MOT tester RAG scores: is red actually bad?

DVSA clears up confusion over recently updated MOT risk rating system – here's what you need to know

MOT tester RAG scores: is red actually bad?
The DVSA wants MOT testers to use the new VTS ratings to improve standards and aid consistency. Image: Bigstock.

The DVSA has confirmed that MOT testers who are currently rated red should not change how they are operating, as long as they know they are practising correctly.

Speaking at an Independent Garage Association (IGA) member event in Essington this week (13 March), Luke Miller of the DVSA confirmed what testers should do when analysing their scores.

He explained: “Don’t change your behaviour if you’re red.

“If you’re confident in what you are doing and can explain it, carry on.”

Consistency ratings

The rating is essentially derived from consistency; if garages and testers are doing anything differently, or the outcome of the tests differ from normality, this may prompt a change their red-amber-green (RAG) rating.

A red rating does not mean a member of the DVSA enforcement team has been alerted to visit a test station, but is designed to support testers and testing stations spot any anomalies and see if there is anything worth investigating internally.

Conversely, if you are currently – as a tester or test station – rated green or amber, it does not mean that any less diligence should be applied.

Green means you are testing consistently and have a previous exemplary record, but that does not mean that malpractice is not occurring.

MOT risk rating explained

  • Red (higher risk): You must look into the reasons you’re rated as higher risk, and make sure you’re testing to the right standard and following all the right processes.
  • Amber (medium risk): You should look into the reasons you’re rated as a medium risk, and check you’re testing to the right standard and following all the right processes.
  • Green (lower risk): You should still check you’re testing to the right standard and following all the right processes.

As well as test timing, the results and number of tests completed by testers should be checked.

Testers’ ratings cannot be viewed by anyone other than the DVSA and the tester them self, therefore test managers should be aware of regularly looking at individuals behaviour to see whether any changes need to be made.

Should a testing station begin to change methods and see their VTS rating change to amber or red, that only means it has changed how it normally operates, it is not an indication of practices being incorrect or substandard.

Once a change has been made, it will take time for a rating to return to green again.

Updated MOT risk rating

The new MOT risk rating system, which aims to improve MOT quality and catch more fraudsters, was rolled out in November 2018.

Testing stations are now awarded either a red, amber or green rating based on analysis of tester data and the results of an improved site assessment.

The new site assessment focuses on compliance and the test itself, with DVSA examiners carrying out more checks on recently tested vehicles, while a ‘site review’ involves a shorter check on systems and processes in the garage.

Authorised examiners and site managers can use test quality reports for information on their testers’ testing profile.

Find out more about the IGA and the benefits of membership by clicking ‘more details’ below.

What do you think about the new risk rating system? Share your comments and experiences below.

Home Page Forums MOT tester RAG scores: is red actually bad?

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
  • #172333 Reply

    “If you’re confident in what you are doing and can explain it, carry on.”

    And can explain it ?? WTF

    This takes the piss. If it has excessive play , or tyre below 1.6mm its failed FULL STOP. How the hell do you ” explain that” idiots !

    #172334 Reply

    Cars pass or fail based on merit it is deemed the minimum standards of vehicle condition. So if I test 10 vehicles and they meet the minimum standards I will pass the vehicles regardless of what colour the DVSA say I’m on equally i will fail the vehicles to. My personal experience with the test scheme over the last 10 year’s is standards have lowered considering the fast fit outfits now use the test scheme as a way to milk Joe public.

    #172335 Reply

    Isn’t amber in the middle of green and red. Some may say the average of the average.

    Where should we be again ?

    #172336 Reply

    I think some testers see this as targeting them but actually it is just management control of the mot scheme. Different areas of the country and varying makes and models of vehicles, including test classes will show different evidence from different areas but I don’t think testers should be worrying about it. I think testers need to think differently about the figures and the colour scheme used to identify vehicles and categories of their defects. If a tester is testing class 7 all day every day then their fail rate will be quite high compared to a tester in a main dealer testing 3 year old cars that probably seldom fail. Does this mean the class 7 tester is doing a bad job shown in the RED! Clearly not, and the staff at DVSA analyzing the figures are also looking at the types of fail that might suggest something in the manufacturing industry needs to change, thus in the longer term projections the fail rate will then reduce. The testers might be looking at the figures thinking about the ‘hear and now’ but DVSA could be looking at longer term changes in the design of vehicle components from the data, and not targeting the testers as some might think.

    #173121 Reply

    Qoute : “Don’t change your behaviour if you’re red.
    “If you’re confident in what you are doing and can explain it, carry on.”Not good advice
    If red is a higher risk then why remain in it and how are you ever going to be in amber or green!!!!

    #174412 Reply

    my rag is green but i was told by vosa that my failure rate was quite high which it is and suggested i pass and advise on certain components
    but whilst they give you averages for age of vehicle and types of failures one thing they dont include is average mileage
    in my case 95% of the vehicles i test are taxis and depending if it has one or two drivers can put 30 to 70 thousand miles
    a year on the clock hence the high failure rate which shows me up as a over cautious tester

    #174821 Reply
    C Gibbs

    Yes that’s right Ronnie, it’s not all about the age of the vehicles, I seem to have a high proportion of very high mileage cars, it has got me thinking no, and make me question sometimes,for example is that play in a ball joint possibly an advice and not a fail. Am I being a bit hard, not everything is black and white like say a light not working.

    #178696 Reply

    just looked and i am now red, i always tried to do the best mot i could,a fair mot with repeat customers
    now i am obsessed with getting my self out of the red,,
    a few testers i have spoken to are pre repairing small items ie bulbs,washers ,wiper to keep there fail rate down
    is this the correct way to go??

    #187918 Reply
    Dennis Ford

    I have been a tester for nearly 40years and I have just noticed mine has change from amber to red I only do 2 or 3tests a month never had any points against me in all this time as a tester all vehicles I test have been fully serviced and over repaired I do some times find things that have been missed and do the minor repairs I think with this system it’s probably time I give up testing I feel they don’t trust us

    #194170 Reply

    Just changed my password and from being green since they started this system I am now red.Looking at test infomation time taken same as average slightly higher in some areas than average.The only real differences are age of vehicle, 13 years as opposed to 9 , and failure rate.Average for the month was 29% mine was 25%.That seems harsh to me.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)


Reply To: MOT tester RAG scores: is red actually bad?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have your say!

0 3
Written by

Lost Password

Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.