Digital Transformation Success Story

Introducing Digital Driving Tests

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is the Department for Transport’s executive agency responsible for ensuring that drivers and vehicles may legally use the UK road network. It is currently in the process of transforming itself into becoming a digitally enabled organisation.

BJSS successfully managed and engineered a major programme to digitise its practical driving test, replacing a heavily manual process with a fully automated system that enables improved service delivery, reliability, performance and resilience.

The paper-based driving test report – a system no longer fit for purpose

The practical driving test ensures that candidates can drive safely and responsibly in different road and traffic conditions. Nearly two million are carried out every year.

The test, a paper-based process which remained largely unchanged since its introduction in 1934, relied on examiners completing and making hand-written notes on pre-printed forms and journals. Over time, and as the volume of driving tests increased, this paper-based system created a substantial burden on back-office administration.

Additionally, the process hadn’t fully kept pace with modern practices and integrating with supporting digitised services, including a successful on-line test booking system.

The paper-based driving test report, which was no longer fit for purpose, was identified as a key transformation priority.

Delivering the single-biggest change to an 85-year old business process

As a government organisation, the DVSA is required to follow Government Digital Service (GDS) standards for delivering digital projects. BJSS, through its experience of delivering several high-profile transformation programmes to various public sector organisations, became integral to this engagement.

Through its dedicated GDS Centre of Excellence, BJSS introduced Agile ways of working, digital transformation and user-centric design to ensure full conformity with the GDS Standard.

From the outset, BJSS placed user pain points and needs at the heart of the project. Throughout the engagement, BJSS visited test centres throughout the UK to meet key stakeholders across the test experience – from DVSA staff to test candidates – to understand success and pain points.

A user cohort of driving examiners with varying levels of digital literacy was also assembled to provide rapid feedback as prototypes were developed and revised. Through a series of ongoing workshops and user interviews, BJSS iteratively developed and improved the solution while ensuring that it always catered towards an audience of varying levels of technical confidence.

This process resulted in the rapid development of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which was improved iteratively towards the delivery of the full production system. Like other DVSA solutions delivered by BJSS, the solution is hosted in the Cloud, allowing for greater cost control and the ability to scale the service based on demand.

A fully-digitised practical driving test

The solution replaces the paper-based driving test report and is operated by driving examiners via a tablet. Crucially, the tablet also provides this workforce of over 1,900 examiners and management with remote access to other DVSA corporate systems, email and the intranet.

Its user interface has been designed to replicate the previous paper examination form. Examiners conduct their tests in the exact same way as the legacy process – with a consistent and recognisable look and feel – but they capture results electronically instead. These crucial UI decisions reduced the extent of user training required and lowered the resistance towards the new automated process.

The automation ensures that the driving test is carried out objectively and with consistency.

It assists users in accurately completing the form, and it notifies the examiner if they haven’t assessed a critical test component. Additional built-in features ensure the safety of the examiner and the test candidate. It suppresses push notifications, for example, when the test has commenced, thereby preventing distraction.

The solution provides an automatic pass / fail result at the end of the test. This is electronically captured in DVSAs operational system, and passed tests are more quickly sent to the DVLA to issue the candidate’s licence. This automation reduces fraud and removes the risk of paper forms being lost in back-office environments.

Benefits

Through BJSS’ understanding of GDS standards, and by adopting a user-centric approach to service design from the outset, the DVSA has launched a digital driving test capture process that has benefited from a smooth transition, been accepted by users and has not created a large training burden. It is integrated with other DVSA services and provides a fully connected environment that aids examiners with their day-to-day work.

Driving test results are captured with greater accuracy and speed. The new process improves data protection and agency GDPR-compliance too. Its automation has heavily reduced duplication and the risk of records being accessed by non-authorised staff.

Throughout the engagement, BJSS provided Agile and digital coaching to the DVSA service operations team. This, combined with a solution that is hosted in the Cloud, has enabled the DVSA to rapidly improve, scale and improve the live service across the UK.

As a result of this project, examiners are now more enabled, and crucially, it contributes towards making Britain’s roads safer.

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