Proposals for altering HGV testing intervals for Earned Recognition operators are now being explored by the government.

The DfT has asked the industry for feedback on whether ER operators should enjoy longer test intervals or to reduce the test content for these compliant firms. This includes the idea of extending vehicle and trailer testing to every other year compared to the current annual test.

However, the government said: “This option would require primary legislation and it could take considerable time to implement.”

The consultation follows a recommendation made in the heavy vehicle testing review (HVTR) in 2021 to consider longer term service improvements for operators in the ER scheme.

The DfT added: “Despite the existing benefits of the DVSA ER scheme, there has been considerable feedback from its members and some trade bodies that ER members should have more flexibility in having to demonstrate high standards.

“Changes to the annual test – or how it’s delivered – have been suggested, on the basis that this could be done without compromising safety because of the assurance that ER provides.

“This feedback was a significant part of informing the above recommendation of the HVTR.

“Further benefits to ER members could then have the effect of increasing take-up and, therefore, be compliant with safety rules.”

It added that the potential increase in ER applications also needed to be considered should any testing benefit be introduced.

The call for evidence is now open and it closes on Friday 9 June.