April 25, 2023
Being an MOT Tester can sometimes be isolated, with little support or further learning opportunities. At MOT Juice we value our customers – our TRIBE of Testers – and our goal is to share knowledge within the TRIBE and support one another for the greater good.
Unlike some training providers we listen to our TRIBE. In our monthly 15-minute training modules, our CPD module encourages the TRIBE to ask questions and raise concerns. This allows us all an important opportunity to discuss, in the community, any problems or testing controversies that testers are coming across in their daily jobs. We use these real life scenarios to analyse the MOT Guidance and help reflect in layman’s terms on the best outcomes. This industry discussion benefits testers directly, increasing individual clarity, and also benefits the industry highlighting controversial topics which may require refining.
In cases of a glaring errors or omissions within the inspection guidelines, Barry always requests clarification from the DVSA where appropriate. In this way, he is acting as a helpful feedback mechanism on the guidance provided, helping the regulator to understand where interpretation is controversial and guiding them on evolving their manuals.
A recent instance stands out as a great example of this process in action. George D. came to us with a question on seatbelts in wheelchair-adapted vehicles. He asked,
“Testing a Ford Transit connect mobility wagon with wheelchair restraints. Find a seatbelt with a huge hole but not with a corresponding seat at the time of the test. It is what secures the wheelchair in place. What is the best course of action here?”
The first thing MOT Juice did was consult the inspection guide. Sections 7:1:1 and 7:1:2 both state that all seatbelts fitted must be inspected. However, inspecting a belt fitted with no corresponding seat is unnecessary.
In his video training on this, Barry talked the Tribe through his answer, explaining the rationale for his decision. He then polled the training participants to determine their thoughts on this controversial issue.
Three options were presented:
> 1: Fail the car as the belt is not meeting standards, leading to a potentially difficult client situation.
> 2: Pass the car but risk being held liable in court for gross negligence or worse if an accident occurs.
> 3: Pass the car and add a manual advisory marked as a dangerous defect to ensure the owner is notified and prevent any comeback to the MOT Bay.
The overwhelming majority of respondents, 90%, chose Option 3, following the rationale that Barry explained in his solution.
Barry raised the issue with the DVSA, who confirmed that the correct interpretation of the legislation was that it should fail, despite the omission of guidance on this in the inspection guide. The DVSA has now updated the Inspection Guide to include the following in section 7.1.2: “You must check any visible parts of all seat belts fitted, child seats and restraints, and disabled persons belts or wheelchairs restraints.”
By encouraging open dialogue and discussion within our Tribe, MOT Juice was able to identify a potentially severe compliance issue and effect policy changes at the highest levels. This example highlights the importance of having an engaged and knowledgeable community to identify and solve real-world problems in the industry and the importance of such.