Following the government’s announcement on the ending of plan B restrictions in England, we want to explain what these changes mean to driver training and driver testing services and how these changes will affect us and our pupils.
The main changes are: • we and our pupils are not legally required to wear face coverings during lessons, but government guidance suggests that you continue to do so in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet • our pupils should take a rapid lateral flow test on the day of their driving test, before leaving home
The DVSA are asking practical test candidates to continue to wear a face covering, unless they have a good reason not to wear one. Pupils need to advise the DVSA in advance if this is the case. They will be keeping this under review.
Pupils no longer have to wear a face covering by law on professional driving lessons. COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are breathed out from the nose and mouth of an infected person.
The DVSA are suggesting we and our pupils continue to wear a face covering during lessons in line with government guidance that suggests people continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where they may come into contact with other people they do not normally meet.
The vehicle is an enclosed space where the correct precautions are necessary. We will continue to adhere to the DVSA guidance requiring you to wear a face covering in the car.
Driving tests in England Wearing a face covering
The DVSA are asking candidates to continue to wear a face covering when they come for driving tests, unless you have a good reason not to, such as:
• having a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering • putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress
The DVSA have requested that if a candidatel has a good reason not to wear a face covering, when they book their test, to tell them.
A candidate’s test may not take place without a face covering if they have not made the DVSA aware when booking their test. They will be keeping this under review.
Taking rapid lateral flow tests
The DVSA are asking your candidates take a rapid lateral flow test before their driving test if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. They are asking that they do this on the day of their driving test, before they leave home. Find out more about taking a rapid lateral flow test before taking a driving test. You should now take a rapid lateral flow test if you’ll be in a high-risk situation that day. This includes being in enclosed spaces where there is limited fresh air.
Car cleanliness and fresh air The car used for the test must have at least one window open on each side throughout the test. Any combination of windows can be opened. Your pupils should wear clothing suitable for the weather.
Driving test centre waiting rooms In general, the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 is higher: • in crowded spaces, where there are more people who might be infectious • in enclosed indoor spaces where there is limited fresh air
We continue to suggest you keep your distance, wear face coverings and practise good hand hygiene in waiting areas to help reduce the spread of the virus.
Find out what’s assessed during your driving test, what things count as faults, and how to improve on any mistakes you made.
A link to the guide is included in the result email that’s emailed to your pupils after their test. View the guideWhat’s in the guidance The guidance explains what your pupil needed to do in the 24 skill areas that are assessed. It also includes examples of common faults and advice for your pupils about how to improve in these areas. The full list of areas includes: ancillary controls awareness and planning clearance to obstructions control controlled stop (emergency stop) eyesight check following at a safe distance forward park (drive forward into a parking bay) fuel-efficient driving (eco-driving) judgement (overtaking, meeting, crossing) junctions (including roundabouts) move off pedestrian crossing position and normal stops positioning precautions progress response to signs and signals reverse park (parallel park or reverse into a parking bay) reverse / right (pull up on the right) signals use of mirrors use of speed vehicle checks (‘show me, tell me’ questions)
The full list of areas includes:
awareness and planning
clearance to obstructions
controlled stop (emergency stop)
following at a safe distance
forward park (drive forward into a parking bay)
fuel-efficient driving (eco-driving)
judgement (overtaking, meeting, crossing)
junctions (including roundabouts)
position and normal stops
response to signs and signals
reverse park (parallel park or reverse into a parking bay)
To help stop the spread of coronavirus, routine practical driving tests have been suspended in England, Scotland and Wales. A limited theory test and practical testing service will be introduced in England and Wales.
This will be available to:
NHS health and social care workers
the emergency services
Who need to both:
drive as part of their job
respond to ‘threats to life’ as part of their job
Because of the current COVID restrictions, we are not able to offer a mobile emergency worker test service in Scotland.
These tests will be carried out by examiners who have volunteered to continue to test during lockdown.
We will be contacting these organisations directly to explain how they can access this service.
Teaching someone with a confirmed test booking
You can teach mobile emergency workers who have a confirmed test booking even if current local or national restrictions do not allow driving and riding tests.
You must not teach anyone who only has a routine driving test booked – even if they are an NHS health and social care worker, emergency service worker or local council worker.
You must make sure that your pupil has the correct documentation as detailed below.
What you need during lessons
You must not take any pupils out unless you have both:
– a copy of your pupil’s emergency test booking confirmation email – a copy of the application request from their employer
Question Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey. Answer Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.
Question Tell me where you’d find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked. Answer Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.
Question Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash. Answer The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. Note: Some restraints might not be adjustable.
Question Tell me how you’d check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road. Answer No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre, and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre.
Question Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle. Answer Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).
Question Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system. Answer Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.
Question Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle. Answer Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), and then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).
Question Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car. Answer Explain you’d operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows or doors, or ask someone to help.
Question Tell me how you’d check the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey. Answer If the steering becomes heavy, the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey, 2 simple checks can be made.Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.
Question Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you’d use it/them. You don’t need to exit the vehicle. Answer Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.
Question Tell me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on. Answer Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.
Question Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient oil. Answer Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum and maximum markers.
Question Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant. Answer Identify high and low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.
Question Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid. Answer Identify reservoir, check level against high and low markings.
‘Show me’ questions
1. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen? 2. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen? 3. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights? 4. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d set the rear demister? 5. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn? 6. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen? 7. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d open and close the side window?
I’ll doing my best to keep you and myself safe when I start back driver training. Until the reduction of Covid-19 infections are down significantly or a vaccine is ready and social distancing rules are over, it’s best for now, stay home & stay safe.
At the start of the application, they’ll be asked a series of questions and will need to supply their ID, so we have all the information we need to confirm their eligibility.
Applicants will then be matched with available volunteers for test slots at their nearest testing centre.
How deployment will arrange the driving test Deployment will agree a priority testing work pattern with examiners.
Extra time will be made for each test To allow the examiner to take all additional precautions as outlined in this standard operating procedure, extra time will be made for each test.
When appointments have been arranged The examiner will either receive a journal through the Driving Examiner Services (DES) app the day before, or via an email generated by deployment through the testing and registration system (TARS).
Examiners should check their journals and emails daily As tests will be booked in automatically based on the agreed programmes, examiners should check their journals and emails daily.
Examiners must notify their local driving test manager (LDTM) or their deputy about when and where they are testing to make arrangements for keeping in touch on the day, this is to ensure the examiner remains safe.
Taking the driving test Examiners must wear suitable clothing that fully covers their arms and legs. The test will take place at a DVSA location that has handwashing facilities for both the examiner and the candidate.
Examiners should: • wash their hands before leaving the office and entering the public waiting area • wear gloves as soon as hands have been washed and for the duration of the test • avoid touching their face with their hands Where necessary the examiner must politely remind the accompanying driver of the requirement for social distancing. Examiners must not shake the candidate’s hand. Examiners must not let the candidate touch the iPad, stylus or paper DL25. The examiner will provide the candidate with a blank piece of paper and a pen if the candidate doesn’t have their own. The examiner should read the insurance and residency declaration to the candidate and ask them to confirm they agree with the statements. The candidate should sign the separate piece of paper so the examiner can compare to the licence signature without handling the licence. The UV check should be carried out without physically handling the licence. This will be a part of the usual identity check. The examiner should mark a cross X in the signature box on either the iPad or the paper DL25 to confirm that the candidate has agreed with the statements and has satisfied the identity checks. For DES app users the candidate should continue to be asked if their email address is where they wish the result to be sent. In cases where the candidate wishes the email address to be changed the examiner should ask for the new email address to be written on the separate piece of paper the candidate has, the examiner should enter this address onto the iPad. The candidate must be asked to retain the paper and pen, it must not be left on site. This amended process avoids the examiner contaminating their gloves before conducting the test. The test will be unaccompanied to help with social distancing and to reduce potential spread of the virus. The examiner should explain to the candidate that a debrief will be offered at the end of the test, but in order to maintain social distancing, the ADI/accompanying driver will not be invited to listen in. If the candidate comes to the test with clear symptoms the test must not go ahead. If the candidate becomes unwell or starts to cough continuously during the test, the test must be stopped. The examiner must ensure the test vehicle is well ventilated. This may mean asking the candidate to open their window, as well as the examiner window being opened at the start of the test. Examiners should make a judgement to ensure the vehicle is adequately ventilated. The examiner should conduct the test as normal, as per DT1 guidance.
Additional guidance for vocational tests only The reversing exercise and uncouple/recouple exercise must be done at the start of the test. If the candidate gets a serious fault for either of these exercises, then the test must be terminated in the interest of public safety using activity code 4. This only affects vocational tests being conducted during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and does not apply to car tests. Once the on-road test has commenced the examiner should conduct the test as normal, as per DT1 guidance.
Additional guidance for Motorcycle tests only Motorcycle examiners must follow these additional steps: Mod 1 & Mod 2 Signing and kitting up of candidates / completing end of test paperwork and debriefs should be carried out either in the general waiting room or outside, the bike kitting up room is too small to allow for social distancing. Start of test Fitting the Bluetooth devices – The candidate must fit their own earpiece which will be provided by the examiner, this will be an unused earpiece. If the candidate has their own earpiece compatible with our Bluetooth device, it is acceptable for them to use it. If the examiner has any Bluetooth issues during the test, they should talk the candidate through switching it off and back on again to reset it. Once the test has started the examiner should not handle any of the radio equipment. End of test The examiner should wear a pair of gloves provided by DVSA and ask the candidate to remove their earpiece. Once removed the examiner should dispose of the earpiece along with their gloves. The guidance further on in the document relating to disposing of PPE should be followed for disposing of earpieces and gloves. MOD 1 Tests only Sign the candidate up following the advice above. Make sure that the government rules for social distancing are followed during all briefs for each individual MMA exercise. At the end of the test If the candidate has passed, the examiner should read the health declaration to candidate and ask if the statement is true. If the candidate agrees, the examiner should mark a cross X in the signature box on either the iPad or the paper DL25 to confirm that the candidate has agreed with the statement. The examiner should take the candidate’s licence in the usual way for ADLI issue, ensuring it’s only handled with gloves on. The iPad and wallet should be closed before the examiner handles the driving licence. This avoids the iPad becoming contaminated. When the examiner returns to the office they must: • shred the licence, if in receipt of it • dispose of their gloves • wash their hands A new pair of gloves should be used for each test. If the test was conducted on the DES app then all write ups should be done using the voice to text function. If the examiner is a non-iPad user or is conducting a test currently not available on the DES app, they should complete the test using the paper DL25 form. They should post the DL25A to the Newcastle scanning team as normal. Contingency is in place to have staff available to scan the paper DL25s. At the moment, there remains sufficient traffic on our roads to ensure that a meaningful test can be conducted. This will be reviewed regularly. Disposing of PPE Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves and antiviral wipes, must be disposed of separately to general waste. PPE must be disposed of and double bagged daily. At the end of the day the bag must be clearly marked by taping on a note showing the date it can be collected or destroyed. Collection or destruction must be at least 72 hours after the items were disposed of.