DVLA Business Plan 2022 to 2023

Non-Executive Chair’s introduction

I am delighted to present our Business Plan for 2022-23. This ambitious and challenging plan sets out our priorities for the year ahead, including details on how we will measure our performance against those priorities.

Many of you who read this plan will be DVLA customers and you may be aware of the significant challenges we have faced throughout the pandemic, which in some areas of our business have meant that unfortunately our customer service levels dipped below the high standards we pride ourselves on.

I am pleased to say we are well on our way to recovery and this business plan details the next chapter in our journey to be the hub for motoring services. This includes the introduction of a DVLA Customer Account, which is perhaps one of the most significant and exciting changes in how we deliver, and how our customers access our services, for many years.

These are exciting times for DVLA and for our customers as we continually look to enhance existing or introduce new services, all with the continuing aim of making it easier for customers to access our services in a way that fits with their lifestyles.

I have no doubt that it is going to be another busy, challenging and rewarding year, and I am very much looking forward to what lies ahead.

Lesley Cowley OBE, Non-Executive Chair

March 2022

Chief Executive’s foreword

The last two years have been among the most challenging in DVLA’s 50-year history. Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, our digital services have helped to keep the country moving in the most difficult of times. At a time when people needed us most, we continued to process many millions of applications for driving licences and other important documentation needed to use our roads. We know that postal applications have taken us longer to process than either we or our customers would like, but our recovery plan is working with many postal applications now back to normal processing times.

Even through our most challenging times we have never stopped looking ahead. This Business Plan is challenging, ambitious and innovative and sets out our priorities for the year ahead.

We pride ourselves on being a dynamic digital organisation and much work has already been done on our customer digital transformation programme. This includes our First Application Service which is an enhanced service for provisional drivers. Thanks to our commitment to continually improve customer service, first time drivers can now upload their signature and photos to our service rather than us having to rely on links to the Passport Office, meaning more people can transact online and have a choice to upload a photo to use on their driving licence. Since we made the changes, more than 300,000 new drivers have used the service. During the year we’ll also start the work to upgrade our renew a driving licence service so current driving licence holders will benefit from the same new functionality.

We will continue to develop the DVLA Customer Account with the aim of testing it with the public later this financial year. When launched, this new service will be a real step change for DVLA, which for the first time, will give our customers greater control of how they access our many services and will revolutionise how customers will deal with us. The DVLA Customer Account will ultimately allow customers to access driver and vehicle services all in one place.

DVLA has a critical role to play in helping to keep our roads safe by ensuring the right drivers and vehicles are on the road as simply, safely and efficiently as possible. This is particularly the case where we deal with drivers who have declared a medical condition that may affect their driving. We know how important a driving licence is for people’s independence and often job security, but where medical investigations are needed, we must make sure all the necessary checks, which often include third party checks with GP’s and consultants, are carried out before we can issue a licence.

However, we want to improve how we do this in order to meet the challenge of an increase in volumes and more complex cases. In the year ahead we will continue to introduce changes to our legislation and working practices which will speed up the process without impacting road safety. This follows on from the introduction in 2021-22 of two Customer Service Centres (in Swansea and Birmingham) which between them can accommodate an additional 300 staff dedicated to helping process applications from drivers with medical conditions.

Finally, we are nothing without the 6,000 plus people who make up the DVLA family and we will continue to invest heavily in our workforce, including by introducing smarter working practices with flexible working options where possible. We will also continue to champion our apprenticeships and development programmes which feed our digital and technology talent pipeline.

Julie Lennard, DVLA Chief Executive and Accounting Officer

March 2022

1. Who we are and what we do

1.1 Who we are

We are an executive agency of the Department for Transport (DfT). Our core responsibilities are to maintain records of more than 49 million drivers and more than 40 million vehicles. We collect around £7 billion a year in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and are one of the largest employers in south Wales with more than 6,000 staff and now an office in Birmingham.

1.2 What we do

Our aim is to be the hub for motoring services. The skills and capability of our staff and scale of our operation means we are well placed to deliver not just for the Department for Transport but across government.

Our goal is to get the right drivers and vehicles taxed and on the road, as simply, safely and efficiently for the public as possible. We develop our services around meeting our customers’ needs, reducing the burdens for business and the public by providing reliable, user-friendly services.

DVLA’s digital services are among the most innovative, efficient, and effective in government. Most customers use our online services so that they can transact with us at a time and place that suits them. We aim to make our digital services so good that people choose to use them, and we will continue to strongly promote our digital services as this will also reduce the paper we need to print and deliver across the UK and lower our carbon footprint.

We provide services to other government departments across the UK. We work closely with business customers and the public to adapt to changing motoring needs, ensuring the services we offer are designed with the future in mind.

Our three-year strategic plan sets out the overarching vision for what we want to achieve. This business plan is the second year of our strategy and sets out how we are delivering against the strategy through specific milestones and targets.

2. Plans for 2022 to 2023

Strategic goal
1. Customer-centric Target
DVLA Measure 2022-23:

1.1 We will dispatch applications made online for a:

• driving licence in 3 working days

• vehicle registration certificate in 3 working days

• tachograph in 3 working days

 

95%

1.2 *1 We will dispatch applications made by post for a:

• driving licence in 10 working days

• vehicle registration certificate in 10 working days

 

90%

1.3 *1 We will dispatch vocational applications made by post for a:

• tachograph in 5 working days

• driving licence in 5 working days

 

90%

1.4 *1&2 We will return to the pre-pandemic timings for processing Drivers Medical Applications within 90 days by September 2022   90%
1.5 *1 We will reduce unmet demand in our contact centre to pre-pandemic levels   End June 2022
1.6 We will retain the Customer Service Excellence Standard   Retain standard
1.7 We will retain the Customer Contact Association Global Standard 7   Retain standard
1.8 We will provide planned customer IT service availability of:

• vehicle tax

• vehicle management

• personalised registration

• driver licensing online services

 

99.5%

*1 Subject to no further coronavirus (COVID-19) disruption

*2 Dependant on returns from medical professionals

Strategic goal
2. A dynamic digital organisation Target
DVLA Measure 2022-23:

2.1 We will introduce electronic vehicle tax reminders for customers using the customer account service.

 

August 2022

2.2 We will deliver a new 10-Year Renewal service to enable customers to upload their signature and photograph. This is the first of a suite of renewal transactions in our customer digital transformation programme.   March 2023
2.3 We will exceed our total digital and automated interactions.   90%
Strategic goal
3. Data driven Target
DVLA Measure 2022-23:

3.1 We will integrate our new online driver licensing service with external identity data attributes from the General Register Office (GRO) and Home Office, in order to identify customers.

 

March 2023 (subject to external stakeholder timescales)

3.2 DVLA will continue to work with DfT and Home Office on the Compliant Vehicle Initiative. This will involve supporting the development of a roadmap and providing data to support the pilot interventions.   Ongoing
Strategic goal
4. A great place to work Target
DVLA Measure 2022-23:

4.1 COVID-19 safety, we will:

• continuously review the DVLA site to ensure it meets Welsh Government COVID-19 guidance for employers

• continue to provide mental health and wellbeing support to staff – this includes promoting the Employee Assistance Programme service as a source of support, and providing advice on how to look after your mental wellbeing during the pandemic

 

Ongoing

March 2023

4.2 We will continue the implementation of government’s smarter working initiative in line with the smarter working code of practice [PAS3000]   Ongoing
4.3 We will be fully operational on the new telephony platform across all customer channels.   September 2022
4.4 We will carry out work to improve the sustainability of/or reduce the environmental impacts of our operational estate and travel by:

• improving the biodiversity of the estate in line with our Biodiversity Action Plan

• maintaining or exceeding the Government Fleet Commitment for 25% of the government car fleet to be ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV)

• installing additional electric vehicle charging points to accelerate the adoption of zero emission vehicles

 

Ongoing

December 2022

March 2023

4.5 We will continue to use our apprenticeships and development programmes to provide our digital and technology talent pipeline, working with local education partners in areas such as:

• Year in industry
• Software Engineering
• Cloud Engineering
• Ethical Hacking
• Software Development Engineering in Test
• Business Analysis

Totalling a minimum of 23 new recruits.

 

Ongoing

4.6 Ensure the average number of working days lost (full time equivalent) due to sickness is less than 12.06 days   March 2023

DfT/DVLA commitments 2022-23

Freedom of Information Act – provide a response within 20 working days 90%
Parliamentary questions – provide a response by due date 100%
Ministerial correspondence – provide a response within 8 working days 95%
Official correspondence – provide a response within 20 working days 80%
Prompt payments – payment of invoices within 5 working days 80%

We are committed to supporting the following DfT Commitments:

Activity Plans
Road User Licensing, Insurance and Safety (RULIS) We will continue to work with RULIS to look at data sharing to improve the levels of Insurance, Vehicle keeper registration and Vehicle Excise Duty.
Freight Operator Licensing & Road Worthiness We will continue to focus on delivery and policy development to help mitigate the lorry driver shortage.
Automated Vehicles We will provide advice and guidance for new and autonomous vehicles including requirements, exemptions to be registered and tested if required.
Environmental Strategy We will work closely with DfT on its Environmental Strategy to ensure that relevant data that is needed for the enforcement of the existing CO2 regulations is captured for new vehicles during the vehicle registration process.
Clean Air Zones (CAZ) Over the next 3 years, as Service Owner for the CAZ service, we will:

• continue to manage the central service and operations, and deliver continuous improvement as required in line with the agreed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU)

• implement operational and technical changes to the central service as a result of new policy changes

• deliver the longer-term procurement strategy for the service

• continue engagement with the JAQU on the CAZ service

Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) We will work with OZEV to operationalise any new potential grant schemes or scope expansions of existing grant schemes arising out of the 2021 Spending Review.

We will support OZEV in the delivery of the newly digitised scheme and provide the administrative support to process claims via the new web-based portal.

2.1 Customer-centric

We will continue to develop our services around helping to meet our customers’ needs, whether they are individuals, businesses or other public sector organisations.

Customer satisfaction is at the heart of the way we build our services. We will continue to improve our existing services by listening to and acting on customer feedback.

We will work towards keeping vehicle excise duty evasion low by making it as simple as possible for motorists to comply with the law. The latest Roadside Survey of the estimated number of untaxed vehicles on the road shows that the majority of motorists continue to do the right thing and tax their vehicles before using them. The survey estimates that 98.1% of vehicles being used on the UK’s roads are taxed.

As the public’s needs are rapidly changing, technology is bringing real benefits in terms of providing faster and more sustainable services. Reducing the impact of carbon on the environment is a key focus, as is improving our use of data to further refine our services.

Customer satisfaction

During the year, we will continue with our significant customer insight programme. This involves carrying out frequent research with individuals, businesses, and stakeholders to understand the expectations and changing needs of our customers.

We will continue to assess ourselves against high standards for customer service by formal annual assessments against the Customer Service Excellence (CSE) standard. The CSE assessment is an independent view of the services that we give to our customers and a means of supporting our drive for continuous improvement in line with customers’ expectations.

We will continue to use quantitative and qualitative research methods to ensure our new services, and the improvements to our existing services, are based on user needs and add value to our customers’ interactions with us.

Complaints

We will continue to put our customers first, learning from customer feedback and complaints to improve the customer experience at first contact. We will continue to analyse trends and use satisfaction surveys to gather customer feedback. We value feedback and ensure that lessons learnt from complaints are part of our wider approach to continuous improvement.

Contact centre

Our award-winning, multi-channel contact centre staff provide a high-quality service in a way that suits our customers. Customers can contact us by phone, direct message, email, social media and web chat. In 2021, we achieved the Customer Contact Association (CCA) accreditation for the 14th consecutive year, obtaining the CCA Global Standard Version 7.

During 2022-23, we will continue to build capability in our contact centre services using the platform delivered last year for our existing web channels and new telephony services.

The integrated platform also provides our staff with enhanced and improved communications tools and a suite of management information and analytical tools will allow us to effectively measure and continuously improve the service we provide and ensure we are meeting customer needs.

Corporate customers

DVLA places great importance on understanding the specific needs and requirements of its corporate customers and stakeholders. These include trade associations, motoring organisations, the police, medical charities and other public sector organisations.

We will continue to work closely with our corporate customers using their feedback to improve on the services that they deliver. We’ll also ensure that DVLA services are aligned and well placed to meet the industry’s future needs.

For more information about our services, visit our website.

2.2 A dynamic digital organisation

DVLA will continue to drive change with a customer centric focus in the way we deliver services that allow for a more personalised customer experience and seamless digital journeys, whether they are individuals, businesses or connecting across other public sector organisations.

Key to this is our commitment to increasing the number of customers using our digital and automated services. To do this we will continue to build on recent service improvements which have resulted in improved digital uptake and customer satisfaction.

Transforming our digital services

We are redeveloping our drivers’ services, making it easier to engage with us, anytime, anywhere. This year will deliver a new renewal service for customers whose licence is approaching the ten-year expiry point. When making their application with us, customers will be able to upload their signature and photograph, the first of a suite of renewal transactions in our customer digital transformation programme.

Customer Account

Our ambition is for a Customer Account, which will begin to provision customers with the tool kit to digitally self-serve. This will take time to deliver, but when complete, it will host the suite of new drivers’ services and provide driver and vehicle information from the newly developed enquiry platforms, allowing customers to see their personal data, as well as digitally upload items such as their digital signature and photo.

This year we will introduce the first service via the Customer Account; an electronic reminder which will notify a customer when their Vehicle Excise Duty is due to expire.

Drivers with medical conditions

One of DVLA’s core aims is to get the right drivers on the road, as simply, safely and efficiently as possible. To meet the challenge of increasing volumes and increasingly complex customer demand, we will continue to improve our back-office systems to process applications from drivers with medical conditions.

This year we will continue to build on the Drivers Medical workflow solution implemented for diabetes notifications by continuing with diabetes renewals and developing digital interaction with our vision testing partners.

2.3 Data driven

Our priority is and will always remain to protect the data we hold. Our services will be secure by design and our culture will ensure that our responsibility to protect data, especially personal data, is at the core of the organisation.

Maintaining and providing data is fundamental to our business, and the demand for DVLA data is constantly increasing. We will make sure that our platforms can continue to provide the data our customers and stakeholders need without compromising our core business activities.

Using DVLA data across government

DVLA is working with DVSA on their Enforcement services, to contribute to the safe and secure handling of customer data between DVSA and DVLA. These changes will also be an enabler for DVSA’s wider technical transformation, by delivering an enquiry service for enforcement activity.
We will integrate our new online driver licensing service with external identity data attributes from GRO and Home Office.

DVLA will continue to work with DfT and Home Office on the Compliant Vehicle Initiative (CVI) to identify risks of non-compliance with a view to understanding if this can help produce more efficient and targeted vehicle of interest lists for roads policing.

2.4 A great place to work

As one of the largest employers in south Wales, we recognise we play a major role in the local economy. We are proud to be based in Swansea and to invest in the skills of our local community. We are also extremely pleased that in January 2022 we have opened a new customer service centre in Birmingham.

Our modern working environment provides staff with the opportunities to develop the skills and capabilities necessary to provide ‘best in class’ customer service.

We will continue to engage with staff using the results and comments from the Civil Service People Survey to gain insight into how content staff are with their work, job role and the culture of the organisation.

Staff safety – COVID-19 response

Staff safety remains a priority for DVLA. We will continue to work closely with Public Health Wales, Swansea Environmental Health and the Health and Safety Executive in 2022-23 to ensure compliance with Welsh government guidance.

Hybrid and smarter working

As part of the ongoing implementation of smarter working, we have developed home working and hybrid working policies aligned with DfT policies. We have engaged staff for their input regarding smarter/hybrid working to gain insight into understanding and suggestions for implementation.

Learning and development

Staff development will continue to be one of our key focuses for 2022-23 with a full programme of learning and development opportunities identified for staff across the agency. Learning and development (L&D) has been prioritised in order of business need which will ensure staff and the agency can continue to provide an outstanding service to our customers and stakeholders.

We will not only build on soft skills like communication and leadership, we will offer staff the chance to gain nationally recognised and accredited qualifications relevant to their roles, development and profession. To support staff and managers, a new talent management process will be launched alongside DVLA’s Coaching Framework which will continue into 2022-23.

Health and wellbeing

DVLA understands that the wellbeing of our employees is critical to the agency’s success. Without a healthy, engaged and motivated workforce it will prove exceptionally difficult for us to deliver on the challenges ahead and the transformation of our services.

We have a strong record of supporting employee wellbeing. In 2022-23 we will continue our health promotions to support both mental and physical wellbeing through the Wellbeing World bulletins and online campaigns. We will also continue to provide support and raise awareness to those diagnosed with medical conditions such as diabetes and cancer.

We will continue to hold virtual seminars in support of wellbeing to include bereavement, miscarriage and domestic abuse. We will also continue working with the British Heart Foundation on the education of symptoms of cardiovascular disease.

To increase staff use of our Employee Assistance Programme provider (Health Assured), we will be promoting their services including advice on financial concerns and help staff deal with the personal and professional problems that are affecting home or work life, health, and general wellbeing.

Apprenticeships

We will continue our apprenticeship programme and further promote and refresh apprenticeship opportunities during the year. Our apprenticeship frameworks will include digital degree qualifications in software engineering, cyber security and data science. Other subjects include digital learning design and data analysis and frameworks including customer service, HR CIPD, leadership and management and accounting.

Building on our innovative approach to be a Centre of Digital Excellence, we will expand our talent pipeline with a series of programmes in 2022. This will include targeting university graduates, working with schools and colleges, and providing an opportunity for career changers, with our MSc in Software Engineering, L3/4 Apprenticeship, Business Analysis, and Year in Industry programmes.

Diversity and inclusion

Our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2021-24 sets out our firm commitment in placing equality, diversity, and inclusion at the heart of who we are. We will be a role model to others, an organisation where difference is celebrated and valued, where everyone is encouraged to achieve their full potential and is treated fairly and respectfully.

We will continue to build on the progress we have made in creating a diverse workforce, and we recognise the role we play in our local community and the importance of having a workforce that is representative of that community.

We will continue to support volunteering opportunities (for example, through our ambassador programme) to reach underrepresented groups to increase the diversity of our workforce and ensure we are inclusive in our approach. We will continue to remove barriers to recruitment, development, and promotion where they exist.

The strategy aims and themes allow us to continue focusing on making DVLA a great place to work and customer centric in our approach. This will include consideration to both our staff and our customers’ needs by making sure they have access to services or can request adjustments to enable them to thrive within the workplace or to successfully transact with us.

Estates

We will continue to manage an effective working environment through ensuring that we maintain a statutory compliant estate, a COVID-19 safe environment, and work towards adapting the workplace for post-pandemic ways of working. We will provide suitable and sufficient accommodation to allow operational teams to address the COVID-19 backlog situation within an environment that complies with local COVID-19 regulations.

Sustainability

Greening Government Commitments

In October 2021 the latest Greening Government Commitments were published and provided us with a wider brief and more challenging targets for 2021-25.

There are 7 key headlines:

  • net zero by 2050
  • nature recovery
  • sustainable procurement
  • adapting to climate change
  • clean and plentiful water
  • minimising waste and promoting resource efficiency
  • ICT and digital

We will continue to look at ways to understand where efficiencies and savings can be made through infrastructure changes across the estate.
We are working to enhance biodiversity and increase the natural capital of our estate. We will continue to work with our commercial and IT partners to find sustainable solutions to business requirements.

Reducing our emissions

Achieving our commitment to net zero will be delivered through changes to infrastructure on the estate. We are actively identifying opportunities to increase the energy efficiency of the estate. This includes a further phase of LED lighting installations. We are commissioning a feasibility study to fully consider decarbonisation of the heating system at our main site in Morriston. This will provide us with a blueprint and schedule of work towards net zero. DVLA is also working towards the achievement of the ISO50001 international standard for our energy management systems. This will establish the management and improvement of our energy consumption and efficiency.

We are in the process of installing additional electric charging points to encourage the switch to electric vehicles (EV). We will promote this service to staff and visitors and will actively promote using fleet EV for longer business journeys.

Reducing waste

Paper waste remains our greatest single waste stream and accounts for around 50% of all waste generated on site. Whilst all paper waste is recycled, we continue to work with the operational side of the business to understand and evidence the environmental benefits from moving more to digital platforms.

Changes to drivers’ services have been studied and the benefits of reduced paper consumption have been identified. During the year we will look at the benefits of digitalising vehicles services for the future.

In 2021, we trialled a segregated food waste service to understand the impact on our services team. During the year, we will look at full implementation of this service so that we are able to measure and monitor volumes and look for opportunities to reduce our food waste. Sodexo (our catering supplier) have also utilised software to help reduce food waste from their catering facility which will enable us to use this information to create solutions to minimise losses.

Water use

Water saving technology continues to play an important part in our water reduction strategy. Current measures include monitoring of water use through sub meters and web-based software, images of water information displayed across the estate and examples of what we have put in place, such as dual flush toilets and waterless urinals. In August 2021, DVLA were awarded the Waterwise Water Efficiency Checkmark Award.

During the year, we will consider commissioning a detailed feasibility study and trial new equipment to determine savings. Additionally, we will review the ISO 46001 (water management standard) to consider the benefits to DVLA.

Digital inclusion

We will continue to work to understand business needs and how we deliver on our Greening Government Commitments targets. We have already collaborated to ensure redundant IT equipment is reused or recycled with zero waste to landfill. DVLA’s STEM programme will look to distribute 1,200 or more refurbished laptops across the country during the year.

Biodiversity

DVLA’s fourth Biodiversity Action Plan was published in 2020. It is a 5 year plan which sets out the framework for the conservation and enhancement of the different kinds of life that exist within the boundaries of the DVLA estate.

Restoration of the meadow grassland will continue in 2022-23 and we will continue to work to achieve the objectives set out in our action plan.

3. Supporting the delivery of our plan

3.1 Financial responsibilities

This is the first year of our Spending Review settlement which runs to the 2024-25 financial year. This settlement enables DVLA to focus on recovery from the pandemic, ensure improved resilience going forward and allows us to deliver our change plans over the period which will help transform how we interact with our customers. It also ensures we can meet central government objectives, whilst continuing to get the best value for money for taxpayers.

Our financial forecast for 2022-23 will allow us to achieve the measures outlined in this plan. Over recent years we have delivered significant efficiencies and although we will face a number of cost challenges in the year, through our ambitious plans we aim to continue this efficiency performance by further driving value for money across all our spend.

The agency’s governance arrangements reflect best practice and give confidence we use our resources efficiently, embracing functional standards to support continuous improvement within the agency and to meet our strategic priorities.

3.2 Commercial

We will provide commercial and procurement advice and leadership at a strategic and operational level, reducing non-staff costs and seeking opportunities to develop DVLA services. In 2022-23 we expect to award or renew around 170 commercial arrangements. These will include new Payment Gateway and Merchant Acquirer contracts. We will continue to support GDS Notify as their print and mail provider and provide ongoing commercial support for our IT transformation programme. We will continue with our successful PR Sales activities, through our dedicated website and through online auctions.

During the year, as part of the DfT Future of Shared Services (FOSS) programme, we will provide commercial support to the roll out of an upgraded SAP back-office system in line with DfT programme milestones.

4. Annexes

4.1 Annex A

Financial forecast Forecast outturn 2021-22 (£ million) Business Plan 2022-23 (£ million)
Statutory fee income 429 426
Commercial fee income 178 145
Other income 27 35
Total income 634 606
Staff costs (212) (227)
Agents’ fees (73) (83)
ICT charges (52) (65)
Accommodation (29) (35)
Consultancy and professional services (10) (10)
Postage and printing (56) (57)
Depreciation (10) (13)
Other costs (21) (25)
Total expenditure (462) (515)
Net operating surplus 172 91
     
Resource DEL 120 139
AME 2 2
Total resource and AME 122 141
Capital 15 21

Income is displayed as a positive number and expenditure as a negative (in brackets).