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The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is responsible for ensuring the safety and compliance of drivers and vehicles across the UK, playing a crucial role in promoting road safety and maintaining standards across the country's road network.
DVSA tasked BJSS with transforming its heavy vehicle testing operations. The Commercial Vehicle Service (CVS) project enabled an exit from the DVSA’s old legacy IT estate (in line with Government Policy and GDS guidelines), developing a user-centric platform that has revolutionised the service for internal users and customers.
DVSA carries out approximately one million MOTs on commercial vehicles each year. The vehicle testing operating model has evolved over time, however there was no change to the underlying technology and systems supporting the delivery of the service – and this was resulting in inefficiencies.
The legacy IT system provided customers with a very limited overview of their business with DVSA. Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) owners could not access live data about the vehicles tested at their sites and were unable to track their financial transactions online. In order to access information about their account, on request, customers received emails or were required to phone the contact centre.
With the initial platform built on an old contract and due to expire, and government department efficiencies high on the agenda, DVSA was in urgent need of a modernised solution. The executive agency needed to transition from manual paper-based processes to a user-centric digital system. To achieve this, DVSA partnered with BJSS and Kerv Digital to develop a new Commercial Vehicle Service (CVS) solution.
The project introduced the use of Microsoft Dynamics technology, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application, alongside a set of greenfield AWS apps to DVSA processes. Switching to a SaaS solution came with many benefits including lower upfront hardware, software, and software licensing costs, as well as ongoing maintenance and update costs. The platform is automatically adapted to run on different types of computers and devices, with Microsoft ensuring data security, regardless of where it is accessed from.
The end-to-end nature of the project meant that integration across all the cloud components as well as existing systems was a key obstacle, notwithstanding the migration and cleansing of legacy customer data at speed. The BJSS team recognised that the complexity of the original scope would have led to a significant delay in delivery, and worked to provide an alternative, risk-based roadmap. This gave the DVSA leadership team the tools to make a pivot in terms of the order of work, focusing on high-risk areas early.
Additionally, implementing a Nexus framework meant multiple teams worked concurrently on the project, and worked toward a single goal, enabling the management of risks, issues and dependencies at a very granular level. BJSS provided training on Nexus in the early days, and the teams learnt and improved as the project progressed.
“The work of the BJSS team has transformed our vehicle testing service, making it more efficient and user-friendly for DVSA users, and our customers. The team's capability, professionalism and dedication have exceeded expectations, ensuring a smooth transition and continuous support.”
Gordon Thomson, Head of Vehicle Testing & Approvals Policy, DVSA
The CVS project fundamentally transformed DVSA’s commercial vehicle testing processes, providing a near real-time end-to-end service, from testing the vehicle to billing – with five core applications:
The ‘Manage Your Vehicle Testing’ application resulted in ATF and other pre-funded account (PFA) customers having increased ownership over their testing processes, with customers now able to quickly check their account balance in real-time, make instant online payments and keep on top of transactions with up-to-date invoices.
The move to a DVSA-owned platform resulted in required changes being implemented quickly and cost-effectively. Importantly, it has laid the foundations for further innovation, with focus areas including:
“It’s user-friendly. This is what people want at the end of the day. You don’t want something that will baffle you.”
Travel West Midlands
The CVS project has driven significant progress towards DVSA’s core goal of modernising the in-house IT services for its vehicle testing services. The goal is broken down into three key aims:
The digitalisation of the vehicle testing service has improved the quality and timeliness of data capture, reducing errors and delays. ATFs can track activity across their sites to maximise lane utilisation, allowing examiners to record defects digitally and enter test results ‘live’ via the ‘Vehicle Testing’ application.
Previously, test data had to be retro-keyed into the legacy system. This could take more than 10 days, which meant that the data was out-of-date and, therefore, unreliable for enforcement purposes. With the updated service, a vehicle's test history is available on the GOV.UK MOT History Service the moment the test is completed.
The platform has also provided DVSA staff with the tools to do their jobs more effectively. DVSA supporting teams can now view and manage technical and test records, conduct desk assessments and provide quicker electronic services to customers – such as the transfer of vehicle technical plates.
Furthermore, the use of AWS-based serverless technologies has allowed DVSA to scale the service to meet demand and drive quicker iterations to get updates to customers faster. An additonal benefit that has resulted from the move to a cloud service, is that it is easier to mobilise the workforce, with DVSA staff able to access information from anywhere, without the worry of potential data loss or security breaches.
“I’ve found it quicker to do tasks, and it’s reduced the need for other spreadsheets and logs. Information is there straight away, so it’s a lot quicker than waiting for statements and invoices to be sent.”
The project has reduced the risk presented to the national vehicle testing service by old systems. With the service also enabling online taxation of heavy vehicles with the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), the threat of an outage or major system failure was a major concern. The new, simplified technical landscape makes the platform easier to maintain and keep up to date; with new vehicle technology constantly emerging, this platform will ensure DVSA is future-ready.
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