Steering MOT testers through CPD
In this article: Ongoing training isn’t just a box-ticking exercise – it’s an important part of becoming a better tester and business owner
When you originally trained at the start of your career, you were just a beginner, an amateur. You developed your skills, moving from unskilled to semi-skilled and then to professional status, but, like a ball tossed in the air, you can start to fall back down unless you continuously push yourself. That means updating your knowledge regularly and making sure you tick the CPD box.
Over the past five years, we’ve had some major changes to the MOT scheme. There are new standards, electric and hybrid vehicles are now commonplace, we have a new inspection manual, the General Data Protection Regulation has implications for the way we treat information for testing and for customers… I could go on. And whether you’re a business owner or a tester, these are areas that you need to stay on top of.
How you approach CPD is entirely up to you, and there are various avenues available, so make sure you choose the approach that suits you best
- You could take it upon yourself to read up the various sections in the inspection manual and other information sources and then take an assessment. It’s a bit of a DIY route, but it’s one that can suit some.
- There are a range of online training packs from different providers that you can take, with an assessment at the end. The IMI can help if you think this is the approach for you.
- Classroom-based training is also available, where you go to a training centre (in some cases trainers will come to your garage) and then get assessed at the end of the programme.
Whichever route you chose, you’ll need to record all the training you do so that you can easily demonstrate everything you have done. Again, it isn’t a difficult thing to do, and it could pay dividends later on in your career.
The easiest way to record the training is to use the DVSA’s template and include the following information
- The training year you completed your CPD programme in (we are currently in April 2019-March 2020)
- The date of the training
- The time spent on the training
- The topics you have covered
- Notes on what you did
- The vehicle groups covered
- Your name and your MOT testing service user ID (usually four letters and four numbers)
Timing your training
Most of us do it at the last minute, but that’s probably not the best way. Part of what the DVSA is looking at in the RAG score is how early or late CPD is conducted. And if you’re late taking the CPD training, you may be missing out on valuable testing.
The IMI offers a range of training and assessment options that can prove invaluable to MOT testers and business owners. The online training is a combination of videos and question-and answer sessions, which should provide you with the training you need to stay up to date and to keep you testing to the right standards. Just don’t forget to make a record of what you have done.
Don’t leave it too late: every year, the DVSA automatically suspends some testers’ licences to test when they fail to complete the CPD training on time, and it’s a pain to win that licence back.
Fail and you’ll have to take and pass both the previous year’s CPD and the current year’s and then book a demonstration test with the DVSA before you get the green light to test again.
CPD is important for the whole industry, but as a MOT tester or business owner, it’s a critical part of your development and the success of your career or business. It’s definitely not just a boxticking exercise.