April - May Mag Issue 25 Paperturn - Page 26

Elephant in the room – Why are
DVSA testers treated different?
Stephen Smith - President of ATFOA

Contact Details:
Elephant in The Room – Why are DVSA
testers so special?
“is a metaphorical idiom in English for an
important or enormous topic, problem, or
risk that is obvious or that everyone knows
about but no one mentions or wants to
discuss because it makes at least some
of them uncomfortable or is personally,
socially, or politically embarrassing,
controversial, inflammatory, or dangerous”
I have had tens, if not hundreds of
conversations with many ATF’s and
stakeholders since the decision was
made to suspend testing completely. As
an industry we have largely accepted the
decision without question.
ATFOA are now challenging this Taboo
subject: why is it that all other partners
in the transport sector, including DVSA
enforcement, can continue to operate
in some capacity whilst following
government guidelines on social
distancing, when DVSA testers are treated
differently and have suspended testing in
its entirety?
If you look at the logic, the reasoning to
suspend testing completely but allow for
26 ATF0A
all other transport partners (including
DVSA enforcement) to continue, is not just
contentious, its flawed.
DVSA testers aren’t different at all to the
rest of us. They operate in exactly the
same spaces that the rest of the industry
does. The ATF environment is mostly in
the open, or at least in an open area, with
only the tester operating in his own space.
Workshops operate in this environment.
I appreciate entering the cab may be an
issue (but it’s not for the rest of us who
follow government policy).
There could easily be a temporary
variation introduced so DVSA do not need
to enter the cab, or quite simply, the cab
can be cleansed, like all other private
sector workshop policies.
A few stakeholders had mentioned that
the DVSA union representatives had
a strong influence on the decision to
suspend testing. If this is so, I’d like to
hear the logic so the rest of the industry
can understand why testing practice is
treated different to driving, enforcement,
workshops, delivery and loading practice
etc, etc.


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