Earning a Reputation – Can Earned Recognition Work for Your Business?
Face it – nobody likes being pulled over by the DVSA. Even when no infringements are found, an unexpected roadside inspection can be a big headache for any operator trying to meet tight delivery deadlines. But, clearly there has be a way for the DVSA to check whether an operator’s vehicles are roadworthy, and drivers hours rules are being followed. So, is the much anticipated “Earned Recognition” scheme the answer?
What is Earned Recognition?
Earned Recognition is a voluntary scheme for operators, being developed by the DVSA. It aims to better target roadside stops and enforcement, reduce the burden on compliant operators, and to divert limited DVSA resources towards “trouble” operators. In the words of Gordon MacDonald, head of enforcement policy at DVSA: “We know that roadside checks cost operators time and money. By sharing access to their compliance system, we can make sure that compliant firms are not targeted unnecessarily.”
How Does Earned Recognition Work?
An operator would allow the DVSA electronic access to their compliance records, including tachograph downloads, drivers’ hours records, and maintenance documentation. Instead of the disruption of pulling a vehicle over to carry out a manual check, the DVSA would instead carry out a “remote” check by accessing all the relevant data online. The day to day disruption to the business would therefore be extremely minimal.
Can Anyone Join the Scheme?
No. The DVSA plans to impose strict conditions on who can join. An operator will need to undergo a third-party audit of their compliance systems, and have all the necessary technology in place to enable the sharing of the information – unsurprisingly, the DVSA will not just take an operators’ word for it that their systems are compliant.
What About the OCRS System?
It is important not to confuse Earned Recognition with the OCRS (Operator Compliance Risk Score) system. Whilst both are a way of the DVSA better targeting resources away from compliant operators and towards seriously non-compliant ones, the OCRS system does not allow for the remote auditing of an operator’s compliance records.
When Will the Earned Recognition Scheme Start?
For some operators, it already has. A blind trial involving 150 Operators has already taken place, and a full Pilot scheme is set to commence in the Spring of 2017.
Naturally there are many “bumps” that will need ironing out as the Pilot progresses, but it won’t be long before the scheme rolls out nationwide.
If you have any concerns about the compliance of your fleet, call one of our transport lawyers today for a confidential, free, no-obligation discussion, and find out what we can do to help you and your business.