Guidance

DVSA earned recognition scheme: become a validated IT supplier

How to apply to become a validated IT supplier for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) earned recognition scheme.

What is DVSA earned recognition

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

This means that they’re:

  • continuously monitoring they’re own compliance
  • using DVSA-validated IT systems
  • compliant with road-safety standards

It’s a voluntary scheme for operators of all sizes.

How it works

Diagram of how earned recognition works

IT systems

Operators need to have digital monitoring systems for vehicle maintenance and drivers’ hours. These check if they’re meeting a set of key performance indicators (KPIs).

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

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

Audit

Operators’ systems and processes must be audited by a DVSA-authorised audit provider:

  • when their application to join the scheme has been reviewed
  • every 2 years after that

DVSA will accept a successfully completed earned recognition audit either:

  • up to 3 months before the operator applies
  • 3 months after they’ve submitted an application

If a concession’s been granted, they’ll need an audit covering the appropriate section every year, up to April 2021.

Apply to become a validated IT systems provider

Eligibility

You’ll need to meet the criteria outlined in the system requirements (PDF, 816KB, 26 pages) document. And any system you’re providing will need to pass a validation process before it’s used by an earned recognition operator.

The application process

To become a DVSA-validated IT systems provider, you’ll first need to fill out the application form (PDF, 125KB, 2 pages) and agree to the terms and conditions (PDF, 1.24MB, 6 pages) .

The application form must:

  • be completed in full
  • include the system name
  • state if it’s for maintenance or drivers’ hours
  • give the contact details and name of the operator using the system

Any missing information will mean the application is delayed or rejected.

If you’re going to receive data from external sources, you need to:

  • give details of those systems
  • say whether they’re already validated for earned recognition

Maintenance-only system

If you’re supplying a maintenance-only system, it must be fully electronic. But, it can allow the input of manual records for up to 3 years from the date it goes live.

If the system is measuring manually-completed safety-inspections and driver-defect report documents, you must explain how:

  • these are uploaded to your system
  • the data is extracted to record the required KPIs

The application must:

  • show that the system meets all the IT reporting needs
  • include an example of the KPI reporting form

When applying, you must submit 3 periods of data from either:

  • an existing earned recognition operator
  • a new applicant

The data may be used for validation purposes.

If the scheme manager thinks that your application doesn’t meet the right standards, then the manager will reject it and contact you.

System validation

Data from your systems will be used to carry out the validation process, as well as data from either:

  • an existing earned recognition operator, if they want to use your system
  • a new applicant

If there’s not enough data to carry out a full validation, you may be asked to either:

  • supply extra data
  • go through an extra validation process

Maintenance

System validation will be carried out over at least 3 - but no more than - 13 measurement periods. A minimum of 150 safety inspection documents will be used.

When a suitable operator’s data has been identified:

  • validation date ranges will be agreed
  • the safety inspection documentation will be read to check:
    • the registration number
    • date of inspection
    • all required fields are completed
    • all defects have been rectified
    • the vehicle has been signed off as being roadworthy

The frequency will be checked against the conditions of the operator’s licence. Another check will be made to confirm the number of defects raised during the validation period.

This data will be compared to the results from your system for the same time period. At this stage, the system alerts and triggers will be checked to confirm they’re recording properly.

If you pass the system validation process you’ll be:

  • accepted as a system provider
  • allowed to report for earned-recognition operators
  • published on the list of validated IT system suppliers
  • allowed to use the earned recognition marque

If your system doesn’t meet the right standards, another full system validation will be necessary. Until that’s successfully completed, your system can’t be used for earned recognition purposes.

Re-validation will take place no longer than two years after the last full system validation.

Drivers’ Hours

System validation will be carried out over at least 3 - but no more than 13 - measurement periods. It will use a minimum of 3000 tachograph records.

When a suitable operator’s been identified:

  • validation dates ranges will be agreed
  • tachograph raw data for both the driver and vehicle unit will be requested

This data will be analysed for:

  • the four fixed-penalty bands
  • overall infringements
  • overall working time

Repeat offenders and most serious infringements will also be identified.

This data will be compared to the results from your system for the same time period. At this stage, the system alerts and triggers will be checked to confirm they’re recording properly.

If you pass the system validation process you’ll be:

  • accepted as a system provider
  • allowed to report for earned-recognition operators
  • published on the list of validated IT system suppliers
  • allowed to use the earned recognition marque

If your system doesn’t meet the right standards, another full system validation will be necessary. Until that’s successfully completed, your system can’t be used for earned recognition purposes.

Revalidation will take place no longer than two years after the last full system validation.

Quality assurance

Random checks may be carried out on a validated system to make sure the data’s accurate. This will follow the same process but use a smaller sample.

If problems are found, the scheme manager will contact you to discuss the details. If the fault is system-related, you’ll be given time to sort out the problem. If you don’t do it, validation of your system may be removed.

What happens if you alter your system specification

In normal circumstances, you wouldn’t be expected to tell DVSA about system upgrades. But you would have to tell us if, as a result of the change, the system output had been affected.

You’ll need to tell the scheme manager if changes made to your system would affect the reporting of KPIs. This could result in a full or partial system validation.

You’ll also need to notify the scheme manager if you’re going to add a data source from a non-validated system. The reliability of this source will need to be checked before being accepted.

A new system or a major change to the existing system would mean it needs to be validated before being accepted. You may also have to complete a detailed application form.

Removing validated IT system provider status

The scheme manager may reject an application or remove your status as a validated IT system provider if:

  • the validation process fails and changes aren’t made on time
  • major changes are made to the system that affects the recording of results
  • you fail to report when expected
  • you’re involved in or linked to anything likely to damage the reputation of the DVSA earned recognition scheme

How to complain about being rejected or removed from validated IT system provider status

If your application or validated status is rejected or removed, you’ll receive written notification from DVSA within 14 days detailing the reasons why.

You’ll then have 14 days to respond in writing to the decision. Tell DVSA about anything you’d like them to take into account when reconsidering your status.

A DVSA corporate senior leader will look at it and decide whether: DVSA’s action has been proportionate and reasonable to uphold the decision of the scheme manager

If you’re not satisfied with the response you can email corporatereputation@dvsa.gov.uk.

Published 24 April 2018