For most industries, the benefits to small companies joining a trade body may not provide compelling reasons for membership, but for MOT Testing Stations, there is a more compelling reason – VOSA!
If you fall foul of a nit-picking Vehicle Examiner determined to take disciplinary action against you, then most organisations offering trade body membership will represent your case to VOSA – and, more often than not succeed in either reducing or removing altogether the disciplinary action contemplated.
The more the merrier!
And there’s another reason too. If you’ve read our lead article, you’ll see that VOSA seem reluctant to forge a real partnership with the trade through trade body’s representatives; which they often ‘justify’ because so many Testing Stations don’t belong to any trade organisation – so when it comes to trade body membership, ‘the more’, really is ‘the merrier’!
Lobbying and scrutiny
Yet MOT trade bodies do more for MOT Testing Stations than just challenging VOSA’s disciplinary action. They are also the trade’s watchdogs, keeping an eye on VOSA.
Theoretically, VOSA should consult with trade bodies whenever they change regulations or enforcement policy – but it doesn’t always happen. Trade bodies, however, working both independently, and jointly through the MOT Trade Forum keep their ‘ears to the ground’, find out what VOSA are ‘up to’, and if appropriate voice their protest.
Choosing a trade body
Sometimes this is obvious. Tyre suppliers with MOT Testing facility, for example – may choose the NTDA whose 3mm tyre tread depth campaign will strike a chord with their interests.
Some VTSs prefer to join a trade body founded and working on a commercial, profit making, basis, thinking that as a ‘customer’, they will, through commercial imperatives, be offered a good service. Both the ‘MOT Club’, and the MVRA operate in this way.
Alternatively some trade bodies are ‘owned’ by members – in effect, a co-operative. The RMI, Britain’s largest trade body falls into that category – as does the Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA).
Whatever your own inclination it is to both general benefit and that of your VTS and its staff to join one or other of the main ‘MOT’ trade bodies. We have asked each to provide us with an update regarding what they offer and their current activities…