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Ruth Kyriacos: DVSA vehicle examiner

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A photo of Ruth Kyriacos

My name's Ruth Kyriacos and I've been a DVSA vehicle examiner since 2002.

Because it's International Women's Day, I wanted to let you know a little bit about my experience of working for DVSA as a woman and how rewarding the past 16 years have been.

Over the years as a vehicle examiner, I have noticed a shortage of engineers and a lack of female presence within engineering roles. I decided to write this blog to show that DVSA is a very welcoming and inclusive place to work.

On the front line

My main role is to make sure lorries and buses are safe to drive on UK roads and that vehicle testing stations are working properly.

I carry out roadside vehicle examinations of lorries, buses, coaches and any other vehicle on the road that needs checking.

The variety and severity of the things I've found has been interesting. It ranges from blown bulbs and defective brakes, to flat, bulging, or bald tyres, and missing wheels.

Born with motor oil in my veins

I grew up in the trade - my dad owned his own workshop and was a motor vehicle engineer. I was always surrounded by cars and engineering, and I spent most of my weekends and school holidays going to work with him.

I loved being outside, on my feet, fixing things and understanding how things worked. I knew I wanted to be an engineer and dreamed about testing and developing vehicle engines.

When I left school, I achieved my Higher National Certificate in Automotive Engineering and also obtained a City & Guilds Level 3 in Vehicle Mechanical & Electronic.

After I qualified, my mum heard about a job as a vehicle examiner working in London. The job sounded perfect and would give me a chance to use my skills and education.

Lots of opportunities

When I joined, I was DVSA's youngest vehicle examiner, as well as the first female vehicle examiner!

I've been encouraged to apply for promotions, but I like getting my hands dirty and promotion would mean working in an office and managing staff.

That might be the right thing for some people, but I love what I do too much to give it up! My managers and colleagues have always been really supportive of me, and there's definitely progression there if you want it.

A great place to work

Working for DVSA is rewarding and stimulating, as Vehicle Examiners do a very important job keeping Britain’s roads safe.

Being a woman has never got in the way of my career within DVSA and my colleagues and managers have never treated me differently because of it.

So, if you’re a woman and you’ve got a background in engineering, don’t be put off applying for a vehicle examiner job with DVSA. It’s a great job and a great place to work.

Starting Thursday 15 March, DVSA will be hiring 40 vehicle examiners across the country.

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  1. Comment by Arwel Edwards posted on

    As a garage owner and mot authorized examiner nominated tester for many years have found Ruth very professional helpful and efficient on many visits.
    Keep up the good work! we need more women like you in our industry.

  2. Comment by Peter Dornan posted on

    I also worked with Ruth as a Vehicle Examiner in the very early days in Area 15 London. Ruth has a great work ethic and it was good fun whenever she was working at road checks or at the testing station Edmonton, It is so nice to see that she is still working hard all be it in a different country (Wales!)
    Pete D

  3. Comment by Alex Morris posted on

    Very interesting Blog Ruth you obviously love your work.

  4. Comment by Bob Jack posted on

    Missing wheels! if that's not picked up on daily checks, or dodgy dealing throw a big book at them. Crikey.

  5. Comment by Hussain posted on

    Good work Ruth.keep it up!

  6. Comment by Trevor posted on

    Great to hear of Ruths' dedication in keeping dangerous vehicles off the roads, which are, every vocational drivers workplace.
    It may be just personal experience but vehicle and traffic examiners have occasionally presented themselves over the years as arrogant, jobsworths, cockalorums and suchlike.
    I'm sure Ruth will be more professional.
    The big picture and goal is to reduce casualties, over 90% of which are caused by driver error. To achieve this drivers need to be included not alienated.
    An increase of women into the industry is a very good thing. Forty years ago female lorry drivers and psv drivers were rare. There are many more now.
    I'm sure many this year have remembered the struggle a century ago for women to get the right to vote? Unthinkable now and a poor reflection on male generations past.

  7. Comment by Azeem posted on

    Ruth you look happy must enjoy your work keep it up.

  8. Comment by Kirsty Robinson posted on

    I have been a motorcyle MOT tester now for 3.5 years and I love it! I love being in the minority and I love peoples reactions to finding out that I am the one testing their bike! I do agree though, that more women in the role would be fantastic! I've never experienced any negativity while working and testing! Keep up the good job!

  9. Comment by Ash posted on

    Fantastic I always admire a person like you. Country needs more people like you. God Bless

  10. Comment by Paddy posted on

    My experience with last 2 lady DVSA was disasters.They were grumpy n arrogant.

  11. Comment by Alex McKay posted on

    I know there are some good ladies working in the trade, unfortunately I have came across two in my time in the trade who were as much use as a chocolate teapot. Breaking things , forgetting basic tasks, absenteeism and causing general disruption in the workshop. Needless to say both eventually quit, so my hat comes off to Ruth, very well done and keep up the good work.

  12. Comment by John Mc posted on

    Really pleased that you’re happy Ruth; being a Vehicle Examiner was a great job for me too!

  13. Comment by Mr Samson Mehari posted on

    It is a great job and it is good to see a Vehicle examiner women too, I've been an mot tester since 2006, but I am qualified as motor vehicle engineer and I want join DVSA as vehicle examiner like you, recently I apply for the job in my Area and waiting for the result to come through hopefully one day I work alongside you, Reckie and the great team, keep up the good work to be Britain’s roads safe.

  14. Comment by Stuart posted on

    Great blog, I am a trainer in the logistics industry and its great we have females doing your job.

  15. Comment by Edith Alexander posted on

    Wow so inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Comment by Aaliya posted on

    Well done to Ruth keep it up I’m a woman myself and run a shop, being a vehicle examiner sounds like quiet a challenging job I would love to do something like that aswell Ive always been interested in engineering but I don’t have the relevant qualifications.
    I was a driving instructor a couple of years ago. I wish you all the best in future ??.

  17. Comment by Joe posted on

    Hi Miss Kyriagos, Job well done, I have seen you with nail varnish and still do a top job.

  18. Comment by Dave Pilly posted on

    Excellent blog Ruth may see you on my travels round the country

  19. Comment by Chris Clarke posted on

    Well done Ruth, stick with what you are doing if that's makes you happy, you can always proceed to the office job when you are older, warm regards.

  20. Comment by Joanne Henharen posted on

    Great article Ruth, especially for International Womans Day .You are still a minority in the Vehicle Examiner role so let's hope this inspires women out there to apply or train for the role.I also second your comments on being a woman in enforcement .It has never got in the the way for me too.Firstly as a Traffic Examiner and now as a Traffic Enforcement Manager.

  21. Comment by Ali Martin posted on

    Hey Ruth

    Gosh was it that long ago that Shaun and I interviewed you !!

    It is nice to hear that you still have such passion for the job and long may it continue.

  22. Comment by Robert Darnbrough posted on

    I think Dvsa keep things safe and do a great job.

  23. Comment by Grace Santana posted on

    Well done, I too have been a female in the industry for the past 40 years, I become an MOT Inspector back in 1989 I believe I was the first female in the UK, back then it was met by some scepticism mainly from the opposite gender, although I can hand on heart say that my greatest support came from all the guys working with the DVSA, and I'm still going strong. It's great to see so many of us finally being accepted in what was always a male dominated trade. Come on girls join in. Like Tina says Diesel is just another kinda perfume.

  24. Comment by WJ Main posted on

    good on yer, does that make you a diesel-head lol. Im a petrol-head, good blog on your work need more like you. John "Gas" Main!

  25. Comment by Allan H posted on

    Well done Ruth,after my 45 years in the industry that’s very refreshing.

  26. Comment by keith wylie posted on

    Its great to do a job you enjoy

  27. Comment by Lisa Fielding posted on

    Very inspiring, great blog Ruth!
    I've spent most of my career in the Transport industry and DVSA is a great choice to progress further and develop in new directions.

  28. Comment by Terry Cowan posted on

    Congratulations Ruth, there should never be any barriers to cross just because you are female- and it is great to see the positive support within the DVSA- in road haulage ( predominately a male environment) there are not enough female operators, The men are afraid of the energy and often more commitment brought to the industry by women, I would always urge women in industry to ask themselves the simple question, Could I do this job? Yes, then go for it wholeheartedly , as long as you believe in yourself- others will believe in you-

  29. Comment by Scott Kirkley posted on

    Great article

  30. Comment by Derek Black posted on

    It is a great job. I've been an mot tester since 1990, but unfortunatly i've been off work since june last year waiting for a hip replacement. Can't wait to get back to work.
    Keep up the good work

  31. Comment by Rickie posted on

    I have worked alongside Ruth at many roadside checks and found her to be a very competent, knowledgeable & respected young lady.

  32. Comment by Tina Pritchard posted on

    Good Job... Nice to see that you found your vocation.
    I myself Have worked in Logistics with lorries for some 35 years and it is a great place to be. Diesel after all just another kinda perfume.

    • Replies to Tina Pritchard>

      Comment by Kirsty Robinson posted on

      I find I like eau de 2 stroke myself 😉

  33. Comment by Gill Fahy posted on

    Fabulous article.
    Go girl!