Appendix 8: Disciplinary Procedures
A. Authorised Examiners
Normally an AE's Authorisation will be subject to cessation for disciplinary reasons following a single instance of the types mentioned in 1, 2 and 3 below, whether committed by the AE or his employee or agent. Authorisation may also be subject to cessation following a single instance of the types mentioned in 4 below, again whether committed by the AE or his employee or agent. Such cases are generally considered to be so serious that no credit points will be granted.
1. Fraud, Dishonesty or Gross Negligence
Improper recording on the MOT Testing Service or issue of a VT20 or a VT30 involving some act of fraud, including misuse of the MOT Testing Service, dishonesty or gross negligence - for instance;
• A Tester issues a VT20 or VT30 without personally taking any active part in the examination of the vehicle.
• A replacement or duplicate VT20 is issued unjustifiably. • A bribe is accepted for the issue of a VT20.
• The issue of a VT20 or VT30 to vehicles ‘which have attended a VTS in which their start and finish test time recorded in the MOT testing service would not allow a full examination to be carried out.
Convictions, as defined in Appendix 7 Convictions and Repute, to any persons involved in the MOT scheme under the authorisation, this includes: AEPs (Directors, partners and sole traders), AEDMs, AEDs, site managers, site admin and testers.
Loss of good repute, as defined in Appendix 7 Convictions and Repute
4. Other Very Serious Offences
a. A test is carried out by a person who is not properly authorised (see note) to carry out tests at the VTS
500 points (see note)
Note: A person is "properly authorised" to test at a particular VTS if they are acceptable as set out in Section E
b. Testing is carried out on a vehicle that the VTS is not authorised to test. (e.g. wrong class or inappropriate emissions test group).
500 points (see note)
Note: The normal penalty will be reduced to 50 points if the vehicle is not obviously of a type that the VTS is not authorised to test provided that the documentation has not been incorrectly completed in a way that tends to disguise the vehicle's correct classification.
c. The improper issue of a VT20 to a vehicle operated by, or on behalf of, the AE or which the AE has an interest in selling or seeking to sell.
d. Assault (either physical or verbal) on or serious threats against;
• Vehicle presenters
• DVSA staff or contractors
e. Involvement in offering a service that undermines MOT test standards and/or the integrity of the MOT testing service, such as removing or bypassing Emission control equipment or the “clocking” of odometer instruments.
f. Other cases of loss of good repute as defined in Appendix 7 Convictions and Repute.
5. Other Serious Offences
The following single acts may also result in cessation of authorisation. If the circumstances are not considered sufficiently serious to justify single-case cessation then the penalty will be 100 points.
a. Failure to notify DVSA of a conviction, see Section B4, to any persons involved in the MOT scheme under the authorisation, this includes: AEPs (Directors, partners and sole traders), AEDMs, AEDs, site managers, site admin and testers, as defined in Appendix 7 Convictions and Repute.
500 or 100 points
b. Breaches of security of Security Card and Password leading to improper issue of a test certificate or access to the system.
500 or 100 points
c. False statement made on an application for authorisation. Confirming details when required to do so, that are known to be false.
500 or 100 points
d. Failure to notify DVSA of a change in the constitution or operation of a business, a change to, or of an approved site, or the failure to cease testing after such a change pending DVSA's written confirmation that testing may resume. See Section B3 & B4.
500 or 100 points
e. The AE is no longer in control of the VTS or an AE ceased for disciplinary reasons is involved in the management of a VTS.
500 or 100 points
f. A test is registered on the MOT Testing Service without the Tester, and/or the vehicle being present.
500 or 100 points
g. Abuse or misuse of the MOT Testing Service free text option(s) which could cause loss of good repute to the MOT Service. This provision will be used only in serious cases where urgent action is essential to preserve the integrity of the MOT Service.
500 or 100 points
h. The improper recording on the MOT Testing Service of a VT20 or VT30 to a vehicle not being present, or the failure to correctly record a test result, which has caused a complaint about data integrity. (Where there is evidence of incorrectly identifying the true vehicle identity)
500 or 100 points
Normally a Tester will be subject to cessation if they are personally involved in any act that could lead to single offence cessation of the authorisation of an AE. The points penalties for such acts are listed above for AEs. Also a Tester will usually be subject to cessation for acts of the type covered in 1 and 2 below.
It is normal practice too for a Tester to be subject to cessation where there are significant procedural omissions (e.g. non-use of designated equipment), and cessation may be applied for a single major incident of substandard testing that could have significant road safety implications. Penalty points will be calculated from Appendices 8.1 to 8.4 and the action level determined in accordance with Appendix 8.6.
Additional Very Serious Offences for Testers
1. Fraud, Dishonesty or Gross Negligence
The improper issue of a VT20 to a vehicle operated by, or on behalf of, the Tester or which the Tester has an interest in selling or seeking to sell. 500 points 2. Conviction Conviction for any offence as defined in Appendix 7 Conviction and Repute.
Conviction for any offence involving violence or intimidation which DVSA considers could put customers or DVSA staff at risk.
Loss of good repute, as defined in Appendix 7 Convictions and repute
When investigating possible incorrect test standards DVSA will judge what the condition of the particular item would have been at the time of test. Points will be awarded on the basis of what that condition was judged to be.
A single defect will not be double-counted. For example, only one score is merited by a single area of corrosion covering adjacent body panels or components within 30cm of two critical components, but two separate areas of corrosion in a similar position draw a double score.
b. Penalty Points
Penalty points will be awarded as follows for each defect when DVSA judges that the defect was in the condition described below at the time of test.
1. Any defect missed on a testable item that would, in the opinion of DVSA, involve a risk of injury to any person if driven further.
2. Failable defect missed on a testable item.
3. Item failed is not testable.
4. Item failed has no defect, (i.e. not a case involving an error of judgement).
5. Minor defect missed or incorrectly added
6. Error of judgement (e.g. failure item ‘advised’, or ‘advisory’ item failed)
a - Judgement obviously significantlywrong
b - Judgement obviously wrong
c - Judgement overruled but only marginally wrong
8.3 Incorrect test Methods: General
1. The following methods are used to report shortcomings noted during an observed test:
Major and Minor error scoring method will be used for the following:
• New candidates who have attended a Group A or Group B Testers training course.
• Testers returning to testing following a 2 or 5 year cessation or following a lapse of 5 years and have successfully re-attended an initial Tester training course.
• Following a lapse in testing of six months.
• Following the issue of a formal warning, short termcessation or wish to resume testing following a lapse of two years.
• When an additional test class is wanted (Class 3 or 5). Shortcomings of method noted during this type of assessment will be scored according to the Major and Minor error tables see Appendix 8.9.
b. Penalty points error scoring method will be used for the following:
• The assessment of a Tester to ensure continuing competence.
Penalty points for shortcomings of method in an observed test will be scored according to the tables within this Appendix. Where no testable item within a section or sub-section is assessed the section or sub-section scores will be applied.
2. Items that the presenter may have difficulty observing during a mystery shopper check are shaded grey. DVSA will take this into account if disciplinary action is to be considered.
3. The term assistant for a VTS authorised to use an ATL or OPTL means the appropriate equipment used to replace the assistant.
4. The extent of test required is set out in Section B5. For such retests, penalty points will only be awarded for shortcomings in those parts of the test that you were required to do (excluding non-testable advisories).
5. In all other circumstances, regardless of whether a fee is actually charged, a full retest must be carried out. The penalty for incorrect test methods will be limited to 30 points if;
a. the vehicle was failed by the same Tester at the same VTS within the preceding ten working days;
b. all items that had failed the previous test have been re-examined using normal test procedures and equipment; and
c. all items that could reasonably be expected to have been affected by the repairs following the previous test have been re-examined using normal test procedures and equipment.
Penalty points will not be limited in this way if a full retest is required and any of the three conditions above is not met.
6. `Split testing' is when an Tester who signs a VT20 or VT30 personally assessed some, but not all the testable items and has relied on another person’s assessment of the remaining items. Those items so assessed will be regarded as not having been examined but the maximum penalty for those items will be limited to;
a. 30 points if the other person was also a qualified Tester at that VTS or;
b. 50 points if the other person was not a qualified Tester at that VTS.
7. The Tester signing the VT20 or VT30 will be liable also for any penalty because of incorrect test methods, for items that were not examined at all and for any inappropriate standards applied (whether carried out by him or the other person). Thus the total points score awarded to the Tester who signed the document will be;
a. all points for incorrect test methods plus;
b. all points for incorrect test standards plus the lesser of;
c. the points due had the parts of the test carried out by the other person not been done;
d. 30 or 50 points depending on the status of the other person, as defined in paragraph 6 above.
8. A Tester who carries out some assessments in a test but permits another Tester to complete the test and sign the VT20 or VT30 will receive penalty points for any deficiencies in that part of the test that he carried out. He will be penalised also for having failed to carry out that part of the test done by the other tester subject to a maximum of 30 points. Hence, the total for the Tester not signing the VT20 or VT30 will be:
a. All points for incorrect test methods for those parts of the test that he carried out plus;
b. All points for incorrect test standards for those parts of the test that he carried out plus the lesser of;
c. the points due if the aspects of the test carried out by the other person had not been done; or
d. 30 points.
9. Only the score counted against the Tester who signed the test document will be considered against the AE concerned.
10.The above does not exclude a Tester from seeking advice and guidance from another Tester in marginal decisions or where the second tester is more familiar with the particular vehicle type. However, the Tester actually carrying out the test must make the decision whether to pass or fail a particular item.
11.Cases where the Tester who signed the VT20 or VT30 had not personally made any of the pass/fail assessments are dealt with under Appendix 8.1, A.1 and B.1.
Appendix 8.4 Incorrect Operation of Testing Scheme
A. Breaches of security - Test Certificates and Password
Penalties for such breaches are as follows:
1. Breaches of security of Password(s) e.g. a password is written down where it could be readily obtained by another person. See also Appendix 8.1
B. Equipment calibration and maintenance
1. Some test equipment requires periodic calibration checks. See Appendix 2 paragraph 4. Penalty points against the AE for failing to comply are as follows:
a. One or more items of equipment on which calibration is overdue by up to half the prescribed calibration period 20 points (see note 1)
b. One or more items of equipment on which calibration is overdue by more than half the prescribed calibration period 40 points
c. Any test carried out using equipment that requires calibration that cannot be validated with a calibration certificate 50 points per test (see note 2 & 3)
It is the AE’s responsibility to provide valid calibration records to DVSA staff. Failure to produce these records may result in the penalties described above being applied.
Note 1 This score will apply only if no item justifies a 40-point penalty but will be increased to 30 points if advice has been given or action taken for overdue calibration in previous five years.
Note 2 This penalty will apply to the AE. Where the calibration is overdue and there is no evidence that the equipment is inaccurate, DVSA may permit already-booked vehicles to be tested without penalty for a limited period set by DVSA.
Note 3 100 points maximum per case.
6. Unless DVSA has been notified that testing has been suspended, test equipment which is clearly malfunctioning, inoperative or missing a mandatory upgrade, regardless of its calibration status, will also attract points as follows;
a. Major items of equipment clearly unable to fulfil their prescribed testing functions.
50 points per item
b. Minor items of equipment clearly unable to fulfil their prescribed testing functions or major item of equipment with minor faults which will reduce the effectiveness or accuracy with which it carries out required testing functions.
20 points per item
3. Abuse or misuse of MOT Testing Service
E.g. misuse of the advisory/free text option
C. Failure to offer appointments, failure to register a vehicle test, unjustified refusal to test and failure to allow the test to be watched
1. Failure to offer an appointment for a test within a reasonable period of a request, bearing in mind existing test bookings and the availability of the vehicle concerned. 50 points
2. Unjustified refusal to test a vehicle presented or to honour, within a reasonable time, an appointment previously made. 50 points
3. Refusal to allow a test to be watched by the vehicle’s presenter. 50 points
4. Failure to register a vehicle at the commencement of the test and/or failure to record the results within one hour of completion of the examination and before the vehicle leaves the premises. This applies whether using the MOT Testing Service or during Contingency Testing. 15 points per test (45 points maximum per case)
5. The VRM and or VIN recorded on the MOT Testing Service do not match the presented vehicle. (Where this is not covered in Appendix 8.1)
D Other items
Points will be awarded for other items, if previous advice, including advice received via the MOT Testing Service, or formal warning has been given for the same item in the past 5 years, as in column 2 of the following table. If more than one occurrence of the shortcoming is noted during a visit or investigation, the maximum points counted for that item will be limited to the value given in column 3. All items will normally be considered against the AE, starred items (*) will also normally be considered against the Tester concerned.
The following specific credits, described more fully hereafter, will be applicable.
Credit for - Points for Tester - Points for AE
Training 15 maximum 15 maximum
Proven satisfactory testing 15 per event 15 per event
Satisfactory operation of test station Not applicable 10 points per year
A. Credits for training
1. Training credits serve to recognise training given (or planned to be given) to Testers that goes beyond the minimum standards required by DVSA. To qualify for credit, the training must:
a. be away from the normal workplace (this term includes a separate training facility within the same premises) or at the normal workplace when it is closed for normal business;
b. involve at least six hours of training time excluding breaks;
c. be given by a ‘training provider’ established for at least one year;
d. be aimed at reinforcing correct test standards, which must be confirmed in the training provider's syllabus for the course(s) concerned; and
e. not be initial, mandatory annual or directed training required by DVSA for Testers.
2. For Testers, the training credit will count if the event leading to disciplinary action occurred between the dates of booking and attending a qualifying course, provided the interval was not more than 9 weeks. If more than one event is being considered, the credit will be given so long as at least one of the events qualifies for it.
3. For AEs, the training credit will count if the event leading to disciplinary action occurred at a time when the Tester would qualify for the credit. The credit will count also if the initiating event took place during the two years after the Tester concerned had completed the training course. If more than one event is being considered, the credit will be given so long as at least one of the events qualifies for it.
B. Credits for proven satisfactory testing
1. A satisfactory testing credit will be awarded for each occurrence of the following in the five years before the most recent case being considered:
a. A Mystery Shopper check that scored no more than 10 points for unsatisfactory elements.
b. A re-examination of a recently tested vehicle that scored no more than 10 points for unsatisfactory elements. Re-examinations as a result of appeals and complaints will not be considered for credits.
2. A Testerwill be awarded these credits as above for tests conducted at any VTS at which he/she was nominated.
3. An AE will be awarded these credits as above for all such tests at the VTS concerned by any Tester nominated there.
C. Credits for satisfactory operation of test station
1. Such credits will be awarded to an AE for each complete year of operation of the VTS between the current disciplinary case and any previous Formal Warning or Short Term Cessation up to a maximum of 5 years.
8.8 Informal hearing
Notes for Guidance and Code of Practice for Informal Hearings
1. These notes explain the procedures for informal hearings which may be held as part of the process of determining appeals from;
• Authorised Examiners (AE), Designated Councils (DC), Testers and Designated Council Inspectors (DCI) who have been served with a statutory Notice of Cessation of their authorisation, designation or approval to test.
• Applicants who have been served with a Notice of Intent to Refuse their application for authorisation, designation or approval to test.
These notes should be read in conjunction with Requirements for Authorisation, Sections E and I of the MOT Testing Guide.
2. The Statutory requirements in relation to appeals are contained in the Motor Vehicles (Tests) Regulations 1981 as amended. The Regulations provide that where those who have been served with a statutory notice wish to make representations to the effect that;
a. their authorisation, designation or approval should not cease or should be restored, or that;
b. their application for authorisation, designation or approval to test should be approved; they should make such representations in writing within 14 days from the date of the notice (Regulations 10 (1) (c) and 8 (9) respectively). All written representations or statements should fully set out your case and all the evidence you wish to rely upon.
The availability of informal hearings does not affect the terms of the Regulations. Informal Hearings provide an additional process whereby cases may be put personally to officials in DVSA’s Appeals Section.
Requests for a Hearing
3. Requests will normally be granted. If you wish your case to be heard at a hearing it is in your interests to submit your request to the DVSA Office who issued the Notice of Cessation or Intent to Refuse to Authorise, Approve or Designate within 14 days from the date of the letter. This can be made by letter, email or fax. A date for the hearing will be offered by the Appeals Section. You will be permitted to refuse the first date offered.
Who May Attend the Hearing
4. You may attend and/or be represented by your trade association, consultant or legal representative. The Appeals Section may arrange for DVSA personnel involved in the disciplinary or intended refusal action to attend the hearing where their evidence is at issue.
Prior to the Hearing
5. An important element of this procedure is that the Appeals Officer must be fully aware of the relevant issues and arguments so that he can properly lead the discussion. Your written representations or statement should contain full particulars of the case you wish to make at the hearing including a list of any documents to which you wish to refer.
6. The provision of your written representations or statement within 14 days of the issue of the ‘Notice of Cessation or Intent to Refuse’ is a necessary procedure. If you are appealing against a Notice of Cessation you may however, within the 14 day period, state in writing that you wish to rely, at hearing, on the written representations made earlier to the DVSA office that issued the decision.
7. To assist you the grounds of appeal have been categorised. The following list is not exhaustive and it is recognised that there are some overlapping grounds.
a. The disciplinary procedures have not been followed by DVSA at each and every stage.
b. The technical evidence is disputed.
c. Other evidence is disputed.
d. The wrong interpretation has been placed upon the facts.
e. The sanction imposed and/or the number of disciplinary points allotted is not in accordance with The MOT Testing Guide (6th Edition).
f. The penalty is not proportionate to the offence.
g. Cited formal warnings and/or previous short term cessation letters are disputed.
h. There are mitigating circumstances.
i. The intent to refuse is unreasonable.
j. The conditions imposed are unreasonable.
8. The venues for English and Welsh cases will normally be DVSA’s Offices in Bristol, Manchester and Leeds. Scottish cases will normally be heard in Edinburgh. The arrangements for (and the conduct of) the hearing will aim to create an appropriate atmosphere for discussion. For this reason, the parties will usually sit around a table.
Conduct of the Hearing.
9. The hearing will be held by a senior officer of the Appeals Teamwho will have a thorough knowledge of the MOT Service and the relevant procedures. The procedures will be fully explained to you at the start of, and throughout, the hearing.
10. The Appeals Officer will first set out the case as it appears from his reading of the papers, outlining what he considers are the main issues. In some cases this might take the form of an agenda. He will also indicate those matters on which further information is needed. This will not preclude you from referring to other aspects you consider to be relevant.
11. All evidence will have been disclosed beforehand so that you will have had time to understand it and it will not normally be necessary to read this out at the hearing. If further documents are made available at the hearing the Appeals Officer may ask or allow questions on any points which emerge which may need further information or clarification.
12. The hearing will take the form of a discussion which you or your representative will be invited to start. You may, if you wish, decline to do so. The parties will be encouraged to ask questions informally throughout the proceedings, subject only to the discussion being conducted in an orderly manner.
13. Cross-examination will not be permitted unless the Appeals Officer considers that crossexamination is required to ensure a thorough examination of the main issues. You will be given the opportunity to make any final comments before the hearing is closed.
14. If a hearing needs to be adjourned this will be at the discretion of the officer holding the hearing. If a date for the resumption of the hearing cannot be set at the time of the adjournment, the date will be notified to the appellant within 5 working days.
15. The Appeals Officer may close the proceedings if, at any time during the hearing, matters are in his judgement not progressing satisfactorily. The appeal will then be determined on the basis of any written representations submitted. Full reasons for the closure of the hearing will be given in the appeal decision letter.
16. A recording will be made of the hearing (audio only). A copy of the recording and a transcript will be available as evidence in the event of subsequent court proceedings.
17. Decisions will not be made at the hearing as they are made by DVSA’s Chief Executive on behalf of the Secretary of State. The administrative target for determining appeals after hearings will be the same as that for appeals determined by written representations, i.e. 95% of appeals to be determined within 5 weeks. In the case of written representations the target date is calculated from the date the written representations are received. The target date following a hearing will be calculated from the date of the hearing. The decision letter will be issued by the Appeals Section on the date the appeal is determined.
Notice of Cessation - Effective Date of Cessation
18. If you wish your case to be heard at a hearing you should bear in mind that it is unlikely that your appeal can be determined prior to the Notice of Cessation becoming effective. The date the Notice comes into effect cannot be deferred pending the outcome of the appeal. Whilst the Appeals Section will try to determine your appeal as quickly as possible, there may be a period during which you/your testing station must cease testing pending the determination of the appeal.