What is DVSA Fleet Compliance and How to Earn It


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DVSA fleet compliance requires a focus on several areas, such as accident risk and safety management, vehicle maintenance and driver training and behaviour.

It’s a continuous process that can be effectively managed through the use of fleet management software to help monitor and analyse your fleet data while producing reports.

Being a compliant vehicle operator ensures you’re meeting the requirements set out by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

You can prove fleet compliance to the DVSA and other interested parties by applying to be part of the voluntary ‘earned recognition’ scheme.

What is the DVSA ‘earned recognition’ scheme?

In April 2018, the DVSA launched its ‘earned recognition’ scheme for heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and public service vehicle (PSV) operators. It helps these fleet operators to prove that they meet driver and vehicle standards.

The scheme involves using DVSA-validated IT systems to automatically upload vehicle maintenance records and drivers’ hour data to the DVSA every four weeks. This data is monitored against a set of KPIs.

If a KPI is missed, the DVSA will contact you with an action plan so you can work to rectify the issue.

As an earned recognition operator, you can benefit from the scheme in several ways:

  • Prove that you’re an exemplary operator, which is useful when bidding for new contracts
  • Get recognised as having earned recognition status on the Gov.uk website
  • Carry the DVSA earned recognition marque
  • Get access to a dedicated team at DVSA who you can call if you have any issues
  • Reduce the likelihood of your vehicles getting stopped on the road, which saves time and money. In 2017 to 2018, 2525 random compliance spot checks were carried out on HGVs in Great Britain, with 269 of them issued with a prohibition/serious offence.
  • Reduce the chances of the DVSA visiting your premises.

In 2017 to 2018, 2525 random compliance spot checks were carried out on HGVs in Great Britain

How can you achieve DVSA fleet compliance?

To achieve earned recognition status, you must meet a stringent set of audit standards.

You must also have held an HGV or PSV operator licence for a minimum of two years and have had no regulatory action taken against any of your operator licences by the Traffic Commissioner in the last two years.

Finally, you must have in place digital monitoring systems for vehicle maintenance and drivers’ hours that are capable of tracking KPIs and that can report automatically to the DVSA.

What are the DVSA audit standards for HGV operators?

There are several standards that DVSA-approved auditors use to determine earned recognition status.

These include requirements, specifications and guidelines on the following areas:

  • Operator’s licence
  • Transport manager or responsible person
  • Vehicle standards
  • Drivers’ hours
  • Operational management
  • Driver management
  • Training and driver behaviour
  • Driver related policies
  • ADR (transporting dangerous goods by road)

Using Fleet Management Software for DVSA Fleet Compliance

Using Fleet Management Software for DVSA Fleet Compliance

One of the criteria for achieving earned recognition is to have the right IT systems in place for tracking and reporting on the relevant KPIs. This is where fleet management software provides several benefits.

A fleet management software tool will support the following:

Accident risk and safety management

Fleet compliance is crucial for minimising the risk of accidents, regulatory violations, fines and legal fees.

Fleet management software helps drive compliance by capturing and storing essential details about vehicles, load capacity, maintenance works, drivers, insurance and more.

You can use this data to ensure your fleet adheres to risk management policies and health and safety regulations. Fleet compliance can be appropriately documented, for the DVSA, and to meet the demands of insurance providers.

Vehicle standards and maintenance

All business vehicles must be regularly inspected, equipped and maintained in line with DVSA standards. Your drivers play an essential part in preventative maintenance since they have to perform walk-around checks and notify you of any warning lights or untoward vehicle noises.

However, sometimes faults can go unnoticed and eventually lead to significant and costly problems.

Fleet management software can integrate with telematics systems, allowing you to monitor each vehicle through GPS and onboard diagnostics.

A telematics device relays real-time data about vehicle performance directly to your fleet management system.

Critical engine data is transmitted instantly, including fault codes – even for brake faults depending on the software. Braking defects are believed to be the number one cause of HGV and trailer prohibitions in the UK.

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Driver training and behaviour

Telematics systems also gather information about driver behaviour, which you can use to pinpoint the drivers that are braking too harshly, accelerating too quickly, handling corners inappropriately and breaking speed limits.

Through telematics, you can identify drivers that would benefit from further training. This helps to keep themselves and other motorists safer on the roads and avoid costly fines in the process.

According to a survey conducted by Teletrac Navman, more than a quarter of fleet operators cited driver monitoring, speed prevention and preventing driver fatigue as top telematics-related safety benefits.

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You can also monitor each vehicle’s location through telematics to see whether drivers are complying with agreed company routes.

Fleet management software helps you capture and store all driver-related information digitally so that it can be accessed easily when needed. As well as the data described above, you can keep all licenses, certificates, insurance documentation and training records centrally. Alerts can also be set up to notify you when important deadlines are due, e.g. training dates and insurance renewals.

Don’t forget to check out our 5-step considerations checklist when evaluating and comparing fleet management software options.