Licence Bureau: Cheaper, faster licence checks help fleets to keep closer eye on risks
2nd March 2017
In the wake of the introduction of real-time licence checking and the abolition of the paper counterpart, more businesses have been checking their drivers’ licences more often. This is undoubtedly a good thing for businesses – being more aware of possible risks – but it’s also brought growth for Licence Bureau.
Malcolm Maycock, director of Licence Bureau, explains that despite the digitisation, the company is continuing to grow its head count, and is set to move into a new office.
“With the introduction of e-consent, we can process a licence check and have the result back in less than a minute,” he explains. “When we started, the process was tedious and took at least a day. We had to email out forms, get them printed, signed and scanned or even faxed back, then perform the check with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), usually overnight.”
The introduction of digital licence checking means the cost of a check has dramatically reduced – with far fewer manual processes involved.
Maycock says that the cost of checking is likely to continue to fall as technology advances, and volumes further increase.
As the input cost falls and the processes get easier, the company is turning its attention to better support for its customers – using its in-house team of account managers to work closely with clients throughout the year.
In addition to the support and hand-holding, the company has expanded its range of compliance services to more than just checking a licence – ensuring as many regulations are complied with as possible.
Driver Certificates of Professional Competence (CPC) and tachograph data will be available through the DVLA system, and therefore Licence Bureau, later this year, which means fleet and transport managers will have more information all in one place.
Maycock says: “The core is still licence checking, and everyone gets that. We now sell a compliance journey, given one of the biggest things a company needs to do is actually establish who drives.”
Licence Bureau’s ‘compliance journey’ begins with an employee audit.
It identifies which staff or contractors drive, what vehicles they drive, and what entitlements they require to do so.
“Businesses start with all the best intentions, bring in policies, and perhaps go through the training cycle twice, but eventually, new staff come in and policies aren’t as rigidly enforced,” explains Maycock.
“Through our account managers, we assist businesses to make it a continuous process.”
A contact at the customer will work with the account manager, to pass details of leavers and starters, as well as managing the alerts of issues, such as points or disqualifications discovered.
The system can also input drivers’ grey fleet details, to log checks of insurance, MOT and tax.
“Checking an insurance certificate once a year doesn’t really work. An employer should be reminding staff that insurance is due, and checking the certificate after its been renewed,” Maycock says.
“It’s amazing how many people don’t have the correct business insurance still, and our system helps companies to check the right information.”
For licence checking, the reduced cost and workload makes frequent checks more achievable.
“FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) recommends six monthly checks, the traffic commissioner recommends quarterly, and the main reason people weren’t checking licences as frequently was probably cost.
“With monthly checks, which in the future could cost less than 10p each, there would be no place for drivers to hide. You need to be at the point where a driver who’s been disqualified for 14 days or so is upfront and honest, and goes to see their manager.”
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