Question: In the MOT seminars and Matters of Testing you oftentalk about CITA and your foreign trips abroad. What isCITA and is it good use of our MOT fee money for civilservants to globe trot?
Well thatís a barbed question isnít it? Thanks for that!
Let me explain:
CITA stands for Comite International de líInspection
Technique Automobile. This translates as the
International Motor Vehicle Inspection Committee.
CITA started out life in 1968 when a small group of nine
heads of European testing organisations got together in
Ostend, Belgium. Great Britain was represented by a
guy called Cliff Toyne who was the head of the Vehicle
Inspection Division that became VOSA many years
later. CITAís objectives then, much as now, were to
exchange information and jointly develop best practice
for testing and inspection. There was a tremendous
opportunity to learn from othersí experiences, pool
information and jointly develop best practices.
The main benefits of CITA are:
ē reduced development risks, time and costs;
ē increased efficiency and effectiveness from being
able to tap into an expanded knowledge and
expertise base; and
ē shared intelligence on technical developments,
international policy and standards, and the benefits
As for globe trotting, most of the travel is confined to
nearby European cities just an hour or two away, and
on budget airlines. Brussels in Belgium is the most
often used venue because thatís where CITAís HQ
is located. Occasionally, other countries will host
working group meetings because that can help
reduce travel costs and spread the load a little
for those furthest from Belgium.
It sounds exotic and to be honest itís not bad at first.
But after a few trips, all you ever seem to remember is
the airport lounges and the backs of taxi driversí heads!
Itís not even that good for practising your language skills
because all meetings are conducted in English!
CITA is also now a global power and stretches to all
continents with members testing easily 200 million
vehicles every year. Weíre not so big headed in VOSA
that we canít learn from others. We get to hear many
good ideas that we can adopt for ourselves and, more
often than not, we are seen as a good source of
In recent years, VOSA has helped many countries to
develop their own annual test systems. VOSA is also
assisting (by correspondence alone unfortunately) the
development of motorcycle testing in the Far East,
because of our status as one of the few authorities in the
world thatís been testing bikes for more than 40 years.
So yes, it is good value for your money to have our
MOT scheme at the forefront of European thinking and
appreciated by the rest of the world. Something I am
sure youíll agree with.