Why testers cannot leave MOT annual training until the last minute 

With the MOT annual training deadline looming, it is particularly important for testers to avoid leaving things to the last minute this year.

The latest DVSA statistics reveal that over 30,000 testers have yet to meet their MOT annual training requirements. This must be completed by 31st March each year, and should this not be completed, testers will be unable to conduct MOTs.

However, in an interview with Auto Repair Focus, Frank Harvey, Head of Member Services at the Independent Garage Association (IGA), highlighted the crucial problem that this year’s deadline poses, while urging technicians to complete their MOT annual training ahead of time.

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Deadline is not the deadline

The date of 31st March is one that many MOT testers will have recorded, as it is the same each year. Yet in 2024, this falls on Easter Sunday.  

“What you must bear in mind now is that the last minute is no longer the last minute, because over the Easter weekend the awarding bodies are likely to be closed. Training providers also may or may not be closed,” Harvey stated.

“If somebody fails their annual training, they have to wait 24 hours before they can take it again. In reality, the last practical day for testers to take their MOT annual training is Wednesday 27th March. Unless you are brave and confident that is!” 

In addition to the usual requirements of MOT annual training, those returning to testing, or new testers, must also submit a recent basis Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This includes those who were suspended for not completing annual assessments. Therefore, anyone who misses the deadline this year will have to submit a DBS check from 1st April.

Testers who do miss the MOT annual training deadline will have to demonstrate to a DVSA representative face-to-face, in their workshop, their ability to carry out an MOT test on a vehicle, after submitting their DBS certificate to the DVSA. As these suitability checks can take weeks to process, this could create a big impact on businesses with MOT services withdrawn.

MOT annual training requirements

The pass mark for MOT annual training in the 2023/2024 period is 80%, and there is no limit on how many times testers can take the assessment during the same period. 

However, the 30 multiple choice questions, with the DVSA states should take around one hour to complete, can only be answered once within a 24-hour period. Therefore, anyone failing at the last-minute risks leaving themselves open to suspension from MOT testing.

The IGA is advising those taking their MOT annual training that, due to the wide scope of the assessment syllabus, plenty of time is taken to complete the tasks required to accomdate potential retakes.

The 2023/24 topics for group B (cars) are:

  • Registering a Vehicle for Test
  • Use of Equipment
  • MOT Test Procedures
  • The MOT Inspection Manual for cars and passenger vehicles

Those who fail to meet the requirements by the 31st March will have to undergo their MOT annual training assessment on the next set of topics, which will be released when the window opens on 1st April 2024.

MOT safe for now

The issue of outstanding MOT annual training comes following the government’s confirmation that the frequency for the MOT itself will remain at 3-1-1, following a consultation last year.

Both the independent aftermarket and road users came together to back the current MOT frequency, with a potential change to a first MOT for a vehicle after four years overwhelmingly rejected on the grounds of safety. Yet this may not be the last time the subject of MOT changes comes up.

The annual test will likely adapt to include new technologies and checks around these. The consultation also put in place suggestions to measure diesel emissions more accurately, ensuring the diesel particulate filter has not been tampered with, and that battery-electric vehicle systems are functioning properly.

This means that MOT annual training will likely become more complex in the coming years, to ensure testers are up-to-date on any changes, and the vehicle technologies themselves. This means it is increasingly important to complete the annual training ahead of time, to ensure any failures can be researched and corrected without causing harm to businesses.

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