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How the MOT disciplinary process works

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The Case Review Team (CRT) deal with all disciplinary cases against Nominated Testers (NT) and Authorised Examiners (AE). They also investigate complaints received from the public.

For minor shortcomings they’ll usually offer advice or guidance, but for more serious cases they may take formal disciplinary action.

Situations that can lead to a disciplinary investigation include:

  • a DVSA re-examination of a recently tested vehicle that shows an incorrect pass or fail decision
  • an observed test where a vehicle is submitted for examination by a ‘mystery shopper’ (a person posing as a customer) to check the NTs testing methods and /or standards
  • an unobserved test with a vehicle presented with induced defects. This means leaving the vehicle at the VTS and collecting it later that day to check the NTs testing methods and/or standards
  • an observed test when DVSA has asked for test procedures to be demonstrated by an NT and these procedures have proved unsatisfactory
  • other more involved investigations where DVSA believe there may be significant abuses, which may include hidden surveillance of sites offering MOT tests

What happens during a disciplinary investigation?

Once the case is submitted to the CRT it’s reviewed to make sure the evidence submitted is strong enough.

If the case is accepted, the CRT will issue a contemplated disciplinary letter which gives details of the shortcomings found. The letter will ask for representations within 15 working days.

Representations are a formal written response to the shortcomings found by the DVSA. Representations can be submitted by the individual, or they can choose a trade body or association, consultant or solicitor to submit representations on their behalf.


Once the deadline for submission of representations has passed, a case officer will consider all the evidence and make a decision. The decision will be made based on documentation and instructions issued to AEs and NTs such as the MOT Inspection Manual, MOT Testing Guide and special notices.

Decisions are based on a points system and made under administrative law with the principles of being fair, reasonable and proportionate.

Possible outcomes are:

  • no further action
  • advisory warning
  • formal warning
  • short term cessation (28 days)
  • full term cessation (2 or 5 years for NTs, 5 years for AEs)

Other courses of action

While the CRT may issue a disciplinary letter, such as a formal warning, they’ll also consider whether extra training could prevent disciplinary action being taken in the future. This can range from attending a training course to undertaking a practical assessment using equipment available at the MOT garage.

More detailed information on the MOT Disciplinary system including common failings can be found in the ‘MOT Testing Guide’ (Page 119).

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  1. Comment by David posted on

    headlamp changes are better, clearer,
    common sense all this , pass and advise, consult manual

  2. Comment by Robert falkirk posted on

    When does the tester ever have a say that really counts, vosa,DVsa what ever there calling there selves now, we know there has been no increase in fee or wages for many years but they seem to turn the screw on small garages with the click of a mouse. Rab falkirk☹️

  3. Comment by david posted on

    yeah but fail the assessment test in march 2017 and you are straight off testing,its better to make mistakes on the test than fail a q&a ( not that you should fail ,you can get 15 questions wrong and still pass )

  4. Comment by ian magee posted on

    at the end of the day you chose o be a tester, if you can't cope with the changes stop testing

    • Replies to ian magee>

      Comment by mark posted on

      yeah and i became a tester 32 years ago dont remember signing up for this

  5. Comment by jon posted on

    don't forget " common sense, reality, time and motion, expense, justifying their job, having supreme power with a pen, not having to explain oneself, and not answering to anybody all one way.
    Its the civil service!

  6. Comment by Graham Nicol posted on

    Surely driving a vehicle with known defects is against the Law

  7. Comment by kirk y posted on

    dont know about the change to headlight hight
    it would be better for you to make hid headlight moor clear so we can
    fell them

    • Replies to kirk y>

      Comment by mark posted on

      why would you want to fail HID headlamps if fitted properly and beam image and kick up all right whats the problem

  8. Comment by Colin posted on

    Whats all the fuss about? Simple change - all for the good.

  9. Comment by marc posted on

    its getting out of hand now , if you fail a car you are wrong if you pass a car your wrong were all on a hiding for nothing

  10. Comment by Johnno posted on

    This change in the headlamps must be a joke

  11. Comment by brian dunn posted on

    it seems the people run the mot service do not trust anybody & spend a lot of time & money trying to catch people out, would it better spending more time & effort in getting the new computer system reliability issues sorted out.

  12. Comment by Tim posted on

    We're blessed to have such support

  13. Comment by scooby dont posted on

    Loving the positivity.