Scottish Water has been able to meet legal compliance and duty of care responsibilities across a huge pool of more than 4,000 drivers and several vehicle classes, thanks to automated driving licence checking service from Glasgow-based DriverCheck, part of Ebbon Compliance.

Accountable to the Scottish Government, Scottish Water is a statutory corporation that provides water and wastewater services to over five million customers across rural, island and urban communities, providing 1.5 billion litres of drinking water and removing 1.1 billion litres of waste water every day.

Scottish Water operates an owned fleet of more than 1,700 vehicles – 300 cars, 1,300 vans and 120 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). As well as its huge owned fleet, Scottish Water also has 1,600 grey fleet drivers who use their own vehicles on company business.

With more than 4,000 drivers, it is a significant undertaking for Scottish Water to check driving licences to ensure that everyone driving for business purposes holds a valid licence for the category of vehicle they are driving, says Fleet Manager, Elaine Pringle.

“From that perspective, the DriverCheck service works really well for us. It provides automated, reliable driving licence checking, working continually and silently in the background, highlighting any issues,” she said.

Pringle said the frequency of checking depended on the class of vehicle being driven.

“We take a risk-based approach to driving licence checks. The frequency of checks is dependent on the type of vehicle being driven. Our HGV drivers’ licences are checked every 3 months, van drivers every 6 months and grey fleet drivers’ licences are checked annually.

“For our grey fleet, we also use DriverCheck services to confirm that vehicles being driven on business purposes are legally compliant, checking tax and MOT status and confirming the right level of business insurance,” she added.

“Joining DriverCheck is a straightforward process. As new starters are onboarding, they complete an e-declaration to allow DriverCheck to complete periodic licence checks on behalf of Scottish Water. This removes a significant administration burden.

“In addition, DriverCheck provides excellent customer service and support and respond quickly to any requests we may have. Processes are now firmly embedded and working effectively,” added Elaine Pringle.

“The use of DriverCheck gives me peace of mind that we are meeting our legal obligations and duty of care to our staff and members of the public, as driving is still one of the most dangerous work activities that we do.

“Legal compliance is particularly important for us as we operate HGVs and checking of drivers’ licences is one of our duties. Without our fleet of vans and HGVs, we would be unable to provide essential water and waste water services for our customers.”

DriverCheck Head of Operations, Yvette Giannini, said that automated licence checking was vital for an organisation with as large and diverse driver pool as Scottish Water, both from legal compliance and management of occupational road risk perspectives.

“With as many drivers as Scottish Water have and the complex nature of their operations, anything other than a fully automated service would never be an option. Automatic updating through the DriverCheck client portal dramatically reduces the chances of error, as well as cutting the amount of admin time required,” she said.

DriverCheck is part of Ebbon Compliance which, with Derby-based Licence Check, is now the UK’s largest driving licence checking and vehicle compliance business with a combined 1.6 million licence checks per annum.

Both businesses operate as stand-alone entities with separate teams and brands, with DriverCheck providing managed services including licence checking and grey fleet services, and Licence Check offering packaged risk and compliance solutions through its award-winning DAVIS platform.

DriverCheck currently has a 1,200-strong client base with a host of household names in the insurance, utilities and automotive sectors along with a strong representation amongst local authorities.

Companies within its customer portfolio include dealer group, Arnold Clark, aerospace, defence and security company, Babcock International, and air quality management and parking enforcement provider, Marston Holdings, amongst many others., including, of course, Scottish Water.