Vosa has rejected the findings of a recent survey depicting a high level of dissatisfaction among authorised testing facility (ATF) operators.

A survey published last week by the ATF Operators Association (ATFOA) suggested fewer than 3% of respondents felt opening their ATF had been a very good investment and one they would enter into again.

Around 70% of respondents also suggested that Vosa’s plans to clamp down contractually on ATF operators in a number of ways were unfair.

In a statement released earlier this week, however, a Vosa spokeswoman told Motortransport.co.uk the agency felt the questions in the ATFOA survey “were coaching a particular response, which we don’t feel is the best way to gain overview of customer opinion”.

A survey of ATF operators the agency is conducting itself is already painting a very different picture, she added. Based on 116 responses so far – of whom almost 40% are members of the ATFOA – it shows a headline satisfaction rate of 80% with only 3% “fairly dissatisfied” and the rest feeling neutral.

Looking just at the figures for ATFOA members, the satisfaction rate is over 76%, said the spokeswoman.

November publication

Vosa will make the full results of the ongoing survey – which invites respondents to rate Vosa testing staff, the booking process and the payment process, among other areas – available for its next round of ATF forums in November, she added.

The agency has also sought to address concerns voiced by the ATFOA that the clampdown measures announced by Vosa in June - cancelling provision of examiners for some testing periods where ATFs do not meet expected levels of examiner utilisation; or where they cancel booked test periods with under seven days’ notice; or where they do not fund their accounts in time to satisfy drawdowns by Vosa more than twice in any month - might eventually be written into a second generation of contract with ATF operators.

While the minimum contract period is five years, confirmed the spokeswoman, “the ATF contract is effectively perpetual so there is no renewal requirement”.