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Are you burying your head in the sand over 10 week safety inspections?

10-week vehicle safety inspections. Is your head in the sand?

- 31-Oct-2018 -

This six question quiz is for a bit of fun, but it's important to understand the 10 week safety inspections part of your Section 19 Permit. Your permit could be at risk if you don't comply...

Many of our customers tell us they are not aware that 10 week safety inspections are a requirement of their Section 19 Permit. Take our super-quick quiz to find how much you know about the 10 week safety inspections...


It’s almost precisely one year since the DVSA released updated advice on vehicle safety inspections, reducing the required interval from 17 weeks to 10 weeks.

Castle Minibus is still finding, whilst speaking to our customers, that many school transport managers and minibus drivers are not aware that a 10-week vehicle safety inspection is required in compliance with the Section 19 and 22 Permits. We wanted to raise awareness of this requirement and help schools stay within their permit regulations, so we’ve created this quick quiz to test your knowledge.

Simply click the button, and take 2 minutes out of your day to answer the six questions a school transport manager can…



Need further information about vehicle safety inspections?

Our customers inform us, and we can concur, that it is not easy to find the regulation requirements of vehicle safety inspections. If you search DVSA for advice, you will find that the mileage vs inspection frequency graph that used to be used for determining intervals has been removed and you are now advised to use a time-scale, based on the usage of the vehicle and your experience as an operator.

However, the new table published can be misleading as it states, ‘Lightly loaded vehicles – easy operating conditions’ at a frequency of 13 to 16 weeks, and ‘general haulage – trunking’ at an interval of 10 weeks, without clearly defining these terms.


Having spoken to a representative of DVSA regarding Section 19 Permits and minibus safety inspections, we can now direct you to the DVSA advice that clearly states;

‘But, bearing in mind that passengers are to be carried on your vehicle, and possibly a number of different drivers used, you should carry out more frequent safety checks. DVSA recommend that inspections are carried out at least every 10 weeks.’

If you are unclear as to who can conduct a safety inspection for your school minibus, the DVSA advise;

‘These inspections are in addition to the routine daily walkaround checks and the MOT test. The maintenance checks can be contracted out to a third party such as garage but whoever carries out the checks must be able to recognise faults such as parts wearing out too quickly.’

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/section-19-and-22-permits-not-for-profit-passenger-transport/section-19-and-22-permits-not-for-profit-passenger-transport (point 10)

The advice from the Government regarding who can carry out your regular safety inspections is that you should not use the same mechanic or garage as conducts your MOT and servicing;

‘Although a part of the overall vehicle maintenance plan, the inspections should ideally be undertaken as a separate, albeit often sequential, operation to routine servicing and repair.’

https://www.safedrivingforlife.info/sites/default/files/PDF/guide-to-maintaining-roadworthiness.pdf - section 4

Having researched the Section 19 Permit and the Government’s Guide to Roadworthiness pdf, it seems the best course of action is to have a ‘Safety Inspection Programme’ in place, which includes; booking of safety inspections 6 months in advance of requirement, unplanned maintenance, report records and digital data security among other features. Advice on creating and managing a system such as this can be found on page 37 of the guide, or in Annexe 2 10.3 in the government’s guide to Section 19 and 22 Permits;

‘Safety inspections should be subject to pre-planning and a maintenance planner or wall chart should be used to identify dates at least 6 months in advance of when they’re due. The system of safety inspections must be regularly monitored particularly in the early stages. You should be prepared to change the frequency of checks as appropriate based on your monitoring. Records of any remedial work carried out should be kept for at least 15 months.’

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/section-19-and-22-permits-not-for-profit-passenger-transport/section-19-and-22-permits-not-for-profit-passenger-transport#annex-2---recommended-maintenance-arrangements – annexe 2, 10.3



Ready to expand your knowledge?

If you are currently in the role of School Transport Manager, or are considering undertaking new responsibility towards this role, we advise that you consider our Minibus Compliance Course.

If you have not had any formal training for the important role of minibus administrator or school transport manager, this certified programme on minibus compliance and legislation provides you with an opportunity to share experiences with other school managers, gain essential but practical day to day understanding of your role, whilst developing and strengthening your understanding of all that is involved with your position. The course is delivered in two parts (part two is optional), and includes a day of classroom based learning, covering four key areas: The legal minefield, vehicles, drivers and the journey. Part two is an optional half day assessment undertaken at your schools’ premises, producing a follow-up report on your schools’ transport safety system.

Take a look at the details on our Minibus Compliance Course page, or feel free to call one of our helpful team with any questions on 01869 253744.


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