Launched in April 2014, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) took over the responsibilities of both the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). Operating as an executive agency for the Department for Transport (DfT), the restructure was part of a government wide shake-up – although this has largely focussed on trimming aspects of the state welfare system.
Although the DVSA deal with much of the agenda setting and administration for road safety, the way that most people know of them is through their overseeing of driving licencing and testing. In addition to organising the subject matter of the theory test and what is to be judged on the practical exam, they also carry out the assessments themselves. It is for this reason that it is believed that they are one of the most contacted parts of the government, with thousands of budding motorists getting in touch with them each day.
Some of the more notable things that they are responsible for include maintaining MOT standards in authorised garages, approving driver instructors and the regulation of local bus services – with around 5,000 staff across the UK managing these and other schemes.