20 April 2017

Do you know about the DVSA earned recognition scheme?

Logistics businesses, and those that rely on them, generate huge volumes of data. The use of modern technologies specifically means you’re probably producing and recording more information than you know what to do with.

The data created by your drivers and their vehicles, however, is useful. At least that’s the belief of the government’s Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which claims it can make your life easier by gaining access to your tachograph and maintenance records.

The background

A few months ago, the DVSA announced plans to launch what it calls an ‘earned recognition’ scheme. The goal of this is to make life easier for drivers and companies that meet the government’s vehicle safety expectations, while clamping down on those who persistently don’t.

Compliant drivers and operators, by making their data available to the DVSA, can achieve Earned Recognition status. Then, instead of being subject to the usual roadside checks, these parties will be audited remotely to ensure the standards are maintained. This saves time and resources for both logistics operators and the government, while giving the latter an opportunity to improve road safety by dedicating its resources to the “seriously and serially noncompliant.”

For the initial trials, candidates were expected to have held an O-licence for two years and have a good history of compliance, although reports suggest the DVSA could extend the criteria to include annual test pass-rates and even drivers’ hours.

Why you should care

The earned recognition scheme, according to DVSA CEO Gareth Llewellyn, is designed to “minimise disruption to the most compliant.” So, assuming you keep your vehicles in good shape, you should benefit – but how, exactly?

At present, commercial drivers are prone to being stopped for official roadside checks, to ensure their vehicles aren’t likely to cause accidents – and these checks are often random. With the new scheme in place, the government could start targeting vehicles more effectively, stopping only those who haven’t already proven their compliance.

This means, as a compliant business, your ‘recognised’ drivers can go about their days without any unnecessary disruption, meaning your fleet in general is more efficient. If data is provided automatically, it could also mean less paperwork, again saving time for you.

How to stay on top

This could be a significant opportunity for all businesses in the logistics sector, but especially for those that already keep tight control of vehicle condition and maintenance. If thorough vehicle checks are part of your day-to-day operations, you should have the data needed to earn this government recognition of compliance

Staying on top of your fleet has never been easier, either. The latest technologies are helping logistics firms and their drivers streamline the vehicle check process, so that compliance becomes second nature.

TouchStar’s recently updated vehicle inspection software is a prime example of the support on offer: as well as making it easy for drivers to record their checks, it passes on the resulting data to the relevant systems back at base, helping you to keep everything centrally organised. This is the kind of information that could soon be requested by the DVSA.

When is all this happening?

When the scheme was first announced, the DVSA claimed it would be launched in ‘early 2017’. More recently, we’ve learned that due to a few technical hitches, it’s likely to be pushed back to 2018, which gives you plenty of time to prepare.

If you think TouchStar’s software could give you better control over the condition and maintenance of your vehicles, speak to us today.

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