How to set up a drink-drive rehabilitation scheme (DDRS) course, applying for approval, fees you have to pay and how you'll be monitored.
How the scheme works
You can apply to provide courses to drink-drive offenders to help stop them from reoffending.
Offenders can be offered a rehabilitation course to reduce their driving ban if:
- they’re found guilty of a drink-drive offence
- their ban is for 12 months or more
Their ban will be reduced if they complete the course within a certain time. The ban is usually reduced by a quarter.
Offenders guilty of drug-drive offences can’t be offered a drink-drive rehabilitation scheme (DDRS) course.
How to set up a course
Apply to have your course approved. Include details about your proposed course, and the fee of £1,000. You have to show you can run enough courses to meet demand.
Run courses in the location you’ve specified once you’re approved. You’ll need to issue certificates to offenders who complete the course, and notices to those who don’t.
Send a report every 3 months about the courses you’ve run. Include a fee of £7 for every offender who completed a course.
Reapply for approval after 7 years if you want to continue providing courses.
Responsibility for DDRS
The drink-drive rehabilitation scheme is overseen by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). It uses the Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT) to help approve and monitor courses.
Apply for course approval
Before you apply, decide if it’s practical to provide DDRS courses.
Consider things like:
- how many courses are already available in the areas you want to cover
- how many offenders are being referred in those areas
- whether you can show that you’re able to run courses successfully
- your fees - you can charge up to £250 for a course - but it has to be affordable to offenders
How to apply
Download and fill in the application form, and send it to DVSA.
You need to give details about:
- your organisation
- which areas you want to run courses in
- the content of the course and how it links to the course syllabus
- where they’ll be held
- the trainers you’ll use and their qualifications and experience
- how you’ll run the courses, record information, and issue certificates
- any accreditation your organisation already has, for example, ISO
- how you’ll pay fees
The form gives full details of the evidence you can use to support your application.
9 Warren Yard
Phone 0844 800 4184
After you’ve applied
You’ll get a confirmation email to let you know DVSA has got your application. It will be processed within 30 working days.
DVSA will contact you if anything is missing from your application.
You’ll lose the £1,000 application fee and the application will be sent back to you if you don’t supply the missing information within the 30 working day period.
Decision about your application
DVSA will email you to tell you if your application has been:
- approved - and if any conditions apply to it
Appeal against DVSA’s decision
You can appeal to an independent tribunal if DVSA refuses your application. DVSA will tell you how to do this.
Run your courses when you’re approved
You need to:
- book offenders on to your course
- register participants and check their identities
- train and educate them using your approved course
- collect feedback and evaluate your course
- give certificates of completion and notices of non-completion to participants
- manage any complaints about your course
Find out how to run your DDRS course.
Send reports about your courses and pay fees
You need to send reports to DVSA every 3 months about the courses you’ve run. These should include:
- the number of referrals to your course, and the number completed and not completed
- which areas of the country they were held in
- the dates, start and end times, and trainers used for each course
- details of any new trainers and their qualifications/experience
You’ll also need to pay the £7 fee for each offender who completes a course.
Being inspected and monitored
You’ll normally be inspected within a year of being approved to run DDRS courses.
DVSA will agree a date with you, and tell you what they want to see during the inspection.
An officer from DVSA will:
- check that the information you gave in your application is correct
- if necessary, give feedback to help you improve
After the initial inspection
You’ll get a report from DVSA after your inspection, which will confirm if:
- your course and arrangements meet the rules and you can continue to provide DDRS courses
- your course or arrangements don’t meet the rules, what changes to make, and a deadline for making them
If your course hasn’t met the requirements, you’ll need to give DVSA proof that any changes needed have been made in the time given.
You’ll get at least one more inspection during the time you’re approved.
DVSA will usually agree a date with you, and tell you what they need to see.
DVSA can carry out unannounced inspections. This will happen if they think you’re not running courses properly.
This could be because of:
- your initial centre inspection
- complaints from offenders about your course
- errors in your reporting
- changes to your organisation’s structure
- changes to how you run your training course
If this happens, you’ll need to give enough proof to convince DVSA that there isn’t a problem.
If you’ve been told to make changes
DVSA might suspend or withdraw your approval if you don’t make the changes. You’ll get 28 days’ notice if they do this.
You’ll need to give proof that any changes needed have been made by the deadline you’re given.
Your course approval can be withdrawn straight away if there are serious problems, for example, if DVSA find serious misconduct. You’ll be told the reasons why if this happens.
Appeal against DVSA’s decision
You can appeal to an independent tribunal if DVSA withdraw your approval. DVSA will tell you how to make an appeal.
Report a change to your organisation or approved course
Tell DVSA if any of your organisation’s contact details change or you make any significant changes to the course content.
9 Warren Yard
Phone 0844 800 4184
Changes to your legal status
Your approval will end if the legal status of your organisation changes. For example, if you change from a business partnership to a limited company.
Your new organisation would have to apply for approval in the normal way.
Reapply for course approval after 7 years
Your course approval will last for 7 years.
You’ll need to reapply if you want to continue running courses after that. Apply at least 30 working days before your current approval runs out.
Complain about the scheme or another provider
If you have a complaint about another course provider, try to solve it either:
- directly with the course provider
- through the Association of Drink Drive Approved Providers of Training (ADDAPT)
Contact DVSA if you aren’t able to sort things out.
Complain about DVSA
Contact DVSA if you want to complain about the way it does things.
Drink-drive rehabilitation course complaints
Complain about the courts or HMCTS
If you have a complaint about a court or HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS), send it to the relevant court regional support unit. You can get the contact details from ADDAPT.
Contact HMCTS if you’re not happy with the response.
The following legislation is about the scheme and drink-drive offenders: