The basic criteria to become a driving examiner,
You can apply to become a driving examiner if:
- you have held a UK or EU licence continuously for the last four years
- you currently have no more than three penalty points on your licence
Any endorsements will be taken into consideration on a case by case basis.
Competent and safe driver
To perform the duties of a driving examiner, you must have the right combination of:
You must be a safe driver. To become an examiner, you’ll have to pass an extended version of the driving test, known as a ‘special driving test’.
Each day you are likely to have as many as seven tests to conduct – that means seven different people to meet.
Some could be accompanied by their instructor. Many are nervous. You’ll need to be able to put people at their ease while staying professional and fair.
Most candidates are young, and many just eligible for a licence.
Sometimes candidates will get upset or angry when they don’t pass – so, you’ll have to be able to deal with difficult situations.
DSA’s structured customer care course will help you to meet their individual needs.
There’s a set standard which candidates must achieve. There are no set targets on how many people pass or fail.
You have to assess how safe a driver that person is. You’ll be expected to assess the situation under the circumstances at the time, and that’s not always easy. But we’ll train you to do so.
DSA uses a systematic approach to training that covers a number of different stages and processes.
Teamwork is an essential part of the driving examiner’s role. During training you should be prepared to offer other team members support when they need it.
You need to have a flexible approach and be equally as happy working alone and with others.
Although you are on your own when testing, you’ll work from a test centre where there’ll be other examiners.
Most driving test centres have a test centre manager – they manage the examiners in the centre.
Driving test centres are clustered in geographic sectors. A sector manager oversees the running of each of the sectors.
Wherever you work, you’ll spend much of the day alongside colleagues and it is essential that there’s a good working atmosphere.
People who make good examiners
People from different backgrounds can, and do, make good examiners if they have the right mix of skill, knowledge and attitude.
DVSA is an equal opportunities employer. Applications are welcomed from all parts of the community. DVSA actively encourages interest from:
- people from ethnic minority groups
- people with a disability
- lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
DVSA is also keen to have more examiners who work part-time.
There are various options available to part-time examiners, such as reduced working days. For example, you could cover five tests a day instead of seven to fit in with school runs, or do part-week working.
The working hours
The normal working day starts at 8.30 am and ends at 4.30 pm. However, there is some flexibility.
DVSA also conducts tests on Saturdays and, in the summer months, into the evening. However, this additional work is voluntary.
When recruiting, DVSA is able to offer permanent appointments as full and part-time driving examiners.
For part-time workers, the minimum requirement is two days a week. However, depending on demand, you could be given the opportunity to work more days, up to full time (five days a week).
Because demand for driving tests can vary, DVSA needs some flexibility in examiner availability. You’ll be allocated to one test centre, but you should expect to work at a variety of locations within the area.
If you are asked to work at a test centre further away than from your ‘home centre’, you’ll be reimbursed under the terms of our existing travel payment arrangements.
Pay and benefits
For full-time DVSA currently pays £21,348. This is increased incrementally to a maximum of £24,687 over a period of four years.
An additional allowance of £3,675 will also be paid to those who work within the M25.
Other benefits include:
- entitlement to a civil service pension
- 30 days leave per year, plus a further 10 and a half paid public and privilege holidays (based on full-time hours)
- family friendly policies, including flexible working (within set parameters such as reduced working days, child care arrangements and so on)
- regular training and development opportunities
- promotion prospects
What happens during a driving examiner’s day
A typical day can involve conducting seven driving tests.
You’ll sit alongside the candidate and take them on a predetermined test route.
Each standard test lasts up to 45 minutes so you can see that a lot of the day is spent sat in the passenger seat.
During each test, you’ll be assessing whether the candidate should be given a full driving licence – effectively, whether you can let this person out on the roads. You’ll assess the test to DVSA’s criteria and standards, which will determine your decision.
At the end of the test, you’ll tell the candidate your decision and offer feedback on how they have performed.
You’ll then go back to the centre and write a short report on the test, a copy of which can be requested by our customers so it’s key that you have:
- effective written communication skills
- neat and legible handwriting
You’ll have to be flexible and capable of adapting to a routine pattern of work.
Types of driving tests
Although DVSA recruits specifically for car test examiners, it also conducts driving tests for:
- large goods vehicles (LGV)
- passenger carrying vehicles (PCV)
To become an examiner for motorcycles, LGV or PCV, you must have been a car test examiner for a period of time.
When you are more experienced there are opportunities for career progression.
The full selection process
Further details of the selection process are published when vacancies are advertised.
If you are successful at all stages of the selection process, you may be offered a place on a training course and a conditional contract:
- when criminal record checks and medical checks have been completed with a satisfactory report
- if there is availability on a training course and at a test centre near you
The training course, which is a pass or fail training course, takes place at DVSA’s training establishment in Cardington, Bedfordshire.
The course is four weeks long, lasting from Monday to Friday, finishing early Friday afternoon each week.
You will be:
- paid a full time wage during the time you spend on the course
- accommodated in DSA’s fully equipped on-site hotel – meals are also provided
Although there is some driving on this course, the emphasis is on learning the assessment and interpersonal skills needed to be an effective examiner.
All the instructors for the practical training will be serving examiners. They are selected for their training ability and will give full instruction in the assessment and inter-personal skills needed to be an effective driving examiner.
After the training course
On successful completion of the course, you’ll start at your allocated to a test centre, where you’ll start assessing a candidate’s ability to drive safely.
But the training and assessment doesn’t end there, as you’ll be expected to complete a 12 month probation period.
Also throughout your career, your managers will continue to quality monitor your skills as an examiner to check your standards and performance.