What You Need to Know About DVSA Earned Recognition Audits

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Updated 10/07/2023

Before you join the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) earned recognition scheme, your business and your fleet must be audited by a DVSA approved auditor. This audit can take place up to three months before or three months after your application to join the earned recognition scheme has been submitted. Auditors will check several elements of your business and fleet to ensure you meet the standards to join the scheme. However, there are some points you need to know beforehand.

In this guide, we will explain what you can expect from your DVSA audit, how to apply, and what can happen if you pass or fail. We will also explore how often your business needs to be audited, and how you can successfully find a DVSA accredited auditor.

What Can I Expect from My DVSA Audit?

Businesses will be audited against the DVSA earned recognition standards for HGVs or PSVs (or both if you have both licences). At your first audit, an approved auditor will analyse the processes involved in your transport systems and how they are managed. Both sets of standards have ten sections, including drivers’ hours, driver management and operator licences.

There are also four optional modules that are audited: London Power Tunnels (LPT), TFL Contractual Requirements, The Guild of British Coach Operators and High Speed 2 (HS2).

You should prepare for a visit from an auditor by making all of the information they need available. Your transport manager or another relevant person within your company should be available, and you should sign the audit document once it is completed. You should also make sure you can answer any questions the auditor may have, comply with their requests and show the systems you have in place, such as a DVSA accredited IT system.

An audit sample will be taken of your vehicles, drivers and operating centres, and will take into consideration a range of factors to see if you meet DVSA standards. Audits can be carried out in person or over video call.

Man wearing a hardhat and reflective jacket checking a tablet

How Can I Apply for a DVSA Earned Recognition Audit?

You can apply for an earned recognition audit up to three months before or three months after you have applied for the scheme. You must find a DVSA accredited auditor to carry out your audit, and decide whether you need an auditor who can inspect HGV operators, PSV operators, or both.

You can apply for an audit directly through an approved auditor. You can choose an auditor via the Government’s website.

As well as an auditor, you must also find a DVSA approved IT systems operator to automatically submit your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to the DVSA on time. You can request a demo of our secure system and app on our website.

How Can I Pass My Earned Recognition Audit?

It is recommended that you make yourself aware of the DVSA audit standards for HGVs or PSVs (or both if you hold both operator licences). As previously mentioned, there are ten sections in each of the standards that will be inspected. You must meet the required standards of each section to achieve DVSA earned recognition standards. These are:

  • Operator licenses
  • Vehicle standards
  • Transport manager or another responsible person
  • Operation management
  • Driver’s hours
  • Driver management
  • Security requirements
  • Training
  • Additional policies
  • Dangerous goods (HGVs) or services provided (PSVs). If you do not partake in these activities, this section will not be audited

There are also four optional modules to be aware of, as mentioned previously. If you meet the required standards for each of these sections, you are likely to pass your DVSA audit. Your audit sampling will take into consideration the type of management system, whether the maintenance records conform with the DVSA’s guide to maintaining roadworthiness, and that the sample is representative of your fleet.

If any issues are identified that can be rectified within a month, you will be given time to do so. You can visit the Government’s website to check HGV audit standards and PSV audit standards.

What Happens if I Fail my DVSA Earned Recognition Audit?

If the auditor decides that you have not met the necessary DVSA standards, then you will not qualify for DVSA earned recognition, but you may reapply in the future. You will be provided with the DVSA’s reasons for rejecting your application. If you choose to reapply in the future, you must have rectified what the auditor identified as an issue.

You can also appeal an auditor’s decision if you do not agree. You can appeal within 14 days of the original decision by stating your reasons for appealing and any evidence to back them up. The DVSA will make a decision within 28 days of receiving your appeal. You can email your appeal to corporatereputation@dvsa.gov.uk.

Port manager with a digital tablet at a seaport

How Often Does My Business Need to be Audited?

Once your first audit has been completed and you have successfully applied for the DVSA earned recognition scheme, your business will need to be audited every two years. This is to ensure that you are still complying with DVSA standards, and your DVSA earned recognition status can be removed if you fail to do so.

You can ensure you are remaining compliant by carrying out your daily walkaround checks and keeping up with regular vehicle maintenance to ensure road safety. All KPIs will be submitted automatically to the DVSA by your IT systems provider.

How Do I Find a DVSA Accredited Auditor?

You can find a DVSA authorised audit provider on the Government’s website. You must also find a DVSA accredited IT systems provider before you can be accepted onto the earned recognition scheme.

You can enquire further about our DVSA accredited system and app and how it can benefit you by contacting us on our website.

How AssetGo Can Help

Here at AssetGo, we have made it simpler for transport and vehicle operators and fleet managers to keep track of vehicle maintenance and monitor driver performance. Your personalised dashboard on our CMS system will automatically sync KPIs and submit the data to the DVSA, as well as make servicing and MOT scheduling much easier and more efficient. Our earned recognition KPI Dashboard can be enabled prior to your earned recognition application. This will help you see the performance of your fleet in advance of the initial DVSA audit.

Earned recognition is a voluntary scheme, but it can bring major benefits to your business. To find out more about how we can assist you and help you maintain compliance, please get in touch today to request a demo.

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