Visitors finding out about DVSA earned recognition at the Commercial Vehicle Show.How the scheme worksDVSA earned recognition is a new way for organisations with lorries, buses and coaches to prove they meet driver and vehicle standards.They’ll regularly share performance information with DVSA, such as their MOT initial pass rates and if their drivers have broken drivers’ hours rules.In return, their vehicles are less likely to be stopped for roadside inspections, saving them time and money. DVSA will still stop vehicles if they’re in an obviously dangerous condition.This will allow DVSA to target more of its enforcement activities at the high-risk traffic who put other road users in danger.Watch a video explaining how the scheme works.DVSA earned recognition videoBenefits for vehicle operatorsSince 1 February 2018, operators who joined the pilot have received some early benefits. They’ve been significantly less likely to be stopped by DVSA.With the launch of DVSA earned recognition, operators currently on the scheme and those who join later will get the full benefits. These include: DVSA enforcement staff being much less likely to visit their premises having direct access to a dedicated earned-recognition team in DVSA use of the DVSA earned recognition marque to use on their websites and other publicity materials being recognised as a DVSA approved operator through a published list on GOV.UK being able to prove they are exemplary operators when bidding for contracts DVSA published the list of operators taking part in the pilot on 31 January 2018.Working with operators, not against themDave Wood, DVSA Enforcement Policy Manager, said: Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive, has officially launched the DVSA earned recognition scheme at the Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC, Birmingham.The launch follows a successful year-long pilot involving more than 60 commercial vehicle operators from various sectors of the industry.The launch event was attended by pilot operators, audit providers, IT systems suppliers and trade associations. How the scheme was refined during the pilotThe earned recognition pilot ran from April 2017. It allowed DVSA to test and refine the earned recognition concept. This included: the application process for operators, IT system suppliers and audit providers making sure the key performance indicators (KPIs) and audit standards are fit for purpose authorising audit providers to carry out the initial and periodic audits validating IT systems fine-tuning processes and documents gathering valuable feedback so we can make further adjustments DVSA enforcement staff being much less likely to stop their vehicles at the roadside Earned recognition marks a shift in approach from DVSA. It’s about rewarding operators who are serious about road safety and having a relationship where we work with them. By doing that, we can free up time and resources to focus on the dangerous drivers and vehicles that put other road users at risk. Joining DVSA earned recognitionCommercial vehicle operators can now apply to join the earned recognition scheme.More information about DVSA earned recognition is also available for audit providers and IT suppliers.
Daryl Newlands, marketing manager at Finsbury Food Group, on the growth of the licensed cake market – and what makes a successful licensing partnership.Food-specific licensing has seen an upsurge recently, and the explosion of gaming in popular culture has opened up exciting new areas of growth for licensed cakes.As a category that is completely trend-led, we are being presented with a new market and type of consumer to target, as well as new partners to work with.However, no matter who we are working with, the same principles for creating a successful long-standing relationship always apply.In our 25 years of experience, Finsbury has learnt that the relationship is just as important as the products you are developing. No licensing relationship will be a success unless you’ve agreed from the outset on a joint measure of success. You have to be able to clearly demonstrate to a licence partner that you are passionate about their brand and will work to maximise its potential within the marketplace.You also need to build trust, and sometimes that means not being afraid to be honest. It can’t always be plain sailing in such a fast-moving category and when there are differing business objectives to take into account, setting up an honest and open relationship from the beginning is vital. You can’t rush the relationship either. Despite the fact the category is trend-led – and in our fast-moving world trends are changing from day to day – you have to be wary of rushing a product to market too quickly.For example, we spent two years developing our Mary Berry range, knowing it had a great chance of success but that we only had one opportunity to get it right and could not compromise the reputation of the brand owner – Mary herself.Finsbury was the first to bring licensed celebration cake to the UK market over 25 years ago. Since then it has grown to become one of the largest categories in cake, worth £44m. Licensed cakes are a 365-days-a-year opportunity, being purchased constantly to cater to a wide range of occasions.Yet despite its size, success and the opportunities it offers, it is still classed as a secondary opportunity by businesses, which are putting a focus on traditional categories such as toys and clothing first when looking for a licensing partner.We would hope that as we move into new areas of popular culture, and as products continue to delight and amaze, businesses will consider food licensing to be as important as some of the other categories.