DVSA Earned Recognition: What Is It?

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Updated 08/06/2023

Launched in 2018, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Earned Recognition Scheme aims to help businesses monitor their own compliance in terms of driver and vehicle standards. It is completely voluntary, and can help businesses stand out to prospective clients and partners. There are certain criteria that businesses must meet in order to qualify, and applications must be made before they can join the scheme.

In this guide we will explain exactly what DVSA earned recognition is, how to join the scheme, and how businesses can check if they are eligible. We will also discuss DVSA audits, and how AssetGo can help operators integrate the scheme into their business.

What is DVSA Earned Recognition?

DVSA earned recognition is a voluntary scheme in which organisations and vehicle operators that utilise HGVs and PSVs can prove that they meet driver and vehicle standards. Businesses must regularly share details with DVSA, monitor their compliance and ensure that they meet road safety standards.

Data that must be submitted to the DVSA include daily walkaround checks and evidence of vehicle maintenance, driver hours, and whether key performance indicators (KPIs) are met. Achieving DVSA earned recognition status means you will be less likely to be stopped on the road by a DVSA officer or have DVSA enforcers visit your premises. You will also be known as an “exemplary operator,” which can help you stand out to potential clients.

In order to apply, you must register with an IT systems supplier, such as AssetGo. As a DVSA authorised supplier, we can help you apply for DVSA earned recognition, and submit your KPI information once you are signed up. Visit our website to see how we can help with the DVSA Earned Recognition process.

Safety audit and checklist being written

How do I Join the DVSA Earned Recognition Scheme?

Before applying for DVSA earned recognition, you must check to see if your organisation is eligible, and you must fill out the DVSA’s self-assessment checklist. Operators will be asked if they hold a valid licence, how long they have held it for, and if the traffic commissioner has taken action against their licences. You will also need to state whether you have systems capable of communicating your KPI reports, and whether you meet the KPI measures. Organisations will also be asked whether they meet the HGV and PSV audit standards.

You must also check that your IT system provider and audit provider are registered with the DVSA. You must contact a DVSA registered IT system provider and auditor as soon as possible before you apply. Once you have completed these steps, you will need to fill out an application form. You will be asked to answer various questions concerning your business, such as:

  • Your organisation’s name
  • Your fleet type (do you operate HGVs or PSVs?)
  • Your personal details, such as your name, contact information and job role within the organisation
  • Controlling entity details, such as your company registration number and all operator licence numbers
  • The system you will use to report drivers’ hours and maintenance KPIs, including their name and ID number
  • Audit requirements

At AssetGo, we can report both drivers’ hours and maintenance KPIs to the DVSA on your behalf, helping you retain your DVSA earned recognition status and saving you time and money when out on the road. You can enquire further about a free demo of our DVSA approved system on our website.

What is a DVSA Audit?

Before you join the DVSA earned recognition scheme, you must have your systems audited by a DVSA approved auditor. You can have an audit up to three months before or three months after your application has been sent. You will be audited against the HGV and PSV earned recognition standard, and the auditor will look at your transport management system processes.

If you apply for an audit after you have sent in your application for DVSA earned recognition, you need to pass the application review first. After your audit, the DVSA may provide you with an improvement plan if adequate standards are not met. Once you have passed the audit, you can become DVSA earned recognition accredited.

You will need to let your auditor know if you have applied for extra accreditation and modules. These include High Speed 2 (HS2) and London Power Tunnels (LPT2) for HGVs, and The Guild of British Coach Operators for PSVs. The TFL Contractual Requirements apply to both HGVs and PSVs.

You can find all standards that HGV operators need to meet during their audit on the Government’s website. You can choose your own auditor, but they must be DVSA accredited, and your organisation must be audited every two years after joining the scheme.

A bus driver going through driving schedule

Am I Eligible for DVSA Earned Recognition?

It is easy to check and see whether you and your organisation are eligible for DVSA earned recognition. If you answer “no” to any of the questions on the DVSA’s self-assessment checklist, you will automatically not qualify for earned recognition, and must remedy those issues before applying again.

You must have an HGV or PSV operator’s licence, and you must have held it for at least two years. No regulatory action must have been taken by the traffic commissioner on your licences in the past two years, although formal warnings are acceptable. You must also have passed the audit, and you must have sufficient management systems in place for tracking vehicle maintenance and drivers’ hours.

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria, you can get in touch with the team at AssetGo to ensure you meet all of the required steps before applying for earned recognition.

How the AssetGo App can Help

As a DVSA registered IT systems provider, we can help streamline the process of applying for DVSA earned recognition, as well as helping you submit your KPI reports on time to retain your status. We can assist in monitoring your fleet’s compliance and ensuring road safety, and our dashboard will automatically sync up your KPI’s.

To find out more about DVSA earned recognition, or to enquire about how our system can help you and your fleet, get in touch with a member of our team today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does the DVSA do?

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) focus primarily on vehicle and driver safety. They approve individuals to become driving and MOT testers, ensure buses and lorries are safe to drive, carry out roadside safety inspections and conduct driving tests.

Why was DVSA earned recognition introduced?

Earned recognition was introduced in 2018 as a new way for vehicles such as lorries and buses to remain compliant, with incentives such as fewer roadside checks.

Am I less likely to be pulled over if I am a part of the DVSA earned recognition scheme?

The chances of being pulled over for a roadside check can be lowered by being a part of the DVSA earned recognition scheme.

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