Sacked driving examiner was told to fail more people

4
919

By Christine Lavelle

A DRIVING examiner whose pass rate was deemed “too high” by bosses has told how he was sacked for not failing enough candidates.

Jim Kerr, 61, launched a leaflet protest after being let go by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) earlier this month.

He said: “I have worked as a driving examiner for 23 years and underwent regular spot checks for quality control purposes.

“My decision to pass or fail was never called into question.”

The problem began when the DSA introduced a new “chi-square” mathematical system which collects pass rates for individual testers, and compares their performance to colleagues at the same test centre.

Mr Kerr, from Newlands in Glasgow, worked at the Shieldhall Test Centre, and said: “I was called in last March and told that, because my pass rate was higher than my colleagues’, I must be doing things wrong – and had to fail more people.

“I was shocked.

“I was probably the most experienced examiner at Shieldhall and possibly the only one not to have a disagreed decision in the quality control process.”

He said the situation caused him so much stress that he had to be signed off sick.

He said: “The only way for me to have continued in my job and avoided the sack would be to deliberately fail people that I would consider to have actually passed their test and I just couldn’t do that.

“I asked for the test centre to be ‘benchmarked’, which would have meant bringing in someone to sit in on tests for a month to establish the true pass rate.

“I said that if the pass rate was lower than mine, I would resign.

“But they refused.

“The DSA don’t care if examiners consistently test to the correct standard.

“All that matters is whether examiners at the same test centre have the same pass and fail rates.”

Mr Kerr was off sick for six months, and was sacked a few weeks ago for “non-attendance.”

He said: “I feel I had no choice.

“If I had gone back, they would have queried my every decision.

“How could I save my job at the expense of failing people who had actually passed?”

He has since designed a leaflet which highlights the issue, but has been told by the DSA he risks being arrested if he tries to hand them out at the test centre again.

A DSA spokesman said: “Mr Kerr’s dismissal was in no way linked to any variation in pass rates.

“Examiners are trained to assess all tests in strict accordance with the DSA guidelines; their performance is monitored to ensure they meet the high standards required of them, but they do not have quotas.

“Every test is assessed independently and on its own merits.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. I had my driving test just befor christmas, every thing was going well, comeing to the end of my test i went down a long country road that leads back to the test
    centr, i was told when i got back i had faild for going over the limet on this road, apart from this i only had 1minor falt, i feel i was one of the numbers they had to fail befor my test even begun, the people who get minor falts for going to fast and i was faild, its discusting they should go on how good of a driver you are not numbers they need to fail.

  2. Good for you, Jim. I’ve read about quota’s being a “myth”. I believed it for a while… Then I had my test. My whole drive was safe, according to the rules of the road and I was in complete control the whole time. I failed on this – basically, I was approaching a big roundabout, I selected the left hand lane of the two going where I was told to go, I got round to the other side of the roundabout, but was in the right hand lane of the two that go to my destination. I stopped at the lights, traffic went, then I got back in to the left when it was safe to change lanes. I knew something was up from the start because he only asked me one Show Me, Tell Me question. It was like he couldn’t be bothered to do it properly, he barely looked at me or the road in the test, just stared at his mark sheet most of the time. Then when it came to maneuver time. I was asked to do a parallel park. It was on a steep hill, I could tell he was trying to make it as hard as possible for me, I still performed it bloody well, plenty of keeping my eye out for cars and pedestrians, then it came to driving back to the test centre where he took me down the blindest, difficulty, steep, sharp roads in the area, he was clearly trying to make me fail big time, but I conquered them all, because I have an awesome instructor. Got back to the test centre, then he said I failed for using a right hand lane on a roundabout, then he just got out the car. What a scam!
    My instructors coming next time, so he can back me up.

    Thanks to Jim, here. We know the truth, I hope more examiners like him step up, and speak out.

    Peace.

  3. I took my driving test today, did everything good. There was even a major car crash involving 6-7 cars in a collision and police closed off all the roads etc. I failed with one minor fault. Which honestly was not fair what so ever. I went slightly touching the “white line”. This has put my confidence right down. I don’t want to go through that again. It is not FAIR. They shouldn’t be allowed to do that. Playing with people’s lives like that. And the examiner was a heartless man. I can’t believe racist people like that still exist.

  4. I AM A DRIVING INSTRUCTOR AND, IF I IDENTIFIED MY SELF HERE THE DVSA WOULD FORCE ME OUT OF BUSINESS AS THEY HAVE DONE TO INSTRUCTORS IN THE PAST FOR VARIOUS ILLEGAL UNTRUE REASONS.

    It is a well known fact by Instructors that Examiners fail more candidates at times when their test centre is quiet for work.
    I have even been told by an Instructor that, when complaining to a DVSA Examiner, he was told to expect a higher failure rate at times of the year when the test centre was quieter for work.r

    FACT: THE DVSA OBTAIN CANDIDATES MONEY BY THE DECEPTION OF PERTAINING TO CONDUCT FAIR AND IMPARTIAL TESTS AND NOT DOING SO.

Comments are closed.