Trojan Horse or new Era for Safety Compliance?
The DVSA’s (relatively) new Earned Recognition Scheme is being promoted within the Traffic Commissioners’ Annual Report as a way to improve road safety by taking “open and trustworthy operators” off the DVSA’s radar, thereby allowing them extra time and resources to focus on the “high-risk” operators.
The Scheme is billed as a new way for lorry and bus & coach operators to prove they meet compliance standards by allowing the DVSA electronic and remote access to the operator’s maintenance and compliance systems. The scheme promises to ensure that there is official, recorded recognition for those operators with the highest compliance standards. One of the key benefits promoted by the DVSA in their literature on the scheme is the fact that operators who are formally recognised will be less likely to have their vehicles stopped at the roadside for inspections and that site visits by DVSA enforcement staff will be less common.
Selection for the Scheme relies on operators having fully digital and electronic records (which would automatically report compliance issues to the DVSA) and requires an audit of the operator’s premises, vehicles and records by approved auditors prior to receiving the accreditation. There are nine sections to the standard against which operators will be judged:
- O Licence
- Transport Manager
- Vehicle Standards
- Drivers’ Hours
- Operational Management
- Driver Management
- Training and Driver Behaviour
- Driver Related Policies
- ADR (HGV Standards) or Service Work (PSV Standards)
Following initial accreditation operators should expect to be re-audited every two years at their own cost.
The Scheme’s main aim – to enable the DVSA to “tackle the seriously and serially non-compliant” – will be welcomed by many operators and it is worth considering what changes (if any) would be needed to enable an operator to meet the Scheme’s standards.
More information on the scheme can be found here. And if you are seriously considering signing up to the initiative, then get in touch with us at Pellys Transport & Regulatory Law. Click here for more information on our compliance work for PSV or here for HGV, or call our team of lawyers now on 01279 818280.