https://mattersoftesting.blog.gov.uk/why-were-changing-manual-advisories/

Why we're changing manual advisories

I’d like to start by thanking you for your feedback on our last blog post. Looking through your responses, one topic really leapt out at us - manual advisories.

We understand that lots of you want these to stay as they are. So we wanted to take this opportunity to explain in detail why we think there should be changes to how they work.

The need for change

One thing we can say for certain is that changes are needed in this area. As explained in the last blog post on the Roadworthiness Directive, we’ll need to change the categorisation of defects so that they’re rated as dangerous, major, or minor.

With a minor being very similar to an advisory, we need to look at the existing way advisories work.

We’ve been doing research with motorists and visiting garages to talk to testers about how and why they use manual advisories. It turns out there are a lot of reasons they use them. Some are good, others are less so, and we’re determined to resolve them.

Finding the right defect

The first thing we have found out is that a lot of you are using manual advisories to make up for things you can’t find as you browse down through the defect lists in the MOT testing service.

We’ve had a look at how you use the MOT Testing Service to see what’s been going on. What happens is that people search for the defect, find that they can’t locate it, and then finally enter a manual advisory.

You shouldn’t have to use manual advisories because you can’t find the defect in the MOT testing service. In lots of cases, we’ve found that a manual advisory has been used when there’s already one listed.

Therefore, the issue isn’t that the defects aren’t listed, it’s that they need to be easier to find.

How we’re fixing this

To fix this, we’re designing a new, improved browsing list that should be much easier to use. It should feature a more intuitive structure and clearer wording. We will keep you updated when it’s ready to test.

We’re also going to back this up by revamping the defect search. We aren’t happy with the way it works right now and haven’t promoted it widely. Some of you might not even know there is a search option.

So, we’re going to completely overhaul the search feature to make it both useful and easy to use.

Protecting yourself

The second thing we found out is that a lot of you are using manual advisories to avoid unfair criticism, either from us at DVSA or from your customers, and to protect yourselves from possible repercussions.

This is fair and we understand the need to protect yourselves. That’s why we’re thinking about setting aside a specific area where you can make test observations about what you saw, or couldn’t see, while you were testing.

The customer wouldn’t see this information, but having it noted down could prove useful if there were any issues down the line. We’ve done research with motorists that shows most of them don’t find this information helpful.

Extra service

Another thing we noticed is that you like to provide your customers with a great service. If you spot a problem that isn’t part of the MOT, lots of you still want to tell them about it. This is because you take pride in your work and want to do a proper job. That’s great and we absolutely encourage you do that.

We just don’t need to see it on the MOT. It’s a structured test and only things that belong in the MOT should be included.

If you want to tell your customers about additional issues you find out while conducting an MOT, please do so. You can just do it in the same way you tell them about issues you find while servicing their vehicle. Consider it part of your customer service, not part of the MOT.

Proceeding carefully

We realise this is a big change and we’re not going to do anything rash. Each of the new features we’re building will be extensively tested and we’re going to put a package of support in place so you're not disrupted by them.

Watch this space for further updates.

Changing for the better

There might be a bit of a learning curve, but we’re confident that the changes will help you. Our improvements to the MOT Testing Service will make it easier to find the right defect, which will remove the need for manual advisories.

You’ll also be able to protect yourself from any unfair criticism using the section where you can record any extra observations you make during the MOT.

And you’re still more than welcome to deliver extra value to your customers by making them aware of anything else you find during your inspection. In fact, we encourage you to do this.

As ever, we welcome your feedback. Please feel free to leave a comment below.

297 comments

  1. Comment by richard parsons posted on

    Advisory sheets will always be needed testers have not got time to explain defects and the person taking payment could be someone with no knowlede of the defects but at least they have a list of defects that they can ask another mechanic to explain to them

    Reply
  2. Comment by stephen phillips posted on

    Hi, One item we often advise customers that they need to be aware off
    Is:- When the brake pad to Brake Disc contact area is reduced due to rust (usually on the inner face) This in my view is a serious defect. That the customer needs to be aware of. When we test vehicles in the brake rollers at very low speed they pass. However on the road at speed the braking stopping distance will be increased. Also it is likely to cause brake fade due to the smaller pad contact area over heating. In the pass we could fail cars for this but the standards were altered due to many unjustifiable failures.

    Or would you accept that the reduced contact area would justify a failure under "Seriously weakened brake disc?"

    Reply
  3. Comment by Graham posted on

    It is considered best practice to advise the presenter of: • any items which are near to, but which have not yet reached the point of test failure. • any peculiarities of the vehicle identified during the inspection. • any defects on non-testable items which are found during the inspection procedure. <------- Ive copied that straight from the introduction of the manual. How can we advise on peculiarities or non - testable items with out manual advisorys? Thanks

    Reply
  4. Comment by Tony S posted on

    Posted this further down, so I thought I'd post it again

    What you will find is that a bad back street mechanic will cover things like corroded brake pipes and poor welding with underseal just to get it though the test.
    So suppose that corroded brake pipe, covered in underseal, bursts and causes an accident, maybe someone gets badly injured or worse, killed.
    I'd say that's why the unsuspecting customer, that now won't see the hidden advisory, needs to see it

    Reply
    • Replies to Tony S>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Tony
      Space is limited on these documents but we do know that motorists can struggle to interpret observations that are not directly about defects.

      Reply
      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by markt posted on

        fair comment julia but if motorists struggle to understand what the advisories are then theres no reason why they cant ask is there? im sure you would?our customer ask if they unclear of whats on there certificate. theres plenty of space on the document to list things..even if there wasnt it prints another sheet with them on.advisories dont have to be about the defects..they are there to ADVISE the customer/vehicle presenter that a particular part of the vehicle,whether it falls into
        the testable items catagory or not,may/will need attention sooner rather than later.

        Reply
      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by martin posted on

        A manual advisory is more likely to be understood by the presenter rather than one from the "list" provided because it will identify more precisely what the problem is and be understood by most.

        Reply
  5. Comment by James posted on

    There are far too many fail options that do not have an advisory to remove manual advisories. Cracked tyres, slight binding brakes etc. There are also lots of items that should be fails that are not. For example a nail in the sidewall of a tyre or the seat belt inertia lock being defective. What is the point of any of the seat belt tests if this does not work?

    Reply
  6. Comment by Shaun posted on

    One of the most the most grey areas in the not system is the word INSECURE...
    there is no definition in the manual to explain how they would like you to interpret this.
    This is mainly for headlamps and mirrors, some vosa staff come out saying it has to be at a point of falling off, yet you could get another vosa staff come out and say any play in the item then it's not secure...
    This makes testing these items very difficult.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Shaun>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Shaun

      The insecure definition is in the introduction at item 11 and the Driver’s View S/N has been incorporated into the manual.

      Reply
      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Graham posted on

        There is no item 11 in introduction. Only goes to no 10, also insecure isnt in definitions / abbreviations table????

        Reply
        • Replies to Graham>

          Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on

          Hello,

          Apologies for the confusion, the reference to the definition of insecure will be in the new manual which we’ll be publishing soon.

          Thanks,

          Chris

          Reply
      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by mark posted on

        there isnt a item 11 in the introduction it only goes upto 10

        Reply
        • Replies to mark>

          Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on

          Hello,

          Apologies for the confusion, the reference to the definition of insecure will be in the new manual which we’ll be publishing soon.

          Thanks,

          Chris

          Reply
      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Lonewolf posted on

        There is no item 11 in the Testing Manual introduction.

        Reply
        • Replies to Lonewolf>

          Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on

          Hello,

          Apologies for the confusion, the reference to the definition of insecure will be in the new manual which we’ll be publishing soon.

          Thanks,

          Chris

          Reply
      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by andrew cripps posted on

        I cannot see an item 11 in the manual introduction - please clarify!

        Reply
        • Replies to andrew cripps>

          Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on

          Hello,

          Apologies for the confusion, the reference to the definition of insecure will be in the new manual which we’ll be publishing soon.

          Thanks,

          Chris

          Reply
      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Tim Greenwood posted on

        There is no item 11 in the current IM introduction section. Neither is the SN about Drivers view in the current manual.

        Reply
        • Replies to Tim Greenwood>

          Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on

          Hello,

          Apologies for the confusion, the reference to the definition of insecure will be in the new manual which we’ll be publishing soon.

          Thanks,

          Chris

          Reply
      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Shaun posted on

        Well unless I'm being blind, I have loaded the MOT manual and in the introduction it only goes upto 10 there is no 11? So can't find it can you be more specific please

        Reply
        • Replies to Shaun>

          Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on

          Hello,

          Apologies for the confusion, the reference to the definition of insecure will be in the new manual which we’ll be publishing soon.

          Thanks,

          Chris

          Reply
      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Steve posted on

        Where is this "introduction Item 11 ". The mot testing guide introduction pages are alphanumeric & the testing manual introduction only goes up to item 10. Where else should we be looking?

        Reply
        • Replies to Steve>

          Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on

          Hello,

          Apologies for the confusion, the reference to the definition of insecure will be in the new manual which we’ll be publishing soon.

          Thanks,

          Chris

          Reply
      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Tony S posted on

        I must be missing something cos I can't find an item 11 in the introduction of the manual.

        Reply
        • Replies to Tony S>

          Comment by Chris (DVSA) posted on

          Hello,

          Apologies for the confusion, the reference to the definition of insecure will be in the new manual which we’ll be publishing soon.

          Thanks,

          Chris

          Reply

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