A Guide to Fines and Fixed Penalty Notices: DVSA Earned Recognition

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Updated 10/07/2023

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) earned recognition scheme is a voluntary programme that any business with a fleet of vehicles that has help a valid operator’s licence for at least two years can opt into. It helps fleet managers monitor their vehicles and driver performances, as well as keep track of daily checks and maintenance. Vehicles such as HGVs and PSVs that are recognised under the scheme are also less likely to be pulled over by DVSA officers on the road. However, drivers and their vehicles can still be fined, and even removed from the scheme, if certain requirements are not adhered to.

In this guide, we will explore the fixed penalty notices and fines that both drivers and fleet managers need to be aware of under the DVSA recognition scheme. We will also discuss how and when businesses can be removed from the scheme altogether, and how to avoid potential fixed penalties.

What Fixed Penalty Notices do I Need to be Aware of Under the DVSA Earned Recognition Scheme?

Whether you are a part of the DVSA earned recognition scheme or not, the DVSA can issue fixed penalty notices and fines if you fail to meet road safety requirements. Triggers for fines and penalties include speeding, exceeding weight restrictions, safety issues that should have been identified in a daily walkaround check, and failure to carry out daily walkaround checks.

Roadside inspections are less likely to be carried out on vehicles that are a part of the scheme as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are submitted regularly to the DVSA to ensure compliance. These KPIs are submitted automatically via a DVSA accredited IT system of your choice, and failure to comply will be noted by the DVSA. Data submitted to the DVSA includes daily check reports, driver hours and maintenance schedules.

Fines and penalties can be issued if businesses regularly fail to meet the requirements. For instance, there are nine KPIs that businesses must meet in terms of driving activities in order to avoid fines on the road:

Requirement Information
Fixed penalty band 1 Minor errors that would usually attract a £50 fine if stopped on the road, such as failure to submit tachograph details
Fixed penalty band 2 More serious errors that would attract a £100 fine if stopped on the road. These include exceeding the driving limit without taking a break
Fixed penalty band 3 More serious errors that would attract a £200 fine if stopped on the road
Fixed penalty band 4 These are the most serious errors and would attract a £300 fine if stopped on the road
Overall infringements The number of infringements, regardless of the band, often triggered by multiple minor infringements
Working time Drivers must comply with working time regulations
Repeat offender KPIs will identify whether operators are managing infringements if they are repeatedly occurring
Unaccounted mileage Mileage must be recorded by the driver
Most serious infringements These include exceeding daily driving limits by 50% or more, interfering with recording equipment and failure to have a tachograph fitted

The DVSA will be alerted if you fail to meet any of your KPIs, with alerts separated into three bands; yellow (minor), amber (moderate) and grey (major). Businesses should attempt to avoid any alerts made to the DVSA, especially grey alerts. Businesses must ensure that they are using a DVSA approved IT system to accurately report all KPIs to the DVSA.

A person checking information on a tablet

Can I Still Be Fined by a DVSA Officer Even Though I Am on the Earned Recognition Scheme?

Although roadside checks occur less frequently when you are an earned recognition operator, you can still be fined between £50 and £300 by the DVSA for breaching certain guidelines and requirements. Depending on the offence, you could receive a fine, penalty points or even a custodial sentence.

When dealing with commercial and passenger vehicles such as HGVs and coaches, the DVSA will primarily focus on areas such as the brakes, drivers’ hours and steering. They can also give fines and penalty points for the roadworthiness of the vehicle and whether or not it exceeds its recommended weight. Any vehicle can be pulled over by the DVSA.

In order to avoid fines and other punishments, drivers and fleet operators should accurately report their daily walkaround checks. They should also report drivers’ hours and vehicle maintenance using a DVSA approved IT systems operator to submit KPIs on time. You can find out more about our secure CMS system and app on our website.

Can I Be Fined and Removed from the DVSA Earned Recognition Scheme?

As well as still being susceptible to fines and penalty points on the DVSA earned recognition scheme, businesses can also be removed from the scheme altogether if they continue to breach the scheme’s guidelines. This means they will no longer be recognised as an exemplary operator by the DVSA.

Reasons the scheme manager may remove accreditation are:

  • The accredited operator breaches the scheme’s terms and conditions
  • The accredited operator fails to meet some or all of the performance criteria required of them
  • The accredited operator becomes bankrupt or insolvent
  • The accredited operator is involved in any behaviour or actions that the scheme manager considers inappropriate or would bring the DVSA earned recognition scheme into disrepute

You can find out more about how you can prevent your earned recognition status from being revoked in the Government’s terms and conditions document.

Auto mechanic using a tablet to check a vehicle

How Can I Avoid Fixed Penalties?

The best way for fleet operators and drivers to avoid fixed penalties is to make themselves aware of the DVSA earned recognition scheme terms, conditions and guidelines. Businesses should also make sure that their KPIs are submitted on time and in line with the DVSA’s criteria.

Drivers of passenger and commercial vehicles should also carry out thorough daily vehicle checks to ensure there are no safety issues or vehicle defects that need rectifying. These daily checks should be submitted to the relevant person within the company. You can find out more about vehicle daily checks in our advice centre.

Vehicle operators should also avoid breaking the law when out on the road to avoid penalties and fines, such as speeding, causing accidents due to negligent driving and exceeding weight limits. This could not only discredit the business they drive for, but can also lead to legal trouble for the driver themselves.

How AssetGo Can Help

Our secure, comprehensive system at AssetGo is DVSA accredited, providing vehicle fleets up and down the country with safe and secure KPI reporting to maintain DVSA compliance and standards. We can ensure that your business submits its KPIs on time to help retain your DVSA earned recognition status, with easy to access daily check reports and maintenance scheduling to reduce downtime and stress.

To find out more, or to request a demo of our system, you can get in contact with us today.

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