“Why should I worry about DVSA Discipline?” you may ask. “I take good care of my business, I watch my NTs carefully, they are well-trained, I have a QC regime in place and I’ve never had a problem”.
A good point. But consider the following cases, both of which involved Testing Stations which contacted us after they had received letters from DVSA. While they were too late to benefit from membership, we put them in touch with one of our consultants, who took on their cases (albeit at full cost).
Ask yourself “Could I have seen this coming?” These AEs certainly didn’t.
1. AE almost loses valued Tester for 5 years
A Tester was walking in a public park with his heavily pregnant wife. Some local youths were boisterously making a nuisance of themselves, and when they approached a little too closely he remonstrated with them. The situation escalated, and when it appeared that his wife was in imminent danger and visibly upset, the situation became physical and one of the youths was punched on the nose by the Tester.
|We are receiving increasing numbers of applications from VTSs which have already received a written communication from DVSA.|
Unfortunately we are unable to apply MOT SHIELD protection retrospectively – the service extends only to disciplinary matters which arise after application is approved.
Of course ‘Assault’ charges were brought against the Tester. His wife was too traumatised to appear in court, and owing to her condition the Tester had no wish to force her to endure the stress of appearing, so he had no witness to speak in his defence. His legal team advised him to ‘cop a plea’ and rely on the mercy of the court. The court, to the Tester’s utter dismay, and much to the surprise of his legal team, decided to impose a year’s custodial sentence!
The Tester, who had an exemplary Testing record going back nearly 20 years, was, however, released after two months, and the AE duly applied to have him re-instated on the Register.
While the VE quite reasonably decided that since the whole incident had taken place outside and away from the business, there would be no sanction against the AE, but the situation with the Tester fell into the remit of Appendix 8.1: Withdrawal applies in the case of “Conviction for any offence involving violence or intimidation which [DVSA] considers could put customers or [DVSA] staff at risk”.
“Contemplated Disciplinary Action’ – DVSA discipline – correspondence was received by the AE; a potential 5-year disqualification, at which point he contacted us. As previously mentioned, we were unable to offer representation under MOT SHIELD, but put the AE in touch with our consultant, who agreed to take on the case.
Happily, after our consultant’s representations, which lasted a good three months, the Tester’s 5-year ban was commuted to a 5-year warning. So AE and Tester are happy with the outcome, after a distressing, traumatic and more expensive than it might have been, episode for all concerned.
2. DVSA discover ‘Pass’ given while vehicle is not present
The following incident may be even more relevant now that Testers may enter into the MOT Testing Scheme via routes other than working in a service garage and MOT-oriented environment.
A young Tester Tested a Morris Minor Traveller but couldn’t find the car’s details on the MOT computer. So he made a new entry, identifying the vehicle as a ‘Mini Minor Traveller’, and conducted a Test. It failed, but after repairs on-site, was issued with a pass, as, of course, a ‘Mini Minor Traveller’, which the owner was not happy about.
The AE explained to the irate customer that such errors can only be rectified by DVSA’s local area office, which he tried calling. In the meantime, the customer drove off and left the VT20 behind to be corrected.
The AE never managed to contact his local office, and under severe pressure from the customer over the course of several days ordered the Tester to log the vehicle on again and this time enter the correct name.
This the Tester duly did, changing ‘Mini’ to ‘Morris’, and issuing a ‘Pass’. But this time he also in the process spelled ‘Traveller’ incorrectly, further enraging the customer when he came in to pick the document up.
At this point the AE, losing the will to live, suggested that the customer take the matter up with DVSA directly, so they could sort it out, which he did.
Of course DVSA were much more interested in the fact that the second pass was issued without the vehicle being present. 500 points each for AE and NT both!
At which point MOT SHIELD was contacted. Our consultant successfully appealed and as a result of his representations DVSA accepted that their actions were merely misguided, and they afforded benefit of the doubt to both NT and the AE. A five-year warning was issued to the AE and the NT was served a 28 day ban in lieu of a 5-year ban, with the points being reduced to 100 each. It could have been much worse!
What these two DVSA discipline examples have in common is that they came out of the blue – the circumstances could not have been foreseen or guarded against.
Could the representations and correspondence in these cases have been handled by the AE himself? Of course. Would that have been as successful? Perhaps. Would it have been more time-consuming and stressful for the AE and NTs involved? Almost certainly.
Is it worth £99 a year to have a qualified consultant take the situation on, on your behalf? We think so.
MOT SHIELD – a game-changing development in DVSA discipline cases
MOT SHIELD’s annual cost is designed to be a ‘no-brainer’; low enough that even the smallest Testing Station can afford it – equivalent to just two MOT Tests per year. These are the benefits you will receive on MOT SHIELD’s acceptance of your membership:
- One phone number to dial immediately if you receive a disciplinary communication from DVSA
- Full written representation by a top UK MOT Consultant, all the way through to agreed completion of representation,
- Subscription to MOT Testing Magazine (worth £30 on its own!)
Too good to be true? We think it’s too good to miss.
Continue into 2018 with the double benefits of MOT SHIELD protection against DVSA disipline and a year’s subscription to MOT Testing Magazine!
Please note that DVSA discipline matters arising up to 28 days prior to membership application are not covered. However, we may to take on existing cases at a separately agreed price depending on details of the case.
To apply to join the MOT SHIELD:
Phone: 0208 998 6742
Post: Send cheque for £112.80 (£69 +VAT + £30) to:
MOT Testing Magazine, 12 Princes Gardens, London W5 1SD, with your full VTS details.
You will receive an agreement form to return to us, which if satisfactory we will then confirm your membership and you will then be fully covered, or your money back!
Enjoy the double benefits of MOT SHIELD DVSA discipline protection and a year’s subscription to MOT Testing Magazine!
Some further reading: