The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency has officially launched its Earned Recognition scheme.
It follows a successful year-long pilot involving more than 60 commercial vehicle businesses from various sectors of the industry, from single-vehicle operators to some of the country’s biggest fleets. Between them, they run more than 43,000 vehicles.
DVSA Earned Recognition is a new way for organisations with lorries, buses and coaches to prove they meet driver and vehicle standards. Operators will regularly share performance information with the DVSA, such as their initial MOT pass rates and if their drivers have broken drivers’ hours rules.
The benefits for operators currently on the scheme and for those who join subsequently include:
• Use of the DVSA Earned Recognition marque on their websites and other publicity materials.
• Recognition as a DVSA-approved operator through a published list on gov.uk.
• Ability to prove they are exemplary operators when bidding for contracts.
• DVSA enforcement staff are much less likely to stop their vehicles at the roadside – unless they are obviously in a dangerous condition.
• DVSA enforcement staff are also much less likely to visit their premises.
• Direct access to a dedicated Earned Recognition team within the DVSA.
“Earned recognition marks a shift in our approach,” DVSA Enforcement Policy Manager Dave Wood said. “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.”
DVSA Chief Executive Gareth Llewellyn added: “Earned Recognition allows the best operators to go about their business unhindered, so we can target our activity at those most likely to be a danger to all road users. Even during the pilot, participating operators were already seeing the benefits. We’ve heard reports of improved relationships with drivers, better processes and recognition from customers. If you're an operator and you take compliance and safety seriously, we hope this is something you’ll aspire to.”
Lead Traffic Commissioners for Enforcement Kevin Rooney and Sarah Bell also welcomed the announcement. Quoted on the Commercial Fleet website, they said: “We fully support the agency’s aim to recognise compliant operators and free up valuable roadside enforcement resource. We’re confident it will contribute to our shared aims of promoting road safety and fair competition. It has already encouraged the development of new compliance management tools available to all operators and transport managers, whether they seek accreditation or not.”