Mike Batt, Purchasing and Facilities Manager, Reading Buses explains how they made the transition to Earned Recognition.
Back in 2017 we invited DVSA to our head office in Reading to present the proposed Earned Recognition scheme to us. We were joined by other operators and part of a User Meeting for our mutual software supplier Freeway. Reading then joined a small group of operators to pilot the scheme and we became one of the first adopters when the scheme was launched in Spring 2018.
Fortunately we had a head start as we were pretty much fully digitised having rolled out tablets in the workshop and were well on the way to integrating first use checks, with drivers entering data into their Ticketer ticket machines.
We therefore found implementing Earned Recognition was really easy with Freeway; there was nothing new that we have had to do that we didn’t do before. We have also always maintained a high record of MOT initial pass rates and driver defects have always been properly reported and appropriately actioned. Safety inspections have always been carried out correctly according to the correct schedule with roadworthiness sign-off.
So, while there is nothing new that we are doing, the process does focus the mind and structure completion of the reporting which is useful in itself. What is good about doing this through Freeway is that some of the activities are now more automated than they were in the past – so in that sense it is now easier. And Freeway does help us to structure and audit the process making it easier for everyone to follow the correct procedures and practices.
The Ticketer link means that driver defects are no longer manually input and with tablets used to record engineer inspections, safety inspection documentation is auto-generated at sign-off. Inspectors have access to history of the vehicle for each question on the inspection – if a defect is found it is automatically created in the system and can be allocated to a job-card.