Elephant-in-the-Room-animation-still970x546-720x405Elephant in The Room – Why are DVSA testers so special?

“is a metaphorical idiom in English for an important or enormous topic, problem, or risk that is obvious or that everyone knows about but no one mentions or wants to discuss because it makes at least some of them uncomfortable or is personally, socially, or politically embarrassing, controversial, inflammatory, or dangerous”

I have had tens, if not hundreds of conversations with many ATF’s and stakeholders since the decision was made to suspend testing completely. As an industry we have largely accepted the decision without question.

ATFOA are now challenging this Taboo subject: why is it that all other partners in the transport sector, including DVSA enforcement, can continue to operate in some capacity whilst following government guidelines on social distancing, when DVSA testers are treated differently and have suspended testing in its entirety?

If you look at the logic, the reasoning to suspend testing completely but allow for all other transport partners (including DVSA enforcement) to continue, is not just contentious, its flawed.

DVSA testers aren’t different at all to the rest of us. They operate in exactly the same spaces that the rest of the industry does. The ATF environment is mostly in the open, or at least in an open area, with only the tester operating in his own space. Workshops operate in this environment. I appreciate entering the cab may be an issue (but it’s not for the rest of us who follow government policy).

There could easily be a temporary variation introduced so DVSA do not need to enter the cab, or quite simply, the cab can be cleansed, like all other private sector workshop policies.

A few stakeholders had mentioned that the DVSA union representatives had a strong influence on the decision to suspend testing. If this is so, I’d like to hear the logic so the rest of the industry can understand why testing practice is treated different to driving, enforcement, workshops, delivery and loading practice etc, etc.

The private sector has developed its services and infrastructure around the supply and demand of customer requirement, it can instantly flex and continue to function to almost any situation – even COVID 19. Why can’t DVSA testers?

ATFOA have maintained that ATF’s have the experience, the skillset, the professionalism, the infrastructure, and the knowhow to mobilise tomorrow and start delegated testing, albeit temporarily. So, if DVSA continue to say they can’t do what the rest of the industry is doing, then we can do the testing for them.

There is never a stronger argument for delegated testing, based on what is happening right now; the transport industry is continuing to operate (albeit on a reduced capacity and obeying government guidelines) but DVSA testing is being treated differently and is suspended completely.

ATFOA will continue lobbying government and DVSA so they understand this: the longer nothing is done the bigger the problem grows. A decision is needed today

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