The FTA has said it is important that the requirements for DVSA’s earned recognition scheme are realistic, but should still challenge participants to be exemplary operators.

Commenting after the DVSA detailed the KPIs operators taking part in the scheme’s trial will be measured against, the FTA’s head of licensing and compliance information, James Firth, said earned recognition will need to find a delicate balance between stretching operators whilst remaining achievable.

Some areas require 100% compliance, leaving no margin for error. These include: the completion of a full set of safety inspection records; inspection records signed off as being roadworthy; safety inspections completed in the frequency stated on the firm’s O-licence; and road safety defects appropriately actioned where drivers have reported issues.

Firth said: “Record keeping is a critical aspect of the operator licensing system, and could be seen to be a fair indicator of an operator’s intent to maintain compliance, compared with other aspects which could be considered to be influenced by circumstance.”

“The DVSA has yet to define the parameters for expulsion from the scheme, and while there is a requirement that any KPI must not be failed in more than three reporting periods, at this point it is still described as the ‘start of a conversation’ between the operator and the agency.”

RHA technical director Steve Biddle said it is possible that KPIs and audit requirements could change as earned recognition still remains in its pilot stage.

He said: “The 100% requirement does not mean that if you do not meet that requirement you lose approval. It usually initiates a reminder to the operator that it has not met the requirement, so that it can look into the reasons why and try to rectify it going forward.”

The DVSA last month called for more operators to take part in the pilot, as it needed to put its requirements to the test before earned recognition is rolled out fully.