DVSA Earned Recognition announces Guild of British Coach Operators module

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Operators which are already members of the Guild include Dews Coaches. JONATHAN WELCH

Operators with high standards will be able to apply for Guild membership following completion of the new DVSA Earned Recognition module

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)’s earned recognition scheme has launched a new module to help apply for membership of The Guild of British Coach Operators. The new module will provide earned recognition PSV operators with the opportunity to join over 20 of the UK’s top coach companies as members of the Guild, which has been established for 37 years.

Like the DVSA earned recognition scheme, membership of The Guild of British Coach Operators is only open to coach operators who can demonstrate the highest standards in their operations, meaning that customers can be confident that by hiring a Guild member, they are choosing a supplier which is customer-focused and delivers a quality service. The collaboration aims to provide businesses and local authorities with additional reassurance that coach operators which are both members of the Earned Recognition (ER) scheme and the Guild demonstrate they are the most competent, safe, and socially conscious operators within the industry.

Before the launch of the Earned Recognition module, only operators who were nominated by other Guild members could apply to become a Guild member. The new ER module will enable Earned Recognition members to apply directly without a nomination, and is optional, and in addition to the recently updated audit standards that operators need to demonstrate to qualify for Earned Recognition status.

It follows DVSA’s recent Transport for London Earned Recognition module announcement. DVSA’s Enforcement Director, Marian Kitson said: “We are delighted to work with The Guild of British Coach Operators to further incentivise passenger vehicle operators proving they are among the ‘exemplary’ within the industry. Every passenger should expect a safe journey, and we hope working with the Guild will provide local authorities and travel businesses assurance that member operators are doing everything they can to deliver on these expectations.”

Steve Whiteway of the Guild of British Coach Operator’s added: “The Guild of British Coach Operators has always set itself the highest standards of operation, with membership only available to those who choose to follow the same path through an exacting audit. Earned Recognition mirrors many aspects of the Guild audit and therefore, is a natural fit to partner with DVSA and more generally, a positive move for the coach industry, to publicly demonstrate quality and safety of operation.”

There are currently 122 operators with Earned Recognition status, covering 392 operator licences and a total of 25,289 HGVs and 15,871 PSVs.