The Government has launched an independent review of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to help shape its future.

It is part of a wider Government programme looking into the effectiveness of public bodies.

This review will assess efficiency, efficacy, accountability and governance.

Up to speed

With the rise of new vehicle technology and automated vehicles, the DVSA has to continue to evolve.

The Department for Transport (DfT) says  this review is an important step in ensuring it is up to speed.

Roads minister, Guy Opperman, said: “The DVSA plays a crucial role in making sure road users get around safely and with confidence, helping learners pass their driving tests and giving drivers peace of mind by ensuring MOTs are carried out to exceptional standards.

“This review will help us understand how the DVSA can continue to improve, evolving alongside vehicle technology and keeping Britain moving safely and sustainably.”

A decade of work

The review will also assess how DVSA works with its wide range of stakeholders. These include those within and outside of Government.

As an executive agency of the DfT, DVSA was established 10 years ago. It followed the merger of the Driver Standards Agency (DSA) and Vehicle and Operator Service Agency (VOSA).

Responsibilities include: theory and practical driving and riding tests; approving people to be driving instructors and MOT testers; carrying out tests to make sure lorries and buses are safe to drive; carrying out enforcement checks on drivers and vehicles; and monitoring vehicle recalls.

It also works with the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain to license and regulate the heavy vehicle industry.

Income is derived primarily from fees for the services it conducts and oversees. It also collects penalty fares and fines on behalf of HM Treasury.

Value for money

In the 2022 to 2023 financial year, DVSA’s total income was £407 million.

DVSA also receives £21.7m directly from DfT to fund enforcement activity and policy development.

DVSA non-executive chair, Nick Bitel, says the review is about keeping Britain moving  nd in step with evolving technology.

Bitel says “we’re taking a service-led, customer-focused approach to the way we work, modernising and transforming our services to make them even better and more efficient, helping meet the needs of our customers and make road transport safer, greener and healthier.

“These regular, independent reviews of public sector bodies are always helpful,” Bitel continues.

Independent view

The review will be led by an external independent lead reviewer, Sarika Patel. She is a non-executive director at the Office for Nuclear Regulation with extensive private and public sector business experience and was appointed by the transport secretary.

The review is expected to conclude this summer.

For the terms of reference of the independent review, click here.