Posted by: Carl Surgey | 3 August 2020

Restarting driving lessons in Scotland

The Scottish Government announced on 30 July that the indicative restart date for driving lessons in Scotland is 24 August. This is to allow instructors time to plan and prepare for the restart of lessons. The actual restart date will be confirmed by the Scottish Government on or around 20 August. We will set out detailed information about the restart of our services in due course.This will similarly allow candidates the time they need to prepare for their driving test. We have published guidance on GOV.UK for you and your pupils to let you know what to expect on the day of their theory test and practical test. We have shared our guidance for driving examiners with the driver training associations and they have updated their good practice guidance for instructors. Links to these are included in the instructor guidance on GOV.UK.
Posted by: Carl Surgey | 3 August 2020

One metre social distancing for theory tests in England

From today (3 August) we will be introducing at least one metre social distancing measures at theory test centres in England. This is inline with the current government guidance to stop the spread of COVID-19. Keeping your pupils safe We’re updating our social distancing measures at theory test centres. This is inline with the latest government advice and includes: using floor markings to keep people 1 metre apart  spacing workstations and chairs so you’re at least 1 metre away from other people  extra cleaning of the test centres using protective transparent screens at the reception desk providing hand sanitiser for you to use when you arrive at the test centre, during your test and when you leave cleaning workstations, including computers and headphones, before every test Staff will wear a face covering (unless there’s a medical reason that it’s not recommended for them) and gloves. We’ve published more guidance and photos that show what you can expect on GOV.UK.  Wearing a face covering Your pupils should wear a face covering when they go for their test if they can. They shouldn’t wear one if it will cause them difficulties – for example if they have a respiratory condition. They will need to remove it briefly so the test centre staff can check their ID. Your pupils can find out more about how to wear and make a cloth face covering on GOV.UK. Making more tests available More tests will be available from today (3 August). This will help to reduce the waiting time for theory tests. Theory tests in Scotland restarted on 22 July and tests in Wales will begin today (3 August). We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 advice given by the respective governments.
Posted by: Carl Surgey | 25 July 2020

Wearing glasses with face coverings on test

Your pupil must wear a face covering when they come for their driving test, unless they have a good reason not to. This includes if:

  • they have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means they cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
  • putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause them severe distress
  • they need to remove it during their test to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to others

If your pupils wear glasses

Wearing glasses does not count as a good reason not to wear a face covering.

How to help them prepare

You should practise with them driving whilst wearing a face covering before their test to help them prepare. Talk to your pupil about the best way to do this. This could include:

  • trying different types of face covering
  • making sure your face covering fits well
  • making sure the vehicle is well-ventilated

Watch a short video on the BBC News website with tips about how to stop your glasses steaming up when you wear a face covering.

When they arrange their test

Your pupil must tell us if they have a good reason not to wear a face covering when they arrange their test.

Their test will be cancelled if they come for their test without a face covering and they did not declare they could not wear one when they arranged their test.

Your pupil will need to remove their face covering briefly so their driving examiner can check their ID.

Find out how to wear and make a cloth face covering.

Problem with their face covering during the test

If your pupil has a problem with their face covering during the test, their driving examiner will ask them to stop so they can adjust it. Their driving examiner will end the test early if it becomes a safety issue.

More information

Check GOV.UK for more information about:

Posted by: Carl Surgey | 23 July 2020

Update on theory test certificates

The government has considered the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the validity period of theory test certificates. After careful consideration, the government has decided not to extend theory test certificates due to the impact on road safety. We understand that this will be disappointing for some of your pupils. But it’s essential that your pupils have the most up to date road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills to help prepare them for their test and driving safely on their own once they’ve passed. If your pupils certificate has expired We cannot reschedule your pupils driving test that was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic because their theory test certificate has expired. We will cancel their driving test booking. They’ll get a full refund for their driving test within the next 7 working days. It will be refunded to the card that was used to pay for the test. They do not need to do anything to get the refund. They will need to book and pass a theory test. You can do this at https://www.gov.uk/book-theory-test. Revise and practise for their theory test. Check what books and software you can use at https://www.gov.uk/theory-test/revision-and-practice. They need to book and pass a driving test. They must do this within 2 years of passing their next theory test. Your pupil can book a new theory test up to 6 months before your current theory test certificate expires, or at any time after it’s expired. If your pupils certificate is due to expire We will email your pupils in the coming weeks to invite them to arrange a driving test. However, we cannot guarantee that they’ll be able to take their driving test before their theory test certificate expires. If their theory test certificate expires before they can take a driving test, they will need to follow the above steps. If they want to cancel their driving test now They can cancel their driving test now and get a full refund. To do this, email customerservices@dvsa.gov.uk. Make sure they include their name and 2 of the following in their email: their driving licence number their theory test pass certificate number their driving test booking reference More information Check GOV.UK for more information about: theory tests driving tests guidance for instructors on the restart of training and testing

NASP has today urged trainers to ensure they are taking every precaution possible to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the training environment.

Worrying pupil feedback that their trainer has not worn a mask or facilitated any ventilation in the vehicle has been received by both the national associations and the DVSA.

NASP joins with DVSA, and wider government, in impressing on trainers the need to ensure a safe and clean training environment and to give pupils and parents the reassurance that every precaution is being taken to mitigate the risk of infection.

Driver trainers and their pupils are particularly at risk given the close and enclosed proximity of in-vehicle training. Face masks are worn by examiners and are mandatory for pupils on test – the same measures should be taken to protect all concerned in the training process too.

In a separate plea NASP is also asking trainers to respect each other at this difficult time, and not engage in bullying and abusive behaviours towards fellow trainers. There has been a noticeable increase in combative and aggressive behaviour on and offline of late, with divisions of opinion occurring over the decision of when to return to training. 

NASP reminds the industry it is the individual choice of each trainer as to when they return to the road and that individual choice should be respected if the trainer is carrying out training safely and responsibly in accordance with the NASP guidelines.

Posted by: Carl Surgey | 15 July 2020

Inviting candidates to rebook their driving test

We recently told you that we’d contact critical workers and practical car test candidates in England whose tests were put on hold due to coronavirus to ask them to choose a new test date and time.

We will send emails out:

  • on 15 July to critical workers in England, Scotland and Wales who had a test booked during lockdown 
  • from 16 July to candidates in England whose practical car test was put on hold due to lockdown

Both emails will include a link to book a new test date as the candidate booking system remains closed.

This link will only work for people who have been invited to rebook their test.

When we email candidates whose tests were put on hold due to lockdown, we’ll initially invite around 10,000 each day, split in batches to spread out demand on the service.

All available appointments will be shown on the online service. Do not contact our customer service centre as they will not be able to book any alternative test slots.

Making sure your pupils are ready

It’s important that you speak to your pupils before they rebook their tests to make sure:

  • they are ready to take their test
  • you are available to take them

As examiners will only be at test centres when they have a test booked, we have increased the minimum notice period for booking a test from 60 minutes to 10 hours.

Wearing a face covering

All candidates must wear a face covering when taking their driving test, unless they have a good reason not to. This includes if:

  • they have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means they cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
  • putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause them severe distress

When they arrange their test, they’ll need to say if there’s a good reason they cannot wear a face covering. The email will tell them how to do this.

What your pupils can expect when taking their test

We’ve published guidance on GOV.UK about what your pupils can expect on the day of their test.

We will update you on rebooking practical car tests in Scotland and Wales in line with the devolved administrations’ guidance.

The Scottish Government yesterday announced that theory tests, motorcycle tests and training can resume in Scotland from Wednesday 22 July 2020.

Theory tests will restart in Scotland on Wednesday 22 July. The tests will take place with physical distancing measures in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus

Motorcycle training will resume on 22 July.

Motorcycle and tractor testing will resume on Monday 3 August in Scotland.

Driving lessons and tests remain suspended in Scotland. The Scottish Government will make an announcement on driving lessons on 30 July. Once it is clear when lessons are resuming there will be an announcement of when tests will start.

Different approaches to easing lockdown are currently being adopted across England, Scotland and Wales. DVSA is following published guidance in each of those countries as it restarts services safely.

DVSA will continue to observe the guidance and scale up services when it is permissible and lawful to do so. 

DVSA has continued to test critical workers during the lockdown and driving lessons have continued for these workers. 

DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “It has been vital that training and tests only resume when safe to do so and in line with the government’s advice. 

“We know this has been a tough time for the whole country including learners and driving instructors but I am pleased to announce the restart of rider training and tests in Scotland. 

“Tests for critical workers have continued during the lockdown and I would like to thank all those instructors and examiners who have continued to work to help deliver tests for those who have done so much to help us during this terrible pandemic.” 

New candidates will be able to book driving tests once DVSA has carried out the tests reserved for critical workers and everyone with a suspended test has had the opportunity to choose a new time and date. DVSA will announce when the system opens to book tests in due course. 

DVSA is contacting anyone who has a scheduled test to let them know what will happen next. DVSA will then email them at a later date to invite them to book a test at a time and location that is convenient for them. Learners should talk to their instructors and arrange refresher lessons so they can practice the skills they need to prepare for their test.

DVSA has published guidance on GOV.UK for instructors and candidates to let them know what to expect on the day of their theory test and practical test.

DVSA has shared their guidance for driving examiners with the driver and rider training associations and they have update their good practice guidance for instructors.

Posted by: Carl Surgey | 10 July 2020

Latest From DVSA

Theory tests and motorcycle tests and training to restart in Scotland
The Scottish Government announced yesterday (9 July) that theory tests and motorcycle training will restart on Wednesday 22 July 2020 in Scotland. We’ll be contacting candidates who have theory tests booked in Scotland before 22 July to reschedule these. Motorcycle testing and tractor tests will resume on 3 August 2020. All other driving lessons, are still suspended in Scotland, apart from for critical workers who can apply here. We have shared our guidance for testing with the rider training associations.

Motorcycle instruction and theory and hazard tests to restart on 22 July but no dates as yet for Category B and vocational tests.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced yesterday that motorcycle instruction and theory and hazard tests will restart on 22 July in Scotland. However she said that driving lessons and tests in cars would “unfortunately have to wait a bit longer”.

Ms Sturgeon was unable to give a firm date for when driving lessons and tests in cars can resume, though she did say that it can be assumed at this stage that they will not restart before 31 July.
DVSA is working closely with Transport for Scotland to resume ALL testing as soon as is possible and is expected to make further announcements on a return to car and vocational testing shortly.
The agency is also currently preparing briefing packs for the resumption of testing and training in Scotland which should be available shortly. No news yet on when Wales will follow suit but this is expected imminently.

Posted by: Carl Surgey | 2 July 2020

Theory tests suspended in Scotland and Wales

All theory tests in Scotland and Wales up to and including 14 July have been rescheduled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Theory tests for critical workers in Scotland and Wales will still go ahead.

We will continue to keep the situation under review in line with government advice in the respective countries and will provide an update on theory testing as soon as possible.

Theory tests in England will return for all candidates from 4 July with social distancing measures in place.

What DVSA are doing

We are emailing anyone with a test booked up to and including 14 July in Scotland and Wales to let them know it has been rescheduled.

If you’ve booked a test for your pupils

If you have booked a test for any of your pupils during these dates, you will need to contact them to let them know that their test has been rescheduled.

You can do this on GOV.UK. You will need your driving licence number to do this. You’ll get another email from Pearson Vue. You do not need to pay again to do this.

Emergency theory tests

An emergency theory testing service will still be available in Scotland and Wales to those who have a critical need to take a test, such as NHS and social care workers.

Please do not call our customer service centre as they will not be able to help. Stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 guidance for Scotland and Wales by visiting their websites.

We will be monitoring the situation and we will let you know if we need to cancel any more tests.

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