An industry association for companies offering licence checking services says that compliance with the recently issued FORS Standard for yearly licence checks is improving. The association says that the credit goes to wider access to driver information made possible through the government's technology upgrades over the years.
According to the Association for Driving Licence Verification (ADLV), a growing number of UK fleets are conducting driving licence checks on a quarterly basis, despite the legal requirement only being twice per year. More licencechecks suggest that fleets and fleet managers are making a better effort to ensure that all the drivers are operating legally.
The ADLV's Kevin Curtis says that the ‘potentially endless’ options we now havemake the data employers need readily accessible via many different points. He also says that there is an added benefit to all this data: employers can go beyond basic licence checking to begin analysing the competencies of their drivers to improve performance.
A Lot Has Changed in Two Years
Two years ago, there were almost no fleet operators checking licences quarterly. According to Fleet News UK, many employers were limited to annual checks due to a lack of technology and access. But the roll-out of new standards and new government technology within the last 24 months has really changed things. It's all about data and how fleets access that data.
ADLV Chairperson Malcolm Mayock sees the big picture as more of data 'lakes' rather than data warehouses. He says the volume of data now available to fleets can be used for a lot more than just keeping track of drivers. It can be used to improve driver conduct and best practices for everything from saving on fuel to reducing accidents. Whether this was the original intent when the government announced plans to update electronic licence checks is unclear. But does it really matter?
Where to Go from Here
It's clear that new standards are encouraging fleets to check driving licences more frequently. It's also clear that the two-year minimum requirement is having a positive effect on legal compliance. But where do we go from here? Is there anything else that can be done to improve the licence checking process to generate benefits that go above and beyond merely making sure drivers are licenced appropriately?
That's for the technology experts and fleet operators to work out. In the meantime, it's reasonable to expect that the number of fleets checking licences quarterly will only increase as the practice becomes more entrenched. It's hard to imagine this being bad for either fleets or the haulage and transport sectors as a whole.
Checking licences is not just a matter of legal compliance; it is a matter of protecting fleets against liability in the event an improperly licenced job applicant attempts to get a job. It also adds a measure of protection against liability should a worker already on the payroll lose his or her licence.
1.Fleet News UK – http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/fleet-industry-news/2017/01/31/wider-access-to-driver-information-improving-compliance-says-adlv