In 2016/17 the DVSA hoped to roll out the long awaited ‘earned recognition’ scheme. Unfortunately, it has been beset by 3 main issues;

  1. Unrealistic KPIs - MOT pass rates, and vehicle and driver’s hours prohibitions slanted in favour of larger operators.
  2. Technical issues - technology has moved faster than the pilot scheme, meaning the DVSA were playing ‘catch up’.
  3. Lack of trust between operators and the DVSA.

Gordon MacDonald, Head of Enforcement Policy at the DVSA believes that the department have addressed the issues. After considerable research it is believed that the KPIs are achievable by all sized companies. Technical issues are limited in that the scheme is based on a tried and tested email system. Regarding trust issues, the DVSA have stated that they never intended to have 24/7 access to an operator’s records.

The DVSA believe they have ironed out the problems but are still looking for operators to join the pilot scheme. To sign up to the pilot scheme you will require the following:

  1. A heavy goods vehicle (HGV) or public service vehicle (PSV) operator licence held for at least 2 years.
  2. A digital management system for vehicle maintenance and drivers’ hours, which can track the KPIs and automatically report if they’re missed.
  3. A track record of good compliance with the DVSA.
  4. An initial audit and an audit every two years.

What are the advantages of being a gold operator? Earned recognition takes the operator above the OCRS scheme and almost guarantees that vehicles will not be stopped at roadside enforcement. Only during national compliance checks would an exemplary operator’s vehicles be brought into a check site or when there is something obviously wrong with the vehicle. The burden of having your vehicles stopped, and the impact on your customers is virtually gone as a ‘gold operator’. There would be no visits by examiners at your premises and you can bid for contracts as an exemplary operator. An exemplary operator can use the DVSA earned recognition marque on websites and other publicity materials and have direct access to a DVSA earned recognition business manager.

With the promise of being excluded from roadside checks and visits, joining the pilot scheme seems to make good business sense?