How OCRS Score Works in United Kingdom
If you become a goods vehicle operator you will have certain responsibilities to meet and obligations to comply with.
For example, the police or DVSA officers may stop your drivers during the course of their work to carry out roadside vehicle inspections.
As a rule, the DVSA Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS) is a system they use to determine which vehicles to pull over and inspect.
So, how do OCRS score bands work in the United Kingdom? The authorities use the system to calculate the risk of:
- Commercial vehicle operators failing to follow the rules on roadworthiness (e.g. vehicle condition, safety).
- Goods vehicle operators failing to follow traffic regulations (e.g. HGV driving hours, weighing checks).
Note: The likelihood of having your vehicles inspected by the police or the DVSA will increase if your OCRS score is high.
So, where does the Operator Compliance Risk Score data come from? In fact, the information held in the system comes from data collected and captured over a 3-year rolling period by the DVSA.
They take it from annual tests, from roadside inspections, and from checks carried out at operating centres. Your score comes from two separate categories (e.g. roadworthiness and traffic) and then you get a combined score.
OCRS Data Chart
- Roadworthiness: The data comes from vehicle tests (e.g. first tests, subsequent annual tests) and from ‘vehicle encounters’ (e.g. fleet check inspections, roadside inspections, and those carried out at operator premises).
- Traffic: The data comes from roadside checks and from prosecutions (e.g. given for breaches of drivers’ hours, tachograph offences, and weighing checks).
Operators of transport and driving businesses get points if a test or an inspection results in a defect or a rules’ infringement. They administer higher points for the most serious kinds of defects or infringements.
Here’s a good example:
Supposing your roadworthiness points are 200 derived from four (4) events and you also have 150 traffic points from two (2) events.
In this example, you would have a total of 350 points from six (6) events. Thus, your combined OCRS score would be 350 divided by 6 (58.33).
OCRS score grades show as ‘R’ for red (meaning the highest risk), ‘A’ for amber (medium risk) or ‘G’ for green (which is the lowest risk).
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency produce guidance notes on the use of the Operator Compliance Risk Score system. It explains exactly how the OCRS system works and how the score bands are worked out.
Note: As a rule, you will not have an OCRS score unless DVSA have some data for you from the past three (3) years. You can manage your commercial vehicle compliance and check your OCRS score online (see below).
Operators based Outside Great Britain
The DVSA use a non-GB OCRS system for operators outside of Great Britain. In this case, there will be no annual test or prosecution data available. So, the data comes from checks carried out at the roadside.
How OCRS Score Changes
DVSA calculate Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS) over a rolling period of three years. So, operators’ scores can change after ‘encounters’ (e.g. inspections, tests, or receiving prosecutions).
As a rule, your score will change with a negative or a positive effect, depending on whether you:
- Commit a new offence or you have a defect recorded against you at an inspection (e.g. a negative effect on your OCRS score).
- Have a ‘clear encounter’, meaning you have passed an inspection without any problems (e.g. a positive effect on your OCRS score).
Therefore, commercial vehicle operators should aim to have a low OCRS.
Important: Points from DVSA prosecutions would begin from the date of the prosecution (not the actual date of the motoring offence).
There are other reasons why a score may change. For example, old encounters (that previously counted towards a score) would no longer count once they drop out of the OCRS calculation period.
So, a score can go up if clear encounters go outside the calculation period. But, a score may go down if negative encounters no longer count.
Impact of Year Weightings
The impact of an offence or a defect will decrease during the 3-year time period. The score would not change for the first twelve (12) months. Following that, it would fall by one quarter (25%) for the next year and then by 50% during the final twelve (12) months.
Other Parameters and Changes
Several different ‘parameters’ (set by the DVSA) will feed into your OCRS. They can have an impact on your score because they may change at any time. The current parameters are:
- Points for offences and defects.
- Points for prosecutions.
- Time weightings.
- Band thresholds (used to determine whether yours are red, amber, or green).
- Trigger events and time periods.
Note: DVSA guidance on the OCRS system explains more about the values for all parameters in greater detail.
Managing Commercial Vehicle Compliance
The commercial vehicle compliance service is the place to view test histories and roadside check reports for your commercial vehicles. You can also check your Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS).
Note: You would need to register, by filling in an application form to access DVSA online report services for commercial vehicle operators, before you can manage your commercial vehicle compliance online.
DVSA will check the details given against your operator licence records. They will then send a membership and confirmation letter to you by post within one week. The letter will contain further information on how to use the service.
You can contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) by phone or email if you have questions about the application process.
Having registered with the system, you will then be able to:
- View your current Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS).
- Monitor the annual test pass rates of your commercial vehicles.
- Identify the causes of vehicle test failures.
- See extra information about your roadside encounters (e.g. when a DVSA enforcement officer stops one of your vehicles).
Note: Another section contains detailed guidance on roadside vehicle checks for commercial drivers in Great Britain.