Six ways to improve your MOT process

Specialist MOT auditing consultancy shares tips and advice for independent garage owners

Six ways to improve your MOT process
Image: Bigstock.

Automotive consultancy firm, Fourmative has released an essential guide on how MOT testing stations can improve their MOT process.

A Fourmative spokesperson said: “These guides are in place to support your MOT Management learning and help you put your plans into action.

“Enjoy the read and good luck, do let us know of your VTS successes and use our other guides to expand your continuous personal development.”

1. Understand the implications of non-compliance

Consider your garage without it’s MOT facility, this would significantly affect your ability to trade.

Profitability would suffer, and your clients may choose to buy elsewhere.

Doubtless, you have worked hard to gain your VTS license and all the investment in equipment and training, so take seriously the MOT Audit required of you.

Complete self-checks monthly and make sure NT’s buy into the process of passing an MOT audit.

Results of audits should be shared and published when standards are achieved.

2. Use nominated testers during audit

Have the right people doing the right job.

Many testers within your team will welcome the involvement and grow in the role.

Clearly, you cannot be across every aspect of your MOT business on a day-to-day basis, so share each element of the audit with the most appropriate tester, and critically explain the impact of their actions on the audit process.

Involving your N T team will make the audit less painful and achieve a more likely successful outcome.

3. Follow DVSA risk assessment

The DVSA defined areas for checking using a VT56 form; so, set time aside to match the VT56 risk assessment against departments or job functions within your business.

Can’t find the form? Contact Fourmative who will send you one.

For each of the DVSA checkpoints you must identify not only what is expected, but how to do it.

This is where second point comes to the fore.

Feel comfortable to ask one of your testers on how to achieve each checkpoint.

You will be staggered how much positivity is gained through participation and involvement.

Practice self-audits monthly, make it part of your standard operating procedures and watch your MOT business improve efficiency.

4. Timetable your MOT audit

Timetable your self-check audit and communicate to all involved.

Plan to complete your MOT self-audit in advance of your DVSA audit, giving you time to put corrective actions in place before any deadline imposed.

Often DVSA VE’s turn up unannounced, so being prepared is essential.

Let all MOT-related staff know the timetable to which you are committed, this will aid communication and help them prioritise their time in the weeks and days leading up to your self-check.

Leave yourself at least two weeks implementation time post-audit so you can seek out best practice and implement change wherever identified.

5. Measure impact

Your scoring matrix will be largely dictated by the VT56 standard to which you are being measured, however, this forms a great first base starting point to self-check.

So, gather the questions from the DVSA document and areas of audit and begin to investigate not only what is being asked, but most importantly how to do it.

MOT Audits are all about risk assessment and avoiding issues that could cause your VTS to lose its license.

The DVSA provide an excellent document to explain the risks in operation – make sure you read and understand it.

Take time to look at splitting your audit between operation and management areas or back of house vs customer-facing areas.

Each decision made will help then define who, within your team, should have an influence on the self-check you need to perform.

6. Follow DVSA’s scoring matrix

Having a scoring matrix will help visualise where attention and staff focus is required.

Where the risk assessment does not have a score, consider the Fourmative method of 0-3.

  • 0: Not done – no supporting evidence available at the time of the audit.
  • 1: Not witnessed but some limited evidence (process may exist, but not all staff use it).
  • 2: Witnessed but inconsistent (processes do exist but are not followed by everyone all of the time).
  • 3: Process demonstrated and is followed by all staff all of the time.

So, a score of zero would be recorded if the audit point is new to the team member or department processes do not exist to address the requirement, and represents the highest risk.

Then we would score a one if the MOT staff were aware of what is required, or a process was written to achieve the audit point, but it was not being done wholly.

A score of two would be awarded if NT’s/service advisor staff knew what needed to be done and the defined/documented process existed, but it was not being done all the time.

Finally, a score of three would be recorded if it were evidenced that the staff and the processes were being applied all of the time.

Related: Common mistakes garages make when responding to customer reviews

The spokesperson added: “At the heart of a great business is a clear process.

“We can help you define it, measure it, and deliver it.

“Following a logical step-through process, we work to help and guide you through best practice and you achieve your best possible results.”

Fourmative was founded in 1993 with the underlying principle that still stands today – the desire to truly make a difference to help solve issues, educate staff and managers alike.

For further information about Fourmative, select ‘more details’ below, call 01280 828 100 or email

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