National Associations Strategic Partnership

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By NASP, Feb 20 2018 09:20AM

Each member of NASP - ADI NJC, DIA and MSA GB have issued their own response to the DVSA blog and Press Release, each one takes a slightly different line but all the NASP members are united in their condemnation of the way DVSA have dealt with this matter.

On Thursday last week DVSA sent NASP a copy of their Press Release, asking for a comment to be included in it by five-o-clock the same day. NASP chair Peter Harvey protested about the short time frame available and about the whole tone of the press release.

The next day NASP received a copy of the blog post, on both items we were able to offer some last-minute suggestions for changes. We also suggested that the blog post be put out to the profession and asked that the press release to the media and thereby the public should be delayed a few days so that NASP could consult with members on the blog contents and work with the DVSA on a more constructive and less sensationalised statement for the media.

DVSA refused to delay the release and so both the Press Release and the Blog were sent out over the weekend. This resulted in sensational headlines across various media platforms such as the BBC who wrote “Sexual exploitation warning to driving instructors”. The story on their website starts “Driving instructors are being warned that if they have a sexual relationship with a young student it will now be seen as exploitation". A section on today’s Jeremy Vine show (BBC Radio 2) was titled “Was your driving Instructor a paedophile” and Sky News, the Evening Standard, HuffPost UK and iNews all featured the terms “driving instructor” “sexual relationship” and "exploitation" in the first paragraphs of their reports.

These media reactions were entirely predictable and the DVSA has done no favours to the driver training profession by rushing out these misleading statements.

By carly, Nov 15 2017 01:09PM

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), one of the main unions representing Driving Examiners, has issued formal notice of industrial action to the DVSA involving all operational grades

The action they are calling for is as follows:

• Indefinite action short of a strike commencing (work to rule) on Thursday 23rd November.

• Two days of strike action, which will take place on Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th December.

They are asking every member to support the action following a successful ballot of their members in favour of industrial action. It is important to note not all Driving Examiners are members of PCS.

Amongst their grievances, PCS claim that for over two years they have sought to achieve 4 outcomes for members:

1. The removal of the current travel time proposals and a better way forward to be found on this issue.

2. The safety of our members and the public to be assured – and an agreement on rostering to be concluded - in respect of the new test due to commence on 4th December.

3. A fair work life balance for our members, and an agreement that provides respect and fairness by their employer

4. An end to the victimisation of PCS and our members which has gone unchecked for too long.

In response to the strike ballot announcement in September DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said:

“PCS members agreed to a new contract in April 2014 in return for a one-off payment and a three year pay agreement, so it is surprising that PCS are now objecting to the contract they had previously recommended to their members.

“We hope PCS members will accept our best and final offer, so we can start new negotiations on options for flexible working which will bring financial benefits for many of them.

“In the event of any industrial action, I know the vast majority of DVSA employees will continue to deliver excellent services for the customers who pay for our work.”

ADIs have already expressed concern over the planned action, highlighting the distress and inconvenience cancelled tests will cause to pupils and trainers alike.

Advice to driving test candidates and ADIs

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is doing all it can to make sure that tests go ahead as planned.Not all examiners are union members, and DVSA expects most driving test centres to operate as normal. You should turn up for your test as planned.

Changing your driving test date

You can change your test to another date if you want to.

You must give at least 3 clear working days’ notice to change your test date or you’ll have to pay again.

If your driving test is cancelled

DVSA will book a new test appointment for you automatically if there’s no examiner available for your test.

You’ll be rebooked for the earliest available date, and DVSA will send you the details of the new appointment.

Out-of-pocket expenses

You can claim out-of-pocket expenses if your test is cancelled, but you must have turned up for your test to be able to do this. If you don’t turn up, you’ll have to rebook your own test and won’t be able to claim expenses.

Theory tests

Theory tests aren’t affected by the strike action and will be taking place as planned.