It seems that the motor industry is the latest target for raising standards and integrity. Only recently, the government set the requirement that everyone who is in charge of a garage offering MOT testing, or who passes the exams to carry out MOT tests, must have a basic DBS check. When introduced, this legislation only applied to MOT testers who were qualifying for the first time, or to people who were setting up a new business offering MOT testing. Hot on the heels of this requirement is an extension to the legislation, which sees additional checks required for testers who have allowed their training to lapse.
New DBS Requirements
In January 2024, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will introduce more rigorous annual training requirements for mechanics who wish to be qualified to offer MOT testing. The new will also include a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, which means looking into criminal records held on the Police National Computer.
Testers who have not kept up with their training and accreditation to offer MOT tests in the future will have to reapply to the DVSA, complete the current year’s annual training, and participate in a DVSA demonstration to show their competence in addition to applying for a basic DBS certificate. Previously, non-compliant testers were only required to carry out a demonstration MOT test with a DVSA representative watching and finish the annual training for the current year. The DVSA has introduced these new measures as an attempt to keep driving up standards within the MOT sector, and make sure that each and every MOT tester in the UK is delivering the same high-quality service to the driving members of the public.
To maintain compliance under the new DVSA system, MOT testers must undertake annual training and keep a detailed training log for five years. In order to apply to become a MOT tester in the first place, the DVSA required that they be skilled mechanics with at least four years of full-time employment in servicing and repairing cars. The DVSA also states that mechanics should be of “good repute” and have no unspent convictions. The DVSA has the ultimate say in whether or not someone meets the standard to be listed as a MOT tester.
The Basic Disclosure Certificate
A basic disclosure check is a statement of someone’s unspent convictions, and getting one of these certificates will meet the DVSA requirement to prove a criminal record. Convictions become spent after a set period of time, which depends on the type of offence, the length of sentence or level of fine, and the age of the person at the time of the offence. Although someone might be barred from applying to work as a MOT tester while their offence is still unspent, this does not block them from working in a garage in other roles and applying to be a MOT tester at a later date. Managers of garages should also keep records of their testers’ DBS certificates.