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Call us on 01983 810012 ask for Steve Cocks

Drivex Operating Procedures during Covid-19

A summary of our protocols for delivering in-vehicle training during the Covid-19 restrictions in the U.K.
The points covered in this page are:

Delivering in-vehicle training at this time

In-vehicle activities mean that maintaining current social distancing measures are difficult to achieve. However, the requirements of certain key workers are such that some in-vehicle training and testing is necessary so that these workers can fulfil their roles with the necessary role flexibility and safety as required. To this end we are still conducting in-vehicle training programs for certain clients and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are now conducting Vocational Driving Tests for all applicants.

The measures outlined in this guidance are based on the latest guidelines produced by the HSE and National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP) for in-vehicle work / training activities. The measures apply equally to courses conducted in our own vehicles and client vehicles unless specifically stated otherwise.

All courses will be conducted on a 1:1 basis (i.e. 1 trainer to 1 trainee).

Drivex Trainers will only continue delivering practical driver training courses provided ALL the following conditions apply:

Throughout the lockdown restrictions Drivex have continued to work with clients and their keyworkers in the utilities, supermarkets and taxi industries

  • We, or anyone in our household, has not been specifically told to isolate or is in a high-risk group.

  • We, or anyone in our household, is not showing any symptoms of coronavirus such as a cough or high temperature.
  • We have not been in contact with anyone showing symptoms.
  • We, or anyone we have been in contact with, have not travelled from a high-risk region.
  • We will follow any advice given by the NHS Track and Trace program.


PPE Overview

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for delivering practical driver training courses:
  • Hand sanitiser. Clean hands as frequently as possible.
  • Antibacterial wipes or spray.
  • Supply of disposable gloves. Use a new pair at the start of each training session and dispose of the old ones safely and responsibly.
  • Supply of disposable pens.
  • Supply of disposable vehicle seat covers.
  • Supply of polythene rubbish bags.
  • Supply of disposable face masks
We have all these items available for use.
To wear clothing that is warm, appropriate and covers as much of you as possible. 
The windows of the vehicle will remain open whenever possible during the training session.
Face coverings. We may wear a face covering. The advice on the effectiveness of face masks varies and their use is optional for our trainers and trainees. If the covering is disposable, then we will use a new one frequently and dispose of the old one safely and responsibly. If the covering is not disposable, then it will be washed at the end of the day.

Before the in-vehicle activities

Before starting EVERY course, we will ask the trainee if:
  • They, or anyone in their household, is specifically being told to isolate or in a high-risk group.
  • They, or anyone in their household, is showing any symptoms of coronavirus such as a cough or high temperature.
  • They have been in contact with anyone showing symptoms.
  • They, or anyone they have been in contact with, has travelled from a high-risk region.
If we are not 100% happy with the responses received, we will not proceed with the course. 
Once we are happy for the session to proceed, from a safe distance, we will then explain that:
  • We will not shake their hand.
  • We have just cleaned our hands with hand sanitiser or soap and water where possible.
  • We have cleaned our iPad, marking clipboard and will be using fresh pens as required.
  • The windows will be open during the session for ventilation.
  • Trainees can put on warm clothing and put the heater on as required.
  • Nobody will be permitted to sit in on any training session or on any practical DVSA Test.

Completion of pre-course documentation

We will then proceed to carry out as much of the following outside the training vehicle wherever possible and maintaining the safe distance from the candidate:
  • If we have not already done so, we will put on a fresh pair of disposable gloves and ask the trainee to do the same.
  • We will ask to see the candidate’s driving licence and carry out the normal DVLA on-line check. We will ask the candidate to hold it for us, or place it on a hard surface so we can record the details while a safe distance from the candidate
  • Complete the eyesight check
  • Ask the candidate to sign the licence check authorisation by resting our iPad / clipboard on a hard surface (e.g. the vehicle bonnet) so the candidate does not have to touch the iPad / clipboard.
  • If the candidate does not have their own pen, they can use one of ours and we will ask them to keep it. We will use a fresh pen for ourselves.
  • Give the briefing about the training session to be conducted.
  • At this point the training vehicle will be sanitised (see checklist below). 
  • Carry out vehicle safety checks as required.

Training Vehicle Sensitisation.

During the current Covid-19 restrictions this is a useful training aid.
Using either disinfectant wipes or disinfectant spray and paper towels clean the following:
  • Wipe the ignition key.
  • Wipe all exterior and interior door handles.
  • Apply temporary seat covers paying attention to airbag safety (or wipe seats if seat material is suitable).
  • Wipe all interior contact points (steering wheel, interior mirror, exterior mirror controls, column and dash switches, window controls, sun visor, seat adjustment points, gear lever, handbrake, seatbelt controls).

During the in-vehicle activities 

Once all the above have been completed we will enter the vehicle and commence the training session as normal, notwithstanding that the windows will be open on both sides of the vehicle whenever possible.
The duration and content of the sessions will remain the same as normal. 
The following protocols will be observed:
  • Try to avoid directly facing each other when briefing the candidate or discussing any points that arise.
  • Try not pass any items between each other, such as pens, route diagrams etc.
  • There will be no rear-seat passengers permitted.  Airflow in the rear of the vehicle poses a greater risk.
  • There will be no more than two people in any training vehicle (e.g. car to van courses).

Notes regarding Trailer Courses. 

During the BE Trailer Licence acquisition courses that we conduct, at least half of the training time is spent either outside of the vehicle (during the uncouple/recouple training and preparing for the Vehicle and Trailer safety Questions) or with the trainee in the vehicle and the trainer outside of the vehicle (during the reverse exercise practice).

After the in-vehicle activities

Once the candidate has parked up in the final parked position and they have switched off the engine, get out of the vehicle. We will remove the temporary seat cover.
  • Debrief the candidate in the normal way including any appropriate explanation of any faults recorded.
  • Complete the Assessment Sheet (and Pass Certificate if needed) and ask for the candidate’s signature using the pen we gave them earlier, resting on a hard surface. If we need to, give them another pen and let them keep this one also.
  • Hand the candidate their copy of the Assessment Sheet (we are currently in the process of moving to a paperless way of operating for all our courses in which case Assessment Sheets and Course Certificates will be emailed to candidates).
  • Do not shake their hand.
At the end of the training session we will:
  • Place the used seat cover in one of our rubbish bags.
  • Wipe our folder and mobile phone with one of the disposable wipes and place the used wipe in the rubbish bag
  • Wipe our car key fob with one of the disposable wipes and place the used wipe in the rubbish bag if we needed to access our car at this point
  • Place any other pieces of used PPE in the rubbish bag (e.g. disposable gloves, disposal face covering, contaminated pens etc.)
  • Dispose of the rubbish bag safely and considerately.
Now wash our hands with soap and water, hand sanitizer or use one of our hand wipes.

As soon as we return home we try to:
  • Only take the minimum work equipment indoors that is necessary.
  • Wash our clothes (and face covering if necessary) immediately.
  • Have a hot shower.

Additional Notes regarding DVSA Vocational Driving Tests

As mentioned earlier, DVSA have continued to conduct Vocational Driving Tests for keyworkers throughout the current Covid-19 restrictions.
There are some marked differences in normal operating procedure that the examiner will follow and these aim to limit any physical contact and handling of equipment with the trainee during the initial meet and greet part of the test. The other notable differences are:
  • Face coverings will be required to be worn by all candidates during their test. 
  • Test & Trace. The Candidate participation in the NHS Test & Trace initiative is a requirement for taking a practical test. The examiner will ask the candidate; “Can you confirm that you are taking part in the Government test and trace or similar national initiative and that you are happy for your details to be passed to the relevant tracing authority if needed for Covid 19 tracing purposes.” Should the candidate not be taking part in the test and trace initiative the test cannot go ahead.
  • If a driving test candidate or driving examiner develops symptoms in the days after a test, the NHS Test and Trace service will use data DVSA collects from the candidate to contact them.
  • The Reverse Exercise and Uncouple / Recouple Exercise will be carried out at the beginning of the Test. Should a candidate carry out these exercises in such a way that they incur a Serious or Dangerous Fault the Test will be terminated by the Examiner without proceeding to the on-road part of the Test.

'DVSA have continued to conduct Vocational Driving Tests for keyworkers throughout the current Covid-19 restrictions'

  • Should a candidate incur a Serious or Dangerous Fault or more than the permitted maximum of fifteen Driving Faults, the Examiner will immediately direct the candidate to return to the Test Centre and the Test will be terminated immediately. During this time the Test will still be conducted and marked as normal. Only at the end of the Test will the Examiner inform the candidate of the result.
At the present time, there remains sufficient traffic on our roads to ensure that meaningful assessments, training and tests can be conducted. This will be reviewed regularly.

Steve Cocks B.Sc.

April 2020
Updated June 2020
Updated July 2020
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