That was the key message in a letter from the chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle and Standards Agency to owners and managers of the 450 authorised testing facility (ATF) sites across England, Scotland and Wales.
Gareth Llewellyn wrote to the DVSA’s ATF partners to express his concern about reports of vehicle standards assessors (VSA) being subjected to bullying and unreasonable behaviour at ATF sites.
Llewellyn said that although the relationship between DVSA and the vast majority of ATFs was highly professional, there had been a number of instances which risked bringing this relationship into disrepute. He said:
“We are committed to creating and maintaining an environment that recognises an individual’s dignity at work.
“It should remain free from hostility, abuse, offensive behaviour, harassment, bullying, prejudice, discrimination and victimisation.
“I have heard reports where my colleagues have been physically or verbally abused whilst carrying out their job; I am sure you will agree this is totally unacceptable.
“There have been many instances where VSAs have been harassed because of disagreements on vehicle test failures, and times where they have been put under significant and unwelcome pressure to carry out additional testing work. These behaviours will not be tolerated.
“The DVSA/ATF contract agreement clearly states that there should be no harassment, bullying, physical abuse or discrimination against a DVSA employee
“We will investigate all reports of unacceptable behaviour and will take action where necessary. If circumstances are warranted, I will consider suspension, or withdrawal of vehicle testing.”
He asked the ATF partners for their support in reinforcing those commitments and to maintaining a safe and respectful working environment for everyone.
Route One recently reported on the case of an illegal minibus operator who assaulted a DVSA examiner – see http://bit.ly/dvsa-assault