The Van Excellence Code
The Van Excellence Code represents the current minimum best practice standards required to ensure the safe operation of van fleets regardless of fleet size or their industry sector.
1 Driver licensing and competence
1.1 Licence validity
Operators must ensure drivers are appropriately licensed to minimum legal standard at all times.
1.2 Fitness to drive
Operators must ensure that they have processes requiring drivers to inform them of any changes to their entitlement to drive.
1.3 Driver induction
Operators must ensure drivers receive an appropriate and relevant induction to the operator and their role and records are retained for the duration of the driver's employment.
1.4 Driver assessment
Operators must ensure that all new drivers undergo a driving assessment relevant to their role carried out by a competent person and that records are retained for the duration of the driver's employment.
2 Driver behaviour
2.1 Drivers' hours and working time
Operators must ensure drivers comply with drivers' hours and working time legislation.
2.2 Speed limits
Operators must ensure drivers are required to comply with speed limits.
Operators must ensure drivers are required to comply with safe and legal vehicle loading.
2.4 Mobile equipment and devices
Operators must ensure drivers are required to comply with the legislative requirements around the use of mobile equipment and devices.
Operators must ensure that only designated drivers, with the correct driving entitlement and training should be permitted to tow trailers.
2.6 Other role-specific legislation
Operators must ensure they comply with legislation related to their job role.
2.7 Driver identification
Operators must have a documented system that identifies the driver of each vehicle at any one time and records are retained for at least six months.
2.8 Incident monitoring, investigation and action
Operators must have documented systems to identify and log incidents and, if deemed necessary, discipline or provide remedial training to drivers.
2.9 Driver training
Operators must ensure drivers receive training as required by changing job roles or as indicated by ongoing assessment or following an incident, and records are retained for the duration of the driver’s employment.
3 Vehicle and equipment maintenance
3.1 Pre-use defect checks
Operators undertake to ensure all vans in their operation are roadworthy and specifically require the completion of pre-use checks. Drivers must record any identified defects. Defects must be assessed by a competent person and where required, appropriate rectification work carried out.
3.2 Vehicle maintenance cycles
Operators undertake to assess, plan and perform the appropriate maintenance cycles for their vehicles in light of operational demands and manufacturer’s recommendations.
3.3 Equipment maintenance cycles
Operators undertake to assess, plan and perform the appropriate maintenance cycles for their ancillary equipment in light of operational demands and manufacturer’s recommendations.
4 Vehicle standards
4.1 Vehicle appearance
Operators must require their vehicles to be kept clean and tidy.
4.2 Vehicle taxation
Operators must ensure vehicles are taxed correctly.
4.3 Vehicle insurance
Operators must ensure vehicles are correctly insured.
4.4 Vehicle MOT testing
Operators must ensure vehicles undergo MOT testing, where required.
5 Safe working environment
5.1 Risk analysis
Operators must demonstrate that the use of vehicles, associated equipment and working practices have been subject to a documented risk assessment.
5.2 Loading requirements
Operators must demonstrate that the weight and distribution of loads will be safe and legal by way of a documented loading policy.
5.3 Carriage of external loads
Operators must ensure all vehicles are equipped with suitable equipment to carry any required external loads in a secure and safe manner.
5.4 Driver and passenger protection
Operators must demonstrate that an assessment of appropriate driver and passenger protective equipment is carried out.
5.5 Speed limiting
Operators must demonstrate that vehicle speeds are effectively controlled by the use of speed limiters or contextual speed monitoring.
5.6 Towing vehicles
Operators must ensure that only vehicles specifically adapted or constructed are used for towing.
6.1 Record keeping and retention
Operators must demonstrate appropriate records are retained for at least 15 months and can be made available for viewing.
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