Testers are calling on the DVSA to keep manual MOT advisories, as the agency prepares for next year’s MOT changes as part of the European Union Roadworthiness Package.
One of the number changes will see vehicle defects rated as dangerous, major or minor.
Writing on the DVSA’s Matters of Testing blog, product specialist for the MOT testing service at DVSA, Alasdair Cameron said: “With a minor being very similar to an advisory, we need to look at the existing way advisories work.”
However, many testers have been highlighting the importance of manual advisories and are calling on the agency to allow some form of manual advisory notes once the new defect categories are introduced in May 2018.
Lee Heywood said: “The reason I use manual advisories is because the wording available is simply not suitable.
“As an example, ‘slight play’ doesn’t get anywhere near correct when the play is close to the allowable limit.
“Protecting ourselves with our own words is also very important if an appeal was to occur.”
Similarly, Peter commented: “On a system that has 26 failures for a number plate but no test for a number plate light, we need manual advisories.
“Removing the function because some testers misuse it is not the way forward.”
The agency says many testers are currently using manual advisories because they’re unable to find the fault in the defect list on the MOT testing service.
Alasdair added: “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.”
In a bid to tackle the problem, the DVSA is designing a new browsing list that will feature “a more intuitive structure and clearer wording”.
The defect search will also be overhauled to make it easier to use.
General vehicle faults
Testers have been told that they shouldn’t use manual advisories to list faults that are not part of the MOT.
Alasdair said: “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.”
Protection from repercussions
The DVSA believes testers are also using manual advisories as protection from possible repercussions.
Alasdair said: “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.”
MOT tester, John commented: “I understand that these changes are law-led.
“However, you need to have much better representation at a government level to advise what is actually practical at a ground level.
“Why are VEs on the ground actively promoting the use of advisories, when desk based assessment is damning their use?
“I actually received disciplinary points from not manually advising a slight binding brake, where is the ready-made advisory for that?”
How often do you leave manual advisories? Do you believe it’s an essential part of the MOT or do you support plans to abolish manual advisories? Share your comments and experiences below.