Caerphilly County Borough Council takes a pro-active approach to ensure their drivers are licensed and insured with electronic driving licence checking services from AdvancedCheck
Caerphilly County Borough Council (CCBC) employs 1,400 drivers and its fleet of vehicles includes; cars, panel vans; tippers; minibuses; refuse trucks, road gritters, & other municipal vehicles. Drivers account for 15% of its workforce.
Caerphilly CBC decided to make driving licence checking the responsibility of the fleet management team instead of individual line managers, although line managers would be made aware of any driver where there is a potential problem that would restrict him/her from driving. For the fleet management team to successfully manage driving licence entitlement an electronic service was required, confirming details against DVLA records.
Moving to an electronic driving licence checking service would save time and paper while reducing human error and the associated risk of a manual process. The service would be required to demonstrate that the council meets its ‘duty of care’ obligations and does everything possible to mitigate the risk of un-licensed drivers.
Caerphilly CBC contacted AdvancedCheck and four other driving licence checking service providers. They evaluated all systems based on; service, ease of use, cost and fit for purpose. AdvancedCheck’s driving licence checking service was chosen because the secure online system was easy to use and provided a level of information that was of value to the team. The service received from AdvancedCheck during the trial was excellent, as was their knowledge about driving licence checking. The AdvancedCheck service represented value for money.
Using the electronic driving licence checking service Caerphilly CBC can not only see if a driving licence is valid but also view endorsements, restrictions and those on short term licences.(though details are not disclosed to AdvancedCheck or the employer) plus category, photocard, and licence start and end dates for each driver – all in one search. Using this information the fleet management team can confirm a driver’s entitlement to drive a particular vehicle and ensure they are covered under the Council’s insurance.
Caerphilly CBC fleet management team pro-actively manage their fleet. Employees are sent a reminder when their cards or a category is about to expire. This helps drivers keep their licences up-to-date and valid. Managing the drivers in this way helps to keep Caerphilly CBC’s fleet of vehicles moving to full capacity – vital to maintain its services especially in winter months were demand for vehicles can be greater.
Fleet Manager at Caerphilly County Borough Council said;
“There are so many areas that can affect a driver’s eligibility to drive I wouldn’t want any of my team to be solely responsible for manually checking a driving licence. Using the electronic driving licence checking service from AdvancedCheck gives us the information to make informed decisions about an employee’s eligibility to drive, allowing us to ensure, as far is reasonably practicable that all our drivers are licensed and insured.
This includes spotting fraudulent or duplicate licences but in the majority of cases it helps to keep employees and the Council right by highlighting irregularities that can be rectified before they become a problem.
The team at AdvancedCheck are very approachable and the whole experience has been positive. Their support in getting our drivers behind the scheme was invaluable. We use the information given in the solution to take a pro-active approach to driver management which has helped us improve road safety in the county.
Contact us for more information about our driving licence checking service or call 0141 354 8854.
Driving licences in the UK are granted by the DVLA, the laws governing them come from Europe. On the 19th January 2013 the third European Directive on driving licences (EU3D) (2006/126/EC) will take affect. As a result UK driving licences are changing.
We have produced 2 documents to help employers understand the changes, available to download for free using the links below;
Our driving licence checking service and secure online system will accommodate the changes so that it has minimal impact on our customers’ processes. Contact us for more information about our driving licence checking service or call 0141 354 8854.
AdvancedCheck is delighted to announce that our recent independent audit has resulted in Driving Licence Checking being added to GB Group plc.’s ISO27001 certificate. ISO27001 Information Security Management is the international standard for information security and ensures the correct -
- procedures and
- are in place to secure an organisation’s information assets.
It has formalised our processes to protect financial, customer, and driver information. Users of our driving licence checking service and secure online system will already be aware of upgrades to our processes. Our latest online driver information system, due for release early 2013, will also meet all standards. Making the processes which transfer information quicker and easier.
Sasha Pennie, AdvancedCheck’s Operations and Compliance Manager said;
“Information security has always been high on our agenda and security is a concern for our customers and their drivers. The team worked really hard to achieve ISO27001, educating our customers and taking equal responsibility for information security. It’s a great achievement and shows our commitment to information security management.”
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This week is Road Safety Awareness Week. Road Safety Awareness Week is an initiative of Brake together with communities and companies across the UK to improve road safety. Brake believes road crashes are not road accidents. They are preventable and must be stopped.
This year’s overall theme is “slower speeds = happy people”. The G20 campaign encourages communities to adopt a 20 mile speed limit and promote this to drivers so they drive under 20 miles an hour.
Other campaigns include Wake Up for Work to increase awareness of accidents caused by tiredness and inform drivers of the steps they can take to avoid tiredness.
Did you know?
- At work drivers are 30-40% more likely to be involved in a road crash than other drivers*
- In 2010 there were a total of 208,648 casualties of all severities in road accidents reported to the police**
- When comparing the safety of drivers using GreenRoad in-vehicle feedback in North America and the UK, North America are safer***
- In 2011 33,098 people were charged by the Metropolitan Police for offences relating to using a mobile phone whilst driving
All employers have a duty of care to their employees to safeguard them against accidents. Regardless, improving Road Safety is everyone’s responsibility so that we can all enjoy the world we live in.
Using AdvancedCheck to confirm your employees are correctly licenced for the vehicle they drive limits the risk your employees pose to the public and your business. Your company’s HR Policies, personal development and company culture can also help to make our roads safer by encouraging safe driving within the law.
Regular reviews of the online driver information system will show you the most up to date list of endorsements. This way you can use the online driver information system to proactively improve road safety through training and polices;
- Is there a pattern of ‘SP’ endorsements among your drivers?
- Is there a pattern of endorsements relating to mobile phone use whilst driving?
- Do all your vehicles have hands free kits?
- Do they all work?
How many drivers have a licence code 01 where they are required to wear corrective lenses whilst driving? Do you provide any financial support for this?
Regularly checking endorsements, licence validity and categories is not intended to monitor your staff or show your distrust. The most honest people can make mistakes and forget to pass on information.
Road Safety Awareness Week only lasts a week but it should feature in your business all year round. By taking time now to review your processes you could improve road safety all year round.
* An In-depth Study of Work related Road Traffic Accidents, Road Safety Research Report No. 58 August 2005
** Statistical Release – Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: 2010 Annual Report- Page 2 of 9
*** GreenRoad 2011 Worldwide Fleet Driver Performance Benchmark Report, First Annual Edition: March 27, 2012
It’s International Fraud Awareness Week 11-17 November 2012. Many businesses trust their staff and would never imagine they would be a victim of Employee Fraud, but with fraud so prevalent in society it would be naive to believe it doesn’t exist.
The Annual Fraud Indicator (AFI) published in March 2012 by the National Fraud Authority estimates that fraud in the UK cost the economy £73billion in 2011.
Insider enabled fraud is where an individual uses their knowledge and abilities as a member of a company or group, effectively abusing their position to conduct a fraud. Employee Fraud is one type of this. CIFAS has identified the following types of Employee Fraud;
- employment application fraud
- unlawful obtaining or disclosure of personal data
- unlawful obtaining or disclosure of commercial data
- account fraud
- dishonest action by staff to obtain a benefit by theft or deception
CIFAS’ report ‘Employee Fraud: The enemy within’ warned: “The lack of employee recruitment checks and controls in some organisations lies at the heart of the employee fraud problem. They are the first line of defense in stopping the criminals placing individuals inside your organisation.”
CIFAS also states that a balance must be sought between employee and employer to encourage a relationship of trust. This can be sought by introducing appropriate risk based processes dependent on the industry, organisation, and risks.
Driving licence checks have a role to play in this. If an employee is required to drive for work their employer has a ‘duty of care’ to ensure they are fit to drive and appropriately licensed. If they don’t drive the employer may use their driving licence as a form of identity. In both cases manual checks are open to error and potential frauds could go unnoticed.
An electronic driving licence check using data from the source authority DVLA saves time, is inexpensive, and allows you to be certain of an individual’s entitlement to drive and the validity of a driving licence you are presented with. Used as part of your employee recruitment checks, driving licence checks can help limit a business’s risk of fraud and more, including damage to your brand’s reputation.
Thousands of businesses are potentially letting dangerous drivers at the wheel of their fleet and putting themselves at risk of a £500,000 fine, as fraudsters take advantage of a loop hole.
Businesses that need employees to drive as part of their work must monitor their entitlement to drive and verify driving licences, under the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007. If they don’t they can be fined upwards of £500,000.
According to the DVLA, 22% of drivers currently have out of date licences and a whopping million UK drivers are only 3 points away from losing their licence.
Ken Naismith, General Manager of AdvancedCheck, which verifies driving licences on behalf of businesses’ says it’s no longer enough for companies to rely on a visual inspection:
“Keeping organisations compliant means verifying that all permitted drivers are legal to drive, highlighting oversights and errors that can be put right before there’s a problem. We check for more serious issues too like employees holding more than one licence – a clean one to give to their employer while withholding the real one which is up-to-date with their convictions.
When they know they are about to reach 12 points on their licence and facing a ban, unscrupulous drivers call the DVLA saying that they’ve lost their licence. When the DVLA issues a duplicate, fraudsters keep the old one for their employer while only the new counterpart is updated with endorsements.”
AdvancedCheck is one of a small number of companies who work with the DVLA to provide an Electronic Driver Entitlement Checking Service (EDECS) to businesses, giving them confidence that their employees, who are required to drive, are correctly licensed, entitled and insured at all times.
With such concerns on the rise, AdvancedCheck is now calling for the Government to change the law so that businesses have a responsibility to check the licences of their vocational drivers against DVLA records on an ongoing basis to ensure that fraudulent drivers don’t slip through the net.
Bus operator, First Bus use this service and Head of Security Alan Pert said “I would support a call for DVLA-verified checks to become a legal requirement. How else are you going to know for sure? A retired police officer, I have come across too many instances of people who were driving through a ban including individuals who had sent for a duplicate licence to keep the true picture from their employer.”
It is quite possible for a driver in the UK to have their driving licence revoked without them knowing anything about it. That’s the situation facing thousands of motorists across the country that have failed to keep their address information up to date with the DVLA and so may never receive notifications from them about intended prosecutions or changes to their licence status.
Take the case of a driver who has moved house and has not yet informed the DVLA about their new address. If they were to be caught by a speed camera and receive a penalty or commit another driving offence that carried penalty points, the DVLA would write to them at their last known address and request they return their licence in order for it to be updated.
Up until 2010 this concessionary period was one year, but now a driver has only 28 days to do this, after which their licence will be revoked, making it illegal for them to drive at all. There are also cases where, due to invalid address information, registered owners of vehicles have failed to return a notice of intended prosecution within the allowed timescales. Even if they were not driving the vehicle at the time of the offence, they could still be liable for the fine and six penalty points themselves.
Employers have no reason to distrust their employees when presented with their driving licence but when an estimated 1.8million people move home each year how many of your employees are driving on an outdated licence because they haven’t updated their details with the DVLA yet? Don’t also forget those people who change their name through dead poll, marriage, divorce or civil partnership.
The Association of British Insurers’ reports that in 2011, 7% of all motor insurance claims were fraudulent compared to 5% in 2010. This increase can be attributed to a rise in phantom passengers and fake injuries.
To tackle fraud in the insurance sector the Insurance Fraud Register has been setup. The register is a database of all known insurance fraudsters, helping insurance companies to identify bogus claims and fraudsters.
As well as causing a hike in premiums for everyone, spurious claims make it tougher for genuine cases to be recognised and adequately compensated.
Much easier to establish in the event of a claim, is the status of a driver’s Driving Licence. Increasingly, DVLA records are checked by insurers and the findings make interesting reading.
Whatever draws the underwriter’s eye to a particular case remains a trade secret but you can imagine that one or two pieces of the jigsaw ill-fitting would give rise to further investigation.
Inconsistencies in Driving Licence status in one insurer’s experience were present in 12% of cases. However a new sample pulled for inspection, using Driving Licence checking specialists and DVLA-accessed data, raised questions in some 40% of claims sampled over a two month period.
Some variations were fairly “innocent” albeit they were technically breaches of both Driving Licence and insurance practice; 3 points creeping onto a licence but the insurer was not told or an old address was still being used, well past a move date.
The address issue in itself may not seem like a hanging offense but if a notice of endorsement sent by the DVLA is not received, and their reminder is apparently ignored too, DVLA can and will revoke a Driving Licence.
Around 42,000 were revoked in 2010. These people could have been driving unlicensed and therefore uninsured.
Fleet policies are generally more flexible than personal insurance policies when it comes to reporting (say) 3 or even 6 fixed penalty points. But no policy allows for a wise guy handing in an older version or duplicate to his or her boss to hide convictions; likewise fake or expired Driving Licences.
One web-based insurer tracking online applications was interested to see the extent to which shoppers would play around with variations in postcode, driving experience and penalty points to get a better quote.
Were these “surfers” simply correcting original entry errors or were they making false declarations to get a better price? Their fiddle will promptly be given the elbow if it comes to the crunch and they are found fibbing.
Safeguarding against genuine oversight while mitigating the risk of being duped by a dodgy driver is easy for responsible organisations. Extremely competitive terms and an easy to use reporting system is available from AdvancedCheck. Details are drawn from DVLA records, presenting results on a secure, password-protected web system that customers can access 24/7. There is no software fee – everything is included in the flat fee.
Contact us for a quote using our online form or on 0141 354 8854
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Checking the driving licences for their fleet of 120 drivers was proving to be a time consuming task for Lenham Storage until they adopted the electronic licence checking services of AdvancedCheck. In addition to extended time scales, the visual checks previously carried out by Lenham’s HR team also carried the risk of being inaccurate due to the potential presentation of outdated licences.
The adoption of AdvancedCheck proved to be a quick and easy process. With all staff completing a consent form, valid for 3 years, Lenham Storage can now carry out electronic checks directly against DVLA data and operate their fleet safe in the knowledge that all their driving licence information is up to date and accurate.
Lenham provides storage and distribution services to many of the UK’s best-known grocery, beverage and FMCG businesses, so having confidence in their staff’s entitlement to drive is paramount. In addition they also need to ensure they are fulfilling their obligations under corporate governance regulations by checking licences every six months.
By implementing AdvancedCheck, Lenham Storage can now verify the entitlement to drive of all their drivers in minutes. There is no need to copy and store licence documents manually and the proactive alert service provided by AdvancedCheck gives them confidence that any high risk situations will be brought to their attention quickly.
Steve Phibbs, Director of Risk Management at Lenham Storage said
“AdvancedCheck saves me months I previously spent checking licences manually. I have confidence that all our drivers are entitled to drive and the information supports driver training and compliance for fleet insurance”
Since adopting the AdvancedCheck service the company now it find easier to report back to their fleet insurer and premiums have remained competitive.
Companies like Lenham Storage face more challenging checking requirements in early 2013, when new European driving licence categories are introduced for commercial drivers, some of which will require renewal every 5 years. Under this new legislation, manual checking is likely to become even more complicated and the benefits of electronic checking will be something many more companies will be looking to take advantage of.
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A couple of months ago we reported on the upcoming driving licence changes but how will they affect you?
If you manually check Driving Licence entitlements of your employees driving company vehicles or “grey fleet”, this process will become more complex after 19th January 2013. After this date, new drivers and drivers replacing their existing licences will receive the new style licence. This means you could be required to understand and check up to three different formats of licence.
The changes to licence validity for bus and lorry drivers will affect how frequently drivers are required to attend a medical or self-declare their fitness to drive. Like the changes to Driving Licences, the new validity periods for drivers only apply to some, not all drivers. But which ones?
We are working closely with DVLA and clients to ensure that our Driving Licence checking service supports the changes. In keeping with our commitment to supporting your business and providing a high level of care we will also produce regular updates on our blog and in future editions of our newsletter.
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