London, United Kingdom, April 13, 2004 — Pearson VUE, the professional testing business of Pearson, the international media and education company, today announced that it will open its first UK call centre in the Greater Manchester area.
Last November Pearson VUE was awarded the contract to deliver Driving Theory Tests for the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) in Great Britain and the Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency (DVTA) in Northern Ireland. Under the contract, Pearson VUE will administer and process the results of the driving theory section of the driving licence examination, beginning in September 2004.
The new call centre will handle telephone enquiries from DSA and DVTA theory testing candidates and testing partners beginning 5th July 2004. Full appointment booking and support services will be available from 26th July 2004. Through this call centre, candidates will book appointments to take the theory test at more than 150 state-of-the-art Pearson professional test centres throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Anneleen Vaandrager, Vice President and General Manager of Pearson VUE’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) operation, said, “The opening of the Greater Manchester call centre in Salford Quays is a reflection of our interest in establishing the United Kingdom as a prime operational hub for our professional EMEA business. While this centre will initially be established to service DSA and DVTA test candidates, the centre is clearly capable of expanding as our needs within the region grow.”
Notes to editors:
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is an executive agency of the Department for Transport and is part of the Driver, Vehicle and Operator (DVO) group of organisations within the Department. The Agency’s aim is to promote road safety through improving driving standards, testing drivers and riders fairly and efficiently, maintaining the registers of Approved Driving Instructors and Large Goods Vehicle Instructors and supervising basic training for learner motorcyclists. DSA achieved formal accreditation as an Investor in People in July 2000. It is one of the first Government Agencies to introduce an ‘on-line’ booking service at www.dsa.gov.uk
DSA is a trading fund and employs 2,393 staff, of which some 1,635 are driving examiners. In 2002/03 the Agency conducted 1.3 million tests for car drivers, over 72,000 vocational tests and over 86,000 motorcycle rider tests. 1.4 million theory tests were carried out at 158 centres. At the end of the year there were 31,786 people on the Register of Approved Driving Instructors.
The Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency (DVTA) is an Executive Agency within the Department of the Environment. Its primary aim is to promote road safety by operating fair and efficient systems of testing for both vehicles and drivers. The Agency also undertakes enforcement activities through vehicle roadside checks throughout Northern Ireland. It is responsible for the implementation of government policies for improving the mechanical standard of vehicles and for improving the effectiveness of its testing operations.
The Agency employs some 475 staff and operates from 15 test centres, 2 driving test centres and 6 theory test centres throughout NI. In 2002/03 it carried out 483,776 full vehicle tests, 40,508 theory tests and almost 48,359 practical driving tests. The Agency operates as a Trading Fund and as such it has to ensure that all costs are covered from test fee income. During the current year the Agency’s income is estimated to be around £20m. In total, 1600 customers who had taken tests across all test centres during July and August 2003 were surveyed. The survey report can be obtained from DVTA, Balmoral Road, Belfast telephoning 028 9054 7919 and can also be found on the Agency’s website at www.doeni.gov.uk/dvta.
In October 2002 the Agency was successful in retaining its Charter Mark for excellence in Customer Services. It is a third time winner of this prestigious award. For further information please contact the DOE Press Office, telephone number 028 9054 0013.
Pearson VUE’s call centre will use Pearson VUE proprietary technology. Pearson VUE is the professional testing division of Pearson Education, the world’s leading education company. Its customers include global corporations such as Microsoft, IBM, Cisco®, CompTIA and Sun Microsystems as well as the National Council of State Boards of Nursing the National Association of Securities Dealers in the U.S. and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Pearson Assessments & Testing also provides testing services for more than 20 US states and the US Department of Education. Pearson Education is part of Pearson (LSE: PSON; NYSE: PSO), the international media and education company, whose primary operations also include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.