Guidance

DVSA earned recognition for vehicle operators: join the pilot

How DVSA earned recognition for vehicle operators works, how to join the pilot, and what happens when you've joined.

Overview

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) earned recognition for vehicle operators is a new way to prove you meet driver and vehicle standards.

You regularly share performance information with DVSA. In return, your vehicles are less likely to be stopped for inspections.

It’s a voluntary scheme that’s designed to work for operators of all sizes.

The pilot is testing the idea of earned recognition, and that the policies and processes work.

How it works

Diagram showing how DVSA vehicle operator earned recognition works

You need to have IT systems for vehicle maintenance and drivers’ hours. These will monitor if you’re meeting a set of key performance indicators (KPIs).

Every 4 weeks, these systems will tell DVSA if you’ve missed any of the KPIs by a set amount. If this happens, DVSA will work with you to fix the issue.

DVSA won’t have direct access to any of your data or systems.

When you’ve been accepted to join the pilot, your drivers and vehicles will be less likely to be stopped at the roadside by DVSA.

Eligibility

You must have:

  • had a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) or public service vehicle (PSV) operator licence for at least 2 years
  • digital management systems for vehicle maintenance and drivers’ hours, which can track the KPIs and automatically report if they’re missed
  • a track record of good compliance with driver and vehicle standards

If you have multiple operator licences

You can apply if your organisation has multiple operator licences, but you must report the data for every licence you have. This includes if you have both HGV and PSV operator licences.

What you’ll get

You’ll get more help from DVSA to get you through the process if you join the pilot.

If you successfully join the pilot:

If you successfully complete the pilot, you’ll get automatic entry to the DVSA earned recognition scheme.

After the pilot

If you get a place on the DVSA earned recognition scheme, you’ll:

  • be an exemplary operator, and be able to prove this when you bid for contracts
  • be less likely to have your vehicles stopped at the roadside for inspections
  • be less likely to have DVSA enforcement staff visit your premises
  • be able to use the DVSA earned recognition marque on your website and other publicity materials (but not on your vehicles)
  • be recognised as a DVSA-approved operator on a list on GOV.UK
  • have direct access to a DVSA earned recognition business manager

How much it costs

There’s no application fee to join the pilot or the full scheme.

Audits

You need to have an audit of your systems and processes by a DVSA-approved audit provider when you first join, and then every 2 years.

You might need to pay for this, depending on the provider you choose. The providers set their own fees.

IT systems

You might need to pay to update your IT systems if they can’t measure and report on the KPIs.

The system suppliers set their own fees.

Apply to join the pilot

The deadline to send your application to join the pilot is 28 February 2018.

  1. Check if your IT system provider and audit provider have registered with DVSA. If they haven’t, tell them to email dvsaer@dvsa.gov.uk to get the documents they need.

  2. Email dvsaer@dvsa.gov.uk to get an application form and the full guidance.

  3. Fill in the application form if you meet the eligibility criteria, and email it to dvsaer@dvsa.gov.uk by 28 February 2018.

  4. DVSA will check your application and get back to you.

List of IT system providers

List of audit providers

Arrange an audit

When DVSA has accepted your application, you need to arrange an audit and pay for it (if your audit provider charges a fee).

What the audit involves

The auditor will look at:

  • the processes involved in your transport management systems
  • how you manage them

You’ll be audited against the DVSA earned recognition standard for HGVs or PSVs, depending on which licences you have.

You’ll be audited against both standards if you have both types of licence.

Each standard is split into 9 sections.

Section number Audit area
1 Operator’s licence
2 Transport manager
3 Vehicle standards
4 Drivers’ hours
5 Operational management
6 Driver management
7 Training and driver behaviour
8 Driver-related policies
9 Dangerous goods (HGV operators) or service work (PSV operators)

You won’t be audited on section 9 if you don’t do these activities.

The documents DVSA will send to you explain the:

  • standards and how to achieve them
  • level of performance needed to meet the standards
  • systems and documents the auditor will need to check

The audit might need to be done at one or more locations, depending on your operating systems, the number of operating centres you have, and your fleet size.

After the audit

  1. The auditor will send you the results of the audit, and send a copy to DVSA.

  2. DVSA will decide whether or not you’ve met the standard to join the pilot and will tell you its decision.

Monitor your performance

Your IT system will be developed to automatically measure and monitor the KPIs, which will help you manage your business.

All KPIs are measured over 4-week periods, which start on a Monday and end on a Sunday. This is known as a ‘KPI measurement period’.

The KPIs are reported at the end of the period, and are sent to DVSA 4 weeks later.

Example

A measurement period runs from Monday 9 October 2017 to Sunday 5 November 2017.

The KPIs are measured on Monday 6 November 2017, and are reported to DVSA on Monday 4 December 2017.

About the KPIs

You should be able to achieve the KPIs, no matter what size your fleet is.

DVSA analysed over 1.5 million historical records on vehicle test results, drivers’ hours infringements and fleet size to check the KPIs are realistic.

There are 2 sets of KPIs - maintenance and driving activity.

Maintenance KPIs

Number Measure KPI
1 Complete set of safety inspection records 100%
2 Safety inspection records are completed correctly, including all relevant sections and signed off as being roadworthy 100%
3 Safety inspections are completed within the stated frequency 100%
4 Driver defect reports where road safety related items have been reported are appropriately actioned 100%
5 Vehicle and trailer MOT initial pass rates 95% (if you only have up to 20 vehicles in your fleet, the KPI is no more than one failure in 13 rolling measurement periods)

Driving activity KPIs

Number Measure KPI (total number of infringements as a percentage of the total number of tachograph days)
1 Band 1
An infringement recorded on the tachograph analysis that would attract a band 1 fixed penalty under current legislation
1.3%
2 Band 2
An infringement recorded on the tachograph analysis that would attract a band 2 fixed penalty under current legislation
1.2%
3 Band 3
An infringement recorded on the tachograph analysis that would attract a band 3 fixed penalty under current legislation
0.8%
4 Band 4
An infringement recorded on the tachograph analysis that would attract a band 4 fixed penalty under current legislation
0.7%
5 Overall infringements
- total number of infringements found
4%
6 Working time
- any infringement identified under current legislation
4%

If you report less than 25 tachograph days in a measurement period, the KPI will be no more than one offence in the period.

Alerts you’ll get

You’ll get an alert when a KPI is missed, but not by enough to send a trigger to DVSA. This will let you take action to stop it happening again.

There are 3 levels of alerts.

Type of alert Level When it’s triggered
Yellow Minor Missing a KPI by less than 1% point 3 times in 3 rolling periods
Amber Moderate Missing a KPI by 1% point or more twice in 3 rolling periods
Grey Major Missing a KPI by 2% points or more

Automatic triggers to DVSA

Triggers will automatically be reported to DVSA at the end of the measurement period.

DVSA will work with you to fix the issue.

When the pilot ends

If you successfully complete the pilot, you’ll get DVSA earned recognition status when the full scheme starts, with all the scheme’s benefits.

When your vehicles could still be stopped

DVSA will still stop your vehicles if they’re in an obviously dangerous condition.

Your vehicles could be stopped for the Department for Transport’s national fleet compliance survey. This is because the survey needs a small sample of randomly checked vehicles.

Published 29 September 2017
Last updated 20 February 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated the lists of IT system providers and audit providers.
  2. Updated the lists of IT system providers and audit providers.
  3. Updated the lists of IT system providers and audit providers. Made the guidance about 'Alerts you’ll get' clearer.
  4. Updated the guide as vehicle operators taking part in the pilot will be less likely to have their vehicles stopped for roadside checks from 31 January 2018, and added a link to the list of vehicle operators taking part in the pilot.
  5. Updated the lists of IT system providers and audit providers.
  6. Updated the list of IT system providers.
  7. Updated the list of IT system providers.
  8. Updated the list of IT system providers.
  9. Added information about it being less likely that vehicles will be stopped for inspections from 31 January 2018, a list of operators on the pilot being published from 31 January 2018, and removed KPIs about repeat offenders, unaccounted mileage and most serious infringements.
  10. Updated the lists of IT system providers and audit providers.
  11. Updated the email address for enquiries to dvsare@dvsa.gov.uk.
  12. Updated the lists of IT system providers and audit providers.
  13. Updated the lists of IT system providers and audit providers.
  14. First published.