A driving examiner carries out driving tests, to assess whether candidates can drive well enough to get a full driving licence. Driving examiners may do tests for driving cars or large goods vehicles, or riding motorcycles.
When carrying out a driving test for a car licence you would:
- conduct the necessary eyesight test and ask vehicle safety check questions
- check the candidate's preparation for driving, such as adjusting mirrors and seat belt
- direct the candidate around a set test route, including 10 minutes of ‘independent driving’, where they have to follow traffic signs, a series of directions, or both
- ask the candidate to carry out exercises in reversing the car, turning the car to face the opposite direction or parking
- decide when it is safe to carry out an emergency stop and then give the candidate the signal to do so
- assess how safely the candidate is driving and note down any faults, stopping the test if you feel that the driver is a danger to other road users
- count up the number of faults, passing the candidate if there are no major faults and fewer than 15 minor faults
- tell the candidate whether the result is a pass or a fail, hand over the pass certificate or fail sheet and offer feedback on the reasons for your decision
- return to the test centre and write a short report on the test.
The DVSA is part of the Civil Service. Driving examiners are on the EO pay scale. The current starting salary is £24,876 a year, with allowances of up to £4,000 in some areas, rising to over £25,500 with more experience.
- You would work mainly Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm, and sometimes on Saturdays.
- You would assess up to seven candidates a day.
- Part time work is available.
- You would spend a lot of your day sitting in a car.
- You would be based at one test centre, but sometimes work from other tests centres in the local area.
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- You must be aged 24 or over.
- You do not usually need specific academic qualifications, though you do need to be a safe driver.
- You should have held a UK or EU driving licence continuously for the last four years and have no more than three current penalty points.
- To get in as a fast-track motorcycle or large goods vehicle (LGV) examiner, you must hold the full licences for the relevant categories.
- You have to pass an online driving examiner assessment, consisting of personality, interpersonal skills and situational judgement tests.
- Following that, you attend an assessment event which includes a strict test of driving ability.
- You will have to pass a medical test and mandatory Civil Service entry checks.
- You have to pass an interview which focuses on judgement and decision making, customer service, self-awareness and communication skills.
- You must have a satisfactory PVG check to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for more details.
Driving examiners work for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) who have 400 test centres across the UK.
Predicted Employment in Scotland
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What Does it Take?
You need to be:
- patient and tolerant
- calm and able to put others at ease
- alert and observant
- able to deal with nervous, upset and angry people
- able to explain instructions in simple terms
- able to write clear and concise test reports
- consistent and fair with good judgement
- flexible and able to work as part of a team
- decisive, assertive and firm.
- Initial training lasts five weeks and takes place at both a regional training centre and the main DVSA centre in Bedford. This includes a structured customer care course.
- On successful completion of the course you will be allocated a test centre. You are on probation for the first nine months.
- You must complete five days' driver training every five years and four days of test training every two years.
- You must keep up to date with all changes in legislation and in testing procedures.
With experience you may be able to progress to senior driving examiner or supervising examiner of a test centre.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)
Tel: 0300 200 1122
The DVSA replaced the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) in April 2014. Its aim is to promote road safety through improving driving standards, testing drivers, motorcyclists and driving instructors, maintaining the registers of Approved Driving Instructors and Large Goods Vehicle Instructors and supervising training for learner motorcyclists.
People 1st - Careers That Move
People 1st is the Sector Skills Council for the hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries.
Careers That Move is in association with People 1st and the UKSP. It is the careers website for passenger transport and travel.
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