Simon Andrew Driving Tuition Learning On The Go

February 2021

Update on theory test certificates

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Update on theory test certificates
The government has further considered the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the validity period of theory test certificates.
After careful consideration and in response to a recent petition the government has decided not to extend theory test certificates for road safety reasons.
We understand this will be disappointing for some of your pupils, but it’s essential that they have the most up-to- date road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills at the critical point that they drive on their own for the first time.
The way we are managing test bookings is affected by COVID-19 restrictions
If your pupil’s practical driving test has been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will reschedule it for the next available test appointment at their chosen test centre.
If no test appointments are available at their chosen test centre before their theory test certificate expires, their practical test booking will be put on hold.
Pupils with tests booked whose theory test certificate has expired
If your pupil’s driving test is suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions, and their theory test certificate has expired or expires, we will cancel and refund the cost of their practical test.
Your pupil will then need to rebook and pass their theory test before they can sit a practical test.
Your pupil must have a valid theory test certificate before they can book their practical test, and on the day they take it.
If you have booked any tests on behalf of your pupils who have been affected by this you need to let them know what will happen next.
If your pupil’s theory test expires before the next available practical test date
If your pupil’s theory test certificate has been put on hold because it is due to expire, they can either:
cancel their booking and get a full refund look on the booking system for a cancellation at their original test centre or book an available test appointment at a different test centre on a date before their theory test expires – in line with any current travel restrictions
If you or your pupil book a test at an alternative site you
will need to check the relevant travel restrictions leading up to the appointment date to make sure they are able to travel in to the area.
If your pupil does not rebook or cancel their practical test before their theory test certificate expires, their practical test booking with be cancelled and refunded.
Your pupils can book a new theory test up to 6 months before their current theory test certificate expires, or at any time after it has expired.
If you have booked any tests on behalf of your pupils who have been affected by this you need to let them know and discuss their options with them.
If your pupil wants to request a refund
You pupils can request a refund for the cost of their practical test through the online cancellation service at https://www.gov.uk/cancel-driving-test
They need to include their name and 2 of the following identifiers in their email:
their driving licence number their theory test pass certificate number their driving test booking reference.

Driving tests in England cancelled up to 8 March

DVSA has cancelled all practical and theory tests in England up to and including 8 March.
This follows the government’s roadmap announcement which set out that driving tests and theory tests in England will restart no earlier than 12 April 2021.
DVSA says it is working closely with the government and the driver and rider training industry to confirm restart plans. It will provide more information as soon as possible on motorcycle, vocational and other tests, lessons and training.
The agency will email candidates affected by test cancellations with a new date and time for their test. If it’s not suitable, they can change it at www.gov.uk/change-driving-test.

If you booked a test for any of your pupils, you’ll receive the email to let you know it has
been rescheduled. You’ll need to give your pupil the new details.
DVSA’s update comes after AA announced yesterday that it had been in touch with the agency and been told: “It is confirmed that driving lessons can commence from 12 April and driving tests seven days later, subject to there being no slippages in the government’s planned dates.”
DVSA told us today that no such plans have been confirmed with anyone. However, first tier stakeholders (which the AA is not) such as DIA will be appraised early next week of the full plans for restarting testing and training. We understand that the AA will be publishing a retraction of the statements it made.

Continuing national lockdown in England


The government has published its roadmap of 4 steps out of the current lockdown in England.
In its roadmap the Government set out that driving tests and theory tests in England will restart (as part of step 2) no earlier than 12 April 2021.
DVSA is working closely with the government and will provide more information as soon as we are able to do so on motorcycle, vocational and other tests, lessons and training.
Driver, rider and vocational tests booked up to 8 March
To give us the time we need to work with government and the driver and rider training industry to confirm restart plans, we’re rescheduling all driving, riding and vocational tests booked between 25 February and up to and including 8 March.
We'll email the candidates affected by this with a new date and time for their test. If it’s not suitable, they can change it at www.gov.uk/change-driving-test.
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Motorcycle and vocational tests booked by trainers will be cancelled and refunded as usual.
If you booked a test for any of your pupils, you’ll receive the email to let you know it has been rescheduled. You’ll need to give your pupil the new details.
In the meantime, the mobile emergency worker service for driving tests will still be available. You can still teach any of your pupils with one of these tests booked.
We thank you for your patience as we finalise more detailed plans for the safe resumption of training and testing in England.
Theory Tests booked up to 8 March
We will also email anyone with a theory test booked between 25 February and up to and including 8 March and ask them to reschedule their test at www.gov.uk/change-theory-test.
If you booked your pupil’s theory test, you’ll need to rearrange it for them at www.gov.uk/book-pupil-theory- test.
In the meantime, the mobile emergency worker service for theory tests will still be available.
Driver and rider lessons and CBT
Driver and rider lessons, must not take place until the restrictions are lifted. This includes CBTs, training for ADI part 2 and 3 tests and standards checks.
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We are working with government to understand when lessons and CBT can restart, we will provide more information as soon as we are able to.
Driver and rider lessons for your pupils with a confirmed mobile emergency worker test booking can continue.
Scotland and Wales
We’re working with the Scottish Government and Welsh Government, who are setting out similar plans to the UK government. We’ll keep you updated as these develop.

Roadmap out of lockdown signals return to testing and training from early April


A roadmap out of lockdown in England has been announced this evening by the prime minister, with close contact services (such as driver and rider training) expected to resume from 12th April.

The overall lockdown 'exit' plan is divided into four stages with the promise that, after the first stage in March, further lifting of the rules will happen if certain conditions are met (i.e. if the vaccine rollout is going to plan).

We are awaiting clarification from DVSA as to their specific plans for resuming testing services, more news on this expected some time tomorrow.

The details of today's announcement from the PM can be found on GOV.UK 'Covid Response - Spring 2021', with specific reference to driver testing on page 34, item 110:

110. Additional premises will be able to reopen but should only be visited alone or with household groups: non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers, salons and close contact services; and indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and spas (but not including saunas and steam rooms, which are due to open at Step 3). Overnight stays away from home in this country will be permitted and self-contained accommodation - those that do not require shared use of bathing, entry/exit, catering or sleeping facilities - can also reopen, though must only be used by members of the same household. The Government will open public buildings such as libraries and community centres.
Activities such as driving tests may also resume.

Increasing the number of car driving tests


The suspension of testing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to exceptionally high demand for driving tests.
Test availability
The measures we put in place to protect our customers and staff from COVID-19 have limited the number of available tests.
This includes reducing the number of tests our examiners carry out per day.
To help increase the number of available tests, DVSA is already:
offering more tests outside of normal working hours, including weekend and bank holidays. ensuring all DVSA staff who are qualified to perform driving tests are doing so, such as senior managers and policy staff.
But this alone will not reduce the backlog as quickly as we want.
Recruiting more examiners
Today (Wednesday 10 February) DVSA is launching a national recruitment campaign for new driving examiners.
There are posts based in England, Scotland and Wales.
The closing date for applications is Monday 1 March 2021 at midnight.
Find out more about the role and how to apply on civil service jobs.
DVSA plan to reduce waiting times
The recruitment of new examiners is one of the actions DVSA will take to reduce the backlog caused by the pandemic.
We will also consult and work with the driver and rider training associations on our proposed plan to reduce waiting times. We will then share our plan with you as soon as we can, as we’d like your thoughts and feedback on our proposals. This will also be an opportunity for you to share any of your ideas with us.
As professional driver and rider trainers you play a vital role and your views are really important to us.
How to reduce waiting times
We also need support from you, your pupils and our examiners to help us reduce driving test waiting times.
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Driving tests will continue to be in high demand as a
result of the pandemic and the suspension of testing. It will take time to get our services back to normal. We thank you and your pupils for your understanding, support and patience.
We have re-arranged tests for all candidates who have been affected by the current restrictions to the first available date. If the new time and date is not suitable, you can change the test time and date at: https://www.gov.uk/change-driving-test
It is vital that your pupils are test-ready when rearranging their tests, as tests could be at short notice.
On average, fewer than 50% of learners pass their driving test and there could be long waiting times for a retest – your pupils should take their test only when they are confident they can pass.

Continuing national lockdown in England


Further to guidance from government we are cancelling practical and theory tests in England up to and including 24 February 2021.
Mobile emergency worker service tests booked will take place as arranged.
You should continue to follow Government guidance to stay at home except for essential reasons.
You can read more about the lockdown measures on
GOV.UK
Driving lessons
Driving lessons, must not take place until the restrictions are lifted. This includes training for ADI part 2 and 3 tests and standards checks.
Driving lessons for your pupils with a confirmed mobile emergency worker test booking can continue.
Driving tests
All driving tests are suspended in England while the restrictions are in place. This includes ADI part 2 and 3 restrictions are in place. This includes ADI part 2 and 3 tests and standards checks.
This does not include mobile emergency worker service tests booked which will take place as arranged.
We'll email candidates affected by this to let them know we will reschedule their test.
If you have booked a test for any of your pupils, you will receive an email to let you know it will be rescheduled to a new time and date. You will need to contact your pupil to let them know.
We’ll send you an email with the new time and date as soon as possible; please ask your pupils to be patient.
If the new time and date is not suitable for you or your pupil, you can choose a different time and date on GOV.UK. You will need your pupil’s driving licence number to do this. Your pupil does not need to pay again to do this.
Theory test
All theory tests will be suspended until the restrictions are lifted.
We will email anyone who has booked a test and is affected by this to let them know their theory test is on hold and that they will need to reschedule it by visiting https://www.gov.uk/change-theory-test.
If you booked your pupil’s theory test you will need to log into the booking system and rearrange their test for a new date and time.
This does not include mobile emergency worker service theory tests booked which will take place as arranged.