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MOT annual training and assessment: looking forward to another year

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Annual training and assessment, News and updates

MOT examiners receiving training.

So, the first year of annual MOT training came to an end in April and was a big success. I’m delighted to see over 99% of you completed your MOT annual assessment. A massive well done to you all!

In this blog, I’ll look at this year’s plans and address some of your concerns.

Raising the standard

One of the things we’re doing this year is increasing the pass mark for the annual assessment. Last year, the pass mark was 50%, to allow you to get used to the new way of training.

Most of you scored more than 80% with only 1% of you failing the assessment. We’ve now increased the pass mark to 60% for 2017 to 2018 and over the next few years, we’ll look to increase it to 80%.

New topics for 2017 to 2018

The new topics for you to study are based on the most common faults from last years testing. We’ve split them into the different vehicle classes - class 1 and 2 (group A) and class 3, 4, 5 and 7 (group B).

For class 1 and 2 vehicles (motorcycles), the syllabus covers:

  • body and structure (including security)
  • assessment of tyres and wheels

For class 3, 4, 5 and 7 vehicles (cars and other vehicles), the syllabus covers:

  • assessment of tyres and wheels
  • corrosion assessment (includes assessment of brake pipes)

You’ll need to record any training you do for these topics in your training record, which should show what you've learnt and what you’ll do differently after the training. This includes keeping any certificates you receive from your training provider as evidence.

You’ll need to make sure you keep this record safe, so you can show our vehicle examiners if they ask to see it.

Listening to you

So, although the assessment has mainly been successful, we’ve listened to your feedback and there’s a few things we think need improving.

Making the questions clearer

We’re aware there have been a few instances where the questions in the assessment could’ve been clearer.

We've made sure the questions are better written this year and have set up a new process to check all of them before they’re included in the assessment.

Providing more feedback

Some of you were also concerned about the level of feedback you were given when you had completed the assessment. You wanted to know what you did wrong and where to improve. 

We passed this information onto the awarding organisations, and they’ve agreed to provide more feedback this year, so, you’ll know what areas you’ll need to improve on. However, they’re not allowed to tell you the exact answers to questions - this is to stop anyone sharing them.

Keeping up to date

We’ve also received comments from some of you saying you preferred the old way of training, because it gave you chance to get together and discuss things with other testers. We’d still encourage you to do this, and we think that you’ll always benefit from sharing your experience and knowledge with other testers.

However, we're still confident the new way of training has a number of advantages, such as being able to regularly assess the standard of the industry and quickly address any problems that arise.

The new way of training also means you can keep up to speed with any changes to the MOT. Think of all the changes that have happened in the last 5 years: a brand new cloud-based MOT service, a new way of testing headlamp aim and a new MOT security card to name a few.

Recording your results

Once you’ve completed your annual assessment, a certificate will be emailed to you from the Awarding Organisation with your score. You’ll need to remember to enter onto the MOT Testing Service.

So, good luck with your training for the year ahead, I’m sure we’ll have another successful year!

Need more information?

For more information, check out our MOT training guidance.

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  1. Comment by castrolrob posted on

    I stand by my original comments,i cant be the only guy whos had ves asking pre 87 seatbelts/pre 86 repeaters questions and the like.we were expected to know the basics.a test that can so easily be cheated with no form of invigilation is worthless and given we have to now pay for said test surely its not too much to ask that it firstly displays whether the guy taking it has a certain minimal level of knowledge and secondly improves that level of knowledge.i took an nvq3 a few years back and the minimum pass mark on that was 50% which I considered poor,i made a concerted effort to achieve 90% + as the highest they marked to was 80% only to find out that everyone got the same certificate regardless of mark.this strikes me as the same problem displayed everywhere the education system operates inasmuch as all this seems to be achieving is to teach people to pass exams rather than learn the subject concerned properly.given that the nvq pass mark was 50% they aint gonna be able to raise this exam much higher than that as nvq 3 is the level reqrd to become a tester in the first place

    • Replies to castrolrob>

      Comment by mark posted on

      i would rather not be taking any tests at all thanks

  2. Comment by dave posted on


  3. Comment by Peter posted on

    Different direction. I'm here looking for the criteria for the 17/18 test but it's just not that easy. Why does there have to be so many places to look for information? Between e-mails and blogs (out of date) and who knows where else it makes missing something more likely than not.

    • Replies to Peter>

      Comment by Linda (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Peter, thanks for sending in your recent comment about this.

      We’re currently reviewing our content on GOV.UK and will look at how we can make this information easier for testers to find.


  4. Comment by d bradley-scrivener posted on

    I was not happy that I belive pass and advise may be an incorrect answer as trained the old way we was told if unsure, pass and advise to make sure the customer knew and it would be in there hands to sort, i'm sure the test is just pass or fail but is pass and advise also not a correct answer also in certain circumstances for example a tyre with 2mm of tread in its testable area, or brake pads looking thin.

  5. Comment by david posted on

    Wish some of you young guys would stop going on about us older ones not been tech savvy i,m 60 and have been testing for over 35 years i,m also of an age where we sat exams on a yearly basis just to be a mechanic,city and guilds etc etc , we have moved along with technology dont blame us old ones for having problems , dont think the general public bringing their cars to garages for testing would be happy knowing testers only have to get half the question right to carry on testing member 50% pass means 50% of answers were wrong pas mark should be 80% with more time given to take it

  6. Comment by mark posted on

    why is there so many questions about quads and class 5 vehicles i have never tested either in my 33 years of testing and never will

    • Replies to mark>

      Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on


      There should not be any class 5 questions for class 4 testers. Let us know if there are. As for quads, if they are class 4, they may turn up at your VTS for a test, so you cannot refuse to test on the grounds that they are a quad.



      • Replies to Chris (DVSA)>

        Comment by mark posted on

        it all comes under group b questions

  7. Comment by jerry posted on

    i feel that the DVSA need to think about the older testes like myself, who find the use of computers not as easy, as the younger testers who are brought up with this technology ,when setting times and the pass marks for the annual assesments. most of us older testers dont find long periods of reading moniters not easy , dont quickly take in the text.we are also not the quickest at being able to checking data from the manual (dates ect for assesment questions). dates for older vehicle requirement can be checked at time of test from the manual,we dont need to remember them . i hope someone takes these comments onboard when setting paramiters for future assesments.

    • Replies to jerry>

      Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on


      We do understand that some older testers find it takes longer to complete the exercises.

      Some of the companies who run the annual training and assessment allow multiple attempts to complete the assessment.

      If you are having problems, you should contact the company that runs your training and assessment to discuss it with them.



      • Replies to Chris (DVSA)>

        Comment by AUSTIN ALLEGRO posted on

        Come on Chris how old we talking here,I am 60 my colleague 68 ,most of the lads i started back in 73 (thats 1973 ) are still testing we have no issue with technology,maybe these so called old guys should hang up their spanners if they cant keep up

  8. Comment by Colin R posted on

    Took me 20 mins at got a pass rate of 97%

    • Replies to Colin R>

      Comment by Tony S posted on

      Mine was about the same time

  9. Comment by Jerry posted on

    Being an older tester i don't find the use of computers that easy , due to that i am fairly slow. I also don't think it is that easy to read for longish periods of time. I do hope that the DVSA will think about the less computer literate/older testers when setting pass mark's and timings for the assessment.

    • Replies to Jerry>

      Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on


      We do understand that some older testers find it takes longer to complete the exercises.

      Some of the companies who run the annual training and assessment allow multiple attempts to complete the assessment.

      If you are having problems, you should contact the company that runs your training and assessment to discuss it with them.



      • Replies to Chris (DVSA)>

        Comment by Nigel posted on

        Hi Chris with regards to your comment { Some of the companies who run the annual training and assessment allow multiple attempts to complete the assessment} surely DVSA should ensure all training companies apply the same rules.Also i know this has already been discussed but with the questions from last year that i got wrong i think it was 4 it would have been good to know what they were as this would help us put things right. To say that by telling us what we got wrong would help others cheat the exam is rediculous. The whole exam is wide open for testers cheating for example you could have 4or5 testers sat at the pc taking it in turns to do the exam with everyone helping each other with the questions.

  10. Comment by Ian B posted on

    I went to the RMI accedemy to do the annual assessment last year. Left there more confused regarding drivers view. Had to answer the question wrong to actually get it right! I'm sure others did the same. Is this the right way to sit a test based on improving a testers abilities? The manuals, questions and also lecturers need to be more clear. The test I sat was certainly not an open book along with the shoddy laptop given to used crashed half way through the test. Was told if I failed I could re-sit free. Fortunately I passed but less than 80%

  11. Comment by Dan posted on

    Steve, your comment is spot on about the cutbacks unfortunately. The DVSA can jazz it up all they want but the system only came about because they have been severely hit by government cuts. To be fair, they are doing a great job in hard times, and the system would need to be brought up to date anyway, but maybe not in this way. Each to their own, but welcome to Tory Britain. Look what it has done for us. Scrimping to the point it endangers road safety.

  12. Comment by Yusuf Bhayat posted on

    As you are going to raise the pass mark level for the coming years,someone is going to make a lot of money and the excuse of standards improving is dubious.

  13. Comment by Mohammad Ramzan posted on

    60%pass mark is just right & 45 min is not enough time in my opinion it should be up to 1 hour 80 % pass mark is very high please don't keep changing it

  14. Comment by Alan posted on

    Well I got 87% pass
    And like other people have said the wording in the questions could be a lot better laid out to answer .

  15. Comment by DAVE posted on

    I managed a pass mark of 76.7% after answering only 23 of the 30 questions, as my time ran out. I knew most of the answers but wanted to confirm them in the manual, I agree a pass mark of only 50% is too low and should be raised but 80% may be too high for the time you are allowed to answer, I also think the pass mark should not be shown on the certificate if you wanted to display them in the office for customers to see, I do not think they would be impressed with testers getting 50% of the questions wrong I must admit I expected to get 100% and was very disappointed with my score it’s no consolation that I still had 7 questions to answer also as a tester didn't see the need to answer questions about administration or running a test station my job is to test the cars not calibrate etc. they are questions for managers etc.

  16. Comment by Dunn posted on

    I think the 'new way of doing things' seems to be based on private companies making money out of MOT stations, I think they have too much input with the DVSA, We are a small garage with 1 MOT tester we cant afford another tester as it costs too much now for them to train and pass. MONEY MONEY MONEY!!! How about the DVSA actually go to garages them selves and see what is needed from our perspective, And mostly listen to our thoughts and needs, Afterall we are doing the job for the DVSA.

  17. Comment by Tom posted on

    More requirements for a job that pays poorly.
    I love the motor trade but find that I would be better off being a driver.
    Fixed prices needed no cut price mots make it the respectable job it is

  18. Comment by Graham Knowles posted on

    I agree with the comments that is becoming very demanding on the tester. I struggled to answer the questions not that I didn't know but just didn't understand the way they laid out and only managed to get 67% but I ran out of time so I would probably got a lot more. I'm not far off retirement and was hoping to carry on but it's looking doubtful, I hope you do listen to the feedback

  19. Comment by david posted on

    how are we supposed to learn from our mistakes and improve as a tester if the training provider doesn't tell us the answer in why we got it wrong?
    if I was on a refresher course the instructor would tell us the answer so we are testing correctly.
    so what exactly is the purpose of the assessment? is it a numbers game for you at dvsa or is it to improve the quality of mots being carried out?

  20. Comment by castrolrob posted on

    The test should be properly invigilated, it should also not be open book. It should be a test of what you know,n ot what you can look up. In its current format its next to useless. So the current testing system is called mts? How does that assess my testing abilities or knowledge of the required regulations/manuals etc? Seemed more concerned with attempting some pretty crude trick questions (and that was the ones that weren't plain wrong!) than with providing any indication of your abilities which last I heard was the whole point of an exam? Questions on sns that had already been removed from your homepage was a particular example of a lack of joined up thinking. We shud be doing this to improve ourselves and our abilities, instead we are doing it cos we have to, sad.

    • Replies to castrolrob>

      Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on


      We’re all still learning as annual training and assessment is still very new for all of us. During the first year, we needed to encourage testers to adopt a new way of refreshing their MOT knowledge. The focus of responsibility for this moved towards the tester as part of the aim of raising the level of professionalism within the industry.

      We’ve always preferred an open book approach because we don’t expect testers to know all of the answers but we do expect them to be able to find them. Many testers rarely refer to the manual during testing, when they should. Things change and testers should refresh themselves with the standards in the Inspection Manual.

      Invigilation for this first year wasn’t appropriate because we don’t wish to increase the burden on testers. The amount of training that testers are required to complete is the same as it always was – 16 hours over 5 years.

      There were some issues with the suitability of questions but most of these were removed or amended. You should notice a change this year because we’ve approved the questions written by the Awarding Organisations, who have also learned from the experience.

      As we move forward, the pass mark will increase and it will become harder. If testers find self-study hard, there are many training providers that can offer suitable training along with an invigilated exam.



      • Replies to Chris (DVSA)>

        Comment by mark posted on

        nothing like a bit more stress as you get older cheers

    • Replies to castrolrob>

      Comment by cheekyboy posted on

      it has to be open book, we can always remember the exact years of light changes or seat belt regulations etc etc, so then during the mot we can look it up same as the exam every year we can know every single rule of the top of our heads

  21. Comment by Russ posted on

    If the pass mark is going to be 80% the time limit should be raised.

  22. Comment by d bradley-scrivener posted on

    it is a case of raising the standard, but the test is an open book test so you can access as many notes as you like it isn't a question of knowing everything from memory, but more of proof that we know how to access the information when needed. yes the question where sometime confusing but with access to all the information it should not be a problem, from talking to older testers its using the computers to access the information in the time allowed was more of a problem they may not be as tech savy as a younger person using it equipment

  23. Comment by steve posted on

    The target should be training not pass or fail, The whole reason this has happened is due to cut backs and closing all the training centers.
    All the costs now fall on the mot station with no increase in the mot fee for many years now and taking away all the computer equipment and certificates phone lines etc over recent years even though when computerisation was brought in we were told it would be no cost to us but we still pay the same fee for the slots and get nothing in return.

    • Replies to steve>

      Comment by martin posted on

      It had more to do with poorly worded questions which were confusing unless you had a decent grasp of English and if you had a decent grasp of English they were annoying to put it mildly.

  24. Comment by Scott posted on

    Mot managers course is 80%

  25. Comment by Mark posted on

    80% pass rate even gas fitters don't have to pass that and they are not tested every year I think the more you push the less testers you are going to have as the pay doesn't reflect what you need to know and the mental stress or are we all going to be pushed around like the nurses and police ? (Over 32 years in mot testing)

  26. Comment by david posted on

    so basically DVSA you have asked for our feedback didn't agree with the feedback and you have done nothing to help improve it for us the testers doing the job day in day day out.

    and you call this moving forward, I call it going in the wrong direction.

  27. Comment by Dave posted on

    I would be very interested in knowing what the overall pass rate was and what the initial failure rate was.

  28. Comment by mark posted on

    I didnt think i was going back too school 80% lol amazing when it was a refresher course you could not fail but now there is money too be made you can

  29. Comment by Stephen posted on

    I haven't received any news on the areas I need to look at. I only got 75%.

    • Replies to Stephen>

      Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for your comment, we’ll need to know whether this is for the current year (2017 to 2018) or last year (2016 to 2017) and which Awarding Organisation.

      Please could you email these details to and I’ll ask Graham to look into this for you.


  30. Comment by CRESCENT posted on

    your biggest problem with the test was bad grammer and spelling.I dont know of any test that has a pass rate of 80%.

    • Replies to CRESCENT>

      Comment by jim posted on

      80% to pass , just another way of making our job even harder !