DVSA Earned Recognition: Everything You Need to Know

The DVSA’s Head of Enforcement Policy, Gordon Macdonald, presented at the Microlise Transport Conference in May giving us all a thorough update on the agency’s progress with Earned Recognition.

During the conference, delegates submitted their questions, and whilst Gordon didn’t have an opportunity to answer them all on the day, he has responded in writing since.  You can watch the full presentation below and beneath that, see Gordon’s answers to the delegate’s questions.


For an operator who has a high level of compliance, what is the benefit of Earned Recognition?  

The operator will benefit by;
1)            Reduce the burden of enforcement activities.
2)            Earned Recognition operators will appear on a published list on the gov.uk website.
3)            Operators will have confidence that their management system is continually monitoring compliance.
4)            Operators will have the opportunity to use the DVSA ER marque on their documentation and website.

Are you confident that DVSA will have the resources to effectively process the applications for Earned Recognition once launched?

We are confident with the projected number of applications we have the resource to process these within the service level agreement.

What is the difference between the Earned Recognition and OCRS?

OCRS is a targeting tool which measures the risk of non compliance using DVSA historical information.  Operators within the Earned Recognition voluntary scheme will have systems in place that provide DVSA with the assurance and confidence that the operation is being effectively managed and is functioning in a compliant manner.

When is the Earned Recognition Scheme going to be live & how can we register interest?

We are aiming to go live in early 2018. Interest can be registered by emailing us at remote.compliance@vosa.gsi.gov.uk

Earned Recognition KPI’s are ‘one size fits all’ regardless of size of the operator. Would a scaled approach more accurately assess compliance?

Extensive research into the KPI tolerances has been completed and it has been found that they are achievable by all size fleets. The pilot process will test the level of the individual KPIs.

How can we be sure that DVSA IT system will function correctly with 3rd party systems given the track record of public/government IT systems?

The only interaction is the acceptance of emails through a tried and tested existing system.

What are the set of KPI’s?

The KPI’s cover both driver and maintenance activities. The KPI’s are detailed in our pilot Earned Recognition guidance document, which is available on request by emailing us at the address above.

Who would you envisage being a DVSA approved audit provider for Earned Recognition?            

Auditors that meet the qualification criteria can apply to be an approved auditor. The auditor requirements are detailed in our pilot Earned Recognition guidance document, which is available on request by emailing us at the address above.

Is Earned Recognition likely to become mandatory?       

DVSA have no plans to make Earned Recognition mandatory.

If you are a member of the Earned Recognition scheme, will it exclude you from roadside checks?

The operators in Earned Recognition will not be subject to normal targeted roadside enforcement or operator visits. There is however the exception of DfT’s national fleet compliance survey, where a relatively small sample of vehicles can be randomly checked as part of this survey. In addition, if any vehicle is seen to have a dangerous issue they will be stopped to obviously protect road safety.

How many fleets with 1000 trucks have you consulted with or is it aimed at small fleets only?      

The scheme is aimed at any operator that meets the Earned Recognition standards. Industry consultation has taken place over a large range of sectors and fleet sizes.

We are currently updating our compliance systems. Is there guidance available to ensure that our new system will be acceptable to DVSA for Earned Recognition?

The system information is detailed in our pilot Earned Recognition guidance document, which is available on request by emailing us at the address above.

Will those not on Earned Recognition be treated more harshly than before?        

DVSA enforcement activities for operators not in the Earned Recognition scheme will remain unchanged.

How will the DVSA’s Earned Recognition scheme work with the FOR’s standard and other voluntary standards?         

We are currently in communication with several other schemes to identify synergies that will allow alignments between standards.

If you have Earned Recognition would you also be excluded from weight checks?

Earned Recognition operators will be excluded from roadside checks, which includes weighing unless the roadside officers see a clear danger or the vehicle is stopped for the purpose of the random fleet compliance survey.

Will DVSA have access to the operator’s data?   

DVSA will not have direct access to the operator’s data. We require that the operator’s management systems flag exceptions to KPIs.

Download the Microlise Transport Conference Report

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