Lockdown for MOT Testers – How to Survive and Thrive During the Coronavirus Crisis and Beyond
It has been yet another week of lockdown for MOT testers and for pretty much everyone else. There has been unprecedented policy change across business and wider society. The legislation involving our industry in particular has been like nothing we have ever experienced before.
What is the best thing to do to survive this Lockdown for MOT Testers?
The Prime Minister announced a lockdown on Saturday 21st March which called for dealerships to close. However, he said that garages and MOT Test Stations should remain open as essential services.
On Wednesday 25th March the MOT exemption legislation was released – a move that caused widespread dismay throughout the industry, particularly amongst the independent sector.
Tester Training/ Assessment DVSA Deadline Extension
We hoped that in these difficult times, the DVSA would show some leniency in regard to MOT tester training/ assessment deadlines – we were concerned that they may be reluctant to do so, due to their frequent warnings that testers should complete these tasks well in advance of the annual deadline.
The vast majority of our users had already completed their training/ assessment, due to our unique ‘monthly module’ style of learning delivery – and anybody who did have any training/assessment outstanding was able to easily access their account and complete this remotely.
But we know that not everybody has a system like ours – at the beginning of March, almost 25,000 testers had not completed their annual assessment. We were concerned for them, their employers, and at the thought of how long it would take the DVSA to eventually conduct demonstration tests on all of these testers and lift their suspensions.
Thus, this week’s decision from the DVSA to extend the training/ assessment deadline until 30th April was greatly welcomed. However, it suggests that coronavirus and lockdown for MOT Testers will not be a valid defence for any testers who miss the new deadline.
This means that it is more important than ever that testers have completed and can evidence 180 minutes of training & have passed their assessment by this date.
Distance Learning for MOT Testers
We have long believed that our ‘distance learning’ system is the most efficient, easiest, and cost-effective method in which to complete annual training. But in these unprecedented times, it’s now the only method available – hence the DVSAs recommendation to complete training in this way.
Our system, which is utilised by thousands of garages both in the independent sector and across several AM100 dealer groups, offers the ideal platform for this mandatory training and assessment to be completed in the comfort and safety of testers’ own homes.
However, this isn’t just a system for your testers – it also provides a multitude of benefits for managers, directors and MOT business owners.
Managing Your Team Remotely During this Lockdown for MOT Testers
How are you, the garage owner or AEDM, planning on guaranteeing that all of your employees have completed their regulatory requirements by the new deadline date?
This task, difficult in times of normality, can appear almost impossible whilst your entire business is working remotely. But the potential consequences of non-compliance for your business are disastrous.
This is why our system also includes a unique platform for both Site Managers and Group Directors where they are able to monitor and oversee their testers’ progress, and can then guarantee to the DVSA that they are fulfilling their statutory requirements.
Our new KPI dials mean that previously lengthy and complicated compliance tasks now require nothing more than a few minutes; wherever and whenever is most convenient to you.
Communicating with Your Team
Many employees are now at home, and no longer have access to their work email addresses. Without any easy way of communicating directly with your entire workforce, how are you ensuring that they are supported, and what are you doing to reduce any feelings of isolation?
Our system offers a unique internal messaging centre, so management can send out messages to hundreds of employees at the click of a button. Our clients are currently using this to:
- Convey instructions.
- Provide updates.
- Deliver guidance.
- Offer support.
Keeping lines of communication open is of paramount importance for every caring employer throughout these difficult times.
DVSA Tester Training 2020/21
What if you closed your site/s for the day earlier this year and sent your testers on classroom training, so you know they have already completed their requirements in good time (albeit at considerable expense)? You might feel that there is little need to think about training at present.
Though understandable, it is certainly not a view shared by our users. Our AM100 clients are instructing their testers to focus on the new year’s training now – saving them a significant amount of lost workshop time later on.
Hundreds of testers have already made a start on our brand new 2020/21 training, whilst staying safely at home.
Are there any benefits of the lockdown for MOT Testers?
From an organisational perspective, by encouraging your testers to complete their mandatory tasks for the new DVSA year now, you could save thousands of billable hours later in the year.
From a HR perspective, enabling the continuance of your testers’ professional development will make the future transition back to work much easier. Why not utilise this time in a way which benefits everyone, from technicians up to group AEs, in a multitude of different ways?
The truth is, none of us know how long this situation will continue for. There is no better time to implement a system which will support you & your employees both throughout this pandemic, and beyond.
Read our blog MOT Furlogh – Tester training FAQs for more information and answers to common questions.