The DVSA said it had abandoned plans to introduce one single fully digital maintenance reporting system for Earned recognition (ER) operators, to make the scheme attractive to new entrants.

A requirement for ER members to supply fully digital maintenance key performance indicators was originally set for 1 April 2022, which would have meant operators supplying compliance data via a tablet, laptop or smartphone.

However, at a recent Woodfines transport conference, the enforcement agency revealed that this deadline had now been removed.

Instead, the scheme will allow operators to choose validated reporting methods best suited to their operation.

The DVSA said it had listened to the industry following consultation with ER members, operators outside the scheme, as well as IT suppliers and it believed the change would make it more accessible to hauliers of all sizes.

Members will still require digital reporting systems for drivers’ hours and tachograph data and the performance standards they must meet remain unchanged.

Laura Great-Rex, DVSA head of enforcement relationship management, said: “We recognise that obstacles were preventing operators from joining the scheme, and have addressed them, making earned recognition more accessible. Our priority is ensuring safety and compliance on Britain’s roads.

“The more members of the earned recognition scheme we have, the more industry leaders we have demonstrating their exemplar safety standards on our roads.

“This transparency allows for our enforcement activity to be focused on the serially non-compliant operators, helping us better protect people from unsafe drivers and vehicles,” she said.

Promoting ER at Woodfines’ conference in Cambridgeshire, DVSA national account manager Phil Breen said a recent survey of operators found 91% voted the scheme as either ‘good’ or ‘very good’ and over 80% believed the audit standards were set at the correct level.