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Hot tips: Reduce your risks

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The Site Assessment process has been around for a while now so we thought we would share some of our tips on managing your risks.

Have you considered conducting your own site assessment before the VOSA assessor visits? All the help and documents you need can be found at

The most important things to remember are:

1. Look at your business through the eyes of your customers - do you think they recommend you to their friends?

2. Use the Site Assessment Risk Scoring Guide - to be sure you are assessing the right items to the correct standard.

3. Consider what reasonable improvements - you could make and concentrate on what you can control.

4. Keep a record of any work completed or changes made to show the VOSA assessor during their visit.

The correct test outcome

The site assessment is VOSA’s tool to make sure that the motoring public - your customers - get the correct test outcome.

Since the revised site assessment was rolled out, the top three issues are around Staff Training (4.15), Quality Control (QC) Systems (4.14) and Vehicle Age (4.1) in that order. Each of these is linked to your customers getting the correct test outcome.

So, what can you do to make sure you’re dealing with these areas properly?

Staff Training (4.15)

Although ‘Implementing individual staff training plans’ might sound complicated, you are probably already doing this without realising it. For example:

- Does the latest tester QC check result in a chat about methods or standards of testing?

- When a new piece of workshop equipment or a new vehicle system arrives, does the manufacturer provide any training?

- When a Special Notice informs you of changes to the scheme, do you discuss how it might affect your business with your staff?

All these are evidence of staff training - so keep a record to show your assessor. A very simple staff training log is in Appendix 10 of A Guide to MOT Risk Reduction.

QC Systems (4.14)

Your tester is important to the quality of testing and your ability to offer an MOT service, which is why VOSA specifies a minimum Quality Control system. You should have proactive QC systems in place to check the risk of your tester reaching an incorrect test outcome!

You can use the MOT Scheme Performance Report function on the VTS Device to monitor what your testers are doing. This report summarises tester performance when undertaking MOT tests. Appendix 10.Q.1 of the VTS Device User Guide tells you how to access this report. Use F5 on your device to bring up this guide.

Whatever your QC system identifies, remember to make a note of your findings and to act on them!

QC checks are not about catching you or your testers out, but show that you are looking after your customers.

Vehicle Age (4.1)

Site assessment is all about managing risk. The risk of testing mostly older vehicles is that they are more prone to developing faults, which in turn presents more decisions for your tester, giving a greater chance of a mistake. You can get a good idea of the average age of vehicles tested at your site from your MOT Scheme Performance Report. Clearly you can’t turn older vehicles away, so what do you do about it?

Testers may be less familiar with older vehicles, so rather than observing their test routine as part of the QC check, why not re-examine the vehicles instead? You could also:

- increase your QC check frequency

- give your tester more time between test bookings

- help your testers improve their knowledge of the vehicles and test requirements

Be prepared

Make sure you’re prepared for a site assessment:

- organise your documents and make sure everyone knows where to find them

- make sure your NT’s knowledge is up to date

- always read the contents of the reports for your site and act on your findings

Remember, the easier it is to find your paperwork, the better you can manage your business and the quicker the assessor will go again - leaving you to get on with looking after your customers.

Stay up to date

Staying up to date with the latest news from VOSA will help you - register your email address with VOSA Direct at for news on any changes or updates to the MOT test and scheme.

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