It will reward operators with fewer compliance checks in return for access to their compliance data, which will help the agency focus its resources on the seriously and serially non-compliant.
Speaking at the Woodfines Road Transport Conference in Duxford, Cambridgeshire, the DVSA’s compliance product manager David Wood said earned recognition is expected to be offered to all operators in the final quarter of the 2016-17 financial year.
A trial has so far seen around 150 O-licences volunteered and given a pre-audit check, as well as 10 trial visits to operator premises.
He said volunteers should have held an O-licence for a minimum of two years and have a good compliance history.
The DVSA is currently considering developing the criteria further to include drivers’ hours KPIs, an annual test pass-rate of over 95% and no regulatory action taken in the past two years.
Operators wanting to take part will have to undertake a third-party audit of their compliance systems and allow the DVSA remote access to their telematics.
Wood said: “We want to look at how we can focus our resources better, use our roadside staff more effectively, but also treat those compliant operators in a different way.”
Delegates were also told that the Office of the Traffic Commissioner’s (OTC) revamped IT system, which is expected to cut the average O-licence application waiting time from nine to seven weeks, is planned to go live in the first week in August.
This week some 25 to 30 operators are to begin trialling the Vehicle Operator Licensing Service, formerly known as the Operator Licence Compliance System. Operators will be able to electronically submit supporting material, but the OTC will request a percentage of original paperwork to reduce the risk of fraudulent documents being submitted.
However, East of England traffic commissioner Richard Turfitt told delegates a quicker response time than the improvement to seven weeks would require a change in the law.