The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) of Great Britain and the Driver Vehicle Agency (DVA) of Northern Ireland introduced the Driving Theory Test in 1996. The test covers all aspects of driving theory relating to road safety and driver attitude and all new learner drivers have to pass the theory test before booking their practical test.
In January 2000, DSA replaced the paper and pen theory test with a computer - based test.
To deliver the computer theory test, DSA and DVA need a testing partner with a reliable and proven, test delivery system that is robust enough to deliver around 1.6 million tests per year. They also require a partner that can provide the facilities to deliver the test, schedule and register candidates and provide management reports.
In November 2003, following an extensive tendering process, Pearson VUE was awarded a seven-year contract to administer and process the test, beginning in September 2004.
Working in partnership with the DSA and DVA, Pearson VUE was able to deliver a solution that met their wide ranging requirements.
“Initially the biggest challenge was to find over 150 test centres;” commented Paul Howarth, Managing Director of Pearson VUE.
He added: “The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) came into force in 2004, and all the test centres had to comply. We decided to take the patented test centre design from the US and apply it in the UK.”
Leases were acquired and a network of 150 conveniently located test centres and two mobile centres were built.
“Our selection of Pearson VUE to provide this important service reflects our confidence in Pearson’s ability to
meet our current and future needs, and to work in partnership with us to improve road safety in the UK.”
JOINT STATEMENT ROSEMARY THEW, CHIEF EXECUTIVE - DSA STANLEY DUNCAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE - DVTA