Paul Satoor_DVSA

The new head of the DVSA has promised that its ‘earned recognition’ scheme will be a huge benefit to operators, “as they will be able to work in a freer way than they can now”.

Speaking to MT last week after becoming interim chief executive of the DVSA following Alastair People’s retirement, Paul Satoor said the scheme would mean those operating to the letter of the law would encounter the DVSA far less at the roadside.

Earned recognition, which remains a work in progress, is part of a shift in culture under way at the agency. This will see the DVSA move from a focus on enforcement to one of compliance, in part to stretch its resources further.

Operators at the top end of the DVSA’s reworked compliance spectrum will qualify as “exemplars” and will be considered for earned recognition. In practice it will mean the most compliant operators are less likely to be stopped at the roadside.

The DVSA is working on a set of criteria, including an approximate 95% first-time vehicle pass rate as well as being accredited with green OCRS for earned recognition. It has conceded that it will favour larger operators that typically have more advanced systems in place.

“The challenge that we now have is to make this,” said Satoor. “We are starting to prove the concept but what we aren’t necessarily good at doing is turning that concept into reality. I think we need to do this quicker than we have in the past,” he said. Although he admitted there was no timetable for introduction of the scheme.

Satoor added that earned recognition would allow him to use his roadside staff in a more “productive way”, targeting the serially non-compliant.