DVSA seeks opinions from ATF operators with test slot survey

DVSA is seeking views from Authorised Testing Facilities (ATFs) operators on their test slot booking processes with a new survey.

The survey, running from December 7 to  December 20, will ask how operators fill surplus slots and how best to promote these to customers.

It will also question how useful it would be to have access to a flexible online system or a mobile phone app to sell surplus slots to customers.

DVSA’s director of operations (North) Peter Hearn said: “DVSA’s priority is to help you to keep your vehicle safe to drive.

“We know that some operators are waiting too long for commercial vehicle test slots. Understanding operators booking processes will help us to put measures in place to improve waiting times.

“DVSA is committed to reducing waiting times and helping save operator’s time and money by improving the service we deliver.”

Almost all annual vehicle tests are now carried out at ATFs. So it’s important that DVSA explores ways to reduce ATF waiting times.

This includes:

  • Recruiting more than 50 new staff, who conduct the tests, at ATF operators premises, to be in post by January 2018
  • Rolling out vehicle tester apprenticeships to attract a new generation of testers
  • Redeploying testers to areas such as in the south east of England, where operators have sometimes had difficulties securing test appointments
  • Offering staff the opportunity to work longer hours or additional days

DVSA has also changed the booking process from yearly to quarterly. This should help DVSA and the ATFs to better predict demand and allocate resource.

The survey will ask ATFs:

  1. How they currently take test bookings from customers and record them
  2. How often they have spare slots with a tester booked, but no vehicle available for test
  3. Whether they would be interested in advertising spare slots centrally and working with us to create it and make it work

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