Driving test marking to go digital this year

Written by Sam Trendall on 24 April 2018 in News
News

Examiners will swap clipboards for iPads and use a digital tool for marking, as part of a wider DVSA transformation programme

Credit: PA

By the end of 2018, driving examiners will no longer mark tests using pen and paper, but will instead be kitted out with tablets running a newly built digital tool for marking candidates.

Currently, every driving test in England, Scotland, and Wales is assessed using a paper copy of the DL25 form, on which examiners mark candidates’ performance and record faults. At the end of the test, the candidate and the test centre each receive a physical copy of the form, which is also scanned and sent on to the relevant authorities.

“Those scans are quite error-prone,” according to James Munson, director of digital services and technology at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the government organisation that carries out driving tests and approves driving instructors.


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To deliver an improved marking system, examiners will be equipped with Apple iPads over the next two to three months. Meanwhile, the DVSA will continue work on building a digital marking tool, a project which is currently in alpha phase.

“We will be building the service for the tablet – not just replicating the paper form,” said Munson. “And the tablets will have a screen guard, so it will not distract the candidate. [Digital marking] will also enable us to capture more data.”

The rollout of digital test-marking is part of a much wider programme of transformation at the DVSA, which this week published a digital, data, and technology strategy for the next three years. The strategy outlines the organisation’s ambitions to create and roll out new digital tools for citizens and staff, as well as implementing mobile technology, and promoting better use of data.

Look out on PublicTechnology in the coming days for a full write-up of our discussion with the DVSA digital and technology chief, including lots more detail on how the organisation will be driving digital transformation over the coming years.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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