DVSA formally launches Earned Recognition

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Allenby Coach Hire was one of the coach and bus operators chosen to take part in the Earned Recognition trial. JAMES DAY

Operators can now apply to join the scheme, which can result in less roadside stops and commercial advantages when bidding for contracts

The DVSA has officially launched its Earned Recognition scheme, after a successful year-long pilot involving more than 60 commercial vehicle operators from various sectors of the industry.

Earned Recognition is a new way for organisations with lorries, coaches and buses to prove they meet driver and vehicle standards.

They will regularly share performance information with the DVSA, such as their MOT initial pass rates and whether drivers have broken drivers’ hours rules.

In return, their vehicles are less likely to be stopped for roadside inspections, saving them time and money.

DVSA will of course still stop vehicles observed in an obviously dangerous condition.

The aim of the scheme is to allow the DVSA to target more of its enforcement activities at the high-risk traffic.

Since February 1, 2018, operators who joined the pilot have received some early benefits – they’ve been significantly less likely to be stopped by DVSA.

With the launch of Earned Recognition, operators currently on the scheme and those who join later will get the full benefits. These include:

• Use of the DVSA Earned Recognition marque to use on their websites and other publicity materials;
• Being recognised as a DVSA approved operator through a published list on GOV.UK;
• Being able to prove they are exemplary operators when bidding for contracts;
• DVSA enforcement staff being much less likely to stop their vehicles at the roadside;
• DVSA enforcement staff being much less likely to visit their premises; and
• Having direct access to a dedicated Earned Recognition team in DVSA.

Over the course of the pilot, DVSA said it had refined the application process for operators, IT system suppliers and audit providers and made sure Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and audit standards are fit for purpose.

It has also authorised audit providers to carry out the initial and periodic audits, validated IT systems and fine-tuned the processes and documents, as well as gathered feedback from the operators involved.

Dave Wood, DVSA Enforcement Policy Manager, said: “Earned recognition marks a shift in approach from DVSA. It’s about rewarding operators who are serious about road safety and having a relationship where we work with them.

“By doing that, we can free up time and resources to focus on the dangerous drivers and vehicles that put other road users at risk.”