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What good MOT quality management looks like

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Hot tips, MOT testing service

Everyone involved in the MOT industry - this includes DVSA, garage operators, testers, and trade associations - has a part to play in maintaining testing standards.

The work we all do forms how we manage the quality of MOT testing. By working together we’re all making sure that the vehicles on our roads are safe.

I know that there’s more we can do to provide better guidance on what ‘good’ quality management can look like.

We’ll be publishing more on GOV.UK this spring. But ahead of that, I thought it would be helpful to talk about some of the principles of good quality management and get your opinion on them.

Improving the quality of MOT tests

6 icons on a blue background. 1. people 2. training 3. Procedures 4. Equipment 6. Assurance 7. Improvement
The 6 areas that make up good quality management

An important part of authorised examiners’ and site managers’ roles are around managing the quality of MOTs.

There are a number of ways we can all contribute to improving the quality of MOT tests. The main ones are making sure that there’s processes in place that cover these things.

1. People

Recruitment policies, probation criteria, policies around what action you take when you do find quality failings.

2. Training 

Making sure all your staff fully understand their responsibilities and what’s expected of them so they can do their job properly and stay compliant with training and assessment requirements.

3. Procedures

Making sure that everyone has access to key information, test logs and test quality information.

4. Equipment

Making sure that everyone knows procedures for upkeep and calibration, that records are kept and that there are clear processes for when things go wrong.

5. Assurance

Checking MOTs have the correct result, security of passwords and reducing the risks of MOT fraud.

This could be quality checks done within your team, something you buy in from a ‘consultant’, or even an arrangement you have with nearby garages for mutual checks.

6. Improvement

Developing a quality culture with continuous improvement.

More guidance coming soon

We’ll provide more guidance for all these areas – but if you think something is missing from the list or any that you want us to prioritise, tell us in the comments.

One size doesn’t fit all

Some garages will have been refining these types of process for years. So none of this should really be new, and you might just do it without thinking about it.

But it isn’t always easy to get right, and we need to see quality management as more than just ticking a box.

How you implement these processes will depend on all sorts of things, such as the size of your business, number of staff, and type of customers. 

But however you go about implementing it, having in place a system that covers these key areas will help make sure that your garage is constantly improving and delivering a consistent service to your customers.

Keep up to date

We send emails to all users of the service that let you know when the service is unavailable, what’s been added to the service and also to get your feedback on things - you also probably got one letting you know that this blog was published.

It’s important that you get the latest updates from us, so please check that your email address on the MOT testing service is correct.

You should also regularly check your junk or spam folder in case our emails are going there by mistake.

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  1. Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on

    Hello everyone,

    Some of you have got in touch and asked why you can’t see the answers to the questions you got wrong on your assessment. There are some good reasons why we can’t do that.

    The first is that we don’t write the assessment. We set the topics and check the questions but the assessment is written by the 3 awarding organisations.

    Secondly, it’s to stop anyone sharing the answers so someone else could memorise them. The assessment isn’t there to test how good your memory is - that’s why it’s open book! It’s there to make sure that you can apply the information from the MOT testing guide, inspection manuals and special notices in the correct way.

    So, we won’t be able to share the answers with you. But we are looking at providing feedback in the future, so you know what areas you need to look up and go back over.

    We are also aware that there have been a few instances where questions could have been clearer. We’re sorry about this, this is a new process for us too and we want to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We’ve set up a process to carefully check all of the questions and they should improve year on year.



  2. Comment by David posted on

    Let's raise the prise to 60 pounds the government is putting the road tax up how can they do it even on electrical cars one roul for them and one for us the same old storey

  3. Comment by DAVID posted on

    if garages by choice of there own are not charging the full test fee how can we expect government to put the price up? there just gonna think well if they choose to charge less why do we need to put it up.
    we need to help ourselves on this!
    if the usual suspects want to charge 29.99 for an mot and customer gets a huge repair bill to go with it. next time they will think twice of going back and go to a garage who provides a trustworthy service instead.

  4. Comment by Thomas posted on

    There appears to be short comings in the annual assessment exam for MOT testers,
    The training providers have refused to supply the question that a NT has got wrong, this information is crucial to the development of a NT learning and also the AE of said tester so that the AE can assess the area or part of the testers inability to grasp a particular section of the test or if the NT is following their own agenda.

    It should also be noted that it is unnecessary to ask a question in such a way as to confuse or misled the NT after all said and done this is not literary exam but credibility and knowledge of the NT to do a good job and keep are roads safe.

    Even five year old's after taking an exam are presented with exam paper duly marked and shown by the teacher the questions that they got wrong so that the pupil can learn.

  5. Comment by Barrie posted on

    Regarding MOT test fees. I agree that there has to be healthy competition, that`s what makes the world go round. I do object to a local competitor charging £10.00 for a test. This should not be entertained by the DVSA. I hope the failure rates are scrutinised very closely for this place!

  6. Comment by Ken Mcintosh posted on

    Who in there right mind would ever discount an already underpriced MOT test after installing upwards of 25K on equipment?
    The testing stations that carry out an MOT test for hugely discounted prices are obviously making up the shortfall on supposedly failure items that they can miraculously repair for a special price.
    If the DVSA had any back bone they could stamp this out.

  7. Comment by Graham Nicol posted on

    You can see what Question you get wrong but the explanation/information could be easier to unravel

  8. Comment by Ed Callan posted on

    I feel what I have seen of new training scheme for existing NTS leaves a bit hole compared to former VOSA five year review two- day course,also new procedure for training of new testers will lead to fewer applicants resulting in a national shortage.I think a new system should be better than what it is replacing this is not needs revisiting and change

    • Replies to Ed Callan>

      Comment by Derek posted on

      If the D. V. S.A are serious about raising standards then the price of an MOT should reflect the amount of investment that is required to set a station up in the first place. The site assessment marks you down if you say you discount the price, they want to see the full fee charged, this when the likes of the National chains offer MOT's at £27.95 , really ?? They then often fail the car and present the presenter with an estimate of costs to rectify a price that will often make yours eyes water. I charge near the full fee and am currently doing 2600 mot's a year but small garages doing a lot less cannot be seeing a return on their investment, it's simple FULL fee, this will give everyone involved in testing money to improve their offering and generally raise standards, how difficult I this to understand ?

  9. Comment by paul posted on

    I think a mot should be booked on line at dvsa and as we pass a car it should be paid into garage bank acount .as mot slots are only taken on a it online and you get a ref number we enter into computer as we log then it's taken out of the garage hands to charge

  10. Comment by Chris posted on

    The associated costs of the running a mot garage should demand a fixed price across the board and not discounted in any way.
    If you take a hard look at internal operating costs and then wages everyone should see the same ?

  11. Comment by Paul posted on

    Recently took my annual assesment. Just feel it would be better if I knew which questions i got wrong. Surely the assessment must be about learning and correcting mistakes. As a part of CPD it seems important to me and my colleagues to understand where you go wrong and learn, then improve.

  12. Comment by James moar posted on

    Very true why not given correct answers to questions we got wrong

  13. Comment by kevin posted on

    I would also like to know which questions answered incorrectly be made available via personel email as this would only benefit us all in keeping us on the right path to compliance......

  14. Comment by sam posted on

    Regarding section 6 of the blog - developing a culture of continuous improvement. It seems completely contra to this section not to allow us access to the questions incorrectly answered in the annual assessment. If we don't know which questions we got wrong and what the correct response is,how are we supposed to learn and continuously improve ?

  15. Comment by Lonewolf posted on

    After having read through the comments on this thread I find myself at something troubling. All of us NTs are paid to do a job. Regardless of the fee being charged by whatever organisation you work for whether Large National chain or small Independent we all earn a similar amount. If you feel that you or anyone else would a more thorough job by fees being increased then it confounds me why you do this job. Whether my employer charges 5 or 55 pounds for an MOT has no bearing on how I conduct an MOT inspection or the results. By the logic of some of the comments here if we all charged the same then 'failure for profit' would become a thing of the past. In Reality the Unscrupulous would remain so but with fatter bank balances. We have to discount just to remain competitive in the surrounding marketplace I feel it unjust to assume any of us do a fee related test. There are still people in this world that appreciate good honest service. Short term profit is no comfort when you run out of customers. I'll keep doing what I'm doing and see people year in and year out along with their friends.

    • Replies to Lonewolf>

      Comment by Paul posted on

      Agree with you on that. I also have no financial incentive to pass or fail. Testing can sometimes be a bit monotonous. Get my peace through customer satisfaction and keeping people safe. Love to take scrap off the roads though!

  16. Comment by Stephen Ball posted on

    On the subject of keeping our roads safe, hmm.
    Why can't diesel smoke testing be capped at a MAX 2 REVS to us NT's it's obvious a diesel is going to fail a smoke test after 3 if all Revs are way above 2.80.
    Please make a change to the amount of high revs that have to be applied, Why in gods name should we suffer with these fumes.

    • Replies to Stephen Ball>

      Comment by Ashley Dellar posted on

      I agree with this statement fella

      • Replies to Ashley Dellar>

        Comment by Dave posted on

        Couldn't agree more m8!!

  17. Comment by clive posted on

    I was on a training coarse about 10 years ago and was told the main reason a fixed fee was not being introduced was because if it was a fixed fee it would attract the dreaded vat and this would push the charge for an mot towards seventy pounds leaving it as a floating charge would not attract vat .not sure if this is true but that is what I was told.

  18. Comment by darren posted on

    im so surprised that this problem of fixed priced MOT has not been sorted out by now so many of us want this to happen so WHY dvsa has this issue not been resolved, can you please shed some light on this

    • Replies to darren>

      Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Darren,

      DVSA have been supporting DfT in working with the trade bodies to consult on changes to the fees. This includes some longer term ideas such as setting minimum levels.

      We hope to issue the consultation in due course. We'll let you know when it's available so that you can give your views.

      Kind regards


  19. Comment by DAVID posted on

    having just completed my annual assessment in which I got 2 wrong, as testers we have no way of knowing which ones we got wrong and therefor no way of learning from our mistakes and would carry on testing in the wrong way.

    if this had been done at a refresher course with an instructor they would be able to tell us which we got wrong and more importantly why.
    So going forward how does DVSA accept a low 50% pass rate testers getting 15 questions wrong,not being able to learn from our mistakes and to make it worse they can carry on testing doing it the wrong way?
    you call this going forward with training and improving testing quality?
    This seriously needs looking at. I hope DVSA take action.

  20. Comment by Harry posted on

    I am afraid to say it, but that is how loss leaders work's, and it is unbelievable that the DVSA are letting them get away with it'
    It is also, "in my opinion" the bigger high street name's, that are the worst culprits and they are the ones, that probably on paper have the best Quality Controls in place.
    So let's have a fixed price MOT with no discounts and put a stop to the MOT being used as a marketing tool, there is no such as a free MOT the cost has to come from somewhere.
    Then and only then, are we likely to see Quality and standards improve.

  21. Comment by cheekyboy posted on

    yet again a lot of you going on about fixed prices, such a stupid idea, just got back from a course with the RMI and was told by them the same as i was told by the vosa/dvsa tutors when had courses with them, fixed prices will allow big supermarket chains etc to open up testing stations and wipe the floor with us

    • Replies to cheekyboy>

      Comment by pete O'Dell posted on

      ohhh by the way the VOSA guys that used to take the VOSA run courses in my experience used to advocate fixed prices and have distain for the discounters ....... strange you got your info from a organisation that makes money from MOT training

    • Replies to cheekyboy>

      Comment by mike posted on

      I wouldn't,t trust any supermarket to mot my car.

  22. Comment by d bradley-scrivener posted on

    a fixed price is a good idea. I know of testing stations in our area offering cheaper mots and applying incorrect standards to get extra work to balance out the loss

    • Replies to d bradley-scrivener>

      Comment by darren posted on

      it will never happen,if they get one bad mot complaint customer who goes public just to make a name for them selfs it will affect the stocks and shares within that company and the major share holders wouldnt want that plus the health and safety issue would be a nightmare for them

      • Replies to darren>

        Comment by Scott posted on

        Its interesting to note that they have fixed price Mot testing in Europe and that supermarket chains do not get involved in the business.

  23. Comment by Alan posted on

    I agree completely with above comments regarding discounts. If the main object of this whole exercise is to raise the standard of MOT tests and testers, then I would see discounting as a hindrance to CPD.

  24. Comment by Scott posted on

    Agree on the above comments. However the price of an Mot is not made by DVSA it is made my ministers in parliament. I think the problem stems from said ministers not actually understanding what is involved in running an Mot business and the problems inherent of discount mot chains. Perhaps DVSA should educate them more on systemic problems within the trade. Pricing wars eventually bring about poor quality. A £19 Mot does not make economic sense as the same amount of time should be roughly spent on each vehicle on average. The state of a lot of vehicles we test can often take an hour and half to complete and as we are and Mot only garage a £19 mot would be insane!

  25. Comment by Russ posted on

    Yes this guides good, I now know exactly what DVSA are looking for regards quality management.

    I think the site assessment as a whole should be looked at too. It could be far simpler. For example the tester knowledge section could be completely scrapped as testers now do annual assessments and training, so it's sort of a pointless process in my opinion.

    A lot of data I'm sure is available to VE's before they visit anyway, so by having a simpler shorter site assessment would not distrupt good performing garages.

    Not sure what the plans are for future site assessments but I think it's an area that could be improved for sure.

  26. Comment by Dave Anderson posted on

    The government won't fix the price for an MOT as they see that as a vote loser. In their view, there needs to be competition in the market! For far too long the MOT has been seen by the public as some sort of stealth tax, an inconvenience and a necessary evil, rather than a safety check.

    Allowing discounting undermines the whole scheme, encourages the need to "look for work" to make a profit or cover costs and hands an unfair advantage to the national companies who treat it as a loss leader to generate other work.

    In my opinion, the MOT test is too cheap and needs to be "sold" to the public for what it is, an important road safety tool, undertaken by professionals, fairly but strictly enforced.

  27. Comment by David evans posted on

    Need more help it's not fair imposing all these changes with very little information you have to find everything out yourself where to get the training and how much also need fixed price mots to raise standards and stop the big boys taking all the work why don't the dvsa take notice of us.

  28. Comment by steve keene posted on

    after carrying out our first 12 months of on sight training I felt the on line test to be interesting if not some of its content a little out of date, I feel that the modern vehicles require a different approach to testing,e,g under floor and engine covers and tech such as electronic parking brakes,self levelling headlights to name but a few .it would also be very helpful to understand which questions were not answered correctly by myself and my staff to aid better training and improved results and standards.
    we are testers with slightly different opinions of a pass or a pass and advise and I feel some of this confusion comes from the way certain items in the test manual are written. the mot is a work in progress and now there is more for sight managers to deal with I look forward to maybe some of the test being modernized to cope with todays vehicles.
    as for the recent press on changing a first test from 3 to 4 years I challenge the ministers who are proposing this to come and spend a few days at test centres and service centres to see what we deal with at the sharp end.
    finally the test fee should be fixed at £54.85 when you consider the investment we make and the testing time taken to carry out a test on more modern vehicles.

  29. Comment by mercedes posted on

    this is a great idea if you have more than 1 tester but what about us you are all on our todd we could do with some guidance to help us that will not incur us paying some one these bigger stations that discount there prices £19.00 for a mot is killing us smaller guys we need help on this matter fixed prices for a qualityservice is what you want and we want so we can pay for training ect

  30. Comment by william posted on

    To many garages are price cutting mot for more business ,more the national centres ATS etc. making others follow suit to keep up, quality must suffer or cutting corners. price fix is a must as in Europe to keep up standards.

    • Replies to william>

      Comment by darren posted on

      definitely,have always said the price of an mot should be one price so there is no argument

      • Replies to darren>

        Comment by mercedes posted on

        discounting is making mots look cheap and nasty

        • Replies to mercedes>

          Comment by Gaz posted on

          I've never seen why we done all charge the full price

    • Replies to william>

      Comment by Harry posted on

      Europe does have fixed prices but in most European countries (as far as I am aware) the "MOT" is undertaken by either a government agency or a dedicated test centre which does not undertake repairs - don't know what happens with "quick fixes" eg wiperblades.

  31. Comment by Dave posted on

    Here Here Stephen

  32. Comment by Tony posted on

    It may of been covered, but training and the new annual assessment. Not having the answers to the questions you have answered is ridiculous. My 10 testers get 90%. Excellent scores. However, maybe they've all answered the same two questions incorrectly. This means they must all be making the same incorrect assessment if it's presented in a test . It's something a site manager / qe should have access to to target training.

  33. Comment by David posted on

    Electronic guides and guidance are the present and future of this industry. They need to be clear, unambiguous and concise, leaving the reader in no doubt as to the intended meaning of the communication and the action required. The language used should be suitable for the intended recipients and avoid assumed knowledge of the subject matter. Where abbreviation are used there meaning should be clearly stated when first used within the body of the text. Drip fed and compartmentalised information are as damaging as inaccurate information.
    So provided that the above objectives are met I think spotlighting on specific areas of the MOT scheme will very beneficial indeed, especially with regards to the management of the scheme. All too often it seem that parts of this function are regarded as just another administration function and are given to those with a lack of knowledge and understanding of the importance of this part of the scheme.
    As starter may I suggest a focus on the Mot notice board in respect of what should or should not be displayed. A simple method of managing this area of the scheme would be for Driver and Vehicle Standard Agency (DVSA) to circulation a picture of a current noticeboard . With clear annotations of what each item displayed is and to provide details of the method and process to be followed to obtain copies or updates of each item . Each time the information to be display is changed or when campaign are being run DVSA simply circulate e-mail with updated picture to all involved in the scheme

  34. Comment by Stephen Ball posted on

    Looking forward to another good read in the Spring.

  35. Comment by Martin posted on

    Stop working against us and concentrate on working with us, LISTEN to what you are being told by the people in the front line "US".
    We have to point out your mistakes far more often than you point out our's.

  36. Comment by JOHN WHITBY posted on

    Nice idea,let's all try to implement it.

  37. Comment by Stephen posted on

    Bring in fixed pricing, this will weed out the poorer quality garages

  38. Comment by Glynne posted on

    Very useful

  39. Comment by Tom Severn posted on

    I really welcome DVSA's efforts to keep us all "in the picture" to help us maintain and improve standards and its great that new technology is making it easier to receive. All AE's and NT's want is for it all to be kept simple and information to be consistent. Well done!

  40. Comment by D Brown posted on

    I think ongoing training is all important, too many people stuck in the old regime.

  41. Comment by Shelane patel posted on

    Very interesting post,will do our very best to keep this high standard at our centre.

  42. Comment by steve mcal posted on

    great feed back keeping us up to date

  43. Comment by Adam Trowbridge posted on

    The error in the annual assessment for me is not knowing which questions I got wrong and why.By not showing me what was wrong and why ,we must pressume that I will keep making the mistake again and again. I want to be trained,but feel more tricked. Let's hope that the errors I make are more clerical than vehicle safety related.

    • Replies to Adam Trowbridge>

      Comment by John Fletcher posted on

      Totally agree

      • Replies to John Fletcher>

        Comment by Nigel posted on

        The chances are the question Was ambiguous and could be left open to appeal

      • Replies to John Fletcher>

        Comment by DAVE SUMNER posted on

        where do you find information on registration plates. I to would like to know the wright answers to the 4 I got wrong on my assessment

  44. Comment by Mohamed posted on

    I like it is not new but good way to improve

    • Replies to Mohamed>

      Comment by kerry posted on

      alaways maintained this at our station
      but agree on comments on a fixed price you asked us to veiw our points but 80% want a fixed price but it never happens..