A new service that will allow employers to check the validity of driving licences directly with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), is due to be pilot tested at the end of the month.
The service will enable registered companies to view on-line information from a driver’s licence record using the driver number or other information such as a name, address and date of birth.
Driver licence checks form a key part of occupational road risk management.
Yet, points out ACFO, there has until now been no easy route to allow companies to check the validity of job applicants’ licences - particularly before an employment offer is made.
“There is a clear demand from employers for driver licence checks,” ACFO director Stewart Whyte said.
“Therefore, supporting all fleet operators to have the facility to undertake a licence check directly with the DVLA is clearly a great idea, which ACFO wholeheartedly supports.
"Discussions have been ongoing for several years to secure a licence checking service.
"ACFO was advised that a pilot scheme was planned for early 2007.
“However, we understand that the pilot trial was delayed and is only now being started,” explained Mr Whyte. “We are however extremely disappointed that this excellent scheme has been delayed so much.
“We remain hopeful that the pilot will complete successfully in the near future.
"Nevertheless, it remains disappointing that the initiative is not up and running already.
"That is particularly so when both the Government and the HSE have, quite rightly, urged all businesses to review their at-work driver safety and put it on a best practice footing.”
A DVLA spokesman confirmed that the trials will beging at the end of May.
He said that the delays were due to a review of data sharing processes.
He added that the DVLA was not in a position to confirm when the service will be rolled out nationally.