Guidance

Use the Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS) system

How the Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS) system works and how vehicle operators should use it.

Overview of OCRS

If you’re a vehicle operator, your drivers might be stopped at the roadside by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) for vehicle inspections.

DVSA uses the Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS) system to decide which vehicles should be inspected.

OCRS works out the risk of an operator not following safety rules.

It’s more likely that your vehicles will be inspected if your OCRS is high.

How OCRS works

OCRS is based on data collected by DVSA over a 3-year rolling period.

There are 2 areas which are used to calculate a combined score.

Category Where the data comes from
Roadworthiness Vehicle tests (first tests, subsequent annual tests) and roadside inspections
Traffic Roadside inspections and prosecutions (for example, drivers’ hours and tachograph offences, and weighing checks)

The combined score is worked out by adding the total roadworthiness and traffic points together and dividing them by the total number of events the points came from.

Example

You have 200 roadworthiness points from 4 events and 150 traffic points from 2 events. This means you have a total of 350 points from 6 events. Your combined score is 350 divided by 6 = 58.33.

When OCRS is updated

The OCRS re-scoring process runs weekly. It’s updated on Saturday using the data up to the end of the previous Friday. This allows:

  • newly registered operators to be scored
  • new events (such as vehicle encounters and annual tests) to be included in scores
  • new vehicles that you’ve added to your operator licence to be included

OCRS for an individual vehicle

An individual vehicle won’t have its own OCRS - you only have one as an operator.

OCRS for different operator licences

OCRS scores are worked out for each of your operator’s licences. You have 3 scores (roadworthiness, traffic and a combined score) for each individual licence you have.

This lets you identify any specific issues with a particular licence.

It’s likely that any new operator licence you get won’t have a score until DVSA encounters vehicles on it. For example, through vehicle tests or roadside encounters.

Passenger vehicle operators

If you’ve voluntarily put passenger vehicles on your operator licence, results from the annual tests will be included in your roadworthiness score.

Register to manage your operator licence online so you can voluntarily put vehicles on your licence.

Trailers and OCRS

Trailer details from annual tests aren’t included in your OCRS. But, any prohibitions issued at the roadside are included and allocated to the vehicle pulling the trailer. In the same way, trailer encounters aren’t counted towards the traffic score.

Sifted encounters and OCRS

Encounters that have been ‘sifted’ by DVSA examiners aren’t included as part of the scoring system.

A ‘sifted’ encounter is a roadworthiness inspection where a DVSA examiner decides that a full inspection isn’t needed. For example:

  • it’s a brand new vehicle
  • the vehicle has recently had an annual test
  • the vehicle has recently had a roadside inspection

Vehicles excluded from operator licensing

You won’t have an OCRS if you only operate vehicles exempt from operator licensing, or light goods vehicles. The score is only based on vehicles on your operator’s licence.

Changes to your operator licence

When you add a new operating centre to an existing licence it won’t have any effect on your OCRS.

When you apply for a new operator licence in a different traffic area, the new licence will be in the grey (no score) band until an annual test, roadside or another inspection has taken place.

OCRS for operators based outside Great Britain

An OCRS is worked out for operators who are based outside Great Britain. It’s only based on roadside encounters as DVSA has no access to annual test or prosecution data for these operators.

Changes to OCRS

DVSA can change how OCRS works (for example, changing the points you can get for defects or offences) if it needs to.

Sign up to get email alerts when DVSA changes OCRS.

Scoring and bands

The ‘base score’ decides which OCRS band you fall into.

Your ‘base score’ is worked out over a 3-year rolling period by dividing your total number of offence or defect points by your total number of encounters.

You get more points for more serious defects or infringements.

OCRS bands

Band Risk type
Green Low-risk operator
Amber Medium-risk operator
Red High-risk operator
Grey Unknown operator

You’ll have 3 scores for each individual operator licence that you have:

  • a roadworthiness score
  • a traffic score
  • a combined score

The limits for each band are different for the roadworthiness, traffic and combined scores. For targeting purposes these scores will be combined using the following calculation:

Example

200 roadworthiness event points + 150 traffic event points = 350. These came from 4 roadworthiness events and 2 traffic events = 6 events. 350 divided by 6 = 58.33 putting this operator in the red band.

OCRS band Roadworthiness Traffic Combined
Green 10 defect points or below 5 offence points or below 10 defect points or below
Amber Between 11 and 25 defect points Between 6 and 30 offence points Between 11 and 25 defect points
Red 26 defect points or over 31 offence points or over 26 defect points or over
Grey No score No score No score

OCRS year weightings

Older offences or defects have less impact on road safety, so the points for these reduce over the 3-year period OCRS uses.

The 3-year period is split into 3 blocks of 1 year, with a different weighting for each block.

This means that your ‘base score’ changes as offences and defects move from year 1 through to year 3.

Year block Weighting factor
Year 1 1
Year 2 0.75
Year 3 0.5

How the base score is worked out

This diagram shows how the ‘base score’ is worked out and how your band is decided.

OCRS score calculations

No scores on OCRS

You won’t have a score for the roadworthiness or traffic categories if there’s no data available for you in the 3-year rolling period. It’s possible to have:

  • a score for one category but not the other
  • no score for both categories

Points for defects and offences

Points for roadworthiness defects

Defect Points
Cat 1 defect (immediate prohibition for tyres, brakes and steering defects) 200
Cat 2 defect (immediate prohibition for all other defects) 100
Cat 3 defect (delayed prohibition for tyres, brakes and steering defects) 50
Cat 4 defect (delayed prohibition for all other defects) 25
Cat 1 S marked defect (immediate prohibition for tyres, brakes and steering defects) 400
Cat 2 S marked defect (immediate prohibition for all other defects) 200
Cat 3 S marked defect (delayed prohibition for tyres, brakes and steering defects) 100
Cat 4 S marked defect (delayed prohibition for all other defects) 50
Annual test failure for tyres, brakes, steering defects 50
Annual test failure for all other defects 25

Points for traffic offences

Parameter description Points
Band 0 offence (least serious offence) 0
Band 1 offence 25
Band 2 offence 50
Band 3 offence 100
Band 4 offence 200
Band 5 offence 300

Points for DVSA prosecutions

Parameter description Points
DVSA prosecution case 300
DVSA operator prosecution points per offence 100
DVSA driver prosecution points per offence 50

Prohibitions for breaches of the ADR (carriage of dangerous goods) regulations

Risk category Points
Risk category 1 (highest risk) 50
Risk category 2 (medium risk) 25
Risk category 3 (lowest risk) 0

You can find further information in section 14 of the enforcement sanction policy document.

Access and use OCRS reports

You can access your OCRS report if you have one or more Great Britain operator licences. You need your operator licence number(s) to fill in the form.

DVSA will post membership and confirmation letters to you, including instructions on how to:

  • access your OCRS
  • how to allow other employees access these reports

You should get the details within 5 days.

Request your report

When you’ve got access, log on to the reports suite and select the ‘OCRS Report’. Enter the date you want the report to run from.

You can select an end date for your report but not a range of dates because OCRS works on a 3-year rolling period.

The current scoring system came into effect on 21 November 2016. Reports can’t be run from an end date earlier than 28 September 2012.

Your OCRS report will contain information from the date on which the scores were last worked out, before the date you’ve selected.

It can take up to 2 working days for your requests to be processed and emailed to you.

Understand your OCRS report

The first page of your OCRS report contains:

  • your operator details
  • summary information showing how your score was worked out
  • a summary of your prosecution points

The report has details of specific events that have had a negative and positive effect on your score.

Near the end of the report, you can see details of events which have been removed from your score. It also shows your scores for the past 90 days.

The final pages provide more detailed guidance on the report contents.

Sample OCRS report

This sample report contains explanations of the important areas. It doesn’t contain all the data used to work out the example scores.

Sample OCRS report

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email gov.uk.publishing@dvsa.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Improve your OCRS

You’re responsible for making sure:

  • the right vehicles appear on your licence and are maintained on time
  • your vehicles are always maintained to a high standard
  • you follow all relevant laws, regulations and rules

You need to make sure that any failures at test and prohibitions issued are investigated.

DVSA recommends that you:

  • get your OCRS on a regular basis
  • track progress of your OCRS and, if it alters, look at the report to see what’s changed
  • set targets to improve the score in the future

DVSA can give you advice and information to help you to identify potential problem areas. Guides are available on the following subjects:

If you think your OCRS is incorrect

DVSA can’t answer specific questions about an operator’s score by phone because of data protection rules.

You should:

Appeal a test outcome, prohibition or fixed penalty

Your OCRS report reflects the data input at the time of encounter or test.

Contact your local DVSA office if you think an event has been recorded incorrectly. They will help if you:

  • want to appeal the outcome
  • think it was issued to you incorrectly or for the wrong reason

Appeal as soon as possible after the event. It’s only likely to succeed if you’ve got a good cause for the decision to be reversed.

A pending appeal won’t effect your OCRS until the appeal has been accepted. The event will be removed from your OCRS if your appeal is successful, and it will be worked out again.

OCRS reports provide a snapshot at a particular moment, so changes won’t be shown until after the weekly update. Running a report for a previous date to when the changes occurred will give you the score at that point.

Prohibition cancelled after an appeal

Any defect items found will be removed and excluded from your OCRS when a prohibition is cancelled after an appeal. The encounter, if then classed as a clear encounter, will have a positive effect on your OCRS.

If your appeal is unsuccessful

Follow the DVSA complaints procedure if you want to take matters further.

Data protection

OCRS bands aren’t given to a driver at the roadside unless they can prove that they’re the sole owner or the operator of the vehicle.

More information

Contact DVSA to get help accessing your OCRS data.

OCRS reports access

Queries about registering or accessing your OCRS account.

Published 18 August 2014
Last updated 6 December 2016 + show all updates
  1. Added information about the new combined score, and other changes to the scoring system.
  2. First published.