BLOOMINGTON, Minn., November 6, 2003 — Pearson, the international media and education company, today announced that its Pearson VUE professional testing business has been awarded a seven-year contract with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) of Great Britain and the Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency (DVTA) of Northern Ireland.
Under the contract, Pearson VUE will administer and process the results of the driving theory section of the driving license examination, beginning in September 2004. Candidates will take the computerized theory test online at more than 150 examination centers throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Over 1.6 million theory tests are taken in the UK each year. Since 1996, new learner drivers have had to pass the driving theory test, which covers all aspects of driving theory relating to road safety and driver attitude, before booking their practical test. In January 2000 the pen and paper test was replaced by a multi-media computerized test. Since November 2002 the test has included a hazard perception section, with a selection of film clips showing real road scenes and potential hazards.
DSA’s Chief Executive Gary Austin and DVTA’s Chief Executive Stanley Duncan issued a joint statement which said, “Our selection of Pearson to fulfill this important role reflects our confidence in Pearson’s ability to meet our current and future needs, and to work collaboratively with us to advance our road safety mission.”
Bob Whelan, vice president and general manager of Pearson VUE said, “DSA and DVTA are pioneers in computer-based testing. We are honored to be entrusted with this contract and thrilled that they have recognized our investments and skills in online assessment.”
Pearson VUE, based in Bloomington, Minn., is the electronic testing business of Pearson Education, the world’s largest education company, which in turn is part of Pearson (LSE: PSON; NYSE: PSO), the international media company. Pearson’s primary operations also include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.