Guess what currently appears to be an 'heinous' word in the motor trade vocabulary ********?
It is a little word which often can be used to avoid a lot of "heartache", particularly in the MOT testing environment; it is also a word that all successful businesses are based upon.
OK! so you have guessed it is 'TRAINING'. Now the second question is how many times have you used that word in the last month? My guess is only once, if the five year refresher training reminder appeared on screen.
After some considerable experience on 'both sides of the fence' I can confirm that mandatory training is not the only form of training which is required to ensure a happy and uneventful MOT career.
Like the old saying 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' regular training 'keeps the VOSA away'. I don't mean hours of laborious technical training, although that is vital for the person wishing to become a nominated tester.
It is the regular day-to-day MOT 'on the job training', (not to be confused with any other 'on the job training!), which will re-enforce the MOT message.
The advice that I always give my trainees/applicants is that as soon as they become nominated testers they must not have 'any friends' !!!
The second piece of vital advice is that they must never, never, never, under any circumstances, complete an MOT test certificate until the vehicle fully meets the requirements for issue. No matter how small the 'defect' it must be fully rectified before the issue key is pressed.
The nominated testers who have failed to adhere to this principle have kept me in business for almost twenty years. No matter how clever you think you are you will never beat the 'MOT device'. It collects and processes information which most nominated testers never realised existed.
One story I hear frequently is "I can do a test in fifteen minutes but I don't log off until thirty minutes have passed". My 'tongue in cheek' response is that they must have been reading too much Hansel and Gretel.
In the first instance, it is impossible to complete a thorough inspection, of the complex nature of an MOT test, in fifteen minutes, no matter what the age of the vehicle is.
Secondly, trying to beat the system is a 'mugs game' fraught with danger, that danger comes in the form of a 28 day suspension or worse. It is also important not to forget that such actions are fraudulent and as such, are criminal in nature.
I frequently wonder how many testers could achieve a reasonable score if they appeared on 'Mastermind' with 'MOT test content' as their specialist subject. My opinion is that it would have been difficult for the average nominated tester prior to January 2012. However, given the January 2012 content debacle I am of the opinion that it would now be virtually impossible.
Therefore there is significant value for in-house refresher training exercises which raises awareness of test content and the changes that have been made.
Another aspect of training both for Authorised Examiners and nominated testers would be that based on the Performance Report and the Daily Test Log. Both these documents contain valuable information. Monthly appraisal will enable a pro-active response to all areas of test standards, where concern has been or might be raised.
Finally, in regard to training for those who wish to become nominated testers, via the Assessment Examination route, my best preparation advice is the study of the Fundamentals of Motor Vehicle Technology 6th Edition Book 1 which can be obtained direct from the publishers, Nelson Thornes Ltd by telephoning their Customer Services on 01242 267100.
The Fundamentals of Motor Vehicle Technology is a very comprehensive book and is an excellent reference book for those seeking a career in motor vehicle repair. Preparation for the Assessment Examination requires a more targeted approach. I can provide more detailed advice in regard to that aspect, if required.
However, based on considerable Assessment Examination Refresher Training experience I can confirm that the two topics/subjects which appear to cause nominated tester applicants the most 'difficulty', in regard to what they are and what they do, are camber/castor and carbon monoxide/carbon dioxide.
Therefore, it would be extremely useful to establish a good knowledge of these two topics, in regard to how camber and castor affect steering, suspension and things like rolling resistance.
Similarly, a clear understanding of the circumstances in which carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are produced, together with their effect on engine performance, the human body and the environment would also be extremely valuable.
Keep up the training and as 'Bully' (Jim Bowen, for those of a tender age) used to say "Keep out of the red (and amber) no prizes for three, (or two), VOSA men in your bed or shed". Please excuse the poetic licence, however the sentiment is correct.