Digital data is the core of DVSA’s Earned Recognition system. We asked Paul Clark, Managing Director of Truckfile, if this is just the start of a transformation of compliance reporting.
Is Earned Recognition the start of an evolution in operator compliance?
Yes. Earned Recognition should lead to an opportunity to simplify and standardise compliance. It represents the first stage in what appears to be a long-term shift by DVSA to digital compliance for operators.
Digital systems are as simple as the pen and paper they replace, but they offer huge benefits to fleet operators, workshops, and regulators. Earned Recognition systems allow operators to be able to prove to DVSA best practice in compliance.
There are benefits to all: DVSA can reduce intervention at the roadside and, by having less enforcement, it reduces the need for DVSA staff to visit, so they can focus on non-compliant operators.
This reduces the burden of compliance enforcement for DVSA, but should benefit operators too, with a more efficient reduction of regulatory encumbrance and vehicle downtime.
What are the challenges for operators?
The existing Operator Compliance Risk Scoring system gives operators a red, green, or amber compliance score, but it is retrospective. Earned Recognition requires operators to be more proactive in reporting ongoing compliance and is thus more demanding of workshop management systems.
Operators will need to ensure that fleet and workshop management systems can record and report the five KPIs at the core of Earned Recognition:
- M1 Complete set of safety inspection records
- M2 Records are completed correctly and signed off as roadworthy
- M3 Safety inspections are within the stated frequency
- M4 Driver defect reports, where safety related items have been reported, are appropriately actioned
- M5 Yearly report on vehicle and trailer initial MOT pass rates
DVSA only permits one data input for each operator licence, so for fleets using different maintenance providers or a mix of in-house and outsourced, the data must be collated.
What happens to all the compliance data submitted to DVSA?
There is a data platform which holds all the Earned Recognition data, and DVSA wants to develop the platform as the number of operators using it increases. To do that, there are some trust issues which need to be overcome.
DVSA needs to assure operators that the data they submit is secure and only used for the purpose of measuring their compliance score as defined in the KPI.
It is key that ownership of the data will always reside with the fleet operator and any record of compliance should be gathered and stored with the highest of data security.
What do you predict for the future?
For digital compliance to go mainstream, DVSA will need to create a pathway for the progressive implementation of digital records, starting with the initial five key KPIs. DVSA will need to update its systems to enable the transition of data from the system providers to a seamless and inclusive industry system.
DVSA must retain Intellectual Property rights to the data platform so the solution benefits the widest range of system providers and operators. The system and operator feed data must meet minimum security standards.
Any digital compliance system should also have live feedback to the operator. Plus, all current maintenance providers should be included in the creation and development of the Earned Recognition data platform. No provider should own any data within the system. The technology used to create the system should be of industry standard to enable other system providers to join.
This will enable expedient additions of new system providers. Ultimately, providing that operators consent, the data could be used for future compliance administration, such as raising the KPI standards. Long-term, compliance systems will evolve, driven by data sourced from vehicles and Artificial Intelligence systems.