Eight Things to Know about Fleet Compliance Checks
Fleet compliance is imperative, and every business must ensure employees driving licences are checked, ignoring this or not having a robust method of checking could lead to serious breaches in duty or care or health and safety.
Every business needs to consider the frequency of driving licence checking and this should be based on the risk each driver has to the business.
Checking employee licences on a regular basis will create a level of visibility within the business to ensure each driver has the correct entitled to drive and the correct categories especially when driving non-standard vehicles.
Many companies still fall foul, by simply asking their drivers, or in the past taking copies of their old paper counterpart, however this is no longer adequate, as a recent RAC Insurance survey showed 25% of motorists surveyed who already had penalty points did not let anyone know in the business when they received them, only 13% told the business if they had any. This leaves a business totally exposed when the employees are driving for the business, when they are driving illegally and represents a huge legal risk.
John Pryor, chairman of fleet operators’ association ACFO, says: “When it comes to licence checking, best practice invariably means knowing precisely who’s driving your vehicles and that those individuals are fully permitted to do so.
It is the case that some businesses comply by running proper checks, however many choose to ignore this and there is no call to action. This said it is only when a business faces a problem with a driver does it look at its working practices and unfortunately by that time for many it’s too late as they must defend their companies position in court.
DriverCheck’s online simple and cost-effective solution makes it inexcusable for any company to ignore their corporate responsibility. No business will be able to stand up in court and explain away the fact they didn’t have the proper robust auditable systems in place to check their employees driving licences.
Eight key facts
Do not let any member of staff or nominated company car user drive any vehicle without a full and current driving licence.
It is an offence to allow a permit or allow a person to drive a vehicle without a valid driving licence as per the Road Traffic Act 1988. It is the businesses responsibility to ensure every member of staff that have access to drive a company vehicle or drive on company business must carry our driving licence checks against the DVLA to ensure it mitigates risk against points/endorsements or someone potentially being banned or having their driving licence revoked. The company can do these checks themselves or engage DriverCheck where we will validate the drivers licence and provide the results through our secure encrypted online web portal.
The minimum check recurrence period should be a minimum of an annual check most employers build this in at the point when the member of staff is recruited. As part of a drive for work passport or a contractual policy, each business needs to encourage their employees/drivers to report any driving offences as this could affect their ability to drive on company business or affect the company insurance policy.
The way the driving licence record is best maintained is through regular driving licence checking to ensure an auditable checking trail is created not only does this provide a historical trail it also ensures a duty of care to that employee.
Where businesses have a mixed fleet and they have heavier goods vehicles and professional drivers you must ensure the driver has the correct driving licence categories.
Deploy a robust licence checking system to protect your business
The DriverCheck system can provide your business a legal defence if a company is found guilty of allowing an ‘unlicenced’ or ‘improperly licenced’ employee to drive for the company could get a fine of up to £1,000, however employers should be more concerned about the potential of prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
As sentencing guidelines have now been revised and recently introduced, these fines have dramatically increased, as the fines are now in place to severely punish those businesses who ignore the law.
If a business is capable these fines range from £180k to £20 million dependant on the size of the business.
It is imperative businesses legally defend their business through a robust system and the processes DriverCheck has in place protect our clients and reduce their critical risks.
To try and mitigate any form of prosecution the more your business checks a driver licence and shows the frequency was in line with the road risk of the individuals driving licence the better. Each business should have a policy in place to check their drivers licences and should make its drivers aware of this as guidance and compliance.
The Health and Safety Executive’s Driving at Work: Managing Risk Related Road Safety document clearly lays out every business’s obligations ensuring the safety of employees. Any driving-related to work means the employer is responsible irrespective of who owns the vehicle.
The business has an obligation to ensure the vehicle driven is safe and is fit for purpose.
When an employer identifies a road risk after checking a employees driving licence the have to take the correct steps to either remove the driver from the road if they are a risk or do not have the relevant driving licence to do the job, or if they have a poor past driving history they should be profiles for training to ensure any possible recurrences are mitigated by introducing possible driver training.
Do you currently depend on one-time licence checks?
Many companies have used the DVLA’s share your licence since June 2015 if they had the driver’s permission.
The driver must use or supply their employer with their national insurance number to gain access to the driving licence detail, however both the driver and their employer have to log in every time the company need to do a check.
The alternative is where a driver can download driver licence check form and complete & send it to the DVLA at a cost of £5.
DriverCheck would like to point out that these “one-time” driving licence checks are time and labour intensive and is reliant on a manual process, if this is missed this could mean a very serious compliance breach, thus putting the business and insurance at risk if drivers don’t declare any points or endorsements in-between scheduled checks.
DriverCheck would also point out that one-time checks are no longer enough to stay compliant as this is a long time where a driver could pick up points without the business knowing. It is also worthwhile to point out that a driver that has points is more of a risk to the business and should be checked more frequently.
New GDPR rules now protect the Driver and their information
The Data Protection Act 1988 and the newly updated General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) ensures that anyone managing or processing driving licence data must comply with these regulations as this is driving licence data is classed as personal data.
DriverCheck fully complies with the Data Protection Act and GDPR when checking an individual’s driving licence. DriverCheck ensures everyone completes a Fair Processing Declaration to gain approval to act on behalf of a company to check that individuals’ licence via DVLA.
DriverCheck is authorised and approved to carry out these checks and points out that a “one-time” check s no longer a robust way of handling personal data. It is imperative that employers gain permission from the individual via the Fair Processing Declaration, as it seams the easy way out to check with verbal permission, this is illegal and if a problem arises with the driver and there is no evidence this could end up very serious with a report to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
DriverCheck is a member of the ADLV – the Association for Driving Licence Verification which is an assurance for any client that DriverCheck operates to a strict code of conduct, providing total peace of mind that your drivers driving licence data is managed processed and controlled securely. DriverCheck has full system encryption & security management certification ISO27001 to reduce any associated date risk.
The need to checks driving licences in the correct frequency
Any employee that has more penalty points are deemed a higher risk therefore the business should increase the frequency of checks.
There are many different circumstances that can potentially affect a driver’s licence, where the driver drivers a lot of miles and shows a higher number of points, or a younger or older driver may have more accidents caused for different reasons that result in endorsements on their driving licence.
DriverCheck would point out where there is a greater risk the frequency of check should be greater to check the driver’s licence.
Where the law is not clear on the regularity of the driving licence checks, the advice from the FTA & FORS is a minimum of six-monthly checks, however the advice from the Traffic Commissioner is to do checks quarterly for any drivers that have a risk attached to them driving for business.
Online Checking Services
The DVLA’s online system linked to DriverCheck provides clients with the capability of checking driving licences with real-time checking capabilities.
DriverCheck’s real-time automated driving licence checking system allows your business to carry out multiple checks all your drivers simultaneously. DriverCheck saves you administrative time and provides you with a reliable fast and efficient service while ensuring your business is fully complainant within the data protection laws.
Business Road Risk – How We Can Help
As Risk Management strategies develop within businesses, fleet managers are finding the use of Driving Licence Checking information invaluable.
Big Data is the becoming the forefront of fleet management and being able to use this date to profile road risk is imperative, to reduce incidents and accidents. Businesses can identify which drivers that are the lowest to the highest based on the amount of penalty points they have and the endorsement types. Fleet managers are then using other fleet management software packages to create road risk scores dependent on the profiles of these drivers.
The Big Data DriverCheck delivers helps with instructive driver training. This assists businesses with awareness communications and speed awareness initiatives to address areas of concern.
Why use an outsourced specialist?
We have a dedicated focused inhouse team with a vast amount of driving licence checking expertise, knowledge and expertise. DriverCheck dedicated service makes it a viable option by focused service and a reduction of administrative costs for organisations. DriverCheck provides businesses not only with driving licence checks and any changes in legislation policy guidance and support.
DriverCheck manages, processes all driving licence data through their hosted encrypted servers, our software fulfils all the needs of our clients delivering a summarised intuitive dashboard with alert summary and a driver road risk monitor. DriverCheck clients can have total peace of mind as our software is very proactive allowing your business to plan, and where you need to react it alerts you straight after a DVLA check has been ran on a driver to alert your business nominees of any changes to a driving licence. We there is a need for Big Data then DriverCheck’s management reporting suite maximises all areas of reporting and where there is a need the data can be exported or transitioned through an API, so a business can integrate the DriverCheck solution to power other systems.
Road risk profiling is done through our road risk monitor grouping drivers by risk and therefore checking frequencies can be dynamically altered.
DriverCheck’s system provides a clear auditable trail of all driving licence checks therefore it keeps businesses both legal and compliant.
DriverCheck provides two routes system where a client can manage there on Drivers within the DriverCheck encrypted portal and a fully managed service where we look after all data on behalf of the client.
Data is paramount to DriverCheck’s business and fundamentally clients need to know its secure and without giving away all our trade secrets it is enough to say you won’t find a better security and GDPR scope that DriverCheck has invested in and adopted for its client’s total peace of mind. In addition, being members of the ADLV member and ISO27001 accredited.