Author: Pinewood

Licence Link takes the hassle out of handling licence checks

Licence Link’s three in one licence checking service has brought significant benefits for fleet customers, enabling HR Managers to check driving licence records, Certificates of Professional Competence (CPC) and Digital Tachograph cards, quickly and digitally.

The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) triggered new challenges for businesses. HR and Fleet Managers already faced the endless task of capturing consent when checking their teams’ entitlement to drive. With renewal now required every 3 years, Licence Link removes the hassle from the process. Here’s how:

Digital Approvals: 

Licence Link’s digital approvals boost efficiency and speed up the process. Fleet Managers can automatically request the driver’s approval, then see a response returned in real-time, reducing administration significantly. It’s simple to set up and a real time-saver, supporting fleet businesses to meet their duty of care requirements.

HR and Fleet Managers can also check associated drivers using digital approvals – including the licence holder’s spouse, partner or children. In the event the main driver leaves the business, all associated records are automatically deleted in the system, complying with GDPR rules.

Licence Link API:

The Licence Link Application Programming Interface (API) is now available, providing customers with efficient access to the licence checking service via their own website or software services. The API can be used to extend the customer’s existing product and service line, or incorporated into the customers’ HR or Fleet system.

The API brings substantial efficiencies, speeding up the time taken to check drivers’ entitlement, whilst ensuring they’re qualified for the correct vehicle category.

Summary:

With these advancements having transformed processes for customers, Licence Link are continually improving their cloud-based licence checking service, and continue to roll out further developments, streamlining the process for customers.

The Licence Link Application Programming Interface (API)

Licence Link’s real-time licence checking service is now more accessible than ever. Using their Application Programming Interface (API), customers can now access fast, hassle-free licence checks directly from their own website or other software systems.

The API enhances and speeds up the process of ensuring that drivers are legally entitled and safe to drive vehicles leased, provided or related to their vocational role.

Customers can now integrate Licence Link’s real-time checking service into other branded products, enabling them to add licence checking to their service portfolio. The API is already being used by customers in both the public and private sectors, bringing positive feedback, whilst allowing customers to boost revenue as a result. This is seamlessly managed via the API.

What are the benefits of the Licence Link API for customers?

  • They can easily incorporate licence checking into their own product or systems
  • Extend their service portfolio to attract new business, boost revenue and increase competitiveness
  • A cost-effective way to better meet customer needs
  • No expertise, development or infrastructure cost is required
  • No ongoing costs for updates, legislative changes or development – it’s all handled by Licence Link
  • Can rely on Licence Link for secure, accurate data

Licence Link, the API and all of the above benefits are provided by Pinewood Technologies PLC – an ADLV Approved Operator, Microsoft Gold Partner and ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified, so customers can be sure their data is protected.

Streamline Driver Checks with Digital Approvals

It’s down to the employer to ensure every driver is safe and qualified to be out on the road – a lengthy process if handled manually. Licence Link cuts the time and administration out of the process – saving hours for HR teams.

To check a driving licence with the DVLA, the holder must give their approval. Fleets employing tens, or hundreds of drivers face the daunting task of gaining every driver’s consent, in order to comply with the law. Not only must they do this, but they require renewal every 3 years since the introduction of GDPR.

Digital Approvals:

In order to simplify this potentially mammoth task, Licence Link has digitalised the approvals process. Now, the HR team can electronically request drivers permission by sending a digital form, straight from Licence Link. It takes just moments for the driver to review, approve, and return the form – which they can do so straight from their phone, streamlining the process.

This alleviates the need for paper mandates, reduces the delay for a response, and has removed a serious amount of admin from the task, freeing up time for HR staff to focus elsewhere.

Once approval has been acquired, this lasts for 3 years. Licence Link enables employers to schedule frequent, automatic checks on drivers during this period to identify any new endorsements, penalty points or exclusions. Ultimately, identifying these in advance reduces the likelihood of getting caught out – which could result in the invalidation of insurance policies, fines or damage to the company’s reputation.

With serious consequences resulting from non-compliance, the digital approvals process in Licence Link has taken the pressure off of HR teams. It offers a fast, reliable and simple solution to help maintain their duty of care responsibilities and ensure compliance.

GDPR, and the Benefits of Licence Checking

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) had a huge impact on employers when implemented by the DVLA on the 25th May 2018. To help customers prepare, Licence Link provided the tools required to comply with GDPR, built into their licence checking system. These included digital approvals – enabling employers to quickly attain approval from drivers before checking their licence, and automatic alerts – notifying HR teams when an employee’s approval is due to expire (after 3 years).

Licence Link makes it easy for fleet customers to meet their duty of care requirements – as they did with GDPR. This removes the hassle from the process. Licence Link also offers many other useful features for customers to benefit from, including:

Driver, CPC and Tacho checks

When using Licence Link’s driving licence checking service, customers can also check CPC and Tacho cards at no additional cost. This makes the process simpler for employers, who can complete all three checks in one system.

Driver Association

Employers can also keep check of associated drivers’ records. These include anybody outside the business who drive the company vehicles, such as an employees’ spouse, partner or children. It’s crucial to check every driver (employed or not), as they could impact the groups’ insurance policy. Any excessive points or endorsements could breach the terms and conditions, or invalidate the policy altogether.

Employers can easily link the associated drivers’ records to the employee, making it easy to check they have a valid licence and are safe to be on the road. If the employment comes to an end, all associated records are removed from the system, eliminating the risk of a GDPR breach.

Driver Approvals

Licence Link’s digital process speeds up the time taken to gain driver approval. There’s no need to send, scan or sign paper mandates. The fully electronic process automatically alerts each driver with an approval request, enabling them to accept from their mobile device in just moments. This removes the time, hassle and administrative burden on the business.

Conclusion

With three-in-one checks, regular system updates and the valuable features in Licence Link, customers can benefit from significant process efficiencies and time savings. This makes it easy to comply with the law.

Licence Link reduces risk for Public Sector drivers

Until recently, Local Authorities were able to check driving licences using the DVLA’s Driving Licence Checking (DLC) service, however, this was decommissioned on the 1st of December 2018. This left a service gap, with hundreds of drivers in the Public Services still requiring regular licence checks to ensure they are safe and fit to drive in their role.

A handy replacement for the DVLA’s DLC service, Licence Link is available to bridge the gap. With decades of experience providing Driver, Tacho and CPC checks for fleets in every sector, they offer a secure and reliable alternative. Licence Link streamlines the process of checking driver records, ideal for those affected by the decommissioning – including for drivers in Waste Collection, Social Care, Fire, Public Safety, and in the licencing of drivers with hackney carriages or private hire vehicles.

It’s still essential to ensure that drivers are licenced, entitled and safe to be on the road. Licence Link helps to meet the duty of care responsibilities and legal obligations of the Public Services (and other employers), identifying any risks and endorsements in just moments.

With Licence Link, both Public Service organisations and private employers can benefit from: 

  • Real-time checks for drivers
  • One price includes all three checks – Driver, CPC and Tacho
  • No upfront cost – single price per check, less than a small coffee!
  • 24-hour accessibility of checks, 7 days a week
  • Access to Driver, CPC and Tacho checks
  • Digital approvals, with permissions lasting 3 years
  • Ability to meet Duty of Care requirements
  • Ease to view historic check results
  • No implementation required

Licence Link is a worthy successor to the decommissioned DLC service. It’s a robust, cost-effective and efficient Driving Licence, CPC and Tacho card checking service, experienced with the needs of reducing risk, protecting the public and serving Local and Public Authorities.

Get in touch to see how your business can benefit.

Company Vehicles and Nominated Drivers

Businesses should regularly check employees’ licences for new endorsements or penalties, as part of their Duty of Care. However, many businesses underestimate the risk of nominated drivers (non-employed drivers), both of which could land the employer in hot water.

Employers will often provide company vehicles where personal use is permitted. The same driver checks should be carried out on partners, spouses or family members before approval to drive is given. But does this happen? 

A company-provided vehicle, driven by a nominated driver, carries the same risk factors as one driven by a contracted employee. That’s why it’s essential that non-employees, with use of a company vehicle, are also checked for:

  • Medical conditions
  • Driving licence convictions
  • Endorsements and points
  • Accidents and incident involvement

If the HR or Fleet policy fails to include checks on nominated drivers, this can lead to severe consequences – that’s why it’s crucial to stay ahead. Failure to check could result in:

  • Corporate liabilities in the event of a serious road incident
  • Increased insurance costs for the group insurance policy, in the event of increased licence convictions
  • Potentially disqualified drivers using a company-provided vehicle
  • Corporate loss of credibility if exposure to risk has been identified

Any nominated driver should be evaluated in the same way as a team member, regardless of their non-employee status. The risk evaluation is the same and policies should be adopted that reflect this.

Licence Link, the online driving licence, CPC and Tacho card checking service, provides a simple and effective way to keep check of nominated drivers. Here’s how:

  • Associated drivers are linked to the employee record
  • Once approval to check has been gained, licences can be checked on a recurring basis
  • Set up automatic alerts as frequently as required, based on driver risk
  • If the employee leaves, associated drivers are automatically deleted from the system
  • Complies with GDPR 
  • Critical alerts and reports include nominated drivers 
  • A successful way of managing employer risk

Licence Link makes it easy to manage driver risk. There’s no excuse for businesses to get caught out – the entire process is seamless.

Get clued up on the latest rules to reduce risk

In the last twelve months, there has been a number of risk-inducing changes for road users. Such changes can increase the risk of collision for drivers or could lead to new endorsements. Failure to identify new penalty points, gained by employees, could result in serious consequences for the employer. Therefore, it’s key these changes (and employee licences, as a result) are carefully monitored.

Here’s a list of the recent changes, and reasons why employers should take note:

Motorways

Changes to the UK driving test have been introduced to prepare novice drivers for everyday driving conditions. This includes allowing learner drivers onto motorways. It’s vital that all drivers understand how to use a Smart motorway and follow the rules.

Motorway users, including those driving for business purposes, should be attentive to ‘learner’ marked vehicles. These could pose a heightened risk of accidents or damage to company vehicles. Therefore, drivers should take extra precautions when passing or driving nearby these vehicles. Advising employees to be attentive around learner vehicles, and keep adequate stopping distances, could minimise this risk, along with driver downtime and the associated costs involved, in the event of a collision.

The Driving Test

Part of the driving test involves an independent drive, without instruction from the examiner. This has now increased to 20 minutes, and either involves following traffic signs or using instructions from a Sat Nav.

When it comes to reversing, learners could now also be asked to parallel park or to park in a parking bay. Additionally, the driver has to be able to pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for approximately the length of two cars and re-join the traffic.

These changes have been criticised by driving examiner members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), over safety concerns. It’s key that drivers are vigilant and provide ample space for learners, when out on the road. Again, advising employees to take extra caution when approaching (or passing) a parked learner vehicle could prevent the risk of an accident, injury or damage to company vehicles.

New Motorway Penalties

Highways England have introduced Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) based cameras, to monitor hard shoulders on smart motorways. However, many drivers fail to understand or abide by the rules, which puts other road users at risk.

Drivers who continue to use the lane when there is a red ‘X’ showing now face automatic penalties, including fines and three points on their Driving Licence. Often, drivers leave the manoeuvre from the closed lane to the last minute. Other drivers panic and try to force through into the open lane, fearing the fine and the points.

Both scenarios can pose a significant danger to other road users, and increase the risk of collision. For this reason, employers may wish to advise their drivers to take extra caution when approaching motorway exits or when merging lanes. This could save the stress, hassle, time, money and injuries which could result.

In Conclusion, have Risk Levels Changed?

Employers are responsible for ensuring that their drivers remain entitled to drive. It’s key for them to stay alert for any legislative changes, as these could increase the risk of new endorsements, impacting the validity of drivers in their team.

Using Licence Link to check driving licences on a frequent basis enables employers to keep on top of higher-risk drivers, or any changes to licences. In effect, this prevents the risk of sending out drivers who may have unknowingly attained (or that do not disclose) new endorsements, and the consequences that result.

The key to minimising risk is to stay ahead. Making employees aware of new changes is helpful. However, to be sure that drivers aren’t breaking the law, it’s essential employers regularly check their teams’ licences. Licence Link removes the hassle and time from this task, enabling employers to check drivers on mass, automate their checking routine and receive results fast.

Get in touch to see how your fleet business could benefit.

Transparent Detail – Driving Licence, DQC and Driver Cards

In 2017, the DVLA made Driver Qualification Card and Tachograph Driver Card information available to Licence Link’s online Driving Licence Checking service. Passing this on as a new additional free of charge service has been keenly adopted by Licence Link clients.

The comments below from existing clients just shows how valuable this service has been for driving compliancy and reduced administration:

 The introduction of Driver CPC & Digital Tachograph Card Details to Licence link, the on line checking service has allowed me to have a safe and efficient means of ensuring that we are operating fully compliant at all times. This service has removed a number of administrative duties which has allowed more time for other tasks to be carried out.

We want Licence Link to continue with our licence checking as this system is perfect for our peace of mind on compliance. Licence Link provides real time checking of compliance which includes driver CPC and Digital Tachograph cards.

CPC checking helps us to see the expiry of the card and monitor that going forward. No more asking everyone to have their card copied and admin needing to update a spread sheet and keep it updated.

These experiences are reflective of many of the businesses and organisations using Licence Link and involved with ensuring that their vocation drivers are fully entitled to drive for work related activities.

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Dedicated Versus Outsourced Services.

Outsourcing aspects of a business’s regular tasks are perceived to be a way of reducing cost, time and administration. On the surface, it seems to offer several advantages over in-house activities. But there can be aspects of risk associated with the concept. Where an outsourcing package bundles in inclusive Driving Licence Checking, how dedicated will that indirect service be?

Contracting an external business to supply previously in-sourced services is a recognised business practice. Taking shape during the 1990s this business strategy offered companies the opportunity to streamline and re-focus existing resources on the core business purpose. Releasing departments from administrative duties is seen to be an effective way of cost-cutting, reducing overhead costs including equipment, personnel, services and software. But over time disadvantages can be experienced where previously dedicated services can become somewhat diluted in the process.

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Electronic Declaration meets the DVLA Deadline

Licence Link announces their fully GDPR compliant Electronic Driver Declaration feature. With the DVLA deadline of the 25th of August 2018 for all drivers to declare approval for licence checking, regardless of previous consent, it could not come at a better time.

Fleet and HR Managers are obligated to ensure that their licence checking processes continue to be legal during the DVLA’s permissible transitional three month grace period and beyond. Migrating from the previous D796 Driving entitlement consent mandate to the new D906 Fair Processing Declaration has to be complete by the 25th of August 2018. Conscious of the pressure this puts on employers, Licence Link introduces the option to remove the necessity of having to send out mandates for completion by a driver.

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