DVSA launches driving test examiner recruitment drive to tackle lockdown backlog

By Matt Allan
Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 2:00 pm
Updated Monday, 1st March 2021, 4:27 pm

The body which oversees driving tests has launched a recruitment drive for new examiners.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is seeking more staff to help tackle the huge backlog of driving tests caused by lockdowns around the country.

In the advert for the role, the DVSA explains: “The challenges presented by Covid-19 mean we’ve been unable to conduct the number of tests we would in a normal year, so we need to recruit more driving examiners to help get back to ‘business as usual’.”

Hundreds of thousands of practical car driving tests were cancelled during the first UK-wide lockdown which started in March 2020, creating a backlog of tests. The problem was made worse by subsequent regional lockdowns, problems with the online booking system and the need to reduce the number of tests per day in line with safety guidelines.

Driving test centres around the country have been shut for the whole of 2021 so far (Photo: Shutterstock)

Tests are still currently suspended in England, Scotland and Wales, with affected learners being offered new dates for their practical driving test.

The DVSA has come under fire over its handling of the backlog and faced calls for driving instructors to be allowed to issue passes and for theory test passes to be extended.

It says that the recruitment drive for more examiners is part of a package of measures aimed at tackling the huge demand for driving tests as soon as possible.

As well as hiring more examiners, the agency has extended testing outside of normal working hours and drafted in qualified staff from other areas to conduct driving tests.

A total of 75 roles are being offered around England, Scotland and Wales, with a salary of £26,126. Applicants must be aged 23 or over, have held a UK or EU driving licence continuously for the last three years and have no more than three penalty points on their licence.

Applications for the roles close on Monday, 1 March at midnight.