Do you carry out Tester Quality control checks correctly?

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DVSA changed the old MOT computer system to what is now called the MOT Testing Service (MTS). In order to simplify the MOT Testing Service, DVSA has removed the need to log quality checks. We have noticed that since this section has been removed, some garages either do not carry out quality checks or if they do, they just complete a basic observation and record a signature on the MOT test documentation. A full quality check is so much more. Although you are not required to log MOT quality checks on the MOT Testing Service; each NT must have at least one full QC check, for each test group that they are nominated to test, every 2 months as a minimum!

Although you are not required to log MOT quality checks on the MOT Testing Service, each NT must have at least one full QC check every 2 months!

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The MOT testers guide states under section B6 “Authorised Examiners”:

“AEs must ensure an adequate system of quality control (QC) at each of their VTSs for which purpose they must appoint a Quality Controller for each vehicle group at each VTS.

Authorised Examiners must appoint a Quality Controller and an adequate system of quality control at each of their Vehicle Testing stations

Each NT listed must have one QC check for each Test Group that they are nominated to test, within each Authorisation at least once every two calendar months.  There are two Test Groups: group A includes all class 1 and 2 machines and group B includes all other vehicle classes.

The AE must ensure each QC check is carried out on a vehicle tested in normal circumstances

The QC check test must cover all aspects of the test, including:

  1. Inspection routines and procedures
  2. Testing standards
  3. Use of testing equipment
  4. Use of the VTS Device
  5. Documentation

The Quality Controller may inform the NT that they are carrying out a QC check, then either

  1. Closely watch all parts of the test as they are carried out and when the test has been completed record their comments on the VTS Device or

  2. Closely observe the testing process as described above”

Quality Controllers must closely watch all parts of the test process as the test is being carried out

in addition DVSA has given an update on the 25th of January 2016 as to the requirements of quality management and quality control via the MOT guide to risk reduction, this additionally states:

“AE’s benefit from Quality Management (QM) systems at each of their VTS’s.

A QM assessment will replace the existing Quality Control system currently in place. The type of QM approach adopted by an AE should help to ensure that Test Standards and good management practices are in place.

The decision on the methods used will be left with the AE. Factors that may affect the type of QM approach used could include the number of NT’s employed, the type of services the Vehicle Testing Station offer, what systems are currently in place and if there is any third party involvement.

QM systems as a minimum should include:

  • the MOT test procedure
  • the NT’s routine and use of MOT equipment
  • the standards applied on testable items
  • the documentation issued

QM checks may be conducted by closely observing a complete test or by the re-examination of a completed test. Which method is used will depend on the specific target area, for example a check on an NT’s testing routine or if there are concerns regarding the standards being applied by a specific NT. These factors will help decide what method of QM an AE may apply.

Once a specific QM activity has been completed, the result should be discussed with the NT, the activity must be recorded and show any areas for improvement identified with any recommended remedial action, all of which must be documented.

If more serious shortcomings are identified, such as the incorrect application of test standards or repeated shortcomings, it may be appropriate to refer staff for some form of retraining.

An AE may also consider implementing a QM approach which could include a third party or Trade representative. Any third party should cover aspects relating to MOT test standards and the administrative management of the MOT business.

Examples of a third party programme may involve an observed inspection of an MOT test being carried out, or the re-inspection of a recently tested vehicle. The check would also include a site audit to measure how the VTS are performing with specific focus on MOT test standards and document management. Site audits may be carried out by appointment or on an unannounced basis, all visits should be evidence based.

If evidence of a third party QM system can be verified during a Site Assessment visit, this will be recognised and give an AE a reduced MOT Risk score. Any third party documentation should be retained as evidence and made available at the Site Assessment.

QM processes in place should be subject to regular review, this will enable an AE to monitor the effectiveness and if required make relevant changes where required.”

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So to summarise your quality control checks on testers should include the following processes:

  1. A quality policy that shows what types of quality checks and how often per tester based on experience, test groups and age of vehicles tested.
  2. A review of test log date per tester
  3. A review of tester quality information
  4. An observation that checks a testers methods of inspection and ideally relates to the mot testers guide on disciplinary points if items missed
  5. The end result of an observed test or retest that assesses a testers decisions and standards and again relates to the mot testers guide on disciplinary for incorrect compliance of the standards
  6. Questions from the list of NT questions on the VT57
  7. And finally includes a review and training plan that incorporates regular CPD and assesses and recent scheme changes.

A detailed quality control check is much more than a basic observation, it includes preparation, a detailed observation and review with the tester. Once complete you must provide a performance review and detailed observation report including information on the tester’s knowledge and application of the test standards.

A full quality control check includes a detailed observation report which shows the tester’s knowledge and application of test standards

QUIZ: How Good Is Your Quality Control Process? TAKE QUIZ NOW

With over 10 years’ experience, Premier MOT is one the UK’s largest providers of MOT tester training and consultancy. We work with awarding bodies such as IMI and ABC awards as well as DVSA to develop MOT qualifications.

We have taken the guidance from DVSA and created a qualification for MOT Quality control. If you are interested in taking our Quality Control Course please contact one of our dedicated Training Consultants now on 0345 459 0231.

More Information on the Quality Control Course Here >>

QUIZ: How Good Is Your Quality Control Process? TAKE QUIZ NOW