In order to implement the new MOT scheme training regime, a tripartite structure has been created between the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) the government body which administers the MOT, three ‘Awarding’ Organisations (ABC Awards, Institute of the Motor Industry and City and Guilds) and a range of MOT scheme training providers which collaborate to support the MOT sector, guide prospective Testers to become qualified and assist current Testers to maintain their MOT Testing status.
MOT Tester Training
To become an MOT Tester, firstly, there is a requirement to ensure that you have the knowledge and experience to complete the MOT qualification and become a fully fledged Tester.
To take an MOT training course you must:
have a current and full UK driving licence for the vehicle classes you want to test
be a skilled mechanic with at least 4 years’ full-time employment servicing and repairing the types of vehicles you are going to test
have no unspent convictions for criminal offences connected with MOT Testing or the motor trade, or involving acts of violence or intimidation
be ‘of good repute’ – the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will decide this to make sure that the candidates are suitable to be an MOT Tester
An accepted qualification or accreditation is required to Test class 3, 4, 5 or 7 vehicles and a list of these can be found on the DVSA website, via a training provider or one of the awarding organisations. Links are provided at the end of this introduction.
If you do not have certificate or accreditation which provides eligibility for the MOT Tester qualification, the Awarding Organisation and Training Providers can offer the appropriate training, accreditation or qualification to ensure that the requirements are met to access the qualification.
The MOT qualification is titled Level 2 Award in MOT Testing and this can be completed for classes 1, 2 or 4 & 7. However, to become a class 3 or 5 MOT Tester you must also successfully complete:
additional training in class 3 or 5*
a DVSA MOT demonstration test
Training is provided by various providers across the country and in addition to the information provided in this section, DVSA has a “Find an MOT Tester or manager course” search facility on their website to assist in locating a course nearest to your location.
The course covers theory and practical training which relates to MOT Testing and it lasts at least 29 hours and 8 hours or more will focus on practical training.
To achieve the full qualification you must successfully complete a multiple choice question test and a practical assessment.
After successfully completing the Level 2 MOT Testing Award in either: class 1 and 2 vehicles (group A) or class 4 and 7 vehicles (group B), the Awarding Organisation will issue a certificate.
When you receive your certificate, you must book a DVSA MOT demonstration Test. The demonstration Test can be carried out at either the training centre where you took the qualification or the MOT Testing station where the you are employed.
The demonstration Test is overseen by a DVSA examiner.
After the checks have been verified, the examiner will carry out a demonstration test, record the result in a practice section of the MOT testing service and ask you some questions about the MOT. If the test is passed then you can carry out MOT Tests at the approved Testing Station where you are the ‘Nominated Tester’ in the MOT Testing service.
If the demonstration test results in you being ‘referred’, as in not passed, the examiner will provide feedback on why the candidate hasn’t passed and will make suggestions for further training.
As a qualified and active Nominated Tester, annual training and assessment must be achieved between April and March every year, for example between April 2018 and March 2019.
You can choose when to complete the training and assessment and training can be completed alone or by:
studying MOT inspection manuals, special notices and the testing guide
discussing what has been learned with another tester (or group of testers)
demonstrating what has been learnt to another tester
learning from a more experienced tester
attending a training course
You, as a Tester, are responsible for planning and completing the training (3 hours of training each year and 16 hours in 5 years), recording your training, keeping evidence of it and taking the annual assessment.
To stay qualified this process must be completed every year and failure to do so will result in your MOT tester status being suspended. If you have recently qualified, you don’t need to start training until the start of the next full year.
As a Tester you are responsible for planning and completing your training and must keep records for 5 years.
The records must include:
the MOT annual training year
the date of the training
how long the training session lasted
what topics were covered during the session
notes on what was completed, how it was done and what has been learned
what vehicle groups the training covered
the tester’s name and MOT testing service user ID
Each year, prior to the new annual assessment date, DVSA and the Awarding Organisations issue information about what subjects will be covered in the annual assessment. It is therefore paramount that Testers and training providers subscribe to DVSA updates, newsletters and blogs and in addition to this, keep a constant eye on Awarding Organisations’ websites.
There may be instances where subjects are included in the annual assessment which do not feature in the inspection manual, such as the topic of ‘Alternative Fuelled Vehicles’. Where this occurs, training providers will be equipped to cover any gaps in knowledge and be on hand to provide guidance.
For the 2018 -2019 annual assessment, the DVSA issued support materials on this particular subject through their website, training providers and the three awarding organisations. Alternatively, if you prefer,you can choose to carry out your own research and study to prepare for the annual assessment.
Annual assessment can be taken at any point in the year, if training has been completed. Be aware that these tests have a cost so check this with the Awarding Organisation these are:
City and Guilds
Institute of the Motor Industry
The annual assessment is a multiple choice test, however, notes and the MOT inspection manuals can be used during the assessment.
MOT Test Centre Management
To accommodate candidates who want to progress to a Manager level, a Level 3 Award in MOT Test Centre Management qualification has been developed in collaboration with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to provide the knowledge and skills which are required to manage MOT Vehicle Test Centres.
There are no eligibility requirements for those who wish to undertake the manager level, however, training providers are expected to recruit with integrity on the basis of a person’s ability to contribute to and successfully complete all the requirements of the full qualification.
The MOT Test Centre Management qualification is a lifetime qualification, which means that it will not expire, and holders will be considered professionally competent for the rest of their lives.
All ‘Awarding Organisations’ recognise the importance of your safety-critical job roles and work closely with DVSA to provide suitable assessments, accreditations and qualifications which are fit for purpose and support the MOT sector.
Finally, just to reiterate, please ensure that you engage with the websites of the Awarding Organisations and DVSA for information and updates.