Testing times – big tick for VTNZ

More testing officers, reduced waiting times and better customer feedback are just some of the achievements made in the three years since VTNZ took over the country’s Practical Driving Testing.

This month marks VTNZ’s third anniversary as New Zealand’s Practical Driving Testing provider. In that time it has focused on making the process smoother, and a little less frightening, for hundreds of thousands of Kiwis.

“Getting a driver’s licence is a rite of passage for many Kiwis and regardless of where you live, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to sit your driving test,” says VTNZ General Manager Operations Greg O’Connor.

Since 2015 VTNZ has introduced a number of new initiatives to support the 270,000 New Zealanders who sit the test each year.

This includes increasing the number of Driver Testing Officers by 50% to meet demand from the country’s 57 testing sites. Between them Driver Testing Officers complete 22,000 practical tests a month.

“Having more Testing Officers has significantly improved wait times. The average wait time has reduced from 30 days in 2015, to nine days today. 85% of applicants sitting their test within three weeks of the date they booked, Mr O’Connor says.

“Safety is paramount and the practical driving test is an important step in ensuring drivers are confident, competent and safe. Giving customers timely and specific feedback is part of this, and VTNZ has replaced hand-written test reports with a new digital system that Testing Officers complete on a tablet.”

Developed with the NZ Transport Agency, the tablet application makes test results more transparent and provides customers results and feedback by email straight after their test.

“We know there’s anxiety around sitting driving tests and we want to help reduce that. A Driver Testing Officer can now send a customer specific feedback about their test so they know what they’ve done well and what they need to focus on,” says O’Connor.

To ensure customers are fully prepared to sit their test, VTNZ has free brochures in branches and a range of downloadable information on their website about each testing stage. VTNZ also provides driver licencing services for learner tests, licence renewals and overseas conversions in branches around the country.

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