The DVSA’s Earned Recognition scheme will be a game changer for compliant operators according to Matthew Hague, executive director – product strategy at one of the UK’s largest telematics companies, Microlise, following the RHA Compliance Conference.
The comments come in response to further information about the scheme confirmed by Gareth Llewellyn, the newly-appointed chief executive of the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
“Earned recognition will be a power for good; I have no doubt about that. Upsides will surely be reduced compliance costs and disruption for the best transport service providers; while more intervention and targeted enforcement will bring the worst service providers into line. The result will be significantly less time and money wasted by those who are complying,” said Hague.
The DVSA’s new approach, which will be available to all operators in 2017, will hinge on next generation enforcement, whereby firms can achieve Earned Recognition status by sharing tachograph and maintenance data with the agency. Once recognised, these operators would not be engaged at the roadside, reducing vehicle downtime and other related costs.
During his speech at the conference, the DVSA’s Llewellyn confirmed that transport service providers will need technology in place to enable the sharing of information, and take full advantage of the scheme.
According to Hague the DVSA has a very difficult job in ensuring that the targets to meet during the audit are neither too difficult to achieve in the real world, nor too lenient.
“There is a very fine line to walk – both in having stringent criteria to ensure excellent compliance, but, on the other side, not limiting participation by making the criteria that needs to be met only achievable in a perfect world,” said Hague. “We wait to see the full details, but in the meantime I would say that the new progressive approach is excellent and we look forward to helping our customers to prepare, engage and achieve Earned Recognition status when it comes into force in 2017.”
When asked about the role of telematics at the compliance conference, Llewellyn said that it is a hugely valuable technology for the industry, not just in matters of compliance, but also in playing a wider role. He also said that the DVSA is pursuing Earned Recognition with vigour, confirming that Key Performance Indicators have already been agreed and that detailed plans would be confirmed before the end of the year following Board agreement.
Existing Microlise telematics and fleet management solutions which can benefit compliance include Remote Digital Tachograph Download, Vehicle Walkaround Checks and other tools to ensure optimum vehicle health and record keeping.