Driver Training To Resume
An update from the DVSA
On Monday 8th March, the DVSA sent out emails to all driving instructors setting out the plan to restart driver training and testing. The plan is dependent upon the government moving forward with stage 2 of the roadmap to easing the lockdown. The key dates are;
Driving lessons are to resume on Monday 12th April 2021.
Theory Testing to resume on Monday 12th April 2021.
The DVSA have listened to the view of driving instructors who expressed worries relating to driving lessons and testing restarting on the same day following the last lockdown in November. Instructor felt that learner drivers needed time to brush up on their driving skills and prepare themselves for the driving test. Restarting lessons and tests on the same day didn’t give candidates the time they needed. With the help of NASP (National Associations Strategic Partnership) speaking on behalf of driving instructors, the DVSA have decided to restart driving tests 10 days later following the restart of driving lessons this time.
Driving test will now resume on Thursday 22nd April 2021.
The DVSA recently also set out a recovery plan for theory and driving tests following the Covid restrictions.
NASP asked about the recovery plan for theory & Practical tests. The backlog of theory tests is currently 380,000. DVSA has been working with Pearsonvue, the provider of theory testing, to provide 10 additional temporary theory test centres which will help contribute to an extra 110,000 more tests per month when theory testing restarts. The aim is to clear the backlog of test by the end of August. In July 2021, the DVSA will be opening a new booking system for theory tests with the first of the new bookings starting in September 2021.
There is currently around a 420,000 backlog on practical tests, with an average of 20 weeks waiting time.
DVSA is working with PHE and HSE to review procedures. 195 test centre waiting rooms were opened before lockdown, there will be an additional 27 when tests resume and another 27 following. There are 49 that may not be possible to use, and 58 sites without waiting rooms. There are 16 across the estate with no toilet facilities.
The target is to recover the backlog in 12 months, after the return to 7 tests a day. DVSA stated everything would be done to achieve this and it was important for everyone to feel that it was getting better. They are currently recruiting and training a new wave of driving examiners to help deal with the backlog.