Suspending the training of delegated examiners for HGV driving tests makes sense in the short term, but there must be a long-term strategy on the future of licence acquisition with delegated examiners at its heart, says the Freight Transport Association, responding to the announcement by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
The delegated examiner scheme allows staff from private companies to be accredited to deliver the HGV or PCV licence acquisition test, but the DVSA has indicated that the most efficient way of maximising the number of tests being delivered is to allow it to train more of its own examiners instead.
James Firth, FTA’s Head of Licensing Policy and Compliance Information, said:
“While industry wants a move towards the greater flexibility of private operators having staff accredited to examine the tests, DVSA figures show that even the most efficient delegated examiners are delivering fewer than 200 tests each year, while DVSA’s own examiners are doing around 800. With the constraints on DVSA’s resources to train examiners, this move makes sense at the moment.”
DVSA is anticipating a significant upturn in the number of vocational tests being delivered next year, and FTA had previously questioned whether the agency’s capacity to deliver vocational tests could be at risk of constraining any response to the driver shortage crisis.
James Firth said:
“The delegated examiner process must be reformed by the time this temporary measure is lifted, allowing delegated examiners to examine tests of drivers from different companies. This will allow the flexibility for delegated examiners to reach the efficiency levels of DVSA examiners.”
DVSA has written to all delegated examiner candidates booked to be trained at the Agency’s Cardington training facility this financial year advising them that their course has been cancelled.