Although general driving tuition is not currently permitted due to the Coronavirus restrictions, exceptions are possible for Key Workers.
DVSA theory test and practical test centres are currently closed and no standard tests are taking place but special provisions have been put in place for Key Workers to allow tests for these people to go ahead.
(updated info 05.05.2020)
The Government has provided guidance regarding those people that are considered to be Key Workers who may be deemed eligible for taking an emergency theory or practical driving test and would therefore be permitted to undertake driving tuition to prepare themselves for the test. Although the official list of key workers is fairly extensive, only where there is an essential need will a pupil be considered eligible for an emergency test; the present advice is that only key workers with a booked emergency test should be considered for tuition.
Following discussion with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) the National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP) has updated their advice to all driver trainers:
NASP advise that trainers should carefully evaluate the risks of on road training at this time, and establish whether there is an essential need for such before taking on any new key worker pupil.
Trainers are reminded that they engage in in-vehicle training during this period entirely at their own discretion due to the risks involved
The following training is deemed not to be essential, and should therefore to be avoided:
• Learner and novice training of any non-key worker.
• Learner and novice driver/rider training from scratch where the pupil is a key worker but does not have an essential need to drive at this time (i.e. they can use other modes of transport to commute, they are not required to drive for work) – it is also unlikely that new learners training from scratch would be able to reach test standard within a time frame that would allow them to undertake a useful and safe driving role as a key worker if they pass their test at this time; it would also potentially cause excessive risk (due to their inexperience) to encourage novice drivers to gain licences rapidly and then undertake pressured occupational driving roles at this time.
• Training or driver/rider development of a driver or rider who is not a key worker.
• Training or driver development where the key worker (whether full licence holder, vocational licence holder etc.) does not have an essential need to drive in their role (i.e. they are not driving for work, or could commute using alternative forms of transport).
Training which could be deemed necessary at this time:
• Key workers who have a practical emergency test confirmed with DVSA
• Key workers requiring new licences for essential front line roles: i.e. emergency response workers acquiring a first licence or needing licences in new categories
• Key workers needing driver or rider development in order to safely and competently drive or ride in different/new vehicles (they are unused to) in the same licence category: i.e. delivery drivers
• Key workers needing driver or rider development to drive in a new, or increased, occupational context and whose driving risk may therefore be greater i.e. increased commuting to multiple work locations, undertaking increased driving/riding in contexts they are unused to (motorway driving, increased driving after dark, rural roads, unfamiliar vehicles, UK familiarisation and those training for new driving roles e.g. delivery drivers)
Trainers should carefully consider the risks involved in delivering in- vehicle training at this time, due to not being able to socially distance.
Therefore NASP recommends, trainers should carry out a risk assessment of each pupil and their training requirements before embarking on any on-road training.
Examples of Key Worker Training which may be required at this time:
- A nurse or other frontline healthcare professional who is now required to work at different hospital locations, and therefore now needs to increase the amount of occupational driving they are doing, including using motorways (which they are unused to, and nervous of) so they have enquired about some driver development in this respect.
• A community worker being required to take their CBT in order to be more agile in their work covering multiple locations in a city centre
• Someone who has been recruited as a delivery driver covering rural areas and wants more development using rural roads and after dark driving, given they will have mainly late shifts.
• A Key Worker new to the UK and being required to drive, needing some UK Familiarisation training
Received 9.30 am – 05.05.2020
The following information was provided by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) – 24.04.2020
Changes to the emergency driving and theory testing application process
How the new service will work
Key workers will no longer need to email to request an emergency test. Instead, they will need to submit an application on GOV.UK.
They will be asked to supply their ID at the start of the application, so we have all the information we need to confirm if they’re eligible for an emergency test.
We will email those who meet the criteria, with a new test date and time at their nearest available test centre. This will be based on the information they provide when submitting their application.
If your pupils have already applied for an emergency test
If your pupil is a key worker and has already requested an emergency test by emailing us, we will email them directly and explain that to continue their application they will need to complete the online form. These applications will be prioritised over new applications.
If your pupil requested an emergency test and were declined because they were not an NHS or social care worker, they should reapply using the new service. They will be put on a waiting list and contacted once all NHS and social care key workers have been given a test.
We’re aware some of your pupils have had to wait longer than anticipated for a test. This is due to the very high volume of requests we received. We’re working hard to provide an emergency testing service and appreciate your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times.