companies block booking and not releasing slots that they are unable to fill. The DSA are not for purpose and I’m sorry to say the message from associations isn’t filtering though and I do believe are weak and frightened to speak up on our behalf because they will become persona non grata!

  4. Andrew Hudson

    As a former driving instructor of nearly twenty years I would like to comment on instructors taking pupils for their test when the pupil is not ready.Over the years I had any number of pupils come to me for lessons after they had failed their test.The common theme that linked the vast number of them was that they had only ever driven round test routes.One particular pupil stands out.When I had gotten from her that all she had done was drive round test routes I took her to an area that would be strange to her and she really didn’t have much idea of what to do.May be it would be a good idea not to publish test routes.

  5. I’ve virtually stopped reading emails from DVSA esp their CEO for instance his latest one ie prematurely patting his organisation on the back is not conducive to truly understanding the predicaments of trainers delivering test standard pupils to tests, and availability of tests.

    Also, it’s been generally accepted some unscrupulous trainers have been benefiting from making vast amounts of money eg £60/70k (muted) for aiding booking agencies procuring early/emergency test appointments for a fee and then taking these desperate (usually not test standard) candidates to tests eg same faces at test centres regularly – I myself have been impacted negatively – why the DVSA have not linked these unscrupulous trainers/bookers/facilitators accounts/credit cards, etc to HMRC beggars belief and irks me enormously.

    Yours sincerely,

  6. I question the update that the DVSA Chief Executive Loveday Ryde wrote, in my sector the LGV driver training the standard is dropping like a stone and the changes made by Grant Shapps have only created poor drivers and a birthday for large LGV training Companies, after 44 years in the industry we no longer have what I would call a profissional standard for LGV drivers. Grant Shapps, Baroness Norbit and Loveday Ryde all picked the panic route to put anyone in the cab. Loveday Ryde needs to come out of the office a bit more and check the real situation.

  7. I so want to leave a comment , however what’s the point nobody is going to influence a government agency that has only one main driver …. Make money so the govt of the day can keep the base rate of tax as low as possible !

  8. It’s about driving tests were put out to tender in the private sector, DVSA are just not fit for purpose, and how they can use the logo “investors in people” is totally beyond belief. I’ve recently had 5 driving tests cancelled one only 2.5 hours before it was due, the other 4 re scheduled for end of April.

  9. Steve Pearce

    I could not believe what I was reading – I just felt that this really proves the DVSA are in a world of their own and not in touch with reality.

    Obviously constructive reporting as to their success.

    The cancellation apps remain in place still working away yet all ADI’s had to sign a new agreement to use their booking service.

    Waiting times unchanged.

    Examiners striking putting more delays and costs to the industry.

  10. There’s self interest everywhere. The DVSA ‘praising’ themselves when there is still a backlog of tests is strange, but it’s unfair to blame examiners as I’m sure many of them are not happy with the current set up.
    As trainers, we can only control what we do, but it’s not always easy for a new instructor to stop a student going for a test when they are not ready as they worry about losing the income. Many pupils are desperate to pass, but isn’t this their responsibility to manage their own emotions & listen to their instructors more & not their peers & not want earlier tests? Who puts the pressure on them? It’s mainly them, but the instructors have to manage the fall out. Still, the DVSA need pupils on test or there isn’t enough work for the examiners & money in DOT coffers. How do we square this circle? We can’t.

  11. Ivorhad enough

    If i advise/train and educate someone not to throw a brick through a window, and they then do it,
    How is this my fault.
    DVSA logic says it is

  12. The DVSA have nothing to be proud of…I had an absolute nightmare with car problems 2 days before one of my pupils tests…I had to travel for an hour to collect a hire car just so my pupil had a vehicle to take his test in…with an extra 2 hour lesson the day before to get used to the car..picked him up the morning of his test for his pre-test lesson…drives to the test centre car park and with only 4 minutes to go the test was cancelled…the anxiety and stress behind this test is something the DVSA will never know…I have nothing positive to say about this money making government agency…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top