Earned Recognition scheme for vehicle operators was first discussed last year (we covered the introduction of the scheme, and what it could mean for drivers and operators previously). The scheme is an initiative from the DVSA, whereby drivers and operators can opt to achieve Earned Recognition status, by sharing tachograph and maintenance data with the agency. Sharing this data (and maintaining compliance) will result in fewer roadside stops and inspections.

What is Earned Recognition?

Earned recognition is a scheme from the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency), which was announced last year. The DVSA describe it as:

“A new way to prove you meet driver and vehicle standards… You regularly share performance information with DVSA. In return, your vehicles are less likely to be stopped for inspections”

It is essentially a way to self-monitor. Once you’ve proven that you meet driver and vehicle standards (by sharing performance data with DVSA), you are less likely to be stopped for inspections.

What are the Benefits of Earned Recognition?

The key, and most immediate, benefit of achieving earned recognition status is that your vehicles are less likely to be stopped for roadside inspections, meaning that you no longer have to factor time for these potential stops into your journey planning.

You’ll also be able to use your Earned Recognition status as a mark of excellence:

  • You’ll be recognised as a DVSA-approved operator on the official GOV.UK list
  • You’ll be able to use the DVSA earned recognition marque on your website and other publicity materials
  • You’ll also be able to use your status in bidding and advertising to win new business

How Can You Achieve Earned Recognition?

Detailed information about the scheme has been released by the DVSA this autumn. Details of the pilot scheme for Earned Recognition were released in September, and you can access those here.

As the scheme is a way to ‘self-monitor’ for performance and safety standards, there are some key eligibility criteria outlined by the DVSA or joining the pilot scheme, which will likely be carried over into criteria for joining the wider Earned Recognition scheme when it is opened up. There are three key eligibility requirements laid out by the DVSA:

  1. Operator Licence Operators applying to the pilot scheme must have held an HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) or PSV (Public Service Vehicle) operator license for a minimum of two years
  2. Digital Management Systems Operators must be using digital management systems both for vehicle maintenance and for drivers’ hours. These systems must be able both to track the KPIs required for the scheme (more on this below) and to automatically report if those KPIs are missed
  3. Compliance Record Any operator applying to take part in the Earned Recognition pilot scheme must have “a track record of good compliance” with driver and vehicle standards – though, at this stage, the guidelines do not specify exactly what means

Additionally, there are certain KPIs that must be measured, and met, in order to stay compliant with the scheme and to achieve the Earned Recognition status. The KPIs are measured over a four-week ‘KPI measurement period’, reported at the end of the period, and then sent to DVSA 4 weeks later. The KPIs are split into two categories:

  1. Maintenance KPIs There are five maintenance KPIs in total, on four of which operators must achieve 100% on in order to maintain their Earned Recognition status, and on one of which operators must achieve 95%
  2. Driving Activity KPIs There are six KPIs relating to Driver Activity, on which operators much achieve percentages (total number of infringements as a percentage of the total number of tachograph days) between 0.7% and 4%, depending on the category

How to Join the Pilot

In order to join the Earned Recognition pilot scheme, you’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria, and be able to measure and achieve the KPIs. You’ll also need to complete an application; pay a nominal fee to the DVSA; and arrange an initial audit, to take stock of the processes involved in your transport management systems, and how you manage those processes.

Having the Right Digital Management Systems in Place

Part of the criteria and application process for joining the pilot is having an electronic management system in place for vehicle maintenance and drivers’ hours. We are currently developing additional features in Stream Check which will make it easier for operators to gain Earned Recognition status and compliance.