Coronavirus (COVID-19): conducting driving tests for key workers

Dealing with key workers requests for a driving test
You can view the new service on GOV.UK using the below links:

Apply for an emergency theory test if you’re a key worker
Apply for an emergency driving test if you’re a key worker

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.

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