The DVSA’s flagship earned recognition programme will not be launched until 2018, its chief executive has confirmed.

Gareth Llewellyn’s foreword in the agency’s 2017-2018 business plan, published today, said: “We have commenced work on our earned recognition programme which, when rolled out next year, will enable us to divert resources to target the serially non-compliant and dangerous operators.”

He added that the agency believed operators that demonstrate consistently high maintenance standards and responsibly managed drivers’ hours, should benefit “from this new approach through reduced encounters with our enforcement staff”.

The foreword added that the DVSA would pilot the scheme with plans for implementation subject to its findings. reported last month that the enforcement agency had delayed the introduction while it ironed out problems relating to its technical feasibility.

Although the agency denied any delay in its launch, the programme was expected to have been introduced this year.

A DVSA spokeswoman said: "DVSA has acted responsibly in trialling the proposed standards for earned recognition with operators, ensuring that approved IT and audit  suppliers are in place, and now (spring ’17), piloting the concept so that we can ensure it works before launching the full programme."

Other highlights in the business plan are:

  • DVSA plans to work closely with Highways England to facilitate greater sharing of national automatic number plate recognition equipment and weigh-in motion sensors for enforcement; extend the pilot with Highways England that sees it using information provided by traffic officers to target non-compliant vehicles and operators.
  • The agency is also looking, via improved technology, to enable those at the roadside to enforce against non-current offences, with the use of online payment facilities for the collection of fines and penalties too.
  • In the next period, DVSA will continue to look at the viability of providing the Driver CPC part 4 (practical demonstration) tests through third parties. It also intends to train 200 delegated examiners and/or third party assessors to expand testing capability.
  • The agency will explore the “potential to deliver some of the vehicle testing currently conducted by DVSA examiners by exemplary commercial vehicle operations”, a nod to opening up that side of its operations to the private market that the RHA is an advocate for.