VOSA uses the Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS) to aid their Examiners to target operators, by calculating who are more likely to be non-compliant when checked at the roadside. It enables VOSA to prioritise certain investigations dependent on how high their OCRS is.
Scores are predominantly created using a historical score to begin with. This is accumulated after data is taken from annual tests, fleet check vehicle inspections, roadside inspections, any defects taken from these three, Prosecution and Legal Services records (advisory and prosecution letters) and even checks where no defects are found – although counted they will be worth nothing. These criteria are not concrete and factors such as fixed penalties, the quality of the vehicle and the monitoring system the operator has set in place may be counted too in the future.
Each of the events mentioned are entered as single events and are given a point rating based on their severity, events with no defects and offences garnering 0. An average is taken per event and this is called the ‘Index score’. These scores are compared with similar operators and are then ordered, giving a ‘Relative score’.
The worst 10% of Operators, those with a very low ‘Index score’, will have a relative score of 10. This method is repeated until the best 10% gain a relative score of 1. Of course, those Operators with all clear encounters (no defects or offences) will have a score of 0. The scoring process will be repeated weekly, so new operators are taken into account as are new vehicle encounters.
Beforehand, operators with no past performance are calculated a ‘predictive score’ using scores from operators with similar characteristics, not to worry though this only has a small influence until a real score can be obtained. Relative scores between 0-3 are colour coded green, 4-8 amber and 9-10 red. This information is made available at the roadside to VOSA Examiners and generally those scores that are red and amber will be subject to more checks than those with scores of green.
If an operator would like to improve their historical OCRS Index score, it is suggested they
aim for as many clear encounters as possible. It should be born in mind however, that since the Index score is obtained from comparing similar operators’ historical scores, an OCRS may stay the same
if these operators improve at the same rate.