25 November, 2013

How To Become an Accredited MOT Test Centre

We spoke to Mike Westerman, MOT Training Manager at VOSA, in regards to MOT tester training.

He told us everything we needed to know about how a garage can become an accredited MOT test centre and also how you can become an accredited MOT tester.

VOSA currently receives approximately 5,000 applications a year to train new MOT testers, and there are currently 22,500 accredited MOT garages throughout the UK.

How would a garage become an MOT test centre?

The first step is to acquire the Requirements for Authorisation 2009 from the VOSA website, through https://www.gov.uk/. These requirements will give the minimum dimensions required for the varying acceptable layouts for the required class of vehicles the garage is wishing to test. The plans of the proposed test bay should be drawn up and scaled. These then need to be submitted to the local VOSA office along with a completed VT01 application form.

At this point no groundworks should be started – only when Agreement in Principle is gained from VOSA should any excavations take place. Once the work is completed then VOSA will check the site to ensure it meets the drawings originally submitted.

The Authorised Examiner (AE) will need to attend a statutory 2 day MOT training manager course at one of VOSA's training sites across the country. This course will be free of charge to the appointed AE. Any further courses for the site manager or other staff will be charged. 

Do you visit them before they can become an accredited centre?

There will be at least one visit to ensure that the site meets the agreed site plans as approved during the Agreement In Principle process. Depending on circumstances there may be other visits as well before the garage is signed off as a fully operational MOT test station. 

How many applications a year do you get and how many are accepted?

We receive many applications per year some of which fall by the wayside due to size restrictions, financial changes in terms of the applicants or those that have a change of heart. Since 2005 when MOT Computerisation was introduced the number of authorised garages has risen from 18,400 to approx 22,500.

What is involved in the training to be an approved MOT accredited tester?

First of all the candidate has to be proposed by an existing authorised garage. The VT78 form needs to be completed by the candidate and endorsed by the Authorised Examiner of the nominating garage. The application should be supported by copies of the candidate’s qualifications.

If they cannot, or do not have, the appropriate qualifications then the candidate will first have to sit an NTTA assessment at their local VOSA site. This is a 1.5hr multiple choice assessment based on vehicle technology. This is to show us that the understanding of the candidate equates to someone with the appropriate qualifications.

Once the application is received by VOSA the form is checked for qualification evidence, driver licence information and the nomination from the AE. These details missing are the main reasons for rejection.

The candidate will then have to attend and pass a 3-day course at their local VOSA training site. There are two assessments; one based on the MOT requirements and one on the use of the computer system. Both must be passed before the candidate will be allowed to the next stage.

The next stage is to practice their routine back at their own site before informing the local Area that they are ready for their practical assessment. Once this has been successfully completed the tester is allowed to start testing properly for their MOT garage.

Any tester can test at a number of test stations, so long as at each station the AE has given approval and they appear on the list of testers for that station.

If someone wants to MOT test several classes of vehicle does he/she complete the training for the different classes, or is it all combined as one?

There are two training courses; one which covers motorcycles and the other covers classes 3, 4 and 7. The motorcycle one is two days and covers both classes of motor cycles. The tester MUST have the appropriate licence before being accepted into the training system. The Class 3, 4 and 7 course is a 3 day course; again the tester MUST present their licence before the training starts or they will be refused entry.

What changes do you anticipate will take place with regards to MOT testing in the future?

The changes will depend on legislation from the EU as well as our own Government.

2015 will see the current contract end for MOT Computerisation and the introduction of a replacement. VOSA are currently working on MOT Comp2. So far it is clear the system will be internet based and each Test Station will need to provide their own equipment and internet access.
Further details will be distributed to garages and testers alike using the Matters of Testing on-line publication. 

On the MOT test fees page document it states for Class 4a and Class 5a ‘N/A’ in the age first MOT needed (years) column, does this mean these vehicles don’t need an MOT or that they have to be MOTed from new?

Classes 4a/5a relate purely to vehicles of Classes 4 and 5 that require a seat belt installation check. This is a check on the seatbelts and mountings of belts fitted over and above those required by legislation. It mainly covers none type approved vehicles and therefore the vehicle can be any age. Most passenger vehicles covered by these classes have been type approved since 2001. 

The feedback we have from classic car customers is that they are still getting their vehicles MOT’d as they have a legal duty to maintain the vehicle in a roadworthy condition and an MOT is evidence of this. Have you seen any impact on the move to no longer MOT a classic vehicle?

The trade that deal with classic cars have reported a reduction in the numbers of vehicles coming in for test since the pre 1960 vehicles became exempt on 18th November 2012. This included ALL classes of vehicle from motor cycles through to buses. Commercial vehicles have had this exemption for some time, so long as they are not used for hire or reward. However, we do not have any figures to support their feedback or otherwise.

It is correct that although pre 1960 vehicles are no longer required to have an MOT the owner still MUST ensure the vehicles remain in a roadworthy condition, at least to the level of the MOT requirements.
Anyone can check their vehicle meets the minimum requirements by checking the testers manual at the following website http://www.transportoffice.gov.uk/crt/doitonline/bl/mottestingmanualsandguides/mottestingmanualsandguides.htm

For more information please visit VOSA's website


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