MOT Managers – 4 regulatory bear traps the DVSA are setting for you

MOT Managers - don't be like this bear

MOT Managers.  Read this to stay ahead of the game. Be smarter than the average bear. Be prepared for the bear cull to come.

Are you one of these MOT managers? AE, AEDM, AEP, DM or SM?

Yes? Then this is for you.  We have put together a series of blogs that distil the regulations and responsibilities that apply to you as an MOT Manager.

I’ll also discuss the importance of applying the regulations in light of the changes we see in how the DVSA are policing the industry.

Read this and be smarter than the average bear. Don’t get caught in one of the DVSA’s regulatory bear traps.

“The purpose of the MOT test is to ensure that cars, other light vehicles (including some light goods vehicles), private buses and motor bicycles over a prescribed age are checked at least once a year to see that they comply with roadworthiness and environmental standards – and to that end contributes to the government’s road safety strategy”

The MOT Testing Guide– Introduction – Purpose and scope of the test – Paragraph 1 – November 2019

As MOT Managers this is why you are vulnerable if you do not know and apply the regulations to the letter.

The DVSA’s mission is to keep the roads safe by keeping the vehicles on it safe and in a roadworthy condition.

There is always a need to raise road safety standards and the DVSA can do that by raising the standards of the MOT Test.

No one can expect new and improved standards by using the same old methods.

The DVSA must therefore ensure new methods are applied by MOT Testers and garages to get the new standards set.

How can the DVSA do this most efficiently?

The DVSA simply pick one of the biggest operators and make an example of them.  Everyone will understand the DVSA mean business.

Do you really know the depth and breadth of your responsibilities? how is the DVSA defining those responsibilities and what sanctions can they apply?

The point of these blogs is to provide some kind of distillation of the regulations the DVSA have put in writing that apply directly to the AE, AEDMs and other senior MOT management staff.

It is our belief that the DVSA is looking to ‘secure the perimeter’ with regards to the application and acceptance of regulation.  The end result is that you will find there is very little room for manoeuvre should you or your MOT management colleagues be found wanting in the regulatory administration of your business or VTS.

The information contained in these blogs is clear and unambiguous. It is in black and white and is freely available information.  You need know and understand your responsibilities and what they mean to you, your colleagues, your employees and your business.

You must know the consequences of not fulfilling your responsibilities.  If you fall into one of these bear traps there is no excuse.  Ignorance is no defence.

We say the DVSA are changing and coming after a big operator. You say Yadda yadda yadda.

The application of the sanctions be applied to MOT Managers and NTs by the DVSA has been merciless. We see this ending one way only.  You will conform or suffer the consequences.  Before that happens however there will be some collateral.  Don’t let it be you.

We have seen targeted, coordinated inspections to major operators.

There has been exposure of fraud at dealerships as well as small independents simply by the DVSA looking at the data.

We have seen cessation notices for what could be classed as mistakes made by the staff in the workshop. In reality poor, inadequate management was the cause .

But here’s the rub? You as MOT Managers are responsible for the actions of your testers. Although the buck stops with the AE or AEDM they are not the only ones in the firing line.  You all are.

Nothing has changed for years. Why are the DVSA changing now?


Pure and simple.  They have data. Test Logs and TQI. Welcome to the age of data, algorithms and A.I.

They see the value of using this data to highlight poor testing standards and want everyone from the AE to the NT to be reviewing and interpreting the data.  Even though all the information is out there, we see very little take-up within the industry. The DVSA understand this and are doing something about it.

There is not enough respect for the regulation and the DVSA know it. If people won’t change voluntarily within a regulated industry they have to be made to change.  Look at the FCA  to get a sense of where we think the DVSA are going as a regulator.

How will the DVSA wake up the MOT industry and get it to listen?  Easy! take down a large operator.

Everyone would sit up, take notice and ‘get with the program’. Boom! Industry-wide compliance overnight or at least a huge movement in that direction. You can be sure that unprepared MOT Mangers will be having their own special and different kind of movement though.

The rule book constrains the DVSA.  Oh no it doesn’t! That is the point.

 “DVSA, on behalf of the Secretary of State has the discretionary power to take disciplinary action against an AE, including cessation of the authorisation. Failure to adhere to the Requirements of Authorisation may result in disciplinary action against the AE and/or the Tester”

What does this mean? The key word here is discretionary.  Just because it is not in the rule book doesn’t mean they won’t do it if they think it is appropriate or they want to send a message to the industry!

Systemic failures of quality assurance across a business or danger of the service being brought into disrepute will ensure the DVSA close the offenders down.

Read on and if you can genuinely say you know all this stuff and you are fulfilling your compliance duties in all areas.  Fantastic.  You are a credit to the industry, and we could learn a lot from you.  If not, you should probably undertake an audit of compliance in your business.

Next Bear Trap Blog


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Author: seanthemac

When not trying to tear the chicken strips off his Ducati’s tyres, Sean can be found coordinating the production of our training and CPD, keeping tabs on the finances, writing content for our blogs, guiding our marketing efforts and working with the team to plan out future development and evolution of MOT Juice.

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